I’m Not the Cause, Nor Am I the Cure

I’m Not the Cause, Nor Am I the Cure

When I first started exhibiting symptoms of lupus, I was so worn out that I stayed in my apartment for months. I’d moved to a new town and had no connections there, so I would sit on my balcony with my cellphone and talk to people on social media.

What I found was a community of support from perfect strangers. If I didn’t show up, I would get emails asking if I was OK.

That was 2015. It’s strange how much changes, and how much stays the same.

I still have wonderful support on social media, but I also have encountered people who are “my way or the highway” when it comes to things that are not their business. These people seem to be taking over, and it has been a blessing and a curse. They have caused me to spend less time on the internet and more time learning new hobbies. I am teaching myself to sew, and I am addicted to the fabric store, but I digress.

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Kellie McRae happily feeds her addiction for fabric. (Courtesy of Kellie McRae)

I have been joining groups on social media that match my interests. And I am learning that the less “social” I am, the better.

More than once, I have shared that I am battling depression brought on by lupus. I typically do this when someone is openly beating themselves up about a personal battle. But I am learning to let them beat themselves up so I don’t get caught in the crosshairs.

Unsolicited advice is rampant. Sharing that I have lupus is met with, “You can cure that by eating a plant-based diet.” This often comes from someone who is healthy. They don’t listen when I say that I have been a vegetarian since before I was diagnosed, and have been a plant-based eater for more than a year. I get lectured about processed foods, animal-based proteins, and the evils of dairy.

If you read my columns, you know I did some pretty dramatic stuff in my pursuit of remission. While eating a plant-based diet has helped me, it is not the cure.

One of my pet peeves is when someone starts a conversation, but doesn’t listen. I get even more frustrated with not being “heard” when what I am saying is in writing where it can be read and re-read for clarity. When this first started happening, I would try to educate the person. Now I just disengage.

When it becomes personal and hostile, I don’t understand. I have been accused of working for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, told that I want to be sick because I didn’t follow the protocol of someone who claims to be cured, and told to stop my medications immediately because I have been brainwashed into thinking they work (that’s my favorite). When I don’t respond, angry messages show up in my inbox.

Lupus affects people in a host of different ways. Thinking that eating fruits and veggies could solve the problems caused by our bodies says two things: We caused our issues by not being good to our bodies, and we are keeping ourselves from a cure by not being good to our bodies. These are both lies.

Many of us have been wonderful to our bodies and they are still beating us up. We are also taking a beating from people who have no clue what we go through.

Remember that it helps everyone when you are nice. It may not cure lupus, but it can help someone have a better day.

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Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.

Kellie “Hurricane” McRae has been dubbed a force of nature. She’s the mother of 2 adults who know she is a force to be reckoned with. Diagnosed with Lupus in February 2016 after multiple hospital stays that had her saying her goodbyes to her family & writing her will she became a very vocal advocate. She has openly shared via Periscope what she calls coping while scoping and has helped many who got a fresh diagnosis as well as those who have been battling for a while. Kellie has taken on the idea that food is medicine and shares frequently the chemical ingredients found in some foods and she also shares recipe’s for great food. Food is medicine is part of her philosophy. After Lupus forced her to walk away from a 17 year career in Real Estate, she began an online business helping others go from “Coping to Cash flow” because not everyone gets approved for disability and still need to pay bills despite the unpredicatable issues that Lupus causes.
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Kellie “Hurricane” McRae has been dubbed a force of nature. She’s the mother of 2 adults who know she is a force to be reckoned with. Diagnosed with Lupus in February 2016 after multiple hospital stays that had her saying her goodbyes to her family & writing her will she became a very vocal advocate. She has openly shared via Periscope what she calls coping while scoping and has helped many who got a fresh diagnosis as well as those who have been battling for a while. Kellie has taken on the idea that food is medicine and shares frequently the chemical ingredients found in some foods and she also shares recipe’s for great food. Food is medicine is part of her philosophy. After Lupus forced her to walk away from a 17 year career in Real Estate, she began an online business helping others go from “Coping to Cash flow” because not everyone gets approved for disability and still need to pay bills despite the unpredicatable issues that Lupus causes.

4 comments

  1. Laney Griner says:

    Hi Kellie,

    I have really enjoyed reading your articles. Your relatability and candor are incredibly refreshing. I really like that you don’t sugarcoat the reality. This is a horrible disease and pretending that it isn’t doesn’t help anyone. It only makes people feel more alone.

    I am 44 and was diagnosed when I was 13, so I’ve lived with this disease for a large majority of my life. I grew up with this disease, so your title “I’m Not the Cause, Nor Am I the Cure” is a perfect summation. I certainly had not consumed enough meat, preservatives, toxins, or anything else by age 13 to have brought this on myself. I long ago stopped trying to figure out why I have it or looking for something/someone to blame because ultimately we are blaming ourselves. It just is, for whatever reason, now let’s all move forward with constructive conversation and sharing experiences.

    Thank you, Kellie. I’m really happy to have found you and so appreciate your perspective. Looking forward to your future articles.

  2. Tricia H says:

    Kelli, I too sew, quilt, and do hand embroidery. They are wonderful hobbies! The community of sewist and quilters on IG is, for the most part, very supportive and caring. And I too am addicted to the fabric store.

    • Kellie McRae says:

      The sewing community is one of my really happy places. I agree that they are super supportive even of my wonky makes. I haven’t checked out the IG community, I belong to a few on FB. I will have to search it out on IG and add some of those folks too! We should probably stay out of the fabric stores lol

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