So, I'm reading a book called New Hope For People With Lupus because my perfect girlfriend, Gilda (pronounced Hilda), has it. Lupus, not the book. The illness is a hard-to-diagnose son of a bitch that almost exculsively affects women by turning their immune systems against them and making their "flare-ups" a painful hell. It ranges in severity, and a person can live a long and healthy life, or she can die young because she didn't take the problem serious enough the first time she was living in Austin, and her kidneys failed and now don't filter her blood properly. Flannery O'Conner died from complications of lupus; Anna Nicole Smith died because of it. Those scars on Seal's face? Lupus. Michael Jackson and Barbara Bush and her dog have it. I'm writing about lupus because it's not an unstoppable monster, but not enough is known about the disease to cure it altogether. Despite several famous sufferers, there's no white-toothed starlet, bubbling her breasts into a telethon evening gown to raise money for the cause, and because it's a 90% female affliction, I dare say there's a gender bias that welcomes disaffection. I can understand that, I guess. I never gave much thought to a certain warty STD until I mistakenly thought I'd contracted it. That was a long, sad week of staring out my window, but it made me realize that there are a lot of people on their incurable islands of disease or, as Chris Rock so eloquently put, are "stuck with the shit." So lupus is serious and common and largely ignored, and if you didn't know about it before, you do now. I'll write a few more detailed blogs on the subject once I learn more, but until then, know that I don't have any STDs.
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