Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Lupus Forum

Lupus/upper Body Strength

I was diag. W/ lupus 3 years ago, mostly with the protein in urine, severe joint and muscle pain (in fact b4 finally going 2 doc. I could not walk), swelling, also have ryes syndrome pretty bad. Anyway, on plaquenil and a low dose diateric which all helps. But lately I have noticed very poor upper body strength in arms and hands. I have worked out for years and continue to do so, but can hardly lift weights like I could b4. Im 46 so don't know if its old age, but im very fit! Go figure. Crying or Very sad
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replied September 1st, 2003
Experienced User
Fitness
Hi sue, wellcome to what someone called "lupusland". I'm 47 and was diagnosised in 97. I was in pretty good shape also. I jogged and exercised reg. I started noticing a drop in my strenth also. Sad I believe it comes with having lupus. I have a really hard time lifting my arms above my head now. It can get to be very frustrating not being able to do what we were able to do before. Lupus ages us faster than the norm for our age. People who don't know me or how old I am think i'm a lot older. Resturants give me the senior discount without ever asking my age. I gave up correcting them. Thay just think i'm lying about my age. I've never been sensitive about my age before so why start now. Just do the best you can for as long as you can. Just don't over do it! That can be worse than being in good shape.

Sharon Smile
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replied September 2nd, 2003
Active User, very eHealthy
Sue And Sharon
Hmmm...I never lost upper body strength until I went into a 2 year flare and could not exercise...Let alone move. Smile

could be because you have a lot of joint pain and you just don't use those joints/muscles as much...

Just my $.02 worth :p
ladybrannon
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replied March 6th, 2004
I have weakness in my arms, too. I have had lupus for almost 18 years and it has just begun a few years ago. I am 50, so I thought it was just old age! Smile but it is very hard to wash my hair and style it.. Not that that is a big consideration when I feel like garbage on any given day. I tell people that this disease is like writing every body part on a slip of paper and putting them all in a bowl. Then getting up every morning, picking one out and saying.. Okay, this is the body part that is going to hurt today! Smile the sites change so often that people really think you are crazy. My biggest dream these days would be to just have one day pain free. I can't imagine anymore what that would be like. I have totally forgotten those days. Crying or Very sad
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replied March 7th, 2004
Active User, very eHealthy
Can I get an amen? Smile

i know *exactly* what you mean. I find myself, some days, asking if it really is too much to ask for one pain free day!

Hugs,
ladybrannon
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replied March 7th, 2004
Experienced User
Upper-body Strength
I know exactly what you mean. I used to be able to open any bottle or jar, lift a 50# bag of dog food, and do a full day's work in the yard, no problem! Now I can't even open my power-ade bottle.

And washing and styling my hair is pretty much out of the question. I've been having my hair shampooed at work, a hair salon, and a couple of weeks ago the shampoo assistant said, loud enough for eveyone to hear, how I " was just being lazy". As I tried not to cry, I explained to her that I had an autoimmune disease that made it difficult for me to raise my hands above my head. It is bad enough not to be able to do it, without being embarrassed if public.

Now when I work in the yard (with my hat and sunscreen), I know not to over do it, otherwise my arms will tremble and shake for an hour or two afterward. You have to learn your limitations and respect them. These are hard lessons to learn, I know.

By the way, march 12 is my birthday, and i'm going to be 40!!!!!!!!
Where did the time go!

Have a great day,

mia
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replied March 7th, 2004
Happy 40th birthday, mia! Don't let what other people say bother you. There is no way you will ever make them understand and ignorance is what prompts them to say the things they do.
I have had lupus for almost 19 years and my family will still say to me on a bad day.. "what is wrong with you??" I just ignore those comments any more.
For others who really are not aware why sometimes I disappear into the "black hole" after being seemingly "fine" only a day or two before, my answer is this...
You know what aids is, right, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system doesn't function at all.
Well, in lupus, the immune system is overactive... Running continually.
It "thinks" that there is injury or illness somewhere in the body.. An, in fact, there is not. But just the same, the runaway immune system saps energy, causes inflammation, and pain.
People will understand if you were to say you were on chemo treatments for cancer. But they don't understand if you say you need rest to recover.
So, again, my answer after years of trying many...
I am like a battery. If I have used all the energy doing something one day, I need to be "plugged in" to the recharger for a while to "recharge" before I can function again.
Some understand that concept and it changes their perception of what I live with. Others don't.. And they are the ones I stop trying to convince.
It takes too much energy to deal with them.
People like that I just stay away from as much as possible. We don't need negativity, we have quite enough already just trying to live our lives.
I hope you have a wonderful birthday!
We will be wishing you a pain free, energy filled day.. For at least long enough to celebrate!
Sunny
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replied March 7th, 2004
Upper Body Strength
I'm so happy to know i'm not the only one with this issue. I know people around me think i'm being melodramatic when I ask someone else to unscrew my water bottle cap or pop open a soda can! You guys are such a comfort! :d i've been in such a slump lately. It doesn't feel like a full-blown flare, but I just ache all over and am soooooooo tired. I have a Dr. Appt tuesday, so we'll see what he says. I'm actually kind of glad that I feel so crummy since I have the appt. Any way. I hate when I see the Dr. And i'm fine & two days later I feel like junk. I know you know what i'm talking about! Hang in there, sisters.
Lizbet
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