It’s Never Lupus
Author: Elea Almazora
aIt’s not lupus, it’s never lupus!a says Gregory House in an episode of the hit television series HOUSE, M.D. – it was a line that made fun of the fact that the diagnostics team that the show often focuses on always brings up lupus as the patient’s possible medical condition, a diagnosis that has been proven wrong time and time again. The line was, of course, an instant sensation among the fans of the show and the fact that there is an actual web page – one that has a YouTube video featuring all the times the team had diagnosed a patient with lupus embedded on it – is proof of that. Since the utterance of that line, aIt’s never lupusa has had so many people quoting it and putting it on t-shirts that even people who don’t actually watch the show have come to know it.
One thing that some people have started to wonder about is why the writers of the show favored mentioning lupus over all the other possible illnesses. Is lupus really that common? Or, perhaps, the better question would have to be aIs lupus really that interesting?a After all, the bulk of an episode of HOUSE, M.D. is mainly focused on the unusual conditions of the patients and the diagnostics team’s race against time to figure what is wrong with the patients so that they may be given the appropriate treatment. Given that little tidbit, it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine that lupus is thrown into the script a lot of times because of all the medical mishap possibilities that the diagnosis could bring up.
Having said that, it should perhaps be pointed out that the writers of HOUSE, M.D. should be considered smart for using lupus as a athrow-awaya diagnosis in many cases. Why, you ask? Because the reasoning is nevertheless completely plausible even if the almighty and all-knowing Gregory House proves them wrong in the end. After all, lupus does indeed create so many complications that could explain some of the symptoms that the patients featured on the show display – and the creepy part is that there are real medical cases upon which the cases in HOUSE, M.D. is based (but let’s not get into that).
The point to be made here is that lupus causes so many other health problems that one has to wonder why it DOESN’T become a standard part of the diagnostics process in the really weird and potentially fatal cases that could be encountered in reality. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which in layman’s terms means that the body attacks and destroys its own tissues and cells because it cannot understand the difference between those and the aaliena materials that make us sick. Your joints, your heart, your lungs, your kidneys, your skin and even your brain get attacked by your immune system when you have lupus, and and it is inevitable that at some point – when it gets too much – your body may begin to shut down as well.
Because it is a disease affecting the immune system, some people believe that lupus is a blood disorder (because white blood cells are an essential component of the immune system). This is a mistaken assumption – lupus is not in itself a blood problem; however, lupus CAUSES a number of blood disorders because it attacks blood cells as well; of course, these blood disorders help in determining the approach to treating the lupus. Because of this, blood experts are brought in when a case of lupus is discovered – which is possibly why some people are so sure that lupus is a blood disorder when it in fact only brings about blood problems like too much blood clotting (thrombosis), and low red blood and hemoglobin levels (anemia).
Yes, everyone should be able to understand the irony of our own aanti-sicknessa system being an actual cause of sickness – one of the things that makes lupus a very interesting condition to ponder. Whether or not you knew much about it before it was constantly mentioned in HOUSE, M.D. doesn’t matter anymore. In the end, lupus has become part of popular culture’s consciousness and more people have become aware of it.
One last thing: while many people expected that athe conditiona that changes in every episode would never be lupus, an episode in the current season ended up with a patient actually HAVING lupus, prompting Gregory House to say aI finally have a case of lupus.a So while some of you may have started to think that in real life, ait’s never lupusa, remember that even in the show that coined the phrase, lupus happens.