Filmmaker Ava DuVernay is the creator of Queen Sugar which airs weekly on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Millions tune in to see the drama of estranged siblings save their patriarch's sugar cane farm.
Lately, the spotlight has been on Violet Bordelon, or Aunt Vi as she's dearly called. Aunt Vi has lupus, an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks itself, causing damage or potential damage to internal and external organ systems. Many lupus sufferers including myself wait to see the outcome of Aunt Vi's health.
I can totally relate to all of the symptoms I see displayed by Aunt Vi. The arthritic aches and pains, chronic fatigue, hair loss, dizzy spells, forgetfulness are all so common in the lupus sufferer.
There have been some viewers on social media who are concerned that DuVernay may "kill" off Aunt Vi's character. Sources state that DuVernay is aware that many people with lupus can live productive lives, and that is true.
Each lupus case is not a death sentence. From 1999 to the present, I have had several flare ups and hospitalizations. I admit that they were rough and the healing/recovery process was long.
I'm currently going to occupational and physical therapy three times a week, resulting from a lupus flare I had earlier this year. My muscles were gravely affected and I'm slowly regaining my strength and the use of them.
Living with lupus is tedious, unpredictable, isolating, and depressing. The good news is that there is help. You don't have to go it alone. There are support groups and your doctor can suggest clinical therapy. Of course, you may become a walking pharmacy because of all of the medications and supplements to keep you stable.
Aunt Vi's character is a very independent woman. Unfortunately, she has a lot of pride when receiving help from the man in her life, who is her greatest supporter. If you have lupus or newly diagnosed, please do not refuse help because you're going to need it one way or another.
I personally believe that DuVernay will continue to do her homework on lupus. Whatever the outcome of Aunt Vi, DuVernay shined the light on the subject, which was something long overdue.
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Filed under: Lupus