May 11 2010

Information about Michael’s lupus and vitiligo for those who have criticized his ‘strange’ appearance or behavior

Category: Justice,PhotosSeven @ 4:42 am


Please read the entire article at the following link and share it with others who have made cruel remarks about Michael Jackson’s appearance or behavior and his ways of dress. Also share it with those who have labeled him a ‘hypochondriac‘.

We now know for a fact as it was mentioned in the coroner’s report, Michael had both vitiligo and lupus. Read and share the entire article at the link below to learn about the devastating effects, both physically and psychologically, of both diseases, and to begin to better understand the very significant health problems Michael was dealing with during his life.


About Lupus Generally

Discoid lupus, or Lupus DLE, is a separate and different animal from systemic lupus or Lupus SLE.  According to WebMD’s eMedicine:

Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is a chronic, scarring, atrophy producing, photosensitive dermatosis. Discoid lupus erythematosus may occur in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and some patients (<5%) with discoid lupus erythematosus progress to SLE.1 Some patients also have the lesions of subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE), and some may have a malar rash. Patients with discoid lupus erythematosus rarely fulfill 4 or more of the criteria used to classify SLE. Serologic abnormalities are uncommon. Therapy with sunscreens, topical corticosteroids, and antimalarial agents is usually effective.

Lupus DLE

Note that less than 5% of patients with discoid lupus go on to develop Lupus SLE.  Though 5% looks like a pretty small number, that 5% represents thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people.  When you hear a person has lupus, it is never noted whether that person has Lupus SLE, DLE or SCLE.  You just hear the word lupus and that could mean anything from skin lesions only to kidney, lung or heart disease.

In MJ’s case, the lesions were found in his scalp after the accident, while he was in the hospital and unfortunately, much of what was done subsequent to his accident to repair his scalp was never quite successful.  There were reports that the scaring never fully healed which is common with discoid lupus.  MJ wore a host of wigs and some said this was done to cover up gray hair.  If the surgeries to repair his scalp were unsuccessful or, if he had discoloring alopecia – which is common with Lupus DLE – then wearing wigs makes sense.

. . .

Note, MJ walked around with a hat, facial coverings, and an umbrella to shield his body from UV light. That is a must with discoid lupus. (editor’s note: this is also a must for extensive vitiligo, which Michael also had)

. . .

Here’s where Lupus DLE and SCLE gets tricky.  When the lesions fall below the neck there is a chance the patient will develop Lupus SLE.  If a patient develops what is known as acute or subacute cutaneous lupus, doctors will watch their patients closely and will begin testing for high levels of ANA proteins in the blood, protein in the urine, and joint pain.  They will look for nonspecific skin lesions displaying anywhere on the body and of course any rash that occurs below the neck will be cause for suspicion.

MJ was diagnosed with vitiligo which is another autoimmune disease.  Where some will develop splotchy discoloration over parts of their body, MJ saw the disease spread over his entire body.  He is not the only one.  There is a former New York model,Jeffrey Stanton Bell, who also saw the disease spread across his entire body.  It does happen.  This would place MJ in the category of skin disease that passed the neck line and now the question, could this have put MJ in that <5% category of those who go on to develop Lupus SLE?  In my opinion, it could have.  Since I am not a doctor and cannot say this with certainty, MJ began having lots of health problems after this.

In 1990, MJ was hospitalized with something called costochondritis.  This is one of many disorders associated with autoimmune diseases.  You can also experience this very painful condition if you have been doing strenuous exercise.  I experienced this in 1989 and called an ambulance to my house because I thought I was having a heart attack.  The paramedic asked me if I had been doing the “rough & tumble” or strenuous exercise.  When I saw my doctor later I was told I had experienced costochondritis which is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum). It causes sharp pain in the costosternal joint – where  your ribs and breastbone are joined by rubbery cartilage. The pain caused by costochondritis can mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.

If MJ’s bout with costochondritis was brought on by dancing and singing, that’s one thing.  It could have been a sign of something more sinister happening within his body which would represent one more thing to add to the shopping cart for Lupus SLE.  If the costochondritis was brought on by Lupus SLE, it would mean either MJ had undiagnosed Lupus SLE – which is possible and happens often – or his discoid lupus went systemic around this time.

In December 1995, MJ collapsed in New York during rehearsal for a TV special and was described as “dangerously ill”.  According to his doctors, MJ had a viral intestinal infection that led to nausea and dehydration and he spent nearly a week in the hospital.  What I remembered of this hospitalization was seeing no photos of MJ after his release from the hospital.  It’s possible I missed them.  Was he put on prednisone or some steroid?  I don’t know and this is pure speculation on my part.  I will say intestinal problems are common with lupus and there are numerous autoimmune diseases that affect the intestines.  If this was an autoimmune disorder we have yet another item for the Lupus SLE shopping cart.

Now, let’s talk about steroids.  They will change your appearance; they will bloat your body, bloat your face and make you fat.  Would MJ go for that?  Probably not.  If folks talked about his skin, his weight and his hair, they most certainly would have talked about his being fat.

. . .

Stress And Lupus

Now, let’s go to 2005 and the trial in Santa Maria.  Stress will shoot Lupus SLE into orbit as wmjackson3ell.  Flares are a lupus sufferer’s worst enemy and I suspect MJ had many of them during the trial.  I was there the day he jumped atop the SUV and began dancing.  That day was the beginning of the trial, however, as the trial wore on, MJ got sicker and sicker.  He had back pain, was hospitalized briefly and appeared at court in his pajamas.  At that time I had been diagnosed with Lupus SLE and wondered if the talk of MJ having Lupus beyond Discoid Lupus was true.  He was certainly displaying all of the signs of a person with Lupus SLE.  By the end of that trial MJ was spent, both mentally and physically.

Stress is bad on a body generally, with Lupus SLE, stress will literally kill you.

. . .

Pain Medications

I will honestly say I took pain medication prior to my hospitalization and my pain medicine of choice was ibuprofen – also known as Motrin and Advil.  This decreased my pain significantly and I was not taking 200 mg of the drug.  I often popped 800mg at a time.  The joint and muscle pain can be overwhelming and if you have to work, you do what you need to do.  After my hospitalization and being diagnosed with lupus nephritis, I now cannot take ibuprofen because it is bad for the kidneys, like Tylenol – also known as acetaminophen – is bad for the liver.  Today, I live with the pain because the alternatives are Vicodin and opiates like OxyContin.  I have chosen to leave all of them alone.

In MJ’s case, being a performer, I can see why someone would go for the stronger drugs.  Again, joint and muscle pain can be overwhelming if you don’t know how to deal with it.  Popping a pill is easy and the results are immediate.  With lupus, particularly when you are around those who do not understand the disease, you will be labeled lazy, uncooperative, and so much more if you complain of something no one can see.

Getting up in the morning for a person with severe Lupus SLE can be one hard road to tow.  You’re tired, you have joint and muscle pain, you feel as if you haven’t slept in days, there is this 40 pound or more weight on your body and gravity is the heaviest of the weights.  You really would like to stay in bed all day and not move.  Anyone with the means to do this will start their day with an upper of some sort to get them going and then a pain pill of their choosing to silence the pain.  If you are a performer, business person, or someone who has to move and do every single day of your life, this is breakfast.  Unfortunately, you are also inviting something called a heart arrhythmia when you do this.  Your upper could be something like too many cups of coffee and your pain pill could be way too much Vicodin or an opiate.  I can see the heart attack coming here.

With lupus, you have to stay under a doctor’s care.  You cannot self medicate because what worked last week or last year may cause you great harm today.  Depending on where the flare is attacking your body, particularly if you become severely anemic as I learned earlier this year, something you thought might work might kill you.

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10 Responses to “Information about Michael’s lupus and vitiligo for those who have criticized his ‘strange’ appearance or behavior”

  1. Korin Johnson says:

    Michaels scalp healed but still scar. His crown nearly bald like most men of fifty. Hairclub for men ring across front for clasping wig. If he was grey he covered by dye all i ever saw was dark hair. Other men in his family have similar male pattern baldness in early thirties.

    He had lots of contagious illness too. 16 mention in May 09.

  2. Lorisa says:

    Hi Seven! I am now reading about Michael’s complications. I was so in love with Michael when I was younger,and love him until this day. I never judged him not matter how he was dressed,what people said he did,and even how he acted. Thank God for that,I would’ve been hurting right now, if I had only judged him. Well that’s true love,it’s always kind. Thank you Seven for all the information about lupus. I now have an understanding of what my baby was going through. I am so hurt for him that at the end he didn’t get a fair chance to just enjoy life without anyone judging him. Well their is another angel in heaven. Forever love Micheal. Seven you take good care of yourself. Thank you so much.

  3. David says:

    Hey Seven, the paparazzi took some photos of MJ’s kids while they were on vacation in Hawaii, and it appears that Prince has vitiligo! There is a HUGE white patch near his right armpit, and they showed the photos to a dermatologist, who confirmed that it appears to be vitiligo. It also looks like his skin is getting patches on his hands, and on his left arm as well!

    Hopefully this will prove that these are MJ’s biological kids once and for all!

  4. David says:

    Here’s some more info on MJ’s vitiligo. I included a clip from the Dr. Oz show, where he discusses a new treatment for victims of vitiligo. It starts in the first video, and is finished throughout the second video.

    The patient, a dark-skinned African-American, has an absolutely HORRIBLE case of vitiligo across her face and forehead, but she was treated with a new treatment called “microskin”, which is a simulated “second skin”, and it looks phenomenal!

    It is sprayed on your skin, similar to a spray tan, and it is sweat proof, swim proof, and even shower proof! It won’t run off at all, even if you hug someone!

    If this treatment had been around in the early 80’s, it would have saved MJ from so much pain and humiliation! And on a positive note, Dr. Oz confirmed to his audience that MJ really did have vitiligo, and that it was noted in the autopsy report. Thanks!

    Part 1, Beginning @ 4:33

    Part 2

  5. Kerry Hennigan says:

    God bless you for this information, coming from someone who knows something about the problems Michael had to face. Thank you so much for this.

  6. nessie says:

    Seven, this biography of Michael that you’ve been compiling here is so much more informative than any other that’s been served up. Mr. Taraborelli should be reading here to actually learn something about Michael (and, if he’s lucky, feel a bit of shame). Michael’s strength was so amazing!! Gratitude to you and your contributors.

  7. Bella Jackson says:

    Yes i have commented once before on the medication that I thought Michael might be on because I have seen him in a couple of interviews looking very round in the face – not at all like his normal self. My father was put on prednisone and the Doctor warned us that he would get very puffy and swollen looking, that his appearance would change and that he would become very emotional and cry a lot. And thats exactly what happened. But when he was taken off the medication he would go back to normal. Some of the tapes that I have heard where MJ sounds emotional fearful and not quite right is exactly how my father was when he was on that medication. I think that people should check things out before they judge because things are not always as they appear. Most people are very ignorant.

  8. Susan says:

    Oh Seven, every time I see that picture of Michael in his pyjamas it breaks one’s heart. You can see how ill he was yet the media made such fun of him. Does their cruelty have any limits? Did they ever put themselves in Michael’s shoes even once? Did they ever think he’s not well and needs help? Apparently not.

    I hope your site gets lots of viewers. I learn something new with every article and it just confirms what a blessed man we lost. This pain will never end and in a strange way I hope it doesn’t.

  9. Ben971 says:

    Again thank you for this very interesting article. Hugs!

  10. Jaqueline M. says:

    It’s sad to know that Michael has suffered so much… I did not want he had to pass for all those painful moments in 2005. He did not deserve it. It’s difficult because he had a desease and he was such a wonderful person. No one should judge Michael. And I think his appearance was great. He was amazing. But my grandmother suffer from lupus too, and I know it’s painful. I love Michael so much, Seven. You are a wonderful person too Seven because you give a part of your own life to admire him, I guess. I admire him too. What I most admire about Michael is the pure love he had for children and people. He was amazing.

  11. Rosa Alers says:

    Dear Seven, Thanks for this article to clarify the health situation of our Angel MIchael and all who have this conditions who are misunderstood. For you, I trust that perfect health is expressed. Blessings.