Do what you can. I participate in various support efforts in my area including working with disabled patients. In 2005 I was completely crippled and have made a nearly miraculous recovery and want to help those who have simiilar problems. My efforts won't "save the world" but if I can help just one person cope with their problems it is worthwhile. Actually I have been able to help quite a few both locally and over the web. I am less active in lupus because it was polymyositis that devastated me.
In regard to dealing with AI diseases there are probably a lot of common factors in these diseases. Once more is known better treatments and even cures will begin to emerge. There is one new technology that holds great promise for many injuries and diseases and eventually the researchers feel it will be useful in curing systemic diseases like lupus or myositis...but that is some years away.
The technology is called bionanotechnology and will probably first be applied to spinal injuries, alzheimers, and parkinsons but cancer and others are already being researched. It is a signaling technology that will instruct the body to regrow cells. The challenge is to figure what signals what. They have already been successful in regrowing spinal neurons in lab animals. Very exiciting but it will take a lot more research and money and time. I questioned the head of research and he said they had already begun exploring treating AI diseases with immunologists.
Dr Stupp, Northwestern U.
MCTD (lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis). Diagnosed 2005. Kidney, liver, GI tract, dysphagia, raynauds, Barretts esophagus, quadriplegic in 2005. Recovered and now active in skiing, tai, chi, hiking, golf. Meds: prednisone 2.5mg, imuran 25mg, amlodipine, benazapril, omeprazole, potassium, folic acid, vitamins, maxide and various supplements and vitamins.
Remain optimistic and you can overcome the odds.