"My hair has been falling out because of the high medication I take every day," Mercedes tells us. "I was diagnosed with lupus." Didn't see the lupus coming, I have to admit, but, y'know, play the card that's in your hand, as I always say when I'm pretending I'm a lost verse in "The Gambler." So, we've discovered the symptoms and are told its treatment. But for those fans of illness portrayed in the interest of a humanizing angle who don't watch this show with the latest edition of The Merck Manual sitting open on their laps...well, Mercedes, just what is lupus? "A chronic illness where it attacks your immune system about a year ago." It attacks your immune system a year ago? From her description, it sounds like lupus is most dangerous when it hits you in the place you're clearly least expecting: in the past. ["Third time's a charm." -- Wing Chun] But Mercedes, what about the coping strategies you've designed for yourself in the face of this difficult if time-traveling disease? "It's best to keep it a secret, because I don't want to talk about, 'oh, how you feeling,' 'oh, this must be hard,' y'know, don't give me that, I don't need it." And remember, kids: it's not your fault you have lupus, and it doesn't mean god hates you for making fun of other kids who were sick when you were little. Just take your medication, keep a good attitude about it all, and together we'll beat this disease together with knowledge and power as we link hands and bask in the warm glow of the "The More You Know" star fall.