I’m Walking to End Lupus. Join Me?
I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythmetosis in 2008. What a whirlwind year that was.........my entire life changed the minute I received that diagnosis. I was lucky because I was diagnosed quickly because my doctor had a hunch and stuck with it and tested me. My problem began actually on Valentine's Day, 2008. The evening before I had a high fever and pain in my back near my left lung. I thought that if I slept, I would wake up and I would feel better. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I slept a while but was up most of the night thinking that I pulled a muscle in my back and kept applying heat patches. The pain kept getting worst. I finally decided that my husband would have to take me to Urgent Care in the morning. I wanted to get our boys off to school first. I really just thought it was a pulled muscle.......Well, we got our boys off to school and headed to Urgent Care. By the time we got there (32 mile trip) I was in excruciating pain. They opened the doors, I went in and they took me out on a girny because I couldn't lay down flat. 911 was called and off I went in the Ambulance. My first time ever in an Ambulance. My husband was following but had no idea what Hospital they were taking me to (we recently moved to Arizona and were not familiar with the Hospitals). When the Ambulance first started out, there were no lights or sirens going; however, something was happening (I believe my blood pressure was dropping) and they turned on the sirens and lights and began booking it to the Hospital. They lost my husband in the process so he was in a panic and so was I.
When we arrived at the hospital, the EMT's gave me a pill and said put this under your tongue. I was very scared and in a lot of pain. I asked them if they thought I was having a Heart Attack and they told me they weren't sure. They brought me into the ER and they did their tests and found that I had Bacterial Pneumonia and Pleurisy. I was very sick and spent about 2 weeks in and out of Hospitals. Was on Oxygen, heavy antibiotics, breathing treatments and was so weak I could barely walk. I was recovering from the pneumonia and pleurisy but I was still in pain. I was waking up at night and my joints were achy and I would just cry in pain. I went to my Primary Care doctor with these complaints. Because of what I told him, he decided to check me for Lupus. He contacted me and told me that I should see a Rheumatologist to confirm and that is what I did. I was put on Plaquenil, prednisone and later on Methotrexate.
I went from being a strong, independent person to a scared, weak dependent person. I had my two boys to raise. They needed me and I didn't think I was going to be able to handle all of the things that I needed to do to take care of them, my home, our business, my husband, my dogs, my life! I was so depressed and scared. At times I wanted to give up. I decided that I was going to take the "other route". I changed my diet, started doing yoga, reading up on my disease, got involved with the local Chapter of the Lupus Foundation and just kept on going.
The first year of your diagnosis is probably the worst because you have no idea what to expect or what is hiding around the corner. It is going to be hard, BUT DON'T GIVE UP. Educate yourself about this cruel disease. Get involved with the Lupus Foundation. Put together a Team and join in on a Walk. Talk to people that have Lupus. Ask your doctors questions and be honest with them and tell them EVERYTHING that is going on with you. Reach out because there are hands there waiting to help you.
I have had different problems through the years but I am maintaining my health. I have some worries but I try to stay positive. I have 2 choices....live or die. I choose to LIVE. I have an amazing husband that has stood by me through thick and thin and is still by my side working and fighting for better research and some day a cure.
Imagine a day when doctors can say, “There is a cure for lupus.” Until that day though, there is work to be done. That’s why I’m taking action in the fight against lupus. Join me as I participate in Lupus Foundation of America’s Walk to End Lupus Now™ at the Irvine Balloon Park in Irvine, CA to raise critical funds for the estimated 1.5 million people living with lupus in the United States.
Will you make a donation to help me reach my personal fundraising goal and support the Foundation's efforts to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus? A generous contribution of $25 or $55 can make a definite impact. What’s more, if your employer offers a Matching Gift Program to employees, you may be able to double your contribution with just a little bit of paperwork. Trust me, it’s worth the effort! Every single dollar counts.
Did you know?
- Lupus is a mysterious and misunderstood autoimmune disease. It strikes without warning, affects each person differently, and has no known causes or cure.
- Lupus symptoms can be severe and highly unpredictable and can damage any organ or tissue, from the skin or joints to the heart or kidneys.
- While lupus can strike anyone at any time, 90% of people living with lupus are women. Women of color are at especially high risk.
- Only one drug has ever been developed and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration specifically to treat the disease.
Together, we can solve the cruel mystery of lupus. Thank you for your generosity!