I was diagnosed with lupus in 2016 induced by an extremely stressful job at the VA. I broke out in raised painful rashes on my face and upper torso. I had also been experiencing body pain for several years but never received treatment. I had recently lost my father 7 months prior and then one of my closest girlfriends died of a sudden heart attact at the age of 40! It was then, I decided to go see a doctor to find out what was going on with my health. I was examined by a physician who immediately asked me if I had a family history of lupus. I replied, "Yes,my mother was diagnosed with lupus in the early 80s.". My doctor ran an ANA blood panel, and the results came back positive. My diagnosis is SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus). This is the most common form of lupus; simply put, the definition is: an inflammatory disease caused when the immune system attacks its own tissues.
Lupus (SLE) can affect the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs.
Signs and symptoms may come on suddenly or develop slowly, may be mild or severe, and may be temporary or permanent. Most people with lupus have mild disease characterized by episodes — called flares — when signs and symptoms get worse for a while, then improve or even disappear completely for a time.
The signs and symptoms of lupus that you experience will depend on which body systems are affected by the disease. The most common signs and symptoms include:
Fatigue, fever, joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, butterfly-shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose or rashes elsewhere on the body, skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure, fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods, shortness of breath, chest pain, dry eyes, headaches, confusion, and memory loss.
This disease has been rough to live with because you look okay on the outside, so others can't see your pain. The pain is unbareable especally with Fibromyalgia as well, but I try and disguise it the best I can. People can't see that you can barely make it through the day sometimes. There are days when getting out of bed; showering and dressing yourself takes all the energy you have for that day,, let alone caring for your family, maintaining your household, or having a career. Waking up and combing your hair is an accomplishment most days. I feel scared a lot of days, scared of what's to come, scared of what lupus has in store for me, BUT I am strong. My father taught me never to give up. It's okay to be scared, but I will not let Lupus control my life. I will still live, and I will live to the best of my ability. I will live for my children and my grandchildren. I will live the longest life GOD will afford me experiencing as many things as I can until he reunites me with my father in heaven! I will overcome this or have fun trying! #lupuswarrior#asianwarrior#bensonoffspring#womanarestrong
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