I was diagnosed with lupus in 2016 induced by an extremely stressful job at the VA. I broke out in 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 6 months before my father passed! It was then, I decided to go see my doctor to find out what was going on with my health. I was examined by my physician who immediately asked me if I had a family history of lupus because I had a butterfly rash on my cheeks and rashes all over my body. 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 was 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 is unpredicatable and since my diagnosis I have had some rough days, frequent illnesses and I have been unable to do certain activities I used to do. One difficult aspect of living with Lupus/Fibro, is that you look okay on the outside, so others dont see your pain, know the severity of your illness or recognize the affects Lupus has on your personal life, professional life and the affects Lupus has on your emotional health. Lupus pain and discomfort is unbareable most days especally with Fibromyalgia on top of it which is a nerve pain disorder, but alI I can do is try and disguise it the best I can. Somedays it takes extreme effort to make it through the day. There are days when getting out of bed; showering and dressing myself takes all the energy I have for that day,, let alone caring for my family, maintaining my household, or having a career. Waking up and combing my hair can be an accomplishment. My diagnosis is scary. I am scared of what's to come in my near future, scared of what lupus has in store for me in the long run, and scared if I will even have a future, BUT I am strong, I have been given no choice. My father taught me never to give up. I realized that it is okay to be scared of uncertainty, but 1 thing I will not do, is let Lupus control my life, the passion and excitement I have everyday or my will to live. I will live to the best of my ability. I will live for my children and my grandchildren. I will live the life GOD has planned for me and I will reunite with my father in heaven when GOD determimes it is my time! I have faith that I will overcome this disease and hopefully help raise money for the research to find a cure! Thank you for taking the time to read my story. #lupuswarrior#womanarestrong#findacure#donat#lupuswarrior#womanarestrong#findacure#donate#Makeadifference
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