Reflecting on My First Skin Rash
When I was first diagnosed with lupus, I was just a kid. Being diagnosed with any disease is not what anyone would want. What is even more hurtful is the impact it had on my last few weeks of high school. Yes, I was a senior in high school at the time. I was so ready for me to take graduation pictures and walking across that stage, but something was affecting me. My skin started to flare. I guess because stressing, making sure I am going to pass was on my mind. Being so focused on going to the next chapter in my life.
I tried to hide my lupus skin rash
I used to wear big hoodies and jackets when I was in school so no one would understand what was going on with me. In high school, I did not talk to anyone about my condition because I felt I would be judged. Around the time I was in high school students were not that nice. If they noticed something, they would make fun of you. I decided to keep that part of my life a secret. When I started to have the rash, it started to itch and burn. Then I would scratch so hard to where it started to bleed.
Misdiagnosed with eczema
I did not have any treatment at first because my doctor thought it was eczema, but it was not. Then they thought it was psoriasis and it was not. When I finally was diagnosed with lupus, my doctor gave me Benadryl, Plaquenil, and Prednisone. When I decided to go to school one day, they decided that we could not wear hoodies anymore because kids were getting into trouble, I was worried. I was worried because others would see my skin. All my life I had been bullied, whether it was for my gap or mustache. I did not want to be bullied for a condition I really felt like I had no control over.
Lupus skin rash treatment
After I started my treatment my flare started to come down. But I was never able to face myself in that condition until many years later. I do not blame myself because I know that I was going to find my way at my own time. Our skin is one of the most prized organs in our body. Your skin is visible. I was not diagnosed with discoid or cutaneous lupus at the time. I was only diagnosed with SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus), but later I would be diagnosed with discoid cutaneous lupus. Also, I always wondered what made me trigger when I was first diagnosed. Was it the stress of graduating? I was not would cause my lupus to become active. It was not medically induced either. I was not the type of child that loved going to the hospital.
A fresh perspective
Now reflecting on those years ago I see how I have evolved into a very different person. I am more in love with myself than I used to be. I started to remember not to stress and focus on the better things in life. I decided to focus on the things I should be grateful for and I realized there is a lot of things I should be grateful for.
Does your employer provide workplace accommodations due to your lupus?