What It Was Like Being Diagnosed With Lupus
Who could’ve thought that something you thought was not so serious could change your whole life? That’s what I thought when I was diagnosed with systemic lupus in 2012. I was only a child in high school. I felt like I had my whole life ahead of me and yet here I was being diagnosed with something I really didn’t want.
How my lupus started
My symptoms were simple – just skin rash and joint pain. At first, I was misdiagnosed with eczema and the rash never went away. Then they sent me to my mother's rheumatologist and he diagnosed me with lupus. Yup, you are right if you guessed it. My lupus was genetic. My mother also was diagnosed with lupus. When he told me I had lupus, he made it seem so calm. I sat there and cried because I thought the total opposite watching so many people deal with it.
I had to learn so much
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that makes the body attack itself. This does not mean you are contagious, beautiful people. It just means you have to take care of yourself much better than others and be aware of your surroundings. I had to learn this the hard way because I did not think lupus was that serious. I thought that lupus was more like, "Oh, I’ll get aches here and there." But it was completely different. You have to take care of yourself and take your medicine as the doctor tells you to.
When you are in a flare any symptom can arise and as a teenager, I was rebellious and didn’t take my meds. I thought I was living the high life. I eventually moved on my own. I worked two jobs and entered college and was In my apartment paying my own bills. I didn’t think that was too much put lupus will trigger off stressful situations and emotions.
I had so many questions
When I was diagnosed I would think questions, such as:
Could I be allergic to everything?
Am I contagious?
Will I be able to have kids?
Will I live a long and healthy life?
Will I be happy?
Will I find someone who will love me and all my flaws?
Why wasn't I perfect enough?
Things that shouldn’t go through a child’s head. I should have been living my life but here I am stressing to make another day or to another moment in time. I realized I had to take it a day at a time. But when being diagnosed your doctors might not understand you. In the medical field at that age, I believe that the patients could also teach the doctor somethings. I do believe that over time I have grown and learned to love my body.
Overcoming fears and achieving goals
Now that I’m older and everything I went through and suffered, I became a better person. I have changed my diet and lifestyle. But I had to go through so many things before I came to that point. I was only eating chicken and seafood and veggies and fruits but nothing else. I drink a lot of water and worked out at least 4 times a week.
Now, I am 25 years old and pregnant with my first child. Something they said I couldn’t achieve but I did. Now I am overcoming fears and achieving my goals and I believe anyone can too. You just can’t give up. Because letting lupus win will not let you feel any better or get any better.
Who do you turn to first for emotional support? (choose up to three)