2015, the year Discoid Lupus and Subacute Cutaneous Lupus covered my torso and arms in lesions, many of which got infected. The same year, Rheumatoid Arthritis struck. The latter wasn’t surprising. My mother had that. The Lupus was, even though a first cousin had SLE Lupus. The real shock wasn’t until 2018 during a conversation with my rheumatologist. But wait, this all didn’t start in 2018. It started way back in 1975.
My diagnosis journey
You see, I was a junior in high school when I had a physical involving lab work. Turns out, I was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. A couple of years afterward, I broke out in a rash on both forearms. I also became severely anemic. Doctors couldn’t figure it out. They loaded me up with creams and ointments and iron supplements. I longed for answers I never got then. Answers and relief from the relentless pain and fatigue.
In 2018, my rheumatologist gave me those answers and it all made sense at long last. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear. So, I questioned her. I said, are you certain? The only positive tests I’ve had for this have been the ANA, the mixed connective tissues, and the C4 complement. She said, and the blood disorder.
The power of personalized treatment
I slowly nodded my head, feeling tears welling up in my eyes. Together, we formed a treatment plan that’s been tweaked and changed several times as the disease has warranted it to be. Because of an absolutely incredible rheumatologist with whom I enjoy a great relationship, both the Discoid and SLE have been in remission for the past few months. Of course, I have a chronically low white blood cell count from the Azathioprine, but It’s worth it.
Waiting for a cure
Someday, maybe not in my lifetime, but who knows, researchers will find a cure for Lupus. It may have taken them 40 years to associate a rare blood disorder with Lupus, but they did so thanks to technological advances. The possibilities have never been better that they will find the cause for this cruel disease. And once they find the cause, they can find the cure.
Have you experienced adverse side effects to your lupus medications?