Becoming a Warrior

For at least three years, I had been experiencing the strangest sensations – like my nerves were on fire and my joints were so inflamed that my hands would sometimes lock up. I tried explaining my symptoms to my GP, who sent me to a rheumatologist. “You don’t have Lupus”, was all the rheumatologist offered (with little sympathy), along with recommendations for additional tests for nervous system disorders, arthritis, etc.

My long overdue diagnosis

Fast forward to May of 2021, when the skin on my back erupted into a gnarly mess. When biopsied … well, yeah … Lupus. Flare-ups hit my nervous system, my joints, and my skin. Brain fog and exhaustion hit me when I least expect it.

The emotional toll

Along with struggling with the physical components of Lupus, I have struggled with the emotional toll Lupus has had on my life. I know that am lucky to have the supports in place that I need to get through each day. At the same time, I miss those spontaneous moments of “let’s just go do this” because I’m running on empty. I am a late-career professional. I love the work I do, and I thrive on going above and beyond. Well, now, above and beyond isn’t physically possible. I do what I can.

Lupus warriors are stronger together

I have been so hesitant to adopt the “warrior” label because I don’t feel like I’m winning this fight. I took a pledge to advocate for Lupus awareness this May, also realizing that advocating for myself is part of that pledge. I decided to buy a Lupus Warrior t-shirt to support all of us who are in the battle. I have realized that we have a better chance of winning if we fight this battle together.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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