Renae's Story

I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 30, but I have had symptoms since I was 10 yrs old. All the other kids got to go to town to the pool. Not me, I would get so sick, fever, achy all over. As I got older it seemed to go away, but at the age of 30, I developed a rash all over my body.

How lupus impacted my career

I was a nurse in the ER & patients didn’t want me to touch them. I felt awful, but I had a child come in with a horrible respiratory infection. We had to intubate the child & send them to the Children’s hospital. I was new to lupus, & had only been on medication for a few years. I started coughing a few weeks later, I couldn’t get over that cough. One evening after work I felt so bad I didn’t eat, I just went to bed to sleep. 2 weeks later I woke up while the respiratory therapist was pulling out my breathing tube. It took me 3 months to relearn to walk. I finally went back to work just before Thanksgiving for 2 hours, 3 days a week & worked myself up to a 12 hour shift. That was in 2006, a few years later that hospital fired me because of my FMLA leave. I was off by 2 days to turn it in.

Let down by employers

So, now I am retired, & realize that hospitals don’t care if one of their employees has a disease, they are a business that is designed to make money. I didn’t have cancer, even though I had caught a nosecrominal infection, hospital acquired, at work & didn’t sue their butts off. Oh I did get my 15 year pin the day I was fired. Ha ha!

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