What do you want others to know about lupus?

Lupus is different for each patient. Because the symptoms can mimic those of so many other illnesses it can take a long time to reach the correct diagnosis. Even after you are diagnosed, the current treatments can cause problems nearly as bad as the Lupus itself. Longterm, Lupus can take away all of the things you love to do...your career, sports, hobbies, etc

Why is lupus a cruel mystery to you?

I was first diagnosed with Lupus shortly after the birth of my first child. He was born with neonatal lupus which led to my diagnosis. It started out as mild joint aches and progressed from there. During my second pregnancy, my kidneys started to fail shortly after discovering I was pregnant. I was on bed rest for the duration with extremely high blood pressure. I was required to take chemo drugs in addition to steroids just to keep the kidneys functioning. After the birth of my second (thankfully healthy!) child, the Lupus progressed to include serious joint pain, extreme fatigue, anemia, pleurisy, weakened and ruptured tendons, blood clots, life threatening infection, non healing wounds and many, many other physical problems. I am currently taking 15 prescription medicines with their own adverse side effects. I am no longer able to work or participate in many of the activities I used to enjoy (horseback riding, gardening, hiking, piano, crafts, etc.). Dealing with my illness has also been a great strain on my family. I have not been able to perform routine tasks or enjoy many activities that a healthy Mom or wife would. Lupus has totally changed the course of my life. I am blessed to have a wonderful, supportive family. With their help, I am continuing the fight!

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