Jenifer W.
Diagnosed at 32

What do you want others to know about lupus?

Don't despair! After living with severe pain for 8 years, seeing 3 rheumatologists, and trying 11 different medications, my doctor and I finally found the right combination that works for ME. Just as each person with lupus has different symptoms, each person responds differently to treatment. Keep trying to find the right treatment plan for YOU.

Why is lupus a cruel mystery to you?

I was diagnosed at age 32 with SLE, after complaining of joint and muscle pain. At age 33 I became pregnant, and my symptoms exacerbated. The pain became so severe and constant that I had to stop working and go on disability. I tried every medication available including several immunosuppressants, high-dose steroids, and multiple narcotics. I gained 70 lbs on the steroids, and I became so depressed and discouraged from the unrelenting pain. I suffered for 8 years without relief, until I came across an article online- a testimony of someone's great relief from lupus symptoms with an old lupus medication. I was desperate and would have tried anything. I saw my rheumatologist a week later. I mentioned the drug and asked if I could try it. He agreed that it was worth a shot, but told me not to get too excited as it was an out-of-date treatment. Since I had already tried all of the new medication options without benefit, I had nothing to lose. Well! What a miraculous recovery I have had! After just 2 weeks on the drug, my pain and symptoms were 60% resolved. Now, 8 months later- I feel 90% better and I was able to stop the steroids and I lost ALL of the 70 lbs. I had gained from them. I was also able to stop the other meds, including the narcotics. I feel better now at 40 than I did at 30. I am so encouraged!

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