Kathy
Diagnosed at 41

What do you want others to know about lupus?

Fatigue is unbearable for lupus patients. Without enough rest we will crash. There is pain, stiffness, seizures and rashes. People cannot comprehend the limits that we endure. We cannot ignore it and hope it will be gone in a few days like a cold or the flu. Through it all there is strength, hope and a wonderful life ahead.

Why is lupus a cruel mystery to you?

It took me more than twenty years to be officially diagnosed though lupus was suspected early on. I couldn't work or live a normal life. Each day was a struggle. Then came the strength to find something I enjoyed in life. I have always loved to create. Five years ago I began dabbling in watercolors. Two years ago I began to take my art seriously. This year I was juried into two international shows, I was a grand prize art winner in the Kakkis Foundation (rare disorders organization), I won second place in a members figure/portrait show and am preparing my next set of entries. Though I despise living with lupus it has also been a Blessing. I would not have taken the time to sit down and bring people to life on a simple piece of paper. When I am awake from this illness at 3 or 4 in the morning you can be sure I am sitting down at my painting table hard at work. It is so relaxing and seems to help me deal with the daily issues of lupus. For all those who have lupus - try a new craft or hobby. Maybe through the years you have seen something you thought would be fun to do. Now is the time. It makes the world of difference in how you see yourself and the world around you.

www.artbykathymichels.com

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