Diagnosed at 20

What do you want others to know about lupus?

Lupus is a disease that can affect any part of the body. The effects can be devastating. Some people become incapable of holding a job because of the toll that the disease can take. It is important to be well-educated about the disease so that those who are affected can adjust to living with the illness.Lupus is not a disease to be taken lightly.

Why is lupus a cruel mystery to you?

When I was first diagnosed with lupus in 2009, I had no idea what that meant. I had never heard about the disease before. I felt that I would easily adjust to living with lupus so as long as I was on medication and kept my body healthy for the most part. But things took a turn for the worse in January 2010. Something traumatic happened to me and I became deeply depressed. As a result, I did not realize that I was having terrible flare-ups. The lupus was wreaking havoc on my body. My hair was falling out, rashes broke out on my arms, and hands. The butterfly rash came up on my face. Lesions came on my elbows, ears and inside my ears too. Scabs were forming on my scalp and leaving scars behind. I was in so much pain on a daily basis. I could barely get out of bed some days.I had little to no energy to do even minimal tasks.I experienced intense chest pains to the point where I could barely breathe. Some days I felt as though I were dying. Finally I began taking prednisone and plaquenil. The prednisone brought on a whole new set of side effects. I dislike what it does to my body but it helps to supress the illness to an extent. As a result of this illness, it has drastically changed my physical appearance. I had to shave my head because of the amount of hair that I was losing.

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