Sheri Smit
Diagnosed at 41

What do you want others to know about lupus?

Mum was a spry ‘brit who loved life and was almost as active as her four children, that is, until autoimmune disease brought her to a screeching halt. Mum was diagnosed with Lupus at 56 and fought a hard battle against this monster. She passed away in 1997 of renal failure, decades too early at the young age of 64. My younger and older sister have Lupus as well.

Why is lupus a cruel mystery to you?

I can’t help but feel my own Hashimotos and Undifferentiated Connective tissue disease, diagnosed in 2002 with a positive ANA speckled, was the cause of my stroke last February 2013. With six of the eleven “symptoms,” I am considered borderline Lupus but am taking Plaquenil to ease the symptoms. My primary physician knew I was at the beginning of this journey when I saw her last month. Yesterday, I felt tired and my joints hurt. Today, I ended up on the couch covered in blankets because I felt ill and chilled ~ I've had a low grade fever for over ten weeks. I can never know how I will feel each day – dizzy, migraining, light sensitive, and the list is long. When I have the opportunity to get out of the house, I make sure I tend to my hair and makeup and try to dress comfortably. I laugh to myself when someone tells me, “You look great!” If only they could see inside my brain and body. I am suffering some very scary neurological issues that make me worry about my near and distant future; seizures, confusion, and memory loss. I am a Nana to one beautiful granddaughter and another’s on the way. I want to be that active Nana who can keep up with the grandkids. I am a Mom, Nana, Wife, and I WANT MY LIFE BACK!

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