Lupus Stories

Marsha’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Lupus, Heart Disease)

Marsha's Story Lupus Heart Disease

In 2005, I was diagnosed with Brugada Syndrome, a heart disease that causes dysrhythmia. The doctor implanted a defibulator/pacemaker to help control the dysrhythmia. In 2008, I was diagnosed with lupus. Before my diagnoses, I experienced fatigue, joint pain, and pain in my spleen. My sister-in-laws' wedding was coming up in October of 2008. In June, we went to try on shoes for her wedding because I was the maid of honor. My feet were swollen that day, and after I got to the mall, I didn't feel well at all. I went to the emergency room and found out my kidneys weren't functioning correctly, my spleen and liver were enlarged, and I was anemic. I was admitted to the hospital and received several tests. After a week in the hospital, the doctors didn't know what it was, so they sent me to the Ohio State University Medical Center. The doctors at Ohio State eventually found out what was wrong. I spent another two weeks there. A few months after finding out I had Lupus, my husband lost his … [Read more...]

Dipika’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Lupus)

Dipika's Story Lupus

Hi, I'm 22 years old, and I was diagnosed with lupus three years ago, around my 3rd year at university. It was around finals, and I was really stressed about my grades and maintaining a high GPA. Little did I know, my fate was about to change. I noticed some weight loss two weeks prior to my diagnosis, but I shrugged it off, thinking it was due to the stress of studying. Then, I started to develop this back pain. I thought it was my mattress, so I changed it, but it did not help. Suddenly, there was this terrible pain in my hands. I could not even bend my fingers. I told my mom something was wrong, but she said it was due to exam stress. One night, my knees were swollen, and I had an extremely high fever. My jaw was completely locked, and I felt so cold, I was trembling. The next morning, I could not move. That was when we decided to go to the family doctor. He ordered some blood tests, put me on some antibiotics, and told me to rest for one week. I went back to him the following week, … [Read more...]

Natasha’s Fight Like a Girl Story (SLE Lupus, Sjogren’s, Raynaud’s Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, etc.)

Natasha's Story Lupus

I had been out of work for a year, and I decided to go back because I had begun to gain a lot of weight. So as I began to work, within the first 3 weeks, my body began to do all kinds of things. I began to swell, and my body ached badly. I had migraines and trouble staying focused. I began to take over-the-counter medication that didn't help, so I ended up in the emergency room 3 or 4 times in one week. I finally decided to follow up with the doctor on the discharge sheet. I scheduled the appointment, and after a few visits and different meds that didn't help, I sat down with Dr. Sawyer, and she went over a few things with me. She explained to me she had a family member that had the same issues and ended up having lupus, so she tested me, and my test came back positive for lupus and Sjogren's. My whole life felt like it was sitting in my lap. She then referred me to a rheumatologist, where the tests also came back positive for both. As I began to live a life with lupus and … [Read more...]

Jomayra’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Lupus)

Jomayra's Story Lupus

Hello, my name is Jomayra. I'm 31 years old. My story with lupus began at the age of 25, after giving birth to my first child. I started noticing changes in my body, starting with my hands and feet. They would swell up and turn purple. My hair started falling out. I felt so weak and tired all the time. I started getting a rash on my face. I made an appointment to see the doctor and share my concerns with her and see if they could figure out what was wrong with me. My doctor at the time told me that everything was fine. I just had a baby 8 months ago, so my body was changing. She suggested I join a health club and try working out and eating better. So I started going to the gym and just felt worse. One night, while I was watching Medical Mystery on cable, there was this lady describing all my symptoms, and she was diagnosed with lupus. I wrote it down and asked my doctor to test me for it. So she did, and the test result came back positive. Not knowing what lupus was, I started doing … [Read more...]

Kate’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Autoimmune Illnesses (SLE Lupus, Vasculitis, Type 1 Diabetes, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis))

Purple Ribbon

This is the story of my journey with autoimmune illnesses. I was diagnosed with type one diabetes over 21 years ago, at the age of five. I adjusted fairly quickly and fairly easily to my new lifestyle, testing my blood sugar levels, moderating my diet and injecting myself with insulin four times a day. As a child, I obviously wasn't as aware of the complications of illness, of the gravity of being diagnosed with a chronic illness, of how life-changing it could be. I always thought my type one diabetes was isolated, that it was the only serious illness I'd have to deal with throughout my life, that it was something I could handle. At the time, I wasn't aware that type one diabetes is an autoimmune illness, meaning the body views its own cells as foreign invaders and attacks them. I was not aware that developing one autoimmune illness predisposes you to developing more autoimmune illnesses. If your body is susceptible to attacking itself, it doesn't take much for it to continue doing … [Read more...]