If you told me I would be as sick as I am now, I would not believe you. Ever since childhood I would get random symptoms, like pleurisy, but I had no idea what it was. When I was 14, I developed type one diabetes, an autoimmune disease. I hoped that would be the end of my conditions, but little did I know more would start appearing as the years went on. When I was diagnosed I had joint pain and hair loss that was unexplained. Everyone just put this down to the effects of the diabetes. I even believed it and the symptoms completely went away for a number of years. My diabetes was easy to control as I had slow progression, so I still produced a lot of my own insulin. Things were going well until I was about 17. I had a great boyfriend, I loved my college, was doing well in my studies, and loved my friends. I loved cycling, getting out and about, smoking, drinking, and partying. Everything seemed just fine. My health worries seemed to be mainly a thing of the past.
I started noticing my hair was coming out more than usual when I was about 16. I just put it down to stress or hormones. Everything in my life was going well so I didn’t pay much attention to it. My hair was still very thick and I was a beauty addict. I loved my curvy figure and feeling like an attractive young lady. I loved the attention my boyfriend paid me and liked to turn heads. Fair to say I was confident in myself and who I was. I liked being the center of attention, and I looked forward to a bright future.
In November 2012, a terrible thing happened. My boyfriend and I had been together a year and I loved him a little more and more each day. I hoped nothing could break our happiness. That was before I found out I was pregnant. I was so scared. I couldn’t tolerate birth control pills so the other methods we used had failed. I couldn’t bring up a child and my family would be very upset and angry. We were deciding what to do, and I was six weeks along. We went to many doctors for advice. They wanted me to think about a termination. I wanted to think about it over Christmas, but miscarried a few days before Christmas day. I was terrified on my own with no one to tell. Little did I know that was only the beginning of my problems.
A day after I ran a fever and my hair began falling out like crazy. As if I didn’t already have enough to cry over! My body was in a terrible state, joint pains, constant nausea, vomiting, and sweating. I lost a ton of weight and my curvy figure disappeared. My hair was thin and constantly fell out. My whole body hurt and I was constantly running low grade fevers. I developed large dark circles under my eyes which would not budge no matter how much I slept. I went to doctors who would not listen. But I knew better. I knew about lupus and pushed to see a Rheumatologist. I never realized how much ignorance there is about autoimmune conditions. I saw a lovely lady who prescribed me Plaquenil, which got me back on my feet. My bloods were negative ANA but they turned positive, a very high titre of 1:1280 speckled pattern. Now after six months of feeling good, I feel terrible again. I have lost weight again and feel sick all the time. My Lupus seems harder to control than I thought. I have started steroids and will start immunosuppressants soon. My lupus was triggered by my pregnancy. I also still have diabetes, which is made worse by steroids. I am still with my boyfriend. Not a day goes by when I don’t miss the girl I was and the things I used to do. Now it is just a constant battle to get her back.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.