I’ve been living with Lupus (SLE) since 2004. I am 42. I am lucky that my journey with Lupus has been mildly uncomplicated. What I’d like to share is the hidden monster within, in the hope of sparing others the pain I’m enduring today.
This last year, I had the gastric sleeve procedure, a.k.a. weight loss surgery, and have had the worst complications due to Lupus. The purpose of the surgery was to alleviate my other chronic illnesses. I was a newly diagnosed diabetic and diverticulosis to boot. I was also a long-time migraine sufferer with sleep apnea and, of course, weight gain from all the years of roller coaster medication symptom treatments of Lupus. These were all to be taken care of with this procedure. The result: I’ve lost most function of my esophagus, and it has caused daily vomiting, poor digestion, serious reflux and other physical side effects.
Although I’ve had some success with the weight loss (77 lbs), the diabetes and sleep apnea are resolved (yay me!). I didn’t go into this ill-advised. My doctors knew of my history of upper GI problems. I had years of stability. All were diagnosed and treated prior to Lupus. It was during my recovery from the gastric sleeve that I determined there was a more serious problem than a slow recovery. Lupus has been the cause of all my misery, quietly destroying my body. I’m always trying to do my body good. I don’t regret having the surgery. I have come so far in this battle. I have had success.
I am in the planning stages of having a revision of the weight loss surgery. My next step is to have a gastric bypass. I’m going into this surgery feeling less than healthy and by no means mentally prepared for it. Thankfully, my lab work says otherwise. It’s only been 8 months since my surgery. I’m scared, but can only be hopeful.
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.