My name is Jazmine. I live in Charlotte, NC, and I have been diagnosed with Lupus SLE. I am 22-years-old, and I was diagnosed with Lupus at the age of 21 in July 2015. My mother was diagnosed with Lupus SLE 10 years prior to my diagnosis, so when I woke up on my 21st birthday, and my feet were swollen, and I couldn’t walk, I feared what it may be.
Everything changed when I went to see a rheumatologist and was told, as my mother was, that I had Lupus SLE as well. I knew my life was going to change, but I didn’t know how much at that time.
In November of 2015, I was admitted to the hospital after seeing my lung doctor due to chest pain and heaving breathing. I was unable to perform the small tasks I used to perform daily. The doctors had explained to me that my Lupus was attacking my lungs and causing “pleural effusion.” They explained that the fluid had gotten so thick that unfortunately they couldn’t perform normal procedures anymore, and I would have to have surgery on both lungs to remove the fluid that was there. I was 21 years old, and having major surgery was scarier than riding a bike for the first time. The surgery went well, and now I have two beautiful scars that show my Lupus fight.
Things calmed down with my Lupus after the surgery, until January of 2016, when I went into renal failure. My kidneys were failing, and I ended up on emergency dialysis, sedated in the ICU. I remember going to the hospital on a Monday and waking up Wednesday with tubes breathing for me and a catheter in my groin on dialysis. I had family there, who explained what was going on, and even though I was scared, I knew I was to beat this. I knew this was just another chapter in my book that wasn’t finished yet.
I am on dialysis now, at the age of 22-years-old, but I still wake up every day and maintain a job as well as a normal life. I don’t let my Lupus define who I am or what I been through. I have a beautiful story and beautiful scars to prove it. I have Lupus SLE. Lupus doesn’t have me.
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.