I don’t think I’ll ever forget how my diagnoses came about. I thought it was just a routine follow up I was having with my Orthopedic Surgeon concerning my second right shoulder surgery. Then, I mention to my doctor about chronic jaw pain I’ve been having and how I’ve already seen a dentist and had my wisdom teeth removed and hoped possibly he could help me. He thought it was odd I had a lot of joint pain at the age of 17 so he decided to run some blood work. My ANA came back positive, so he sent me to see a rheumatologist.
My jaw wasn’t the only joint where I was experience pain at so they ran some tests and I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Around the same time all this was happening I broke out in a really painful rash on my arms and got sent to a few more doctors. They took a skin culture and the tests came back positive for Discoid Lupus. I was half-way through my senior year of high school and got really sick. Luckily all of my teachers were very understanding and helped me finish out high school.
After graduation I was so motivated to help other people I wanted to become a Nurse Aide. I took a class, and worked as a Nurse Aide for only about a month. Unfortunately, my body just couldn’t handle all the physical stress. Now I’m taking college classes to become a Social Worker.
Just recently I’ve been experience a lot of stomach pains, and when my gastroenterologist did a endoscopy, she found a lot of stomach ulcers. One year and a half later, it’s been a really long and hard journey. Lupus and Fibro is what has made me stronger, even though sometimes I feel really weak.
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.