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Stephanie’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Lupus)

Stephanie's Story (RA) LRI was 17 years old when I first started having joint pain in my wrists and fingers. My doctor referred me to a rheumatologist who ran a battery of tests for my weird lack of feeling, paleness, and other rather “strange” symptoms. After ruling out Rheumatoid Arthritis, she gave me a prescription for Naproxen. I took it, and it helped me so much! But then, it gave me high blood pressure so I had to stop. That rheumatologist never tested me for anything else. So eventually I just stopped going altogether. I had my pain at 18,19, and still at the age of 20.

In 2011 I said I couldn’t take it, so I made an appointment with a new Primary Care Doctor. She’s amazing and I love my doctor. With all my “strange” symptoms, she never once said I should see a therapist, or called it anxiety, or referred to me as a psycho as another doctor had done to me. She is a cardiologist but she searched up every code she could find to look for causes of joint pain and it was 11 pages of blood tests to do! Things popped up and she referred me to a great rheumatologist at the Hospital For Special Surgery.

That doctor was also amazing and I am sad because they don’t accept my insurance. But she ran tests and helped me at a discounted price so I went with it. I presented with mild Lupus symptoms, but also with Central Nervous System problems that weren’t so mild. My Lupus is demyelinating in a second disease called Transverse Myelitis. I am now doing chemotherapy and hopefully I will be in remission, after all I’m only 20! Every day is a struggle but I’m going to keep fighting like a girl! Lupus is STRONG but I am STRONGER!

New York
Submitted 10-25-11

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 article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.



    Hi Stephanie,

    My name is Lauryn, and I was 18 when I first started have wrist pains and then joint pains. Just like you I got all kinds of diagnosis, medicines, runarounds, doctor after doctor recommendations, etc .. and it’s been 10 years. ugh! I was curious if I could talk to you about a few things? I’m on facebook, but my email address is .. also, im glad to hear you are feeling better 🙂

  2. Karla

    Great story. I was 10 when I started having issues. It took me 5 years to find a doctor who didn’t think I was crazy. I was diagnosed with JRA, sjogerns, mixed connective tissue and Reynolds when I was 15. I was told I would most likely develop Lupus. I was diagnosed officially with lupus at 25. At 35 I had my first hip replacement and now 3 years later my second. Life has been tough. I have two wonderful kids ( was told I would never have children). I have a great job I love and walk with a smile. But no one knows the pain behind the smile.

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