Thirty-One Faces of Hope: Cheryl Hall
The lupus community includes people living with lupus, friends, family and supporters across Georgia. For Lupus Awareness Month, we would like to highlight some of our lupus heroes and champions.
With new year, came new challenges. I have been experiencing leg pain for several years and simply thought it came along with my other symptoms of lupus. This spring, the pain became unbearable. I shared this with the virtual support group I facilitate and with the groups encouragement, I went to the doctor. As it turns out, I need a hip replacement due to avascular necrosis as results of years of taking steroids for years.
I'm scheduled for surgery in July. In the meantime, I am getting all of my pre-surgery tests done and preparing for my recovery. I am blessed to have strong support system and look forward to getting on the road again with my new hip in the fall.
I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus at the age of thirty-two. What I am sharing with you isn’t what I remember, but rather what I was told and what I have read in my medical report. Apparently when I was thirty-one, I started going to the emergency room complaining of chest pain, being cold all the time and suffering from fatigue. It wasn’t until my first seizure that the doctors discovered my symptoms were that of lupus.
While reading my medical report, I also learned that I was treated with high doses of corticosteroids and a host of other medications just to ease the pain and keep me comfortable. After accepting the reality that I now had lupus, I had to make a complete lifestyle change by improving my diet, getting enough rest, exercising more and living as stress free as possible. I take this disease seriously and make the necessary changes in order for me to live a somewhat “normal” life.
Today, I am still on my medications. I have my good days, but some not so good days still happen from time to time. The more I follow my daily routine, the more good days I have. These steps are necessary to avoid flare ups. While I have a loving support group of family and friends, I participate in the Walk to End Lupus Now, volunteer at the LFA, Georgia Chapter office, and facilitate the Cobb County Support Group. I encourage everyone that I encounter who has lupus that the key to a normal life are maintaining a daily routine and learning how to listen to your body.