Abigail D. - Diagnosed Age 13
Hi, my name is Abby and I was first diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus when I was 13. It happened over the summer of 2017. I had this rash on my cheeks throughout June, July, and August. It never went away and I originally thought it was sunburn. I went to the doctor in August and they couldn’t find out what was wrong with me, I was prescribed cream but it didn’t help. So, I went to the doctor again and it wasn’t until after I saw about 2 or 3 more doctors that I finally found out was wrong, I had lupus.
At first my only symptoms were the rash but soon after I was diagnosed my doctor noticed my kidney’s were bad, so I was immediately put on medication and hospitalized as well. It’s been a journey of about 10 pills everyday, constant joint aches, and countless headaches to where I am now. I still experience all of that but the difference is now I’m hopeful.
At the beginning of this I was either very upset or mad most of the time. I often found myself wondering why me but then I was able to realize that lupus doesn’t control or define me. I started pushing myself to do well in school, I began to raise money for Walk to End Lupus Now, and most importantly I never gave up. There’s days where I don’t want to do anything because the pain gets so bad to the point where I can’t move my legs, but still I get up and do what I have to do.
I’ve learned to push through the pain. I’m now 15 and all I have left to say is that lupus changed me a lot from when I was 13. I’m better for it, it’s taught me responsibility and strength. I know I can’t change the fact that I will be sick for the rest of my life, but what I can do is live the best life I want and not let lupus stop me. This is my story. Thanks for listening