Ashley L. - Diagnosed Age 20
I remember lying in bed, on my back, thinking "Man, I really need to move because I'm so sore." Unfortunately this is my life now. It's a constant battle of staying in the same position because every other joint and muscle hurts just as much, or to stay right where I am to prolong any further pain/stiffness that would be triggered the moment I'd move.
After finally making an appointment to see my doctor, I was thrown from one doctor to another, being given the wrong medications, I was at the doctor's office at least once a week while they were trying to figure out what was going on. After finally running the blood test, I was referred to a Rheumatologist that explained my lupus diagnosis and things to do to help cope with the diagnosis and tips to stay healthy. It took about 6 months for the correct medicine to actually take effect and help my body feel like the body of a 20 year old again. Luckily I've been able to manage most of the lupus annoyances, I have also noticed that my body does better in warmer climates than colder. There have been a lot of challenges since I was diagnosed, but with the right support, it has been easier to manage.
Talking about lupus now, compared to when I was diagnosed, there are more people that are diagnosed now and are aware of all of the potential risks associated with this disease. I was given very little information because it was such a taboo subject and not many people knew of lupus or how/why it only affects certain people or what triggers the disease. I'd like to be able to be a part of the cure.
Personally, I think the most frustrating thing about the disease is that doctors automatically assume "It's the lupus" anytime they're unable to figure out what's going on inside the body. After that, it's explaining to people that couldn't imagine what a lupus warrior goes through daily, that it's as if our bodies are allergic to themselves and sometimes it's too much and it's also a chronic disease that could start attacking any major organ it feels like, whenever it wants. A cure is needed and I hope to see the day a cure is found that works for all body types that have been affected by lupus.