Epiphany T. - Diagnosed Age 23
In 2015, I was on track to breaking into the top 400 of doubles on the WTA (Women Tennis Association) tour but life stopped me in my tracks. In the winter of 2015, my life turned upside down. Out of the blue my health dramatically started to decline and nobody knew the reason why. One night at 2am I had to have my friend drive 30 minutes to my house to take me to the ER because I knew something wasn’t right. Without running any tests the ER doctor diagnosed me with a virus. He then proceeded to send me home without any medication or prescription. He instructed me to stay at home and rest. My health continued to rapidly decline and my mother feared for the worse. I was losing hair, I lost 15 pounds in one week, my heart was racing out of control, I felt like I was always on the verge of passing out, I couldn’t stand up without help, and I lost a lot of muscle mass in my legs. I experienced so many more symptoms that were unexplained by doctors.
It was a little over four months of my health declining until I was finally able to get a diagnosis of having Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Before my health started to deteriorate I experienced symptoms of lupus for years without any doctor stating any of my symptoms as being a red flag. I was just greeted with skepticism that I was creating a problem where there wasn’t one.
Now that I have a clear understanding of my health I am now able to live my life and pursue my dream career. Prior to my health declining I was a healthy active young adult trying to achieve her dream of becoming a top-tier professional tennis player on the WTA tour. I still plan on achieving that with my diagnosis of lupus.
Every day is not going to be rainbows and sunshine but I am determined to not let lupus take my life and dreams away for me.