Gaile V. - Diagnosed at age 56
My lupus story probably has started out like thousands of others. I was a healthy woman for years, a marathon runner in fact. I am also a wife and a mom of an amazing boy who happens to be on the autism spectrum. I lived a pretty great life - yes it had its challenges, but nothing prepared me for the two years of health issues leading up to my lupus diagnosis. I think being misdiagnosed for those two years was a grave misfortune. I spent countless doctor visits and taking all kinds of medicines to no avail when I knew something was wrong with me.
My lupus began with rashes all over my body. As an athlete (marathon runner, fitness teacher, cycle instructor), I am pretty in tune with my body. When I couldn't get out of bed some days, I really started to worry. Finally, in February 2020, at the beginning of a global pandemic, I got my correct diagnosis - Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. It was a relief and shock all at once. This disease has turned my life upside down. I no longer had control over my body, my life and my activities. I take two injections a week and a handful of oral medications. I can no longer participate in the sport that gave me so much joy for over 20 years - running. I hope with every new month I will get better for myself, my family and to get back to some sort of life I had before.