Janay T. - Diagnosed Age 15
I was diagnosed at only 15 years old, I had no idea what lupus was or how it was going to change my life. My first symptom was feet pain. I was a dancer and went to high school for dance so my feet hurting was devastating to me. The pain became unbearable so my mother scheduled an appointment to see a podiatrist. I explained to the doctor about the pain and he said that I was overworking my feet, he wrote me out of dance, gym, and work for two weeks. The two weeks were up and I started to feel better, up until Christmas break.
I woke up one morning and couldn't move, the pain was unbearable I was in tears. My mother had my sister help carry me to the car, without an appointment we went straight to the podiatrist’s office. Luckily, my doctor was able to see me right away, and he said that he was going to order some blood test and get them done ASAP.
My mother and I waited until the following week to get the test done. As soon as my doctor got the results, he called and said I have lupus based off of the results. I never heard or knew what lupus was, I didn't take it seriously.
By this time, it was the new year and I was back in school, still dancing and working but I never returned to gym class. The weekend of MLK’s birthday, I just finished working an eight hour shift and my feet were hurting badly. My sister picked me up from work and asked if I wanted to go out to the club, I said yes even though my feet were hurting. By the end of the night, I couldn't move. My sisters thought I was joking but I really wasn't, the pain was terrible and the security guard had to carry me to the car.
The next day was the beginning of the rest of my life, I was getting sicker day by day. I couldn't eat, I was losing weight, I was dizzy, I was vomiting, and I had body pain. I thought I was dying. I laid on the sofa wilting away for three weeks. My mother finally took me to the emergency room. When I got there, I remember the doctors saying I was really sick and I was being admitted. A couple days later they confirmed that I have lupus nephritis.