Jessica H. - Diagnosed Age 20
Hello my name is Jessica. I was diagnosed with lupus June of 2000. It took a year to get the final diagnosis.
I had been sick with so many colds that wouldn’t go away with any antibiotics I took. I started working at a daycare and I was around a lot of sick babies that always had colds so that’s where it all began. One night I was holding a sick baby with a fever of 103 and the next morning I woke up and I had the same fever. After that day I was never the same. I started getting tingling in my feet, numbness, fever, coughing up large amounts of phlegm, my hair was falling out in clumps, I was very short on breath, I couldn’t even finish a sentence, and I thought somethings wrong.
I went to the doctor several times to try all kinds of antibiotics but they just weren’t working. I was in so much pain 800 mg of ibuprofen wasn’t helping at all. I was losing so much weight the thought of eating made me sick. I would be coughing so bad I would lose my breath. Finally I called the doctor and said I need to get tested and you need to figure this out. So luckily she had another doctor that was studying at a different college about lupus and what it was and that’s how I got the diagnosis. It took a whole year of suffering and not knowing but knowing deep inside something was very wrong. I had to be tested with an echo cardiogram and it confirmed I had pericarditis, fluid around my heart. I was rushed to the hospital and they called the heart doctor out of bed. Luckily they found that because I was dying and I knew it.
It hasn’t been easy I am sick quite a bit. It’s gotten worse as the years go by. I’ve almost died three times. Everybody’s prayers have helped me through. My son saved my life three times, he’s my miracle and they thought that I wouldn’t even be able to have kids because I will either die giving birth or have a miscarriage. I said no. I’m lucky I listen to my gut instinct. I wrote a book to help others and that gives me hope.