Joeie P. - Diagnosed at age 39
I am a Lupie! My mother had RA. I was not feeling well for quite a while. I knew autoimmune diseases could be genetic. I was very tired and I felt “out of it.” I cried a lot because I told my husband that I couldn’t explain how I felt, but I felt like “I was dying.”
The last straw that made me go to a rheumatologist was the severe aching in my feet and hands. I just knew I had RA like my mom. However, I did not have RA. I was diagnosed with lupus. At the time I had no idea what lupus was. I’m so thankful that I went to the right doctor for me! She kept me alive and feeling the best I could. She scanned all parts of my body so later she would have something to compare them to.
Lupus is so unpredictable and has a mind of its own. Some months are very different from others. That’s normal. She put me on Benlysta infusions. These infusions helped me so much! I’m still taking Benlysta. I’ve been taking it for about 9 years! I still have good days and bad days, but my good outweighs the bad!
I’m a mom of two and a teacher. On days where I could not get out of bed, I had mom guilt. If I was too sick to work, I stayed home. It’s hard because you can’t see lupus and people do not sometimes believe when you are sick. That part can be tough. Find a good doctor who will listen to you and help you! Keep supportive people around you! My husband is the person who keeps me on track and helps me keep going! Keep fighting and trying! 💜