Kashish J. - Diagnosed at age 13
I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) at the age of 13. Before I was diagnosed as a kid, I used to love playing football, doing karate and was one the most flexible kids at my school in yoga. Just before turning 13, I started having high fever and was taken to a hospital near my house. I was misdiagnosed with Tuberculosis (TB) and typhoid. I was given a high dosage of medication which reacted with my body and my health kept deteriorating. I got rashes all over my body and the joint pain also got worse.
Then one day I puked blood and was rushed to another hospital. Looking at my symptoms it took the doctors another week to diagnose my lupus. I was hospitalized for a month and it felt like a nightmare. I had no idea why this was happening to me. I was sent home with tons of pills to take every day. My hair started to fall out I gained so much weight, I felt horrible. I went back to school and everything started to return to normal, and then a year later I had a really bad flare up. It affected my pancreas and I was in an ICU for a month unconscious.
When I got out of the hospital all my hair fell out and I gained a lot of weight again. I was a 15-year-old girl embarrassed of her baldness. I couldn't go to school like that. My mother had a wig made for me, but I was still so self-conscious. I went to school with a wig thinking no one would notice, but people started noticing till one day this guy in my class tried to pull the wig off my head. That day I cried a lot, but it also hit me that day that it doesn't matter what my classmates think. I have this disease and I know I have to live with it. I knew I was stronger than this and I decided I can't live being sad all my life.
Since that day lupus has been the last thing that has made me sad. I pursued what I wanted to do in life even though my parents were concerned about my health, but they've supported me through it all. I'm pursuing my postgraduate right now. I'm also a professional makeup artist. Lupus has only made me a strong woman.