Lisa H. - Diagnosed Age 50
In 2005 I started experiencing severe joint pain in my hands. I drove a 6-speed at the time and I can remember stalling in early morning traffic; the police came to assist me. I later went to the doctor and was told that I had rheumatoid arthritis. Two months later my appendix went out and a year later I developed a ten pound tumor on my ovaries. In 2013 I had a blood clot in my kidney, 2014 a blood clot in my lungs and in 2016 kidney failure, extreme water retention and high blood pressure. These were my initial symptoms.
It took about 5-6 years to be diagnosed. My current symptoms are swelling of the hands, pain in my knees, low platelets that cause purple and blue marks on my body, and extreme exhaustion. My life has changed tremendously; lupus has lead me to dialysis three times weekly.
I manage lupus by exercising as often as I can; yoga, aqua fit, and mat pilates are my main sources of exercise. Also, I use Dr. Teal's epsom salt when I take baths, it soothes the muscles and joints. I try to refrain from eating foods that are high in fat, salt and potassium and I get plenty of rest. It is not always easy. I struggle each day and I fear for my life. The blood clots are my biggest fear but I live each day without regrets and to the fullest.
I do not use lupus as a crutch, it's more of an awareness. I am aware of my situation, I educate myself and I manage. In the beginning, I would never share what I was going through with anyone. I later found that releasing helped me a lot and my experience with lupus has helped others who have autoimmune diseases. The strength and desire to live life gives me hope. I have found that is important to maintain your personal appearance. When I know that I look good, I feel FABULOUS! ...and I am winning the fight.