Maria V. - Diagnosed Age 34
After my last born, I started taking classes at a nearby community college. I had never been sick in my life but on one school morning while trying to open the door to the building, my entire body went paralyzed and couldn’t move for at least 10 minutes. I panicked. But then somebody opened the door and I asked if they'd help me in, so they did, but I couldn’t focus so I left and went to my clinic. I asked if my doctor could see me, thankfully he did.
When I explained to him what had happened to me he sent me to do lab work and come back to him the same day. When he got my results they were devastating, he explained to me what they meant but all I heard was that some people died of liver failure. I was terrified because I had four kids at home, the younger one was 3 weeks old. After that first symptom I started to have body aches more often than not so the doctor sent me to his sister who happened to be a rheumatologist. She put me on prednisone and other meds that I can’t recall, but not long after that we moved to Montana and the weather was lots cooler so it seemed like all my issues were gone.
I was feeling great, but on our 2nd year's summer I had a huge flare up – every bone, muscle and head hurt to the point that nothing was helping. So I got a primary physician and told her about my symptoms and what I had been told I had. She asked me about meds so I told her since we had moved I hadn’t had any issues until then. She said once you get on meds for lupus you’re on them for life, so she sent me to my current rheumatologist and she put me back on meds.
Every now and then I would have strong pains but not that bad, until about nine years into my illness I developed fibromyalgia. This year I had the worse so far of my flare ups, the pain was so intense I wanted to jump out of my body. I called my rheumatologist and she upped my dose of gabapentin, but because of my skin rashes we are looking for other solutions.