Marilyn K. - Diagnosed Age 21
I am mother to two young adults, wife to my best friend and a lupus fighter! My hope is that via sharing my lupus journey with the masses, that awareness may be spread to the unknowing (which was once myself), of the signs of lupus, so that it may be sooner noticed and diagnosed, giving those a better fighting chance.
As an individual with no prior health issues, I ignored what I presumed to be the signs of being over-worked and consequently had no idea of the ailment that was harboring inside of me! After pushing through months of unexplained flu-like symptoms, a doctor in the practice in which I worked, had been taking note of my physical changes and became inclined to question my health. Modestly I attempted to portray that I was fine, as I sat in his office with a swollen face and the classic butterfly rash. Nevertheless, I insisted that I was in good health, until he held a mirror to my face and asked me to insist again. I was ultimately diagnosed with lupus at the age of 21.
During the initial diagnosis, I merely suffered from flu-like symptoms, but that scaled quickly into a myriad of ailments. As a decent quality of life became nonexistent, I desperately sought relief, which resulted in countless specialist visits, tests and medications that were of little avail, so I also sought alternative medicine. Combining these all, within several months I began to feel human again and within a year the lupus had gone into remission. Although I continued to suffer the result of a weakened immune system, I had regained a quality of life that I was pleased with and was in remission for nearly 8 years, until May of 2019.
It was the birth of my son in May of 2001 that presumably triggered the awakening of lupus the initial time, but this time around, it was the measles outbreak! Following measles recovery, lupus symptoms began to overrun my body in full force and was now accompanied by new startling symptoms, such as difficulty breathing and swelling of the temples and head. It was confirmed that the lupus had re-awoken and now appeared to be affecting my brain, leading to a prognosis of lupus cerebritis in May of 2019.
Despite what obstacles may come, I will remain optimistic and continue to fight, advocate and be a voice for lupus!