Nancy B. - Diagnosed Age 36
I was a healthy, hard worker, and outgoing. I've been married for 18 yrs, have an 11 yr old daughter. I worked in retail as a manager, I was in charge of 7 departments.
My job required lots of work, lots of hours put in and stress! I remember one holiday in December we were preparing for a visit. I worked 10hrs that day, went home and slept for 6hrs, came back to work and worked overnight from 9p- 7a. I went home got ready, went back for our visit. Stayed until 4p. The next day my body hurt! The following week, I started coughing but I didn't think anything of it. The coughing got worse, I couldn't speak without coughing. One day at work an associate told me (while coughing uncontrollably), you need to get that checked! I took her advice and went to the E.R on my lunch. Got there (worry free), told the nurse my coughing story, she then drew blood. I waited and finally saw the doctor. My blood came back with HIGH ANTIBODIES (I didn't know what that meant) and I now had to wear a mask. More testing was ordered. What was a quick visit turned to 7 long days.
On the 4th day they finally diagnosed me with the possibility of having lupus! I was referred to a rheumatologist for a second opinion. On 3/24/14 I had blood work and waited scared for results. By then, I already knew what lupus was. An ugly, painful, forever life threatening disease. I went back for results on 3/28/14 and what was a maybe, became a diagnosis. Yes, lupus! I felt like my life was over! I got in my car, sat there for 30 mins processing what I was just told. Google that day became my best friend.
I cried til I couldn't cry anymore. I started thinking about my daughter, husband, etc... I went through a depression for about 1yr. I later realized my family was hurting from my depression. By then, I was a VIP at hospitals. I'm better now thank God, but I have my days. I'm still going through joint pains, rashes, neuropathy, ulcers, swelling, and taking meds. Having lupus changes your life, but you have to be strong and have supporters. Be positive, talk about it, eat well, and be stress free! My life now is drama free, no alcohol, no sun, eat well and lots of rest!