Salathiel D. - Diagnosed Age 18
Being diagnosed with lupus changed life as I knew it. At the age of 18 I'd not long graduated from high school and was preparing for college. For months I'd been experiencing lower stomach pain, a rash on my face, and sores on my head but I thought nothing of it. Growing up I experienced very difficult menstrual pains which made me adapt a high tolerance for pain, so I just associated these pains to that and pressed through as I've always had to do.
One evening I was at work and my entire shift all I could do was sit. On the drive home I felt every bump and as I arrived home I had no energy. The pain had increased and all I could do was eat a few bites, change my clothes, lay my head in a friends lap, and I went to sleep. When I awoke the next morning my feet were swollen to the size of footballs and I could not walk. I called out to my parents and they took me to the emergency room. Upon arrival I was quickly taken to the back due to my symptoms. As the doctor examined me he said I'm pretty sure you have lupus but I'm going to run tests to confirm. Shortly after, he came back in to confirm and admitted me.
He discovered that it was affecting my kidneys and I experienced kidney failure to the tune of flat lining for a few seconds. As things began to level out, and my insurance ended due to not being able to go to college, I was released to fight this battle with no coverage which was very difficult and a major financial strain.
Currently I am having some issues with protein in my urine and lower stomach pain, I'm awaiting my appointment for testing. I currently work full time. I experience high levels of fatigue on a daily bases but have no choice but to press through because I have no financial assistance nor do I qualify. My faith in God is what keeps me going. I do my best to encourage others in my life. When I have the energy I exercise moderately. I would like for others to know that it’s important to speak your truth about how you feel. Faith in God, family, and communication are important to survive this.