Sarah B. - Diagnosed Age 32
I have lupus.
This is a badge of honor I wear proudly.
Never have I ever been so relieved to hear and receive this diagnosis. It might be considered odd to have such a relieved response to such heavy news. Yet, I wept with joy when my doctor told me. Together, we shared in a united hug of relief. Why? My journey to this diagnosis was long, complicated, convoluted - and filled with confounding difficulties. It gave the final answer to all the questions, all the symptoms, all the testing, all the suffering, all the stolen time. I was flooded with relief, joy, and celebration! It truly was a celebration!
Why? Well, I've been undiagnosed with lupus for at least twelve years. Medically, we know this due to a well-documented medical condition that was misdiagnosed at that time. Honestly, with my medical history, the doctor and I agree it could possibly reach back, even, over twenty years ago. It would explain plenty and many of the mysteries and oddities of my childhood. Now, finally, treatment and progress forward are at hand!
My final path to discovery was anything, but direct. Going back a year and a half ago, I got Lyme, except I didn't know it. I didn't get treated for it till eight months later with a whole host of debilitating symptoms. Yep, Lyme. Fast forward, my Lyme gets treated. My symptoms seem to nearly dissipate, but not completely. I plateaued in my recovery. Suddenly, my health starts to rapidly deteriorate with new symptoms and old medical haunts re-appearing. I quickly was getting buried under twelve daily symptoms paired with new and old diagnosis re-emerging: optical neuritis, pernicious anemia, and autoimmune hepatitis (just to name a few).
Finally, after a heap of positive tests results, a mind-boggling amount of doctors, heavy financial costs, and a diagnosis too long in the coming: it was lupus!
Apparently, as I've been told repeatedly by doctors, it is not uncommon for Lyme to make an unknown and lurking disease such as an autoimmune disease really, really, really aggravated. This is what happened to me, especially after being untreated for so long with Lyme.
So, in a very odd and round-a-bout way, I am both grateful and thankful to Lyme and lupus. As finally, after over a decade (if not more), I can finally start on my hopeful journey of healing! Therefore, I rejoice!