Thera H. - Diagnosed Age 19
In July of 2018 I experienced symptoms of viral meningitis, but test came back negative, so I was told I just had a virus…for 14 days. In October/November I got my flu shot and then over winter break from school I experienced chest pains and went to the hospital, I was told I had bronchitis, was given steroids and sent home. In March I got sent home from college with swollen salivary glands that they were fearful were mumps, I did not have mumps. A couple weeks later I began feeling the same way I did in July, but this time with chest pains. I ended up being hospitalized for 6 days.
On March 27, 2019 I was told the preliminary testing for lupus came back positive. I experienced all of the symptoms of lupus during my hospital stay which made my diagnosis easier for my doctors. So now, a little over a month after my diagnosis I am doing much better. I am almost finished with my first year of college, and I have most definitely had some setbacks with having to miss 2 whole weeks because of lupus.
My lupus attacked my heart, which was a blessing in disguise for I found out I have an atrial septal defect (hole in my heart) and will likely need surgery to fix it eventually. I am trying to stay positive throughout all of this and continue my life as a normal young adult. I am learning my limitations, but trying not to let this limit me too much. I am hoping to have a bright and successful future. I have raised over $700 for lupus research, and will continue to spread positivity and also advocate for lupus awareness. I want everyone who is living with lupus or has a friend or family member with it to know that we are a community and always here for each other. Joining a support group was/is really beneficial for me and I would encourage others to do the same. Thank you for taking your time to read my story.