Yolanda H. - Diagnosed Age 40
December 2018 was a time in my life that I will never forget. It started as a trip to the ER for a leg infection, but it led to more questions. The severe joint pain, high blood pressure, unexplained swelling, and kidney issues had my doctors scratching their heads requesting for more labs and testing.
After months in and out of the ER, I took my first trip to the rheumatologist. He took one look at my swollen, aching body and in disbelief, he asked, "how could any ER doctor not admit you?" He began immediately ordering labs and examining me. After his evaluation and having a kidney biopsy, in February 2019 I was diagnosed with lupus nephritis stage 3. I was shattered but relieved that finally I have answers and now I can begin feeling better and be done with this, right?
I never imagined when I said the year I turned 40 would be the time of my life that it would come with lupus. I am now approaching 42 in a few months, and I couldn't be more grateful to be alive. I have some really rough days, and I have to adjust my schedule sometimes when the pain is too much. Stress has been the culprit in the past, but I won't allow it to be anymore. I take several medications a day, but I try to keep pressing. My family is supportive, but sometimes I have my moments when I feel no one really understands what I am going through.
I am learning to find beauty beyond all that has changed in the mirror from weight gain and swelling from the steroids. I am determined to live my best life! I believe prayer and having a support system has kept me this far! I have to keep moving! I refuse to give up! I am praying for a cure. Until then, I won't stop believing!