Dating with lupus
I'm standing in the kitchen, doubled over, using the back of a dining chair for support.
An early lupus diagnosis is treated with antimalarial pills. My surgery caused swelling, and for a while I couldn't eat solid food.
For reasons still mysterious to the medical community, they can keep lupus from progressing into a life-threatening illness. I had to face the antimalarial pills with nothing cushioning my stomach but some cottage cheese. I'm 27 years old, and I'm facing a lifetime of sickness.
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But for a lupus patient, this response is always happening.
My body believes it is fighting an infection all day, every day. The aches and pains most people associates with colds and the flu are just part of ordinary life for me.
Five years out, I had finished my undergraduate degree and was working on my master's.I joked about my coffee addiction, but it wasn't funny.That first year of grad school, I moved back home with my parents and commuted three evenings a week.I spent nearly a decade navigating the world through a shroud of extreme exhaustion, muscle pain, brain fog, headaches, a sore throat that never went away, muscle spasms that would regularly send forks flying across the table at dinner, and a constant low-grade fever. Because no doctor could properly diagnose me, although I was told by more than one medical professional that I needed a "psych evaluation." What saddens me is that all it took was a two-hour medical history discussion with a rheumatologist and three large blood panels to confirm my lupus diagnosis.
It wasn't necessary for me to go undiagnosed for so long.
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