Funny that this is today’s prompt. I had a dream this morning. I was in the mall with one of my daughter’s friend’s son. The kid had on this baseball cap that was too small and had rhinestones on it. So I was walking through the mall to help him find a new hat. He picked out one with more rhinestones the kid was about four or five years old. After he got his hat, we went shopping for some shorts and tees for him and my grandchildren. I became tired so we went to wait for the bus. In my dreams I could usually do anything however in this dream I was lupus exhausted.
Almost eight years ago I was diagnosed with Lupus as most of you already know. For years before my diagnoses I used sunscreen because I always suspected I had lupus based on my mother and her symptoms of lupus. I had the joint pain and swelling since I was fourteen. I would get these rashes every spring as soon as the sun got stronger. Over the years I had different signs of lupus but I didn’t know they were related.
I started having children at seventeen and basically live for them. I worked, paid bills and took care of the house and kids. Eight years ago I finally started enjoying life. My children were living their life and I eliminated the man whom I allowed to steal the best years of mine. I was making a decent salary with no responsibility but myself. I was hanging out at a local bar. It was like “Cheers” where everyone knows your name. Life was a party.
The year before I was diagnoses with lupus I had a full hysterectomy. After I started losing weight, I thought it was associated. Because I wasn’t doing anything to help me lose the weight but that was beside the point. I was looking good and wanted to look better. I was still smoking back then and I use to take breaks outside to smoke. The sun use to shine bright and strong outside where I smoked. I stopped wearing sunscreen so I could get a nice deep tan. I believed that since I didn’t have lupus by then which then I was forty-eight I wasn’t getting lupus.
I started getting rashes, I was exhausted and having difficulty breathing. Lupus was attacking me with a vengeance. If I could go back to those nine years I would have considered other options instead of having a hysterectomy. You see I knew I wasn’t going to have any more children so I said what the hell take the plumbing out. It’s not known how people develop lupus but it is suspect to be hormonal since lupus affects more women than men and they know lupus runs in families. I was in two risk groups.
I wish someone had told me that lupus could develop at any age and that it may be hormonal. Like I said I had symptoms of lupus but was never diagnosed. There isn’t a test to diagnose lupus. One must exhibit markers to determine if what you have is lupus. So one can have lupus but if the doctors don’t know all the symptoms you’re having it may be years before you could be treated. This was my case. I had symptoms that I didn’t know were related and some of them happened years apart. Many doctors don’t know the symptoms of lupus. This is the reason I share my story and information about lupus because awareness is the best way combat it. I wish I knew way back when I suspected I had lupus that a rheumatologist treated people with lupus. Maybe then I wouldn’t be disabled today.
What is lupus? What are the symptoms? How is one diagnosed? How is it treated? Read here.