My Life With Lupus

It all started in 1997 when I was suffering from terrible migraine headaches, weight gain and chest pain at the age of 24. I ended up visiting the ER on several occasions where they dismissed my pain and blamed it on the stress of planning a wedding and earning a masters degree. Months went by and the pain continued to get worse; to the point where I could hardly walk up a flight of stairs without losing my breath.

My mother found a Family Physician who actually took my symptoms seriously. I was sent directly to the hospital where I ended up staying for nearly 2 weeks. It took doctors this long for them to finally come up with a diagnosis of Lupus. My heart and lungs were filling up with water and I nearly went into cardiac arrest, along with my kidneys which were beginning to fail.
I was put on plasmapheresis, chemotherapy and a long list of medications for the next two years.

In 2004 I had another Lupus flare where my kidneys started to shut down again. This time it led me to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Doctors requested I go on Rituxan IV infusions for 6 weeks.

Fast forward to 2011, my last and worst Lupus flare. I suffered horribly with water retention throughout my whole body. Just another clue that my kidneys were once again failing me. On to the Mayo Clinic I went. I was admitted and put on chemotherapy, kidney dialysis, and a boat load of meds for two weeks while I was there.

Thankfully since then, I have been in remission! I still have my good days and my bad days but if it weren’t for the medications and the awesome doctors that I now have at the University of Michigan and those from the Mayo Clinic, and of course the Good Lord above, I would not be here today to tell my story.

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