24 May Lupus gift of steel
This summer marks the 11-year anniversary since I was officially diagnosed with lupus – tradition says I owe it a gift of steel! In the course of a decade, my lupus has progressed from a mild inconvenience to life-threatening and severe. I’ve had brain surgery, CNS attacks, spinal fluid leaks and patches, inflammation of the lungs, heart, kidneys and abdominal organs, and fibromyalgia and Raynaud’s, as many do in connection with SLE. I had a brain tumor that’s growth was significantly accelerated by heavy immunosuppressants. The tumor severed my facial nerve and I’ve slowly regained movement from a surgery that reconnected the nerves to the tongue and chew muscle. I’m extremely grateful for the talented team of doctors at U of M!
My biggest struggle is the habit of putting my health last instead of making it a priority. I’ve pushed myself to complete my master’s degree and continue to work full-time while not listening to my body when it needs rest until it’s too late. Lupus patients are strong individuals and we will continue to fight everything that comes our way. Thanks to the Michigan Lupus Foundation for their continued efforts to help patients and spread awareness!