Ann Arbor, MichiganDiagnosed with Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 22
How has your condition affected you? My illnesses have completely changed my life. I went from being a carefree 22 year old, relishing the promise of graduate school, to having my world completely fall apart around me. I felt like a spectator in my own life. But as time has gone on, things have gotten a bit easier. Mainly, I have a lot of pain and fatigue, although lupus has a broad constellation of symptoms; nausea, dizziness, headaches - basically it makes me feel like I've been hit by a truck and am plastered against a wall. Having these illnesses has made me have to re-evaluate my priorities. It has made me question a lot of things about the world, but it has also forced me to learn about myself, just like the title of my blog suggests, illness has brought me closer to myself.
What would you like for other people to know about your condition? Just because I don't look sick doesn't mean I'm healthy or feel good. I think that's a huge misconception.
What would you like to tell someone who was recently diagnosed with your condition? I would say that even if they can't see it now, there is hope. I never thought I would get to a point where my life wouldn't be totally preoccupied by illness. But learning to manage and know your limits are key. Learn to say no. Ask for help. Understand that you are your best advocate when navigating the medical establishment.
Please take a moment to check out Leslie's great blog, Getting Closer to Myself.
Thank you Leslie!