My Valley Experience
In 2008 I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, otherwise known as "S.L.E".
What is "S.L.E Lupus"? It is an autoimmune disease in which a persons immune system attacks various organs or cells of the body.
The most common symptom is joint pain.
I didn't know that at age 27 my life would drastically change the way it did. I was healthy until my body started to change. I started
to have aches all over and throughout my days I felt like I was 90 years old. Whenever I sat down I had to hold on to furniture to get back up, or people had to help me. I couldn't hold anything heavy in my hands or run on the playground with the children at work. It was hard for me to brush my teeth and comb my hair without feeling pain in my arms for having them up for long. I had to take rests in between which was frustrating because it took a long time when before it didn't. I ignored all of this until I finally decided to go to the doctor. I told him what was happening and he asked me if I had ever been tested for lupus. I told him "no", he told me to take a blood test and I did. A couple days later the doctor called and said I have Lupus and he needs to start me on medication right away. I was scared, confused, shocked, angry, worried and couldn't believe what the results were. The first question I asked myself was why me? then I asked, where did this come from? when is it going away? what is lupus?
This was a life changing experience for
me, my family, and my loved ones. Soon my features and
my body started to change, I was on so many medications, saw so many doctors, admitted to so many hospitals, I felt like an experiment. When I looked at myself in the mornings I didn't even look like me, most times my lip would be swollen or forehead. I started to retain water and was having problems going to the washroom. My belly started to swell and was full of water, people thought I was pregnant not to mention the size of my feet. I would want to be by myself all the time because of this and would cry all the time when I was alone.
Oct 2009 was my near death experience. I went to the hospital due to chest pain. I was there for the whole day doing tests and was told nothing was wrong and everything looked fine. Late in the night they told me I had to leave because they needed the bed I was on. I