My Story: Kim Rife

Subscribe to our Newsletter

We are building our Lupus community.

Sign up to receive updates.

New Life Outlook on FacebookSubscribe with Facebook

OR

What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

I started to feel lousy and thought that since my mother-in law was in the hospital, I had maybe come into contact with something there. The next day I didn't go to work, had a slight fever, a cough, and couldn't breathe very well. By that late afternoon, I was huddled over trying to breathe and was hyperventilating. My husband took me to the ER because my heart was racing as well. I spent 2 1/2 days in the ICU and 6 more days in the hospital. I was diagnosed with A-Typical Double Pneumonia. Luckily the doctors were intrigued enough to find out why it came on so suddenly. They found out it was SLE. That was in April 2005.

Who has been there for you? How?

My family and friends have been with me through this journey, so far. I'm not sure if they understand everything that is associated with lupus. But they are very supportive!

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

I’m taking meds, watching for reactions to antibiotics, and really trying to stay out of the sun. I love the sun, though. My rashes appear and disappear. I try creams and ointments but the rashes are still there. I do know that stress is wicked! I have body aches, joint pain, headaches, brain fog, shortness of breath, chest pains, and Raynaud’s, but nothing in comparison to others that I've read about. I count myself healthy in comparison.

I do know that stress is wicked!

What accomplishment are you proud of?

My husband & I sold our business of 30 years. After a couple of years, I helped plan my daughter's wedding. I did all of the flower arrangements, bouquet, decorations, etc. I went back to work (Part-time) at a national craft store, and I feel pretty good knowing that I'm running my butt off. I'm very tired at the end of the day, but I get up the next day and do it all over again.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

My husband & I sold our business of 30 years. After a couple of years, I helped plan my daughter's wedding. I did all of the flower arrangements, bouquet, decorations, etc. I went back to work (Part-time) at a national craft store, and I feel pretty good knowing that I'm running my butt off. I'm very tired at the end of the day, but I get up the next day and do it all over again.

I feel good knowing that I'm running my butt off

I feel good knowing that I'm running my butt off

What's your advice to someone else living with Lupus?

  1. Have a good doctor.
  2. Do a lot of research. Understand the disease.
  3. Make sure your family, friends, employers know what you're going through.
  4. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!
  5. Stay as active as you can. Don't be stagnate!
  6. Live your life as you would without Lupus until you can't anymore.

Live your life as you would without Lupus

Is there anything else we should know?

I like butterflies - I have two butterfly tattoos. I love cats - I'm getting another tattoo with a cat soon.

About Kim Rife

My Story: Kim Rife
I was diagnosed in 2005 after landing in the hospital with atypical double pneumonia. I count myself very lucky to have a very mild case of SLE so far. I currently work part-time at a craft store and I previously worked in the banking industry. My husband works in the Pest Control industry. Other than the rashes that occur on my face, arms and knees, I also get headaches, and have fatigue which is a constant concern. Raynaud's is also a problem. I believe that stress is the number 1 contributor to my symptoms and why I try to stay active. Since working, I have gotten pretty good at making wreaths. I make them for family members and as gifts. It gives me something to do in my free time.
Share

We learn from each other

We all have a voice.
What's your story?

Submit your story