My Story: DeAnn

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

I started having issues with swollen joints, losing weight, fatigue, nausea and fingers turning blue; overall I felt bad. My primary care physician ordered lab tests, and then referred me to a rheumatologist based on results.

In the year 2000, I was diagnosed with Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disorder. About 3 years later, enough symptoms surfaced for a second diagnosis as Lupus SLE. Chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, nausea, chest pains, sun sensitivity, Raynaud, joint and muscle pain, and kidney issues are the main complications of my diagnosis.

My life continued to change in 2013. Pain levels and fatigue began increasing; functioning and everyday tasks became harder as I was feeling exhausted. In 2014, complications from having lupus threw a few curve balls as new symptoms developed causing additional testing, new meds and random clinic visits. Many days, I struggled to walk and/or get out of bed.

Who has been there for you? How?

My family is very instrumental and supportive (lupus is hereditary in my family). They understand and know first-hand all the effects this cruel disease has on everyone. I've learned those with similar journeys understand the frustrations and effects of Lupus; they will be a true friend in all seasons of life and are rare gifts to cherish.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

At this point, I knew my lifestyle had to change and began investigating natural relief, participating in programs promoting wellness, and began a spiritual journey, putting complete faith in God above.

Acceptance, understanding, knowing my limits and diet are key ingredients in managing such a debilitating illness. Avoid the sun and heat when possible, along with adequate rest is necessary. Eliminating unnecessary stress and prioritizing tasks and demands allows me to give my time to those I value, support the events dear to my heart and also find my inner strength. I try to pay attention to my body and listen for signals to know when to slow down and most importantly, rest.

Avoid the sun and heat when possible, along with adequate rest is necessary.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

In spite of being limited with energy, I love participating in 5K races when I can. I also love supporting worthy non-profits and volunteering at local community events. Focusing on others brings happiness and brighter days to all.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

In spite of being limited with energy, I love participating in 5K races when I can. I also love supporting worthy non-profits and volunteering at local community events. Focusing on others brings happiness and brighter days to all.

Cut all negativity from your life.

Cut all negativity from your life.

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

Giving up is never an option. Place your faith and trust in God above, he is our creator, healer and bigger than any illness. I truly could not get through the hard days or pressures in life without the power of prayer and the emotional support of family and friends. My life isn't perfect, but each day is a blessing, a gift.

Giving up is never an option.

Is there anything else we should know?

In dealing with digestive issues, diet is crucial. Lupus will attack in different places, stay strong. Cut all negativity from your life and surround yourself with those who lift you up. Raise awareness, inspire others, and make a difference. Learn to love yourself, live life to the fullest and be happy the best way one’s health will allow.

About DeAnn

My name is DeAnn Glenn. I am 47 years old and currently live in Bentonville, Arkansas. I am a single parent to three beautiful daughters and to a handsome son with special needs. I work as a Retail Consultant Director, volunteer within Special Olympics and support various non-profits throughout the year. I like to run when my body allows it, and enter 5k races with my kids. My hobbies include photography, computers, volunteering, and advocating for those with need. My dream is to educate communities about Lupus in hopes to help further research, raise awareness, and to help improve the quality of life for all affected.
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