My Story: Glennis Royster

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

My diagnosis happened when I was coming home from Orlando, Florida. I was in Florida for a high school chorus concert and we performed at Disney World.

Once the concert was over, we went back to the hotel room to pack up and leave, and I was fine at this point besides some minor aches and pain – I felt normal. We loaded the bus and headed on down the road back to Virginia.

While on the bus, I was coughing and began coughing up blood. I didn't report to my chorus director because I just thought it was a cold from the change of climate. An hour then passed and I was still coughing up blood. I got scared and I told my instructor. She had the bus driver pull over at the south of the border.

I was airlifted to Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, Virginia. The doctors did various lab works to figure out what exactly was going on with me. I was first diagnosed with "mononucleosis (AKA mono)," then an hour later another doctor came in and told my mom I have discoid lupus.

When I was initially diagnosed, I didn't feel any different, but once I got to the age of 19, I started feeling differently. My life changed drastically.

Things that I would typically do was starting to get harder for me. I started losing hair, and my skin began changing colors, multiple rashes showed up out of nowhere, episodes of chronic fatigue and some days I couldn't even walk. What usually takes a reasonable person to clean up, it takes me a week to clean because I have to work at my own pace to make sure I don't overwork or overdo myself because I'll feel it later.

Honestly, hearing the diagnosis wasn't the hardest part. The hardest part was accepting it. I accepted it, but I also believed that God will heal me from this terrible disease, maybe not on my time but on his time.

Until God removes my sickness, I'll continue to smile and keep my head held high because God is still in control!

Who has been there for you? How?

The people who have been my support system is my God, husband, and my church. They are all my number one supporters.

My husband, Clinton, he has been so helpful. Not only does he have two jobs and works every day, he'll come home and check up on me to make sure I'm fine. He'll even cook, clean, and wash clothes if I haven't done so. He goes way beyond to make sure that I know he's behind me from my good days to my painful days.

Bread of Life ministries and my spiritual parents, Lady Lewis and Pastor Lewis. I can honestly say that if it wasn't for my church family, spiritual parents, and my husband I would've given up on lupus and my life. Every day they reminded me of how strong I am and that giving up is never an option. I'll praise my way through because I know better days are coming.

The last person who has been there for me is LaQuisha Taylor. She was a church member as well but had to relocate. However, that didn't change a thing because she still calls to check up on me, and encourages me all the way from North Carolina.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

The lifestyle changes I have had to make when I found out I had lupus was when I also found out that I have sun sensitivity

I used to be able to attend concerts, go shopping, and go out to eat. Now I can't be outside for an extended period of time because the sun itself drains my energy. I stay in the house until 7 P.M. to avoid sun sensitivity.

I have to write everything down now due to brain fog. I used to be able to remember without writing anything down. Sometimes I need my husband to cook for me because of the poor circulation in my legs and not being able to stand for more than 30 minutes.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

The accomplishments that make me proud are my two degrees in Criminal Justice and my certificate for massage therapy.

I went to school while in pain every day. It wasn't easy, and it may have taken me longer than others, but I did it, and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Although I can't put my degrees to work, I still feel that it's one of my greatest accomplishments.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

The accomplishments that make me proud are my two degrees in Criminal Justice and my certificate for massage therapy.

I went to school while in pain every day. It wasn't easy, and it may have taken me longer than others, but I did it, and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Although I can't put my degrees to work, I still feel that it's one of my greatest accomplishments.

But I did it.

But I did it.

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

My advice to someone living with lupus is to never give up, no matter how hard it is. I know it may not look like it's going to get any better, but it will.

Just continue believing but also use wisdom. Never lose faith and remember God will never put more on you than you can carry. Hold your head high, adjust your crown, and walk in authority.

Speak life over yourself. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Speak positive let all negativity away cause that's not what you need stress can send you into a flare.

My advice to someone living with lupus is to never give up, no matter how hard it is.

About Glennis Royster

My Story: Glennis Royster

I'm 31, and I fight to survive. #IAmAnOvercomer

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