My Story: Mia

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

I was diagnosed with lupus shortly after a very difficult pregnancy with my second son. Having been pregnant five times in total (pre-SLE diagnosis), I finally had a doctor who listened and identified exactly what I had been dealing with all along without even knowing it.

All the signs and symptoms along the way were never collectively considered by anyone, including myself. From extreme fatigue and sun sensitivity to dangerously low vitamin D levels and unexplained miscarriages, nothing ever added up. That is, until I delivered my second miracle child by emergency C-section at 35 weeks after being on bed rest almost my entire pregnancy due to clotting and hemorrhaging issues.

Suddenly I began to experience joint pain, especially in my hands, and I noticed them swelling up and turning red. I ignored it for months and even rescheduled an appointment with a rheumatologist because I was too busy taking care of my family to take care of myself.

Finally, five months after my youngest son's birth, my joints didn't get any better so I kept the appointment with my amazing doctor, who didn't dismiss me or my pain. From that point on began a journey of balancing how to best take care of myself so that I can be the wife and mother that my family deserves ā€” a journey Iā€™m still on.

Who has been there for you? How?

God gives me the strength I need each day. He has also given me my husband and my mom, who help me when times are tough. Of course, God has also given me my two beautiful boys who make life worth living! I am truly blessed!

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

Having lupus means needing to be more aware of your body's needs. It's all about making the best choices.

Now I may use a hat or umbrella just to go from the car into a store, or choose the pick up/drop off lane instead of always walking my son into and out of his school.

Sometimes it means taking a three-hour nap on a Saturday and letting my husband take over simply because my body says, "No more." Other times it may mean taking time off from work because the pain is too intense, and the medication I need to be on to manage it won't allow me to function at work.

The list of lifestyle changes seems only to grow longer as time passes, but I try to stay positive because the changes are for the better and, though often inconvenient, they make having lupus more bearable for myself, which ultimately means for my family.

Having lupus means needing to be more aware of your body's needs.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I am most proud of my ability to keep my spirits up even in my darkest hour. I never forget that though things would be a lot easier without lupus they could also be a lot worse, and feeling sorry for yourself doesn't solve anything for anyone.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I am most proud of my ability to keep my spirits up even in my darkest hour. I never forget that though things would be a lot easier without lupus they could also be a lot worse, and feeling sorry for yourself doesn't solve anything for anyone.

God gives me the strength I need each day.

God gives me the strength I need each day.

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

The best advice I can give to someone else living with Lupus is that there is quite a bit of strength to be found in reminding yourself of the popular lupie phrase that though you may have lupus, don't let lupus have you!

It's all about making the best choices.

Is there anything else we should know?

I'm a mother, a daughter, a wife, and a friend much like many others who have been diagnosed with this disease. I am also a teacher to high school and college students in the fields of English and speech communications. I own an adorable miniature dachshund named after a Star Wars character and I love to read historical fiction, write quirky stories and poetry, cook anything spicy and bake anything with chocolate. I also happen to have a secret obsession with watching paranormal TV shows and movies!

About Mia

My Story: Mia
I am a mother to two gorgeous boys whose hugs and kisses I can't ever get enough of, and Iā€™m a wife to an amazing husband who supports me in more ways than I can express. I have a Master's degree in English & American Literature and presently instruct writing and communications courses at the secondary and post-secondary levels. I firmly believe that my career has helped me become a better person in every facet of my life. I am currently considering applying to PhD programs and am very interested in writing a book about life as a mother living with autoimmune diseases.
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