My Story: Sharon Maducdoc

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

It was a very long and difficult journey to diagnosis. As I experienced more and more debilitating symptoms (joint pain, stiffness, unusual headaches and fatigue), I got more and more frustrated and depressed. The never-ending blood tests and diagnostics to rule out other autoimmune disease made me nervous, scared, restless and hopeless. While on a working diagnosis, I have been on different medications to help me with my symptoms, but most didn't help. A trip to the ER one day led to referral to a specialist.

The first visit with the specialist was promising; I felt hopeful that I would finally understand what was wrong with me! The discussion included my medical history. As a young child about 6 years old, I suffered from solar urticaria (sun allergy). I would have rashes all over my body after brief exposure to the sun. I remember my mom would bathe me with ice-cold water to relieve me. After an hour or more, the rashes would disappear as if nothing happened. The allergy went on until I was about 8 years old, and then never occurred again. Thirty-seven years later, I started to experience systemic unexplained joint pains and fatigue. One specialist said this sun allergy was a premanifestation of lupus that had been benign for so many years.

Who has been there for you? How?

My daughter, Britanny, my family and friends are with me thought my journey. Their encouragement has given me reasons to believe that there is light at the end if the tunnel. My church has been there for me too, praying with me every day expecting healing for me!

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

My disease has taught me to slow down. It has taught me to worry less. I started living one day at a time. It also taught me to not sweat the small stuff, like if my house is a bit cluttered and if I postpone the laundry. It has taught me to relax and take time to enjoy life.

As a single mom, I have taken the responsibility of a dad and a mom, and I pushed myself too much to be the best mother even to the point of sacrificing and depriving myself of sleep, rest and good nutrition. Now, I have learned that some things can wait!

What accomplishment are you proud of?

Being homebound has given me the opportunity to focus on what I have rather than what I don't have at the moment. If I feel well, I enjoy baking. I attend baking classes and I am starting a cookie ministry soon. Despite my illness, I can still do things to bless others and remind them that no matter how sour the circumstances in life are sometimes, life is truly sweet because God loves me and I have hope in Christ!

What accomplishment are you proud of?

Being homebound has given me the opportunity to focus on what I have rather than what I don't have at the moment. If I feel well, I enjoy baking. I attend baking classes and I am starting a cookie ministry soon. Despite my illness, I can still do things to bless others and remind them that no matter how sour the circumstances in life are sometimes, life is truly sweet because God loves me and I have hope in Christ!

Life is truly sweet.

Life is truly sweet.

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

Just be positive. On days when you feel good, get out and take time to enjoy renewed strength. Tell your family and friends your challenges, for you can draw strength from them.

Tell your family and friends your challenges.

About Sharon Maducdoc

My Story: Sharon Maducdoc
I am a 47-year-old Filipino woman, who now lives in California. Life was not easy for me. I raised a daughter, now 20, singlehandedly. I worked as caregiver for the elderly for years and later on worked as nanny for families with special needs kids. My entire life as a migrant, I took care of people. Now, I am tasked to take care of myself! I love baking macarons and I love decorating cookies. I remain grateful and hopeful for everything!
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