My Story: Vernice Sims

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

I was feeling tired all the time, and my hands started to hurt so bad I couldn’t sleep at night because of the pain.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

For the most part I have to stay active — moving around and exercising really helps a lot with my lupus. I also have to keep my diet in check. There are a lot of foods that I cannot eat without having a flare-up.

Who has been there for you? How?

My husband has been there for me from day one. When I get off track sometimes, he's the one that brings me back to reality. He's really understanding when I'm not feeling well and when I am in a flare he tries to make sure that I am as comfortable as possible.

Exercising really helps a lot with my lupus.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

Over the years I've had to do my homework about this disease. In the beginning, I didn't take my lupus seriously. I was sick a lot, and thought I would be that way for the rest of my life.

So, I educated myself about a lot of things. I changed my whole way of thinking. I first changed what I put into my mouth, and it went from there. As a result I lost the weight that I had gained from taking prednisone. That was a big accomplishment for me.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

Over the years I've had to do my homework about this disease. In the beginning, I didn't take my lupus seriously. I was sick a lot, and thought I would be that way for the rest of my life.

So, I educated myself about a lot of things. I changed my whole way of thinking. I first changed what I put into my mouth, and it went from there. As a result I lost the weight that I had gained from taking prednisone. That was a big accomplishment for me.

You can feel normal again.

You can feel normal again.

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

Educate, educate, educate yourselves as much as you can about this disease. You can feel normal again, but you have got to make an effort and want to get better.

You really have to take care of yourself and do your part.

Is there anything else we should know?

As you know, we are all different when it comes to our lupus. I was told that I had a mild case of lupus and that I can continue to do everything that I was doing and live a normal life — that was lie number one! If that were true I wouldn't have been having all these flare-ups over the years and getting sick. It is true that my lupus is mild but there are do's and don'ts as well, and you've still got to take care of yourself.

About Vernice

My Story: Vernice Sims

Despite my lupus, I still work a full time job, and do everything that I have always done, except for activities that involve being in the sun for long periods of time. I also keep my diet in check because of a lot of food allergies. I stay in shape and keep my weight under control with the prednisone by working out and a strict and limited food diet.

I'm human like everyone else so sometimes I may eat something I shouldn't or overdo it in the gym or spend too much time in the sun, and I suffer the consequences. But for the most part, I do like I should most of the time to avoid the outcome. You really have to take care of yourself and do your part.

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