I'm a giver and I hate not being able to do everything.
There were many steps along the way until I finally heard the reason for all the aliments. I was not one to take medicine for a long period of time. If it didn't give some relief in the first 10 days, I would usually stop taking it, so I didn't really help the doctors all that much either.
I first had headaches every day they came to me in a migraine style, except I never threw up. That went on for 10 years until I finally found out that I have Arthritis in my neck. Woo-hoo, an answer, I think everyone with Lupus gets excited when they get an answer. Then, the next thing was my blood pressure was really low: 80ish over 40ish. I usually have low blood pressure but not that low, so I switched doctors and went to an internal medicine doctor who did all my blood work. I got a call from them the very next day saying “you are extremely anemic and your ADA is really low, and we want you to go to a Rheumatologist and Hematologist.” So, now I have more doctors to go to. Thank God for them. Both of these doctors didn’t just think everything was in my head; they took my pain seriously.
Test after test, (they tested for Leukemia, AIDS, and anything else you can imagine) one of the funniest things that I kept hearing is “where is your blood going?” Hello, you vampires are sucking it out of me vile after vile after vile. But, I was finally told that I have Lupus and Fibromyalgia. YAY, everyone I told was asked “why YAY?” My answer was “because now I know why everything is happening to me.” It was not that I had a clue as to what either Lupus or Fibromyalgia was, but as I said before, I now have answers.
I'm a giver and I hate not being able to do everything.
Now I had to find out what on earth Lupus and Fibromyalgia were and what I had to do to fight them. Yes, I said fight them. I already mentioned I don't like taking medicine so what could I do? My first thing was send out a prayer request from all my friends and family. Next, I just kept on keeping on and that wasn't the right thing to do, because my body needed to slow down even if I didn't want it to. You see, by this time I had a 6 year old boy at home who was in 1st grade and I was 48ish, so I really had to slow down or end up in hospital and I really didn't want that as you can imagine.
The funny thing about the human body is that it gives warning signs when you are over doing something. I had to listen to that and also not only listen but obey it. That was very hard for me, I was not one to be still. I volunteered for everything: at work, at the school, at church, at home, I was always the go to person; Give it to Virginia and she will do it. So that was the 2nd thing I had to do and still 4 years later I'm still struggling with not over doing. I'm a giver and I hate not being able to do everything, but if I want to be around for when my little boy graduates, gets married, and have kids, I have to listen and slow down.
As I have said, my first thing I did was ask for prayers. My number one go to is God. My husband has a very hard time with my sickness. He wants to fix everyone and everything but he can’t. My step-kids are amazing. They have been there and are very supportive. My daughter-in-law signed up to walk in the Lupus walk for 2 years now and this year she got a whole bunch more people to walk with us.
Most of my family lives in Michigan. They know that I have Lupus but because it's a disease that you can't see, they really don't get it. If they were living with me or saw me every day, they would know but they still see me as the go getter as I always was. My husband is always there and helpful when I'm having a flare up, but I really try not to burden anyone when that happens. I just go to my corner and have my pity party until God puts something or someone in my path.
Last night I was having a bad pain in my chest and I was struggling with what I should do. I started praying and asked God if I needed to wake my husband. Well, the answer was yes because he woke up on his own. It’s funny how God works. I told him that I wasn't feeling well. We decided (1) that I would just see if it got worse or (2) if I should go to hospital. I still have the pain but it isn't that bad now so I am just resting again today. My girlfriends are there for me a lot. They call and see how I’m doing what I need anything at all and that is nice to know that I have great friends.
We often take our health for granted, but when you are faced with difficult moments, you have so much gratitude for the endless support, prayers, kind words and company of devoted family and friends.
“But you don’t look sick…”
Due to my outward appearance, no one would notice my struggles. I feel healthy again, but I do have to consider the effects of all of my daily decisions. I have had to force myself to slow down, which has not been easy for someone so stubborn. I just can’t do and be a part of everything anymore, which is hard for people to understand when you seem so normal. I have walked 3 years in the Walk to End Lupus Now to raise awareness, to educate and to find a cure for those affected by this mysterious and unpredictable disease!
I'm just a regular person who has her normal days. I was young when I married my first husband. I had an immediate family and 2 step-daughters who were 8 and 9. They lived with us and I loved them with all my heart. After about 15 years, my husband didn't want to be committed to just one person so we separated but I never stopped being a step-mom to my kids and then later their kids. Later, I moved to Texas and married my husband and again I had 2 more step-kids who were 8 & 12 and also lived with us and I love these kids with all my heart. I'm so blessed that God gave me all the wonderful blessings he has. Then 10 years ago, I was blessed with a son of my own. He is so wonderful and keeps me busy so I have to listen to my body because I want to be here for him and all of his accomplishments. I had my son at 41 and thank God daily for everything. I really do mean everything, even Lupus, Fibromyalgia, arthritis, and whatever else God has in store for me.
I have a job that I love. Work with amazing people who are there for me and would do whatever I need.
My favorite Bible Verse is - Philippians 4:13 ‘I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.’
Due to my outward appearance, no one would notice my struggles.
Don't give up; keep strong; be a fighter not a quitter; you are not alone; be brave; listen to your body.
I have 2 beautiful step-daughters and 5 grand-kids in Michigan along with the rest of my siblings, their spouses, and my dad. I lost my mom to cancer in September '07 and my grandpa Dec '07.
I moved to Houston in '97 for my job and in 2000, I quit and moved back to Michigan. Well, $500.00 a month in phone bills and a couple plane trips back and forth between Texas and Michigan, we decided we needed to be together. So, I moved back to Texas and got a job with a great company, I got married to my sweetie, and I had 2 more step kids and now 1 more grand baby, and a son who is 10. So, I tell everyone I had to try kids and grand kids before having my own to make sure I liked it.
Life is fun and I am enjoying every minute I can with my little family in Texas.
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