Sunday, October 20, 2013

Old New Post: My Lupus Story

Happy Sunday!

I had mentioned in my first ever blog post that I wanted to use this blog as a space for free ideas and daily struggles. Well, the following entry is just one glimpse of my daily struggle.
I wanted to repost this entry that I had written for another blog I used to manage. I wrote it in either December 2011 or January 2012.  It somewhat explains my new found love for beauty and makeup.
It's a real personal blog post. I hope you do enjoy it, but most importantly, I do hope it brings some awareness to what Lupus is. 

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I’m a 26 year old Filipina American living in Los Angeles. I was diagnosed with systemic Lupus a year and a half ago in July 2010. A few months prior to that, I would wake up with a sore back or sore arms or legs. At first, I thought it was the way I was sleeping. Then came the fevers, rash, paralyzing joint pain, and fatigue. I never imagined I would end up in the hospital. I never imagined I would be told I had lupus. 

The news kept me in shock. For weeks I was quiet. I didn’t cry. I didn’t complain. I didn’t feel. At the same time, I knew I was going to be okay. I think it helped that one of my high school friends was diagnosed with lupus about 13 years ago and she’s doing well with ups and downs, of course. One of my doctors in the hospital had a sister with lupus who was in med school. These real life stories served as motivation that I would be okay. 

The hardest part of my diagnosis was that it came one month before I would start my master’s program in social work. I was so scared that my health would get in the way of everything I had worked so hard for.  

Thanks to my amazing doctors, incredible familial and peer support, and my faith, my road to recovery was a lot easier than expected. I was able to go to school (with accommodations of course) and I am happy to say I am graduating this coming May with honors! :) 

There are, of course, challenging days that I experience and continue to experience. The physical changes (“moon face,” hair loss, constant fatigue) makes feeling normal difficult, but I try my best to get by and enjoy just being as healthy as can be. Having lupus definitely taught me that quality of life is essential to well-being. This means taking care of myself, but also enjoying myself.  

I believe that participating in this blog will serve as outlet to vent about the lows of lupus but to also recognize the highs and blessings of life, regardless of having lupus.  

It took me a year to talk about my story without tearing. A year and a half later, I feel that it is important to discuss it. It can be hard to talk about, but lupus is now a part of my life that I can’t really ignore. Hopefully my stories will allow readers to understand that there are others like you who have good days and bad days, that there are people who understand what it’s like living with lupus. 


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