My name is Barbara, a 29-year-old wife and mother of two. I was diagnosed with lupus two years ago. Lupus is an autoimmune condition that affects any organ in the body. In my case, it affects my joints and muscles. I had heard of this disease before but had never thought of it as life threatening until I had my own experience.
I lived a perfectly normal life until I had my second child. Three days after delivery, I couldn’t move without feeling pains in all my joints. I could hardly hold my newborn even to breastfeed. Every new mother will understand how this feels. I attributed the pain to the stress that came along with pregnancy and childbirth but I had to see a specialist when the pain got worse a week later. The neurologist then referred me to a rheumatologist. After weeks of various tests, I was diagnosed with the disease. I remember feeling scared and discouraged afterwards.
The months following the diagnosis were not easy at all especially because I didn’t know how to control the flares. The steroids helped a lot. The hydroxycholorquine took about 6 months to get into my system but it didn’t help the pain much so my doctor had to introduce azathioprine (which is also an immunosuppressant like the steroid). It took a while for my body to adjust to this new drug.
It’s been 2 years now and I am pain free on some days. I see this as a blessing because I know I will get better with time. Reading and researching on the condition helped me adjust my diet, and I must say this has contributed a great deal. My family have also been very supportive and encouraging especially on days when things are looking down. I know lupus is part of me now but it will not define me or prevent me from living because I am a fighter.
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