The Resilient Wolf

What’s up. I’m gonna talk about something that I don’t talk about too often because I am 100% not a fan of having pity parties thrown in my honor. So, please don’t do the pity thing because I am A-okay and living life.

 

LUPUS

A chronic inflammatory disease that is caused by autoimmunity.

Latin for “wolf.”

 

Yeah, I have that. Or I’m at least in the beginning stages of it. I’ve had a lot of weird health issues since I was around 16 and doctors have always blamed it on anxiety or just a weird fluke. But… obviously that isn’t an actual answer. So, in October of 2016 I FINALLY found a doctor that listened to me. He also happens to be my best friend’s dad (bless up). Basically, I went in and had a real conversation with him about what was going on and what had been going on with me for years and he had me go get some lab work done. A few weeks later he told me that I had seronegative lupus. Basically, I have lupus, but the lab work isn’t showing it yet. (Lupus is really really hard to actually see in tests) He determined this because all of my symptoms line up with it, and I have a pretty intense family history of it. My mom, aunt, and biological maternal grandfather had it. My mom’s case has been pretty severe and it is still something that she truly struggles with, but I may go into that on a different post someday.

So, there I was, 23 years old and both relieved and terrified. Relieved because I finally knew what I was up against and terrified because I have seen what it can do to people and it is not an easy thing to live with. I’m close to 25 now and it still hasn’t hit me too hard yet (knock on wood) but it does hit me kind of intensely on occasion. As of now my symptoms are:

  • Joint pain (everywhere)
  • Localized pain on the left side of my body
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Skin feels bruised to the touch

These are just a few symptoms that I deal with and I deal with at least one symptom every day. There is no cure for lupus yet but there are treatments. The thing is though, is that the treatments can be intense (pain killers, steroids, chemotherapy, etc.) and I’m going to wait as long as I can before I can’t handle not taking them.  For now, I take nsaids when needed, I stay conscious of my eating, and I exercise. Some people have asked me if working out so much is bad for my joints since they are weaker than the normal persons. But no, working out actually makes me feel better. Yeah, I get sore, but that’s just the norm. I have noticed though that if I go even a few days without working out that I begin to feel like absolute shit. I should say that no, exercising doesn’t help everything. Working out isn’t a cure for depressed people, anxious people, or people with chronic diseases. And the people who say that it might be can go fly a kite because they obviously don’t know what it feels like to be in a position like this one.

 

Again, I am NOT explaining this for sympathy. I’m telling you guys this because it is a part of my life and it always will be. It will also help in explaining why I may write in a certain way or say certain things. I’m also saying it in case anyone can relate and wants some type of community. It can feel dreadfully lonely. Being a “sick” person. But you’re not alone. I’m not alone. We’ve fucking got this. A little chronic illness isn’t going to dampen all of my days. I refuse to let it.

 

My mom once told me, “YOU have this illness, it does NOT have you.”

 

I hope that if you deal with lupus or an autoimmune disease, that this made you feel a little less lonely. Let me know if it did.

 

With love,

Emmaline

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