My Stories

My Story: Lupus Warrior

The Pain

I remember being about 15 years old and complaining about my right hip hurting after one of my gym classes.  My hip felt as if my bones were rubbing against each other every time I walked. It was so uncomfortable and became more painful the older I got.  Unfortunately, this complaint stayed just that, a complaint for 15 years.

By the time I was an adult, my hip pain progressed to the hip, lower back, shoulder, feet, hands, acne, skin rashes and to what felt like my whole body being hit by a truck about once a month.  My feet and back would hurt so bad, there would be days I could not get out of bed. This meant I would have to call off work. I also experienced constant fatigue and memory loss, but I had no idea these were considered “symptoms”.  I thought it was just lack of sleep or stress from being a student, having a full-time job, and maintaining a relationship.

At one point, I acquired a health coach that told me that I was in chronic fatigue, but had a strong will. That is why I was able to be as productive as I was at the time.  This was strange for me to hear, I mean doesn’t everyone feel the way I felt? Isn’t everyone just as exhausted with aches and pains? Or was it really just me?

The doctors would say…

I did see plenty of doctors throughout the years, unfortunately, they would always say the same thing, “you’re too young to be having these issues”, which always annoyed me.  These doctors kept trying to look elsewhere. Trying to find out about my car accidents from several years ago. Sending me to x-rays, MRIs, pain specialist, and endless lab works, to only find acute tendonitis and acute osteoarthritis.  They offered me solutions such as shots, surgery and very strong pain medicine, but I knew it was more than that. No one could give me answers as to what was causing my pain. So I declined it all and moved forward with my Yoga Teacher training.

My puppy, Inu, waiting to do some yoga

I did my yoga teacher training in 2016, which I say, honestly saved my life.  Not only did it help me learn the right way to move my body, find healing emotionally and physically, but it introduced me to an entirely new community focused on holistic living, positivity, and generosity.  This was a game changer for me and at least for a year, I lived with minimal pain.

Then out of nowhere, I was bedridden with pain again. Not knowing why or what was causing it, I felt defeated. I believed that I would never find answers and maybe I was just being too sensitive.  When my yearly checkup came around I changed doctors, mentioned some pain in my shoulder and upper back and my doctor ordered multiple blood test one included a test for lupus. I was in complete denial and confident it was going to come back negative. To my disbelief, it was positive and I was recommended to a specialist.  

The day I was diagnosed.

It was a Friday morning, October 5th, 2018 with my twin sister by my side.  I was at my Rheumatologist’s office waiting to receive the results from my second round of blood test.  It felt like an eternity waiting to see the doctor, but honestly, I was just more anxious to get this over with and head back to work.   Then the moment came when the doctor casually told me that she was diagnosing me with Lupus.

I did not know how to react, I can’t even remember what else the doctor was saying for the next few moments.  My emotions were on a rollercoaster to nowhere. I mean, what the hell do I do now? How do I cope? How in the world am I going to tell my family? What is my job going to say? What the heck is lupus anyway? I felt scared, sad, angry, but a small space inside of me also felt relieved to finally have some answers.  

My Relief

This relief, to finally have answers for the pain I was feeling since I was 15 years old, gave me peace of mind.  I was relieved to know that I was not being “too sensitive” or “complaining” too much. Honestly, this is still just the beginning.  So much has changed for me in the short time of my diagnosis. My perspective on my health has changed. The way I view and deal with stress has changed.  How I want to enjoy my day and honor my body for what it feels like every morning has changed. By putting myself first, I finally feel like my true self.  I am still learning how to live a balanced and healthy life, but that is why I am here. 🙂

I urge you to not give up on yourself.  Whatever it is you are seeking, health, love, wealth, success, or anything, just keep going.  Don’t take no for an answer, don’t let time discourage you, just do it even if it looks like your efforts are going nowhere.  You never know where you will end up.

Live Amor Zen Life,

Stephanie

(2) Comments

  1. Miss Stephanie! I absolutely applaud your willingness to be so open and honest. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are truly a warrior! I have known you for years and never once saw you without your beautiful smile. I didn’t know that you struggled so much. Even now you still decide to shine your light on everyone by sharing your true truth. It is beyond inspiring and helpful to see. Thank you so very much.

    1. Stephanie says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words! It is difficult to be vulnerable in this type of platform, but also very liberating. It’s funny what you don’t know about people behind their smile. Everyone has a story and I’m happy you find inspiration in mine. <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *