Personal Post: Life and Medical Update

Blog Happenings

Hi all!

I’ve missed all of you, and I hope that everyone is well!

It’s been 6 weeks since I took hiatus from my blog although it doesn’t feel that long for some reason. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a couple of weeks now but since this might be my most personal post yet, no, it is my most personal post yet, I’ve had to work myself up to putting my thoughts into words.  A part of me was hoping that if I kept the thoughts to myself then they just would not be a reality or my new normal. But many of you are not only followers of my blog but have become my dear friends, which I never thought would happen when I started my blog, and I wanted to share with you what has been going on with me over the past few weeks because I value the gift of your friendship. I apologize to so many of you for being absent and silent the past few weeks, but I’ve honestly had a trying time adjusting to everything and some of the changes that have happened since I have spoken to so many of you! But please know that I have thought of so many of you and value dearly the messages, emails, DM’s, etc that so many have sent me! You have no idea how much they have meant! 

Most of you know that I took hiatus from my blog because I had been having daily severe headaches and my Dr ordered me to take a blogging break, well a screen break, and get more rest since I was exhausted from not sleeping and just doing too much between teaching and taking classes. If you read my hiatus post in October, then you know that my Dr was sending me for bloodwork and an MRI just in case since I have several autoimmune illnesses, and often when you have one autoimmune illness you are prone to having others.  In case some of you might be wondering what an autoimmune illness is, it is when your immune system goes really crazy and can’t tell the difference between the healthy cells in your body and the bad ones.  So instead, your immune system becomes overactive and starts attacking and destroying all the healthy cells since it can’t tell the difference between the two. Depending on what part of the body is going crazy, it produces antibodies to target those tissues; for example, I have an autoimmune thyroid disorder, so my thyroid cells think they are bad and have produced antibodies that attack my thyroid because it thinks it is bad. Crazy, right?

I’m not going to go into details about the very, very long and sometimes very painful ordeal that I have gone through over the past 6 weeks because then this post would be even LONGER than it already will be,  but I do want to say that I am enormously grateful and so thankful to my neurologist for taking my symptoms seriously and instead of just writing them off as being my migraines and just eyestrain that he made sure it was not more serious and pushed for test after test even going toe to toe with my insurance to get some of them approved! And paid for! Because he was right, what I had was more serious than my migraines and too much screen time.  

Anyway, after undergoing two head MRIs, a spinal MRI, a lumbar puncture, a kidney ultrasound and x-ray, and multiple doctor visits with specialists: my neurologist, my rheumatologist, and a nephrologist, I was finally diagnosed with lupus, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) with central nervous system involvement, also known as CNS Lupus, which is just a central nervous system manifestation of the SLE. My brain MRI found 2 very small white matter lesions, or what my neurologist is calling scarring on the brain that is a result of the CNS involvement and although they can be very serious, even fatal, right now they are attributing them in part to the cause of my severe headaches in what is called a  “Lupus Headache” and monitoring them for any signs that they will cause bigger issues down the road. 

SO!! What is lupus some of you might be asking? I know that was the first words out of my husband’s mouth only not as nice, but I’m keeping it G-rated here! I’ll explain it here as best that I can and add some links to some websites if you want to check them out! Maybe some of you have heard recently that Selena Gomez has lupus and just had a kidney transplant because of the disease? And maybe some awesome graphics will help explain the disease too!

First, though, I want to say that lupus is something that my Drs have suspected that I have had for almost 17 years!! That is right, 17 years!! So, it actually came as a relief to me to get a diagnosis since I now have answers to why I feel so terrible almost every single day-on top of having fibromyalgia that makes you suffer through hell too! But it took so long to get a diagnosis (which is really actually normal for most people just like it is normal for a lot of people to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia first since the symptoms overlap) because even though I had symptoms of lupus: anemia, arthritis, blood and protein in my urine every year for 17 years for no apparent reason, being the biggest symptoms of all, I never had a positive Anti-nuclear Antibodies blood test that 98% of people with lupus test positive for. And to be diagnosed with lupus, you have to meet 4 out of 11 diagnostic criteria. I’ve been walking around for 17 years meeting 3 out of the 4. Until now. But it’s also been over 5 years since I have had the bloodwork done so I could have had a positive ANA before now and just not known. I wish I knew the answer to that!

Okay, here is info on what lupus is and its symptoms from a wonderful website that I have learned so much from, Molly’s Fund, Fighting For Lupus.  (http://www.mollysfund.org

What is Lupus:

Lupus is a widespread and chronic (meaning long-term or lifelong) autoimmune disease that, for unknown reasons, causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissue and organs, including the joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, blood, or skin. Lupus is one of America’s least recognized major diseases, despite the fact that upwards of 1.5 million Americans and over five million worldwide suffer with this debilitating disease. (http://www.mollysfund.org)

Systems-Affected-by-Lupus-Edit-2-2014-403x403

Image from http://www.mollysfund.org/learn-about-lupus/what-is-lupus/

Symptoms of Lupus:

  • Brain and Nervous System: persistent and unusual headaches, memory loss, or confusion (brain fog).
  • Lungs: lupus can damage the lungs through pleurisy and pneumonitis (inflammation), or pulmonary emboli, resulting in shortness of breath and pain in the chest from deep breathing.
  • Renal System: About half of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients will develop some form of kidney inflammation, called lupus nephritis. This inflammation can lead to kidney failure, but like most lupus symptoms the effect on the kidneys is quite variable and hard to predict. Increased protein (showing as blood) in the urine, swelling of the feet and legs, and high blood pressure can be indicators that the kidneys may be affected.
  • Eyes: damage to nerves and blood vessels in the eye might be evident, leading to dry or puffy eyes, and increasing sensitivity to light.
  • Mouth: sores inside the mouth are a common symptom of lupus.
  • Skin: lupus is known for producing a distinctive “butterfly” rash on the face, usually over the cheeks and bridge of the nose. These rashes can be exacerbated by sun exposure (photo-sensitivity). Hives or sores may be present, which worsen with sun exposure, and sudden and unexplained hair loss could also signify lupus. There are several types of skin lupus, called cutaneous lupus. Learn more about them here.
  • Fingers, Toes, Tip of the Nose: fingers may turn white or blue with exposure to cold or during stressful situations, caused by the constriction of small blood vessels in those areas. Called Raynaud’s phenomenon, this condition is closely associated with lupus.
  • Stomach & Digestion: lupus can cause or exacerbate ulcerative colitis, pancreatitis, and liver conditions, resulting in nausea, vomiting, recurring and persistent abdominal pain, bladder infections, and blood in urine.
  • Legs, Joints, and Feet: persistent joint pain and swelling is a common lupus symptom; legs and feet may also swell. Rheumatoid arthritis is a common overlap disease with lupus.
  • Fatigue and unexplained fevers  (http://www.mollysfund.org)

Lupus-Symptoms-Graphic-Revised-bw-picture-403x361

Image from  http://www.mollysfund.org/learn-about-lupus/symptoms/

I hope that information helps explain what I’ve been diagnosed with! I have so many of those symptoms and have for years. The hard part is that I also have fibromyalgia, which many of you who have been following my blog since May knows, and the symptoms of the two often overlap! I’ve been sitting here the past few weeks going “wait, is this a fibro symptom or lupus??”. And unfortunately, neither one has a cure, and both have “flares”! I could have a fibro flare or lupus flare at the same time, which I never want to experience!

Also, it seems though that what I thought was a fibro flare this summer when I just felt so, so awful and had to take my first blog hiatus was a lupus flare, and that I have been having one since last fall of varying intensity, but I just chalked it up to fibro! I should have known something was off after getting the flu, bronchitis 2x, and pneumonia 3x in a 7-month time frame that something was horribly wrong. And I honestly did, but I chose not to listen to that little voice. If I have learned anything over the past 6 weeks, it is to always listen to that voice telling you something isn’t right!

I have started treatment for lupus with high dosages of steroids and another medication, Plaquenil, which is an antimalarial drug. I’m hating the steroids since they make me feel yucky, moody, and have made me gain 15 lbs in 2 weeks. Ick! But, my headaches are starting to go away, and the pain is not as bad, depending on the day. I’m still so, so fatigued even though I’m sleeping-most nights, that is! I did take leave from work for several weeks to rest and get all this figured out, but I went back to work last week but have a co-teacher the rest of the semester for one class anyway to help take some of the stress off. At least there are only 3 weeks left in the semester for both teaching and taking classes! Yay! Then I get to take the rest of December off to rest and enjoy the holidays!

I did come to very hard, but wise, a good friend told me, decision to defer my attending classes for my doctorate degree next spring. Attending classes in the balance of all that I do with work, school, being a mom and wife, is the hardest of all that I do, especially with my 300-page dissertation coming up in April to graduate with my Ph.D., and I just need that break. Maybe I will go back and finish my degree, and maybe I will not. I have found that I really don’t care either way when it comes to caring about myself and family first.

My doctors did want me to quit work and go on full disability starting as soon as possible, but I have decided to continue working for as long as I can since I can teach online classes from home and can “hide” my bad days at home. I’m very blessed in that respect to be able to teach online classes!

How will lupus plus the fibro affect my blogging? Well, fibro already affects it since there are days that I just can’t get out of bed and reading is just impossible. There are days that I feel like my head is in such a fog that I can’t think of what I want to say much less write, and I will literally stare at the computer screen for 5 or 6 hours before I can get a review written. It is terrifying sometimes since I sometimes wonder if I’m losing my mind, going insane, or getting dementia. I try to push through it, and I do what I can.

The good news is that I’m officially back from my hiatus BUT I will probably be posting erratically, at least for awhile. I may post 1x a week, I may go days or weeks without posting, or I may post several times a week; it is all going to honestly depend on how I feel. And then when I go back to work in Jan, it will all depend on how I feel with balancing work again since I’m not going to do anything to push myself.

I have promised myself not to push myself. That I have to come first. So I will check my blog when I feel rested and am up to checking on it and if I just can’t or don’t feel like it, then it will be waiting for me. I hope all of you understand! So if you leave a comment, I promise that I am not ignoring you, and I will answer as soon as I can!

Thank all of you, my readers, friends, publishers, for reading this REALLY, REALLY long post! I felt all of you deserved to know why I had been on hiatus for so long and why I will likely be posting erratically in the future. I love my blog, and I love the blogging community! Again, thank all of you for reading my book reviews, following my blog, and just being here! And for reading all this! It was hard to write, but it feels good to share it-cathartic somehow!

If anyone has questions, please ask! You can ask me in the comments, via email at readingforlife41@gmail.com, or on Twitter @stephlvsbooks!

Great resources about Lupus:

https://resources.lupus.org

http://www.mollysfund.org

http://www.lupusinternational.com/About-Lupus-1-1/Central-Nervous-System-Lupus-Overview-/Central-Nervous-System-Lupus-CNS-.aspx

Great resources about Fibromyalgia:

http://www.fibrocenter.com/home

http://www.fmnetnews.com/fibro-basics/symptoms

XXXXX

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69 thoughts on “Personal Post: Life and Medical Update

  1. Hi. I’m glad to know you’ve made some progress into understanding what was going on, but quite upset that it’s caused so much pain for you. You’re strong and will figure out how to best deal with this for your situation and your life. I have several people close to me with lupus, so I know a bit about what you’re going through. I’m sorry, I know how painful it can be from listening to my family and friends with the disease. Big hugs. Take your time. Let us know if/when/how we can help. xoxo -J

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh I’m sorry to hear that, Stephanie! But I’m glad it comes as a bit of a relief after having suspected it for so long! I actually know a few people who have lupus, and I’ve seen them on their bad days, so I have a slight idea of what you must be going through. I’m glad you’ve made the decision to take a break from your doctorate and that you feel good about it, and I’m happy that you still get to teach! Your positive attitude is inspiring! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Steph! It’s definitely a relief when I knew something was wrong but just didn’t know what or have had a couple of Drs act like it was in my head. It’s just validating to know I wasn’t wrong. I think I made the right decision with school. I guess my biggest regret is being only 12 credits from the degree and all the money spent on tuition, but those things can’t cure lupus. I have to make me the priority, and school was killing me! I love the learning, but I can always learn on my own time! I’m so happy I get to teach too! I’ll do it as long as I can! That’s what I love, so I guess that’s what counts! And thank you…trust me, I’ve shed some tears and been angry, but acceptance is part if healing. There may not be a medical cure, but I believe the body can make itself sicker with negativity. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Omg, Stephanie.. I have no words. Reading this post made me almost welled up (and I’m at the office by the way lol). It must have been so hard when you found out what big of an effect lupus will have on your life down the road, my heart goes out to you, Stephanie!! I wish you well… while I am extremely happy that you’re back on blogging, I am also concerned about you… please put yourself first!! I always, always will care for you. Don’t forget that! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aww! Don’t cry! You made me tear up! It was a difficult diagnosis to hear, but I honestly was relieved to get answers and not feel like I was crazy since I knew something was wrong!! And I’ll be ok!! I’ve started treatment, but it will hopefully put it in remission and I can live a wonderful, happy life! I just have to always be careful of my symptoms and aware of my body; get lots of rest, eat the right foods, try to keep stress down. I’m so hopeful that it will go into remission and there will be few flares if I eat foods that are supposed to help people with lupus. I admit I’m scared, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t, but I’m also planning to fight this. And I’ll have to put myself first, but I might need reminded to do that!! I want to just barge into writing book reviews, but I’m too tired lol. I’ll get one up that needs written next week…I hope 🙄 I care for you too, my friend!! Thank you always! I won’t forget! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you so much for the update! I hope I didn’t bother you too much with the Poldark rants! I’m glad you have a diagnosis. That’s such a relief cause being in that limbo is the worst. I’m glad the steroids seem to be helping even though they have a couple side effects. I’m super glad you are putting your health first! And I’m also glad you have such a great support unit. No matter if you blog once a week or once a year, we’ll all be here cheering you on for a fast recovery and as happy of a life as you can. You’re so strong in the face of all this! Keep it up girly. You’re superwoman to me! 😃❤️

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    1. No! You didn’t bother me at all! I was thrilled you were loving the show!! I can’t wait until you watch Season 3! ❤💔❤ There’s only 1 episode left, and I’m sooo sad!

      Yes, I feel so validated now! Like I’ve known for 17 yrs but just couldn’t get a diagnosis, and you read about people going for decades without a diagnosis for things like this and think how crazy but it’s so common!

      I’ve always hated steroids and the way they make me feel! Ugh! I feel like I’ve drunk 3 pots of coffee today, haven’t eaten in a week since they make you so hungry (but I’ve eaten super healthy all day), and like I have PMS on steroids (pun intended)! But if they work and put the lupus in remission then that’s all that matters! I don’t want to have to do chemo for it, which is something they’ve suggested. I didn’t even know they did chemo for lupus! Apparently they do just in much smaller doses than they do for cancer and with my brain involved, they’ve recommended it, but I wanted to try what we’re doing now 1st. Chemo is serious business. I’m giving the steroids and antimalarial drugs until Feb before we go that route…I plan to do all I can now with lupus diets that help heal the autoimmune system to help myself heal, so these steroids can work! Going to be drinking Jenn’s smoothies and eating her soups a lot 😊😉❤

      You’re super sweet! I’m so glad to have you, all of you, cheering me on ❤ I’m very blessed to have a strong support system…at home, at work, people from school, and you guys!! Thanks, Nel!! 😘❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s new to me as well.i know a couple of people who have experienced chemo because of cancer and they say it’s no joke but I would be just like you and that would definitely be my last resort. I wish you luck on your health journey and we’ll be talking again through Twitter soon I don’t doubt! I’m glad to have you too! You are so inspirational! 😁

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’ve heard the same. I’d like to actually talk to someone who has been through it for lupus. I’m sure I can find a website or something were people have! I do know you take it at home by pill instead of iv at the hospital, so that’s at least something. My Dr said the major side effect was loss of fertility, but I’m not planning on more kids anyway at 40 with 3 already and my hubby had a vasectomy a couple of years ago, lol! Still, it’s a lot to think about! Thanks! I’m sure we will 😊 You are too!! 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Man technology has come right along. I definitely will keep in contact with you cause this is teaching me a lot. Haha, I guess that side effect is not so major after all! That’s a bit of a relief. Yes, talk again soon! 😊

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Right?! I’m learning a lot too! There are more side effects of course…like nausea and stuff, but fertility was the biggie. I’m definitely done with kids with all this going on even if I did secretly want 2 more! LOL! My hubby would die first before we had 2 more kids though…. I’ll definitely be researching it more though! Talk soon! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Love all of you too, but love you lots, my cheerleader! I wrote this while imagining having coffee with you and explaining to you what was going on, etc. It worked. 😉 So I got your email ❤ I’ll answer…well, sooner or later lol! Yes, they do indeed come first 😊 Hugs back to you 🤗 ☕☕☕

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Stephanie, I am so sorry to hear about this diagnosis but it is good that you have started the process of dealing with it. Thank you for baring your heart out on such a personal thing because not everyone is brave enough to talk about it. Love and hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, dear! It felt good to just sit and start writing about it. I wasn’t sure if I would know what to say or how to tell anyone, but it came so much easier than I thought. I guess I needed to share it everything in my heart about it.

      Yes, I’m so thankful that I’ve started treatment now. I can’t imagine if I’d waited. Love and hugs to you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Stephanie! It really, really is! It’s a relief not only knowing I can be treated now but that it wasn’t all in my head like some Drs have made me feel before. And a relief knowing that even though there is no cure hopefully, it won’t progress any further since I’ve started treatment.

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  6. Stephanie, welcome to the club. I’m so sorry that it’s Lupus, but thankful you’re getting treatment. It took many years to get a diagnosis and there were so many clues, including my second child being born with a right sided heart defect. I hope that you can heal and minimize flare ups!

    I was just watching Dr. G on YouTube last week, she also has/had Lupus. Check her out because she has good recipes and insight.

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    1. If I have to be in the club, no one I’d rather be with! ❤ I can't believe how long it takes some people to get a diagnosis! And how many clues there are for so many people!! I just have been reading so much about it and looking at all the symptoms and have been going "my that is me!" but so many things were just chalked up to fibro.

      I'm hoping to start healing too and it go into remission! I'm doing what I can on my end to help with that too with healing foods-I got some of the books you recommended 😉 I'll check her out, thanks! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are the sweetest person I know Steph! I believe you can achieve remission! So many have done it. I do have some other book recommendations I’ll send over if you want. Maybe you might like them. Hope to chat soon. Hugs! ❤💚❤

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      2. You are much too kind!! You are sweet, my friend! You have no idea how much you mean to me! Your encouragement means sooo much! I would love the book recommendations…you can message them to me, email them, or send them through Goodreads 🙂 Whatever is easier!! Yes, I definitely want to chat soon! 11 days of classes left, and I’m a “free” woman! I just need to get through this exam period…it is going to be wild as a teacher and student! But if I get a chance this week, I will try and chat because I really want too!! Hugs!! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Steph, I’ve missed you these days! So sorry to read this post… 😦 You’re strong and brave and you’re always so positive and kind in your posts and comments… that is something that not a lot of people manage to do. I will keep you in my thoughts and hope that thanks to meds you have more good days than bad ones. And I’m always here for talking all things Karin Slaughter and novels ❤

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    1. Aww, I’ve missed you too! I’ve checked in on your blog when I could and read some of your posts, but I just haven’t felt up to a lot of blog hopping and commenting! It takes a lot more time than I realized, lol.

      Thank you so much! That means a lot to me for you to say that. It really does! I don’t always feel brave and believe me, I have cried my share of tears lately and not been so positive, but I know that being positive will only help me get better. I think negativity is a darkness that only hurts with healing. So I try! You are very sweet, Annie! I always love talking to you! 🙂 And I always love talking about KS!! 🙂 Or any book! Thanks for the good thoughts…I hope the meds work too! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! I really appreciate the hugs and love! Sending them back to you! xxxx Yes, I’m so glad to finally have answers and be able to start treatment! It’s such a relief!!

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  8. Sending you many fake UGGs and positive vibes. I’m sorry you’re going through so much but I’m glad that you have had some questions answered. It’s unbelievable that it’s taken so long!! I’m happy that you’ll be able to do some teaching online. I hope the new medications help and that side effects go away. Anytime you want to vent feel free. I’ll be thinking of you and hope that many great days are coming! 💕

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    1. You are such a sweet friend Dee! Too bad you don’t have any fake UGGs to send though LOL!! That made me laugh and laugh!! So your autocorrect did good, right? They say laughter is the best medicine!! It was hysterical! BUT I would much rather have the big hug!! Yes, it is crazy how long it has taken, but it is not uncommon apparently-very similar to people who finally get diagnosed with MS. I hope they do too! The side effects are annoying but if they keep the lupus flares away and can put it in remission, then I’ll deal with them! Thank you for the good wishes, my dear! ❤

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  9. Bless you Steph, I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis – as if fibro and your other autoimmune diseases weren’t enough, they hit you with this?! You’re an inspiration to a lot of people and bloggers with chronic illnesses (including myself) in this because you seem to deal with whatever life throws at you with a strong and sunny outlook. Rest, recuperate, take time for yourself and don’t worry about your frequency of posting – we will always be here. 😘

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    1. Thank you, lovely! I think the fibro has just been masking this for a long while, and it is just so hard to diagnosis any autoimmune thing when they all have so many overlapping symptoms. Today I’m having a lot of back pain and trying to figure out whether it is muscle, joint, etc and which thing is causing what! It is like trying to put a crazy puzzle together! LOL! I know it is all so serious and can even be life threatening, especially with the CNS involvement and BELIEVE ME I have cried lots and been plenty mad, anxious, and depressed the past couple of weeks, but I know deep down that being positive will only help me get through this! And a great support system of friends like all of you ❤ ! I just believe that if I'm negative it won't let me heal, but I could just being very, very hopeful! It makes me feel very good if I can inspire anyone! I hope I can continue to as I go on this long journey! Knowing all of you will be here as I take my time, either being here or not (although I will be here in spirit) makes me feel even better! 🙂 xxxx

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  10. It’s lovely to see you blogging again even though I’m so sorry you have more health thing to deal with. Brilliant way of describing Lupus though, it’s helped me understand it more. Always here if you need a chat or anything. 🙂 Will reply to your email tonight. 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you my friend! I don’t know how much blogging I will do, but I feel better being “here” than not “here” even if I’m not doing that much blogging LOL! If that made any sense at all!! I will look for your email 🙂 xxx

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      1. That’s ok though! I was really impressed by this post though! It would have taken me weeks to type all that out. Sorry I didn’t email back last night, I fell asleep. :/ Was one of those rare night where I slept perfectly though. 🙂 Hope you’re having a good weekend. 🙂 xxx

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      2. Oh, thanks! I was surprised it didn’t take me forever to write it since I always have trouble writing posts! I’m glad it helped you understand 😊 Don’t worry about rushing to email me back! Your sleep is more important, and I know you will when you can! Glad you got a wonderful night sleep! Those are rare indeed! I wish you many, many more of them! 💖❤💖❤

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  11. I’m so sorry to hear all of this, but I really hope the treatment helps and that things start to look up for you. I’ve missed having you around, but I’m glad you’re back- in whatever capacity!! All the best to you and I’m here if you want to chat ❤ xxx

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  12. I’m so sorry to hear you have to struggle with this disease. You seem like you’re going into it as prepared as you can be, with as positive an attitude as possible. I hope you got some meds dialed in so that you’re feeling better soon. I’m glad you don’t have to give up blogging. But take care of yourself first. We can all understand about looking after your health. 🙂

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    1. Thank you! I’m trying to face it head on and be as positive as I can. The new meds seem to be helping a bit, minus the side effects. But I’m seeing a lupus specialist after the holidays, so we’ll see then if I change the course of treatment. After some research, I just felt my rheumatologist might not be up to the challenge of treating me! Then I realized Duke University Hospital had a lupus treatment center,so I felt I needed a 2nd opinion there! We’ll see. Better to know all my options. I’m glad too I can still blog. It will definitely have to take a back burner to life, but I’m just glad it’s here. Everyone has been so amazing.😊

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    1. You’re welcome! I’m glad it was helpful. I know so many people either haven’t heard of lupus or just don’t know a lot about it… I didn’t! Thank so much! I hope so too with medication, eating healthy, and doing what I can to better my health. Thank you again!

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  13. Stephanie 💕 I thinking sharing this was a great step. And I know we have already discussed all of this but I think the “knowing” is so important and puts you on a positive path. I also think it is wonderful tjat you are taking time to not only share but inform others. That is another battle in itself that many of us with chronic illness encounter. You are the dedinition of strength my friend 💕

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    1. Thank you, my friend! I appreciate everything you said here and when we’ve talked. It felt good to share and let others know what was going on. You really never know who else might be battling a chronic illness or have these symptoms and not know what the cause could be. I love that I’ve connected with people who understand, like you. Many people, as you know, don’t. And I hope my sharing helps even one person. I’m only strong because I have strong friends ❤💕❤ Sending love!!

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      1. I have no doubt that this will help more than you know 💕 just like ourselves, there is always someine fighting that battle that is chronic illness that will draw strength and comfort from knowing someone does get it. Nothing but love my friend – xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, my friend! It really means so much to even think that anything I go through or can say will help someone in any way. Having a chronic illness is so hard that having someone understand you is vitally important. Love to you too! xxx Happy Holidays, lovely! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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