I had a period of two weeks after my operation where I felt absolutely incredible! No pain and I felt like I could put all my health troubles aside and focus on my studies, getting eggs frozen and losing my ‘winter coat’ ready for summer.
Oh how I was wrong! It doesn’t rain it pours as they say! It all started on placement when I noticed that my fingers were swollen and stiff in the mornings; telling Mum and Dad I thought I had arthritis, half joking, with eye rolls coming from them both. The next week saw the movement in my fingers decrease and the pain waking me up at night. I had to do something, so luckily I was surrounded by Doctors on prac; where they were more than happy to help and see me as a patient. At first I thought rheumatoid arthritis, but blood tests came back negative for that, but positive for anti-nuclear antibodies or ANA (in short, meaning it was likely an autoimmune connective tissue disease). More tests were done to confirm and narrow down the disease, turning out to be lupus and meanwhile I was getting worse…. the pain was excruciating and trying to extend my fingers became impossible! Last night I had such a shit sleep, waking up aching all over and having frequent showers to try and manage the pain.
I refused the cortisone medication last week, people had told me that they cause you to blow up like a balloon…. the last thing I needed when I was seeing progress in my summer body! But guess what, the pain was so bad I gave in and threw down those tablets as soon as I got hold of them! I look at it this way; number one, I don’t want to be pain (I could not get out of bed) and number two, I am not allowed in the sun with lupus, so nobody will be seeing my half naked body at the beach… instead you’ll see me in the shade in long sleeves, hat, sunglasses (like I’m hiding from the paparazzi).
I didn’t know much about lupus before I was diagnosed, I knew it was an autoimmune disease, but I had no idea the implications. I am still learning, but from what I can gather, it can potentially cause damage to kidneys, nervous system and other major organs, luckily there is medication for that.
You will be hearing from me soon, when the cortisone has kicked in and the immunosuppressants (to calm my immune system….. so basically, keep well away with any sickness). I’ll either be singing the praises of the scientists who developed these drugs, or will be able to be mistaken for a Michelin women 2.0….. maybe both hahaha! Who knows, but the most important thing is that I keep my chin up, laugh it off and give lupus the bird, because it’s going to take more than that to bring me down… 2017 has toughened me up.
P.s Mum has decided to start calling me loopy…. on ya mum, trying to make light out of a shitty situation! Not to mention her taking the piss and asking “do you want your walking frame dear?” She’s a gem, where would I be without my friends and fam ❤️