My Story: Struggle to Success
I was only 18 when I was diagnosed with lupus. It started with hair loss and skin rash. I was looking for a book about lupus and I couldn’t find one. I at least wanted a book about someone who had lupus but couldn’t find that one either. I didn’t know anything about lupus so I had to do my research. Back then most people wasn’t aware of lupus at all. The more information I learned, talk to doctors, talk to other people who are dealing with lupus the better, I got. Lupus is an auto-immune disease that can effect any organ of your body. They are many nights while in college, I spent in the hospital due to lupus flare-ups.I also dealt with several weeks of seizures. By the age of 29, I was off all of my medications and the doctors couldn’t find a trace of lupus in my blood.
For five years I was lupus-free or as others called remission. So I traveled, did business and enjoyed my life. However by 34, I was involved in the Flint water crisis and started having kidney problems. I would wake up with a swollen face or legs then it would go away before I go to work. I went to my primary doctor to do a regular check-in, took a few lab tests and went home. My doctor called me the next week and asked me to admit myself to the hospital. My lab tests came back bad. My kidneys were failing and the job I was working at the time, had me working 2 schools a night. I was exhausted but wouldn’t admit it. I had to go to the kidney specialist. I made an appointment for the next day.The kidney specialist told me to go straight to the hospital after I could barely go to the bathroom. So my uncle and aunt drove me there. When I got there I had to get two blood transfusions. They were trying for hours to help me go to bathroom. I had to go up to the crucial floor.
I was only functioning at 10% so they started preparing me for dialysis while I was still in my hospital bed. I didn't know if I was going to live or die. I had another surgery for a catheter for dialysis once I left the hospital. Plus I had more surgeries for the fistula in my arm. I didn’t know if dialysis was temporary or permanent or if I needed a kidney transplant. So I did want the doctors told me to do, renal diet, very strict at first. I wanted my life back. I have been stuck on the machine as my third kidney for 5 months. They did a test to see if I needed to stay on the dialysis machine and I passed the test. I am walking miracle and I didn’t need a kidney transplant. My kidneys started working on their own. Now I am an author of four books: Lupus Journey, Life After Lupus, Strength of a Woman, Everyday heroes), Lupus advocate and activist.