Purple Spotlight: July 2014
Every month, I like to put the “purple spotlight” on someone who has lupus, has been affected by lupus, or is an advocate for lupus. That is just my way of raising #lupusawareness and letting others know that you are NOT alone!
This month, I am featuring a friend, sister, and fellow lupie- Shakira Clardy.
“I can only get better one step and one day at a time.”
I have ALWAYS been a sickly person, since…well birth (lol). However, nothing could have prepared me for being diagnosed with Lupus. I never really knew anything about lupus until I was diagnosed. I had been suffering from painful achy joints, severe fatigue, migraines, sensitivity to sunlight, and my hair was shedding horribly.
Everything seemed to be going wrong in my life and I was down in the dumps. A lot had been going on. I was in a job that I hated, having relationship issues, I was unhappy with the lack of purpose I felt, and my mom had been diagnosed with drug-induced diabetes. At the time, I thought the depressed feeling and symptoms were just apart of everything that I was going through.
I didn’t go to the doctor until one day after a horrible spat. The next morning my face had swollen really bad, I had a bright red rash on my cheeks, and I was hurting so bad I felt as if my body was screaming at me. I decided to skip work and went to a doctor. Of course, like many others, it took many visits to the doctors, many tests, and many different diagnosis before it was finally concluded that I had Lupus. A diagnosis that put together all the unanswered questions and symptoms, a diagnosis that changed my life, and a diagnosis that left a resounding question in my head….What the heck is Lupus?!?!
I think the hardest part of lupus, is that not many people, including physicians, know a lot about it. It is hard to diagnose, but even harder to explain to others. Because you are young and you look healthy, everyone assumes that you are just fine. They can’t really understand your daily struggle, or how you feel, and it is even harder to explain. It is due to this that we must arm ourselves with knowledge of our disease. Don’t just be a patient! I repeat, DON’T JUST BE A PATIENT! I tried that, and trust, it will leave you feeling powerless and doomed to early death. Don’t get me wrong, doctors are here to help get control of the disease, but they often left me feeling hopeless like the worst thing ever had happened. So be proactive and become empowered.
Lupus definitely takes ahold of our bodies and changes our lives, but we must not let it take complete control. Although I may not be able to control my body, I can control my mind and that’s half the battle. I will myself every day to push through and live my life. I try to make sure that I don’t push away family and friends, because honestly I do not know what I would do without their love and support. LupUS affects us, but together we are stronger. So don’t be afraid to reach out, and don’t live life in despair…and oh, don’t forget to take your medicine!!
P.S. If you’re experiencing hair loss, I recommend hair vitamins and a good weave. lol
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Shakira, thank you for sharing your story! Not only are you an inspiration to me, but you are now an inspiration to the world! You are simply amazing!
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