Sisterhood of Solidarity
I am a mother of two boys, my oldest has autism. I am cosmetology educator, Plus model, advocate, entrepreneur, spouse, sister, mentor, daughter and friend to many. On any given day my obligations to my responsibilities can change with no warning because I have Lupus SLE. I was diagnosed with Lupus on August 1, 2016, just six months after waking up with shooting pain and numbness in my right forearm and hand. I thought maybe it was because I slept on it incorrectly, but quickly realized this wasn’t the case at all. I looked like a perfectly healthy adult, but inside I felt like I WAS DYING. I had dizzy spells, extreme fatigue, and joint pain so I consulted my doctor, in which she said I had a nail infection and carpel tunnel. I didn’t trust that diagnosis and decided to switch doctors. I met with a new doctor and almost didn’t mention the numbness in my hands. She asked me if I had any concerns, I lifted my head with tears in my eyes and said “YES, my hands, I can’t feel them.” The confusion on her face said it all. She quickly addressed all my concerns and within a few short days we received the blood work that would eventually help me figure out the great mystery. LUPUS SLE, the dormant and sometimes fatal disease that confuses and forces my immune system to attack itself.
I truly believed that after a proper diagnosis, I would feel some relief. I WAS SO WRONG, as I would soon find out, the treatment made me feel worse. I was flaring regularly and was weak every day. I was bed ridden for nearly a month, and then I had a friend reach out to me. A plus model friend, who also has lupus but treats it NATURALLY. Yve Edmonds is such a blessing to me! Lupus is a terrifying disease, and people associated it so negatively. Yve was the first person I met with lupus that was so encouraging and lives a normal life. She gave me hope, and her supportive spirit solidified our friendship. Yve has inspired me to continue to speak up and be transparent about my journey with Lupus, just like she did with me. If we continue holding each “Lupie warrior” up in the mist of their trials and spread more awareness about this mysterious disease, we can save so many lives! It is a well-known fact that many lupus patients are misdiagnosed or not diagnosed for many years. Yve and I are walking testimonies that this disease is treatable, and no matter what method you choose, naturally or medicated, just don’t ignore the signs! I’m so glad that I continued to push for answers or I might not be here today. If this article encourages one person to seek treatment, switch doctors or go to a routine visit then I’ve done my job. The more we talk about it the closer we get to a cure.
Author: Catherine Ashly Davis