Hi my name is Erica. I am a 39 year old Mother of two beautiful girls ages 13 & 9 and Wife to my best friend of 19 years. We happily reside in Southern California (mostly because of the weather). I am a tax preparer by trade but my life has been put on hold due to multiple severe chronic illnesses. Endometriosis, lupus and arthritis just to name a few. These illnesses have recently left me bedridden so instead of dwelling into a deeper depression, I felt I could use blogging as a good way to release my daily frustrations. I want to educate others on these devastating illnesses and hopefully help those dealing with similar struggles. I so often feel alone and misunderstood. If I can help just one person through this excruciatingly painful disease, it will make my struggle worth it.
At the age of 16 I began experiencing extremely painful and heavy menstruation. I was always told that it was normal for young girls to go through this. Even when I bled for 6 months straight. Or a year later when I didn’t get a period for over 8 months. No adult in my life helped me figure out what was going on. So it was just something I learned to be my normal.
In the Winter of my senior year of high school, shortly after turning 18, I came down with an extremely high fever. It was so bad I actually hallucinated. The next few days were followed by severe body pain and fatigue. From that day forward, I felt joint pain on a daily basis. By the time Summer came I was dealing with severe fatigue, a strange rash on my thigh and crippling body pain. Doctors could not find anything wrong with me. Once Fall came around the pain was constant. My hair started falling out. I had completely lost my appetite causing me to lost 30 pounds in about a month.
I finally went to the ER on Monday November 4, 1996. Test instantly showed that I was extremely anemic and my kidneys were not doing well. The next day a female medical student walked into my hospital room while I was alone and said, “You have Lupus. It’s very serious and could kill you but it probably won’t”, handed me some pamphlets and walked out. Needless to say I was left initially in shock, then burst into tears. Once my family heard the news not one of them knew what Lupus even was. So it was definitely a learning experience for all of us. I was immediately placed on a high dosage of prednisone and within weeks was feeling all the overwhelming side effects. Shortly after my 19th birthday I developed bronchitis. Unfortunately my PC was completely incompetent and had no idea how to treat a Lupus patient. So within a month I would be fighting for my life. A story I will save for tomorrow.
I appreciate you taking the time to visit my blog. Your support would truly mean a lot to me. By continuing this dialog we can educate the masses and hopefully on day eradicate these debilitating illnesses.