Hi! My name is Angel Williams and this is the story of my life!
I was 12 years old when my life drastically changed. After having mononucleosis (no I had not kissed anyone) I began to have bruising under my feet, body aches that felt like the flu and chronic fatigue. My mom took me to the Pediatrician who right away started testing me for any and everything. My antinuclear antibodies were positive meaning there was something autoimmune going on in my body. I was then sent to see a Hematologist, Rheumatologist, Oncologist, etc. and was tested for everything under the sun from AIDS to Cancer.
Finally after traveling to the University of Virginia Hospital, I was told I had what appeared to be “Something like Lupus.”
What did this even mean? Here I am 12 years old, reasonably healthy I thought yet getting a life changing diagnosis. Is there a cure? Will I die? What does having a chronic illness truly mean? The freedom to control my life was over. In the blink of an eye I felt my life was over. Taking my medicine was my first priority now and my childhood was gone.
I felt ashamed as if I had to hide because I was now sick. I just found out I had the cooties and I just knew no one would ever want to be around me again. Why was this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? What is wrong with me?
Angel my dear, you have Lupus…