My name is Rhonda and I am almost 35 years old. I was diagnosed at age 18 when my hair fell out. My mother has RA and SLE. The maternal side of my family runs deep with varying autoimmune diseases.

I have not used this site before, but I like it so far. Everyone has an interesting story to tell and valuable thoughts to share.

I have been given 6 months to live on 3 occasions in my 17 years of diagnosis, but I am here to tell you that being diagnosed as a terminally ill patient does not make you a terminally ill person.

I have not had a remission in over 3 years. My most frustrating symptoms include insomnia, excrutiating fatigue, increasingly debilitating pain, and depression. Between years of Prednisone and the occasional bag of Doritos, I have gained about 90 pounds.

I am currently going through the Social Security Disabilty process and have been doing so for almost three years. This experience has been such a dehumanizing proposition that I wonder if I will even see it through.

I look forward to meeting you all and I wish you better health and much happiness! Take care.