1-What's your name? Lori
2-How old are you currently? 45
3-How old were you when you were diagnosed? 18
4-How has your life changed since diagnosed? I had to give up a scholarship and drop out of college. I've adjusted my plans, goals, dreams to live my life with as much happiness and fulfillment as possible. I married the man of my dreams and have 2 children that bring me joy every single day. I have spent more time in doctor offices and hospitals than I ever thought possible for one human being.
5-What meds did you start on? Prednisone, Imuran, Atenolol
6-What meds are you currently taking? Prednisone, Lisinopril, Amitriptyline, Fosamax
7-Do friends treat you differently knowing that you have Lupus? Not the ones that matter.
8-Do family members treat you differently? Only in that they are understanding and supportive of my health situation.
9-What symptoms made you think something was wrong? Joint pains in fingers and wrists, swelling and inflamation in fingers, flu-like symptoms...fever, sorethroat, headache, aches, extreme fatigue.
10-How long did it take for you to be fully diagnosed? 1 week
11-How often do you visit the doctor? Every 6 months to a year
12-What specific doctors do you visit? Immunologist, Primary Care, ENT, Orthopedist, Vocal Cord Specialist
13-Has Lupus affected you at all financially? Most definitely. Because of medical bills, my credit has been ruined. It has caused extreme hardship on our living situation at times. The only way we rose above it, was to put my husband through college and for me to go on Social Security Disability.
14-What about mentally? There's no question it has affected me mentally. I have spent time in therapy for anger issues and self esteem and confidence issues. I've spent times in severe depression. If you're an intelligent, thinking person, it's going to affect you mentally, big time.
15-Has Lupus stopped you from doing what you wanted/want to do in life? It forced me to change my plans for college, and it has forced me to adjust my life to accommodate my physical limitations. It has caused me to adjust want I wanted to do in life (for example downhill skiing), to what I am able to do.
Good luck on your project, Ashley. I wish you only the best in your future ahead!