My name is Leigh Anne Santiago AKA “Lae” for short. I was diagnosed with lupus about two years and eight months ago. I’m here to share my story with those in need of a higher hope and faith. Being sick gave me the opportunity to embrace life more & it also made me realize the importance of time. If you guys have any questions or need any advice, feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org!
I woke up and felt nothing but pain in my back. My menstrual period was due, so I didn’t think too much of it. Days passed and the pain grew, next thing I knew? I couldn’t walk or eat. It was the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced. I needed assistance with everything I did as far as eating, walking, changing, taking a shower, brushing my teeth, etc. My mentality and heart broke because I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I was sent to the emergency room straight for four months and got discharged with the diagnosis, “Viral Infection” and “Flu”. In between that four months, I felt the need to do more than I should. I was exhausted but I worked at a cardiologist office as an extern Monday through Friday then Old Navy Saturday and Sunday. I knew deep down it was more than just a viral infection/flu. To subside the depression, I kept busy and pretended my exhaustion didn’t exist.
I was sent to the emergency room and the doctor who was taking care of me had asked if the auto immune disease, “Lupus” ran in my family. My mom and I had said no because we both have never heard of it. After being discharged from that hospital, we started receiving bills that were outrageous. So my mom decided to sign me up for medi-cal since I didn’t have any other way of getting insurance. Medi-cal wasn’t great insurance but it did something. With that being said, I was told to go to a different hospital anytime I needed care. A week later the pain flared up again and the doctor that was taking care of me had doubled the question, “Does Lupus run in your family?” Again the answer was, no. That doctor discharged me with no diagnosis and a referral to a Rheumatologist. After four long months of confusion, a series of blood tests, and pain. I was finally diagnosed with Systemic Lupus.
After my diagnosis, I was out of it mentally, physically, and emotionally. I didn’t know how to handle it. I was 18, sick, and didn’t know who/where to turn too. I cried relentlessly for a year and a half and grew so much hatred until the year 2010. When 2010 struck, I was admitted into the hospital due to lack of platelets. Doctors wanted to keep me until my platelet count was up to 50,000. So everyday was a guess to whether or not I was going home. One week passed and I was still there. It scared me because I got to the point where I didn’t know if I was going home or not. So I told myself that if or when I get out, I would make the most out of life. A week later, I was discharged. It took me a year to collect my thoughts on how I would present this to the world. I’m going to attempt a blog everyday about my perspectives on life and how I live in hope to inspire others <3!