While recovering from a divorce that I did not see coming (because I believed that I was happily married). Thirty-two years old (32) trying to be at the top of my game, working hard and long hours trying my best to keep my head above water and my emotions in order. Recovery was hard because I had no answers to all the questions that were permeating on the inside of my mind; to say the least about all the questions people had on the outside.
The why; what happened; is he coming back; have you spoken to him and the BIG ONE what are you going to do now? If it were not for my Faith in God and my family I don¹t think I would have transitioned through that awful time in my life as well as I did.
Just when it appeared as though things were getting better, I could see the light of day. My tears were no longer drowning me, I knew that I would have to praise my way through this storm (I am a believer & survivor). I still had no answers but I knew that I was going to be alright!
Just when I thought things were getting better, my body began doing strange things: numbness in my hands & feet, aching in my joints, total fatigue and I did not understand what was happening to me. My best recourse was to keep working long hard hours and praising God because the hours that I did not spend at work were spent at Church. I just thought I was tired and needed some rest. Doing all that I was doing was helping me keep a clear mind, but my body began to refuse my minds command to keep going!
I woke up one morning and my body refused to move, I had to be rushed to the hospital.
The whole experience was so surreal, unreal, weird, and dream-like my body was frozen but the pain was absolutely real and unbearable. The doctors were asking me so many questions that I had no answers to then after hours of testing the results changed the world that I had once had control of. I was forced into a place of not knowing my next move.
The test results: Five Auto Immune Diseases had taken my body hostage. One of the more ferocious diseases was LUPUS. Mind you at the moment I did not understand the severity of what I was dealing with; or should I say; what was dealing with me. Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren Syndrome, Mix Connective Tissue and Raynauds.
I recall looking at the doctor for a few seconds and then I said "Okay, prescribe the medication that I need that will make me feel better and get back to my life". Her response was: There are no medications and no cures for what you have. Unfortunately, these diseases will be your demise! But we will do all we can to give you a good quality of life while we can.
I decided that day to fight more than I ever have in my life because I wanted to live so giving up was not and still is not an option! That day, I adopted two words that I confessed and continue to profess every single day "WE WIN! Don¹t get me wrong, I cried my tears but giving up was not an option. I had to allow my faith in God to help me get back on my feet.
That was over eight (8) years ago and now. Seven (7) Auto Immune Diseases later, I am STILL alive and fighting having good AND bad days. But my good days outweigh my bad days. I am thankful and grateful to God for letting me live each day to be a walking miracle. I thank my doctors for being so attentive to my care and well being because having great doctors make an amazing difference. Their knowledge and wisdom have really been a blessing to me as well.
I held a full time position with a very prestigious law firm. Plus, my sister is Actress/Singer Tichina Arnold (Everybody Hates Chris and Martin Etc), who has a very busy and demanding life and looks to me to keep things in order or as she calls me The Overseer. Therefore, my life can be very demanding at times. So many people look at me and cannot believe that I have seven (7) diseases in my body. I have been told by some that I am their "Hero." I immediately respond: "Thanks be unto God, good doctors, great family, dear friends and good co-workers I am what I am."
I was told I would be in a wheelchair by now, not so! I was told I would lose my hair because of the chemo treatments... not so! I was told that the fatigue associated with my LUPUS would not allow me to work a full time job... not so! Now do you see why I consider myself a walking miracle? I know it is my responsibility to give back to others who have been stricken with LUPUS and other related illnesses because it is not about me, it is about helping others and through my illnesses, even if it is just giving an encouraging word or donating my time to a cause that will not only help others through the awful damages that this disease can inflict upon ones body and mind. I will continue to do so! Life still waits.
L U P U S