It hadn't been smooth sailing since my mom was sick. It seemed like every year something would come up and she would be sent to some new doctor, they would run tests, and she would need surgery. It feel like a never ending cycle. My mom often referred to herself as "The Murphy's Law of Medicine." She was very prone to blood clots, which is something we became very aware of. My mom was very sensitive to the cold, her hands would turn white and become very painful to the point where she would be in tears. I felt so helpless and tried to do everything I could to prevent her from feeling that pain. We eventually learned this is referred to as Raynaud's syndrome. There is really nothing we can do about it, other than my mom needs to bundle up when she goes outdoors.
Over time my mom had a great deal of aches and pains, which I think she probably chalked up to getting older, but eventually she could barely left arms over her head! At this point it had to be addressed. I believe this led our family doctor to run a series of tests. It came back that my mom had a positive ANA test, antinuclear antibody test. An ANA test detects antinuclear antibodies in your blood. Your immune system normally makes antibodies to help you fight infection. In contrast, antinuclear antibodies often attack your body's own tissues- specifically targeting each cell's nucleus.
Anyway, my mom's ANA test came back positive. The next step for her was to meet with a rheumatologist. I remember my mom being very nervous. I went with her to meet with him. I was extremely nervous as well. He came in, and began talking with us. He was even cracking jokes. He definitely put us at ease. He went over my mom's medical history and explained he felt there was a chance she had Lupus, but he wanted to run his own series of tests. It was back to the waiting game. I truly think waiting for test results is the worst part. Eventually it was confirmed and my mom was diagnosed with Lupus. Up until this point we weren't familiar with Lupus. So together we set out and did our research. It was very overwhelming! I felt as though my world was crashing around me. I was mad at the world and began questioning a lot of things. I couldn't believe after all my mom's been through we were once again hitting another bump in the road, a very large bump.
I had been talking to a friend of mine about my mom's diagnosis and I was surprised when she had explained she had heard of Lupus. She was very supportive and would always lend a shoulder when I needed one! My friend and I have since grown apart, but I hope she knows what an important role she planned in my life during this time. I knew my mom had a long road ahead, but we would get through it together just like we always had...
I am the daughter of a Lupus patient! This is our journey through my eyes!