Lupus is like a wolf in sheep's clothing.
I always had problems with bruising and nose bleeding. February 2013, I was in and out of the emergency room for what I was told was allergies from fluctuating environmental climate. I am medical intern at that time and we are rotating to different public and private hospitals in the city every two months. During my Paediatrics rotation at Perpetual Help hospital in Laguna, Philippines, I had an awful cough that would keep me up at night. Including erythema on my face neck and arm that would itch turn sore and then dark. I sought advice from a dermatologist friend. She however did not notice that I am battling with Lupus. Because why in the world will I even consider Lupus as part of rule in lists if data shows that 80% of Lupus carriers are females? Well, 20% is still significant however, but as a doctor, I consider it close to being unfortunate more than anything else.
During this time I was starting to get weak, I stayed in bed all day if I could and at this time I was training at the hospital from 6am to 6pm the next two days.
As a medical intern, you need to be awake for about wide awake for 48 hours. I was losing up to 6 pounds a week even if I am eating like a horse. I was constantly inflamed around my foot and ankles. I went back to the emergency room and was cleared after a few anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy medicines. I feel febrile but the thermometer does not show signs of fever.
One day, I cannot move my body but I just thought I just had a terrible sleeping position.
The attending physician’s initial diagnosis was HIV. They even roomed me in isolation. It was a terrible feeling to be treated that way by your colleagues. I had biopsies here and there. I was butchered like an animal. Until my bone marrow biopsy revealed I have SLE after my 12th day of hospitalization.
I was advised by the hospital director to stop with my medical training.
My life is more important than my career so I quit residency altogether. I went home and treasure each moment I am with my family. I was given several supplements from concerned friends who helped me a lot in my battle with Lupus. Lupus is a debilitating disease but it can be addressed properly. There are thousands of Lupus survivors who are enjoying quality and normal lives. Thank you to all the self-help books that kept me inspired even up to this day.
I look back now and am just grateful for the life I am given each day. I am currently helping young graduates in my city to get online jobs. I have 4 Alaskan Malamutes to serve as my shade. And not to mention, my family, who hugged me all the way in my journey.