We all dream of a life free from hardships, pain, sickness, tragedies, etc, but then at some point or another we are brought back to reality. But what happened to the beautiful roses, birds chirping, songs we would sing when that one so unrealistic day decides to come our way. Welp, I’ve had mine and I want to take you inside of my life as I live with what is commonly known as an “autoimmune disease.”
Officially diagnosed in 2015 at the awesome age of 27, like 1 month shy of my 28th birthday. Can you imagine? Maybe or maybe not, but man was it a blow. Like for real. This was the last thing I wanted to hear, to be a part of, to feel, but it was something so very real and I had to acknowledge it.
Over the next 3 weeks I will share with you my journey and how I came to achieve a HEALTHY, HAPPY, and most importantly a HEALED life!
Alright so let’s get to it, what really happened? What were my symptoms? What thoughts did I have shooting all across my brain? What did I decided to do? How’s life now? These may be some questions you may have for me and guess what I will answer each one for you over this 3 part blog series.
What really happened?
Let’s backup to 2008. I woke up one morning with blurred vision in my left eye. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but for a second I thought it was time for me to get some glasses, but it continued to get worse until the point I lost central vision in that eye. I later found out that I had optical neuritis and was at risk for developing an autoimmune disease. Ekkk.... Fast forward to 2015, I began to show signs of various symptoms that brought thoughts of that dreaded autoimmune disease back into my life and from there the story begins.
What were your symptoms?
Spasms - This is where I knew something wasn’t right. I was experiencing involuntary spasms all along the right side of my body. The spasms started in my hands first. I would feel this sensation on my right side and then my hand would start closing. My thumb would draw itself inward towards my palm and I couldn’t straight it back out until it was over. Then it moved down to my feet. I was in Atlanta spending the weekend with my bestie and as we were walking back to the hotel bam…. My feet started spasing. My toes were spreading apart and I was pretty my paralyzed in those moments. Ughhh, it was very uncomfortable.
Extreme Fatigue – You want to talk about tiredness. Man look, I would have a daily crash session between 11-1 every day. Many days my head would hit my desk. This was the kind of tired even coffee couldn’t fix. I would often close my eyes at stop lights b/c they were just so freaking heavy and would get a nice horn blown to perk me up. I would come home every day and crash on the couch for 2 hrs after work b/c I felt so drained. Smh, terrible I know, but it was my life.
Brain Fog – My thinking was cloudy. I was forgetting things.
Numbness – My arm would often go limp at night. I’m talking like it had not life. The sensation would wake me up and I would have to focus to start moving my hands to get the circulation back up to regain feeling. I would sometimes feel it in my legs as well.
Slight variance with my vision – I often see little floating circles, occasional blurriness, itchy eyes, which I am not really sure is an actual symptom, but hey it’s all connected.
Ok so there you go, those are some things I dealt with at the time of my diagnosis and little did I know symptoms 3-5 was due to an autoimmune disease. I honestly just thought I wasn’t getting enough sleep, or that I wasn’t interested in the information I was given. My numbness was due to sleeping wrong (I mean we all experience numbness at times), and that I had some kind of eye allergy which was responsible for the itchy eyes, etc. Although I could definitely improve some things, I really had no idea what I would soon learn was the real culprit to my problems……
Stay tuned for part 2 of Defying the Odds: How I’m Defeating an Autoimmune Disease!