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Lupus: My Journey Does Not Define Me

Tell Me A Little About Yourself:

My name is Aeisha Robinson, I am 25 years old, and work in the finance industry (banking).

I am currently in school  with a 3.9 GPA. I say this because I had to take a 4 year medical leave due to my illness and since being back, I’ve been able to focus on my studies and am happy to say that I am on track to graduate in May 2018 with my degree in Social Work.

To know me is to know that I love to travel. I had to take a break with that too due to my illness but now that I’m strong again, my goal is to see as much of the world as possible.

When was your last big trip?

I actually just came back from a trip to Europe May 18-29! I visited France, Spain, Italy, and England.

What Would You Say Is Your Biggest Life Appreciation?

Love. I can truly say I love more than ever now because I don’t know what can happen to me and what tomorrow brings.

What Symptoms Did You Notice Before Being Diagnosed With Lupus?

Hmmmm let’s see….

  1.       Not being able to bend down to grab things that I once was able to
  2.       Taking forever to get out of cars because I was in so much pain
  3.       My friend always asking why I was acting like an old lady all of the time (which to be honest, I didn’t think it was an indicator and thought it was funny at the time but… she was right. I was moving abnormally slower)
  4.       Waking up and not being able to get out of bed – It honestly always felt like a Sumo Wrestler was always sitting on top of me

Oh! And the fact that I didn’t eat much either because of loss of appetite. From all of those experiences, something told do as most do, go online and look up the symptoms. When I did, the search results came back that I probably had either MS or Lupus.

I literally fought through all of these symptoms for 2 months before ultimately going to the hospital.

What Made You Finally Decide To Go To The Hospital?

One day, I noticed that I had a huge lump coming out of my shoulder. That’s when I knew something was serious. I remember that morning like it was yesterday. I remember putting on my clothes and taking a cab to the hospital. 7 days later, while still at the hospital, I heard the terrifying words, “you have Lupus AND it’s affecting your kidneys”.

How Has Your Journey Been Like Since Finding Out You Had Lupus?

My journey with Lupus has not been easy. I’ve had so many setbacks (including school and traveling). I’d have to say that the most hurtful thing is that some of my friends don’t really understand what I went (and am still going) through because they think that because I “look” ok, that I “am” okay and that’s not the case.

For example, yes, you can see me smile, but just because I do doesn’t mean I haven’t been through a lot. Honestly, one wouldn’t know just by looking at me that I’ve been through chemo.

What Would Your Message Be For Someone Who Has Just Been Diagnosed With Lupus?

For someone who has been diagnosed with Lupus, no matter how long, I have 3 important messages for them.

First thing first, I want them to know that they are not alone. The reason I say this is because no one that I really knew had this disease or knew much about it which put me into a kind of depression.

By holding my feelings in, I realized that I was actually in denial but by expressing my truth, I’ve learned that I’m not the only one and that there are people that know exactly how I feel and what I have been through which really helped.

The second thing I would like to tell anyone suffering with this illness to remain positive. That is an important key. Trust me, having negative energy will make you worse and slow your progress.

The most important thing – stay strong. I say this because I want people to know that strength is not holding pain and feelings inside. It is having the courage to show it and make something positive out of it and bring awareness to the issue.

We highlight Lupus Awareness Month in May. What does it mean to you?

Lupus Awareness Month means a lot to me. It sheds a light on the illness by letting people know more about the disease. For example, there are probably hundreds of people that don’t know they have it but by shedding a light, especially when it comes to reading or hearing stories from real people, those same people may think “hmmm…. Maybe I should go get checked”.

Another thing. I can definitely say that the fact that I even have strangers supporting me is very honorable and that positive energy keeps me going.

How Do You Rep Your Purple?

 

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