I was thrilled when I went to Facebook today and saw that Julian Lennon and Whoopi Goldberg are supporting the Lupus Foundation. In the early 1990’s I was diagnosed with Lupus based on a medical test. I was put on steroids which caused me to gain a huge amount of weight. I also became stuck at my job because leaving my job at the time would have meant that I would lose my medical insurance.
Having medical insurance with this diagnosis was not easy either. Everything that I saw a doctor for, the insurance company said it could have been caused by Lupus. Having this diagnosis was making my life a nightmare. Yet the only symptoms I seemed to have were swelling feet and ankles. I stayed on the steroids for about 2 years. Over the 2 years my weight continued to increase. Since I myself worked in the medical field, I did research on the disease and what was being done to cure it. Lupus is a disease that mostly affects women. Because women are majority of patients suffering from Lupus, little money is spent on research.
I was laid off my job in the Spring of 1995. That meant I lost my medical insurance. I did not want to pay for the steroids out of pocket, so I decided to see what would happen if I no longer took them. Nothing happened when I went off of them. In fact, that is how I found out I do not have Lupus. Although medical science has made great strides, tests still can come back false positive, mistakes can be made as people in the medical field are only human. My life after receiving that diagnosis was put in a tail spin. It took a long time after receiving medical insurance again for the insurance companies to stop asking about Lupus and wanting to deny my claims.
I am glad there are people fighting for funds for research. Just having the diagnosis is a nightmare and I can not imagine what it is like actually having that disease. Thank you Julian Lennon and Whoopi Goldberg for your support of those that do.