Okay it is time for me to get back to tell you our story. The first part might be a little long drawn out but I will do my best to make it entertaining. So last time told you about how important I feel about attitude, and how it was dance that helped me learn the importance of having a positive attitude in all I do.
All of my crazy interesting health issues started to appear back in high school. It started my Junior year. I was in the middle of a Drill Team practice when I started to feel a strange pressure in my leg. It started to swell and before I knew it it was twice the size of my other leg and started to turn a strange purplish color. The next day I went to the doctor and they did an ultrasound and found that I had a blood clot in my inner thigh. So I found myself in the hospital on Valentines Day. Not really the most fun way to spend a holiday. Not much time passed and I found myself once again having another blood clot.
This second clot prompted my doctor to send me to the University of Utah to see a specialist. They then told me that I had a condition called Lupus Anticoagulant which is a really fancy name for a blood clotting disorder. It didn't mean that I had Lupus but it did mean that there was a possibility that it could turn into Lupus. They then put me on a blood thinner to keep me from clotting. I was also hospitalized one other time for a blood clot, until they could get my blood levels under control.
My Senior year was going great. The blood thiner was doing its job. I had no more problems with blood clots. Then my health really took a turn for the worse. Around Christmas time I started to feel very fatigued, and totally lost my appetite. I was stuck with fevers weakness that completely incapacitated me. On New Years Eve my family took me to the hospital. That night they did some tests that determined that I was having Kidney Failure. It was then that my Doctor diagnosed me with full blown Lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack itself. Lupus causes your immune system to attack vital organs, like the kidneys, liver, heart, and brain. Basically all any vital organ is fair game. In my case it had attacked my Kidneys and had successfully started to cause them to shut down.
Suddenly all the other symptoms of Lupus began to make themselves known. I had ulcers all over in my mouth. I had flair ups of rheumatoid arthritis that made me not even want to move. I had alopecia, that is just a fancy way to say my hair was falling out. I had a very prominent butterfly rash on my face that is another calling card of Lupus. I was a mess to say the least. You can’t imagine how sick I was. This was not the way I had pictured spending my Senior year of high school. I was in and out of the Hospital and trying to juggle school, Drill Team, and have a semi normal life. My doctors were trying everything to try to save my kidneys and get my Lupus back in check. I felt like I was fighting a losing battle.
By the Spring of 1996 it was obvious that the medications were not slowing down the progression of my kidney failure. So they sent me to a Nephrologist (Kidney Doc) who decided that it was best to do a kidney biopsy. By the way that was one of the most uncomfortable things i have ever experienced. I had to be awake and it is a little uncomfortable to have a giant needle shoved in-between your ribs so that they can take a chunk of your kidney out. This was a bit of a hard week for me. I had a Kidney Biopsy, my wisdom teeth pulled, and I got salmonella poisoning all in the same week. After the biopsy they decided the best option to save my kidneys was to have Chemo Therapy. If the Chemo didn't work I would need to start dialysis and start looking for a kidney donor for a transplant. It was all so hard to deal with. I should be thinking about College and boys and having fun with friends. Instead I was in a fight for my life. When I first found out I went down in my room and cried. Then I decided if this was what I was going to go through I would make the most of it. If I was gong to be sick and bald I was going to have fun with it. We got me three wigs that were super cute so I could hide my hair loss. I decided that I would not let it get me down. I refused to let it change my positive attitude.
That is about enough for tonight. I will try to write some more tomorrow. Goodnight.