I was diagnosed at 23-years-old with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and shortly thereafter, lupus nephritis. This is my story to being More Than Lupus.
At the time, I had just begun pharmacy school with the hopes of becoming a pharmacist. Lupus, to me, was nothing more than another disease state in a textbook, until one day, when it presented itself as a skin rash on my face. However, it was not the classic malar or “butterfly” rash – it was different. Like many who struggled to discover their lupus, I was mistaken for other diagnoses. First, I was turned away from a Student Health nurse with mupirocin (antibiotic) ointment, then a physician with doxycycline (antibiotic), both with the consensus that I should stop worrying about my acne. When my rash worsened, I was finally referred to a dermatologist who suspected a sun rash due to my history of eczema. Fortunately, I was able to request for a skin biopsy, and the results confirmed discoid lupus (a form of skin lupus). It took roughly 3 months for me to become diagnosed, which is considered extremely fast and fortunate for many lupus warriors.