Lupus real lives

Judith Falconer*

As a child I’d been frequently unwell — particularly prone to bacterial and other infections, especially if I pushed myself too hard. In August 2005 I was a bit sore in the shoulder joints one evening. It was an odd burning sensation. The next morning I couldn’t move, and my hands hands were so swollen that I couldn’t close my fingers. I had the lupus eye-mask rash, but most worryingly, I couldn’t think about what to do to help myself.

I was lucky that a friend called and took me to get medical help.

It took nearly 18 months to get a diagnosis of SLE with central nervous system involvement, with Sjögren’s syndrome and Raynaud’s phenomenon.

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Patrick Marco

In 2015 I went to have a hernia operation, and I had one and then several more blood tests. At around the same time I was swimming and I had back pain and also in my arm, and felt a bit strange. I couldn't lift my arm up high. And then my surgeon said I have lupus.

An x-ray showed there was nothing wrong with my shoulder, so I went to see a specialist. He examined and put me on a regime of Prednisone. The doctors said I might have polymyalgia rheumatica. But the tests showed I had antibodies for lupus.

An earlier ultrasound of my heart was clear. Kidney and the liver function showed nothing. Bone density tests were good.


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