Quiet 93 to Stormy 94
Thank God 1993 (I was 13) was quiet and quite uneventful. I was adjusting to my life of doctors and medicines pretty well. And was pretty optimistic about the future. I was applying for different Juionr Highs and had really good grades so I felt like the sky was the limit for me. I applied and tested for a couple of brand new schools, I remember there was a new trend in the board of education called portfolio schools. This type of school was suppose to be smaller and also create a free learning environment where standardized test weren't held in high regard; the idea behind that being that not all students tested well.
I got into one of th newest schools of the time, School of the Future. It was on the cutting edge of technology and on the cutting edge of the Apple craze. I got into the school after being tested and intereviewed by one of the principals. So there I was at a new school with computers in virtually every class. The school was awesome and I fit right into the small environment and low student-to-teacher ratios.
All of my teachers were informed about my health condition and neither of them were easy on me. I had to keep up my grades and submit all of my assignments just like everyone else did. One thing that has always made me happy in my own life, are its challenges. I don't feel satisfied if I'm not being challenged, or if I'm not reaching for the impossible; it's simply who I am.
So my first year in JHS School of the Future was a success and as quickly as I could blink the year, 7th grade, was over.
It is true that God doesn't give us (or allow us) any more then we can bare. My first year of junior high school was a bit stressful but great all the same. It was the first time I got to travel via public transportation all by myself, or with the friends with a parent, it was the first time I had the privilege of going out for lunch during my break; I got to grow up a little, begin stretching my "adult" legs. My "carefree-ness," was soon over when I began to feel overly tired and weak...
...Tired and weak???? Why now? Why all of a sudden? Wasn't I taking the medicine the way I was suppose to? Sadly enough, that's how it is sometimes with Lupus; one moment you could be stable and taking a steady, low dose of medication and at another moment your body maybe going haywire. This was the time for the Lupus to act up.
I wasn't just feeling weak and tired but I was easily out of breath, had lost my appetite and therefore had lost some weight, I just felt ill, nothing was making me feel better; it was just the flu as we thought.
So my mom took me to an appointment at the Pediatric Rheumatology Clinic, I was still being seen once a month for labs, and follow-up. When my doctor saw me she was in shock. I had an ashen tone to my skin color, my lips and the whites of my eyes weren't rosey and pink they had no color whatsoever. So she requested the tests be done STAT. STAT is medical term used for requesting labs immediately; she didn't like what she saw and she wasn't going to wait.
When the tests return, it showed that "yes" the lupus had become active again and that I tested high in an area of metabolism called hemolysis, in other words I had "hemolytic Anemia". Hemolysis is a natural process that occurs in the body as part of oxidation and metabolism, however a healthy body makes enough Red Blood Cells (RBCs) to counter the effects and also the hemolysis shouldn't be that severe as to deplete the body's natural balance. What happens sometimes with patients with Lupus is that the Lupus doesn't attack an organ but the healthy RBCs and depletes the body's healthy cells.
This type of flare is very dangerous as it also causes the platelets to be depleted and distroyed; this process is called thrombocytopenia. When we lose the ability to clot from low platelet count, any cut or fall can cause a person to bleed out. This coupled with RBCs already being distroyed can lead to death as oxygen is carried thoughout the body via RBCs.
My doctor admitted right away, and for the second time had to put me on high doses of Prednisone as it begins to work faster then anyother immunosuppressant; it was the best choice for how sick I was.
The medicine began to show effect within days of being administered, but everytime you're in the hospital it seems like time moves.....so......so......slow. Soon enough I began feeling better and the numbers began to greatly improve. After a couple of weeks it was safe for me to go home.
Things or Money
At all times my Church (my family) and my blood relatives kept me in their prayers. They showed up, and visited me often. Yes, I had many sad days but I always felt the love. I want to encourage those reading my blogs to not feel sorry for me but always take advantage when you can do a good deed; sometimes just showing up makes the difference. We have allowed our busy lives, ambition and the love of money and things to replace our humanity. At no moment during that hospital stay did I need a dollar, or a new pair of shoes, what I needed was my people giving me ten minutes of their time or sitting by my bedside that made all the difference.