I Have An AutoImmune Disease

– I have lupus. – I have type one diabetes. – I have Hashimoto’s. – I have ankylosing spondylitis
and Crohn’s disease. One day, it was December 19th
like I’ll never forget it and I just woke up and my
right foot was really swollen. – Honestly throughout
my life I’ve had like health issues, I’ve had
periods where my body has just shut down and I couldn’t move, I got rashes throughout
my entire adolescence, and I just thought that was just me. – And I just thought
it was stress related. I remember just going through
one of the most stressful semesters I’ve had in college. – I was feeling really manic. Like I thought I was
going through an episode cause for a few months I
would feel like really good, and have a lot of energy,
and just racing thoughts, and it was like just kinda jittery, and I was losing weight, and I felt like oh that’s great. And then I would be eating the same food and a few months later I
would be really like tired, and I would feel really emotional, and really depressed, and
I’d be gaining weight, and I didn’t really change
anything in my lifestyle. – My mom took me to urgent care and they did an X-ray and they said I had a hairline fracture. To this day like I don’t think I did but I don’t really know. So they gave me this
little butt-booty thing to walk around in and
you’re supposed to wear it for like a few weeks, and after those few weeks
nothing had changed, and it had actually kind of gotten worse. My foot was more swollen
and now my big toe is also really swollen and hurt, and that was kind of
just like the beginning of a six month process of
going to dozens of doctors, and getting like so many
different diagnoses. – Well by the time I was in college, I was getting sick a ton and after I’d graduated, I went through a period where I just could not move my body. It literally felt like I had been run over by a train multiple times. People would be like
well what’s feeling bad and I’m like ah everything. – The only signs or
symptoms that I was getting where I was just thirsty a lot, like all the time, like I
just needed a lot of fluids and so by extension I was
just like peeing a lot. – And I went to the
doctor and they thought oh well you’re like depressed, we’re maybe gonna give you some pills cause I just, I was crying
in the doctors office, I was crying everywhere I went. I did my physical and my results came back and my thyroid was all off. – You know a doctor told
my mum that I had leukemia while I was in the room and just like so many other random diagnoses, until finally my mum took
me to a rheumatologist who diagnosed me at the time with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. – Well it wasn’t until my mum told me that lupus actually runs in my family and I should get tested for it cause I had been to doctors, they never seem to test
autoimmune diseases first. So I had to literally beg them please just like run some tests for it. – For a few years I thought
okay I’m just living with this arthritis thing, and then my freshman year of high school, I started having lots of stomach issues. I had a colonoscopy and I
was diagnosed with colitis. – It was only until
like I went on vacation after the semester ended
with my family and stuff, and my mom actually started
noticing those signs of just being thirsty all of the time, so she was just like you should check to see if you have type one diabetes. I went to my like school doctor after that and they did some tests,
sugar levels and stuff, urine and everything, they were saying yeah this is like signs of type one diabetes. – Having the colitis, the
juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and the iritis, my doctor
was like oh actually, because of all of these different things, we’re gonna test you for something called the HLA-B27 gene, and they
tested me for that and I had it, and that’s when they sort
of changed my diagnosis to ankylosing spondylitis. – I did my physical and
my results came back and my thyroid was all off. So they started giving me more thyroid. When you find out that
you like having something wrong with you when you
feel like something’s wrong, it just makes you feel so much better because it just confirms like nothing’s actually wrong with you, it’s just like your body is messing up. – I’m not a super-emotional person but when I got my diagnosis, I cried. Half out of relief that I knew like something was wrong with me, and half out of I don’t know
what the fuck is going on. People don’t really talk
about autoimmune diseases so like I didn’t really
know much about it. – Imagine if we were
living in a world already of like driverless cars and that’s like been your whole life, and
you’re just used to that, and then all of a sudden you wake up and then now you have a stick-shift, and you have to like do this manually. It’s like oh my god, I had
no idea that there were all these components to this, like all these components to life, and just basic survival. – I might have a really
good couple of weeks and be feeling great, and then just the next
three weeks just be sick, just like every single
day and feel terrible. And also emotional things
have been hard for me to come to terms with because one of the symptoms is depression, and I battled with depression all my life, and it’s hard when you
physically feel sick and you emotionally,
and mentally feel sick, and just having a support
system behind you, guiding you through that because trust me when you feel like you
can’t get out of bed and walk over to the bathroom
cause you’re in pain, like that will fuck
things up in your head, and just making sure you’re feeling loved and supported is like
the most important thing. – You need to have self-care. I think the doctor talked to me about it was probably brought on
by that stressful episode of my life that I had
because a lot of stress can do a lot of damage to your body. So I think kind of
getting diagnosed with it it made me think like
self-care is really important, and it’s just made me really
in tuned with my body, that everything works together like this little gland here like affects my hair, and like sleep, and fatigue, and like body pains, and things like that. – It takes some time to adjust but you sort of start to just learn and adapt, and figure
out those extra steps that you need to take. – First and foremost like I’m Macy and I love to travel, and I love X, Y, Z, and like I’m not this disease. Like that’s like so far down in like the list of attributes that I have. I think that like if you
can find the right medicine that works for you, you can live a life just like anyone else. Like there’s literally
nothing in the whole world that I can’t do because of this disease. – If you get Hashimoto’s, don’t panic. It’s actually good that
you know that you have it. You can kinda take the control back and improve your life. – This is not a death sentence. It sucks because you might not know a lot about what’s going on. I filled some time with research, I just tried to learn, and
also listen to yourself, like I still go out, I still have fun, but you like need to know your limits of what your body is capable of. And talk to people. You do not have to go about this alone cause you are not alone. There are plenty of chat
rooms, and Facebook groups, and all sorts of things where
you can meet other people who are suffering from the same thing.

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