By Cory Martin
I woke up in a panic the other morning. I immediately shot out of bed, went to the bathroom and grabbed my prescription bottle from the cabinet. I poured its contents onto the counter and started counting.
I wasn’t looking to get high or escape. I was contemplating when my prescription would run out and my health would start to decline.
I have lupus, an incurable autoimmune disease. I look like a perfectly healthy woman on the outside; on the inside, my body is engaged in a full-out battle. Lupus can affect any part of the body at any time — organs, bones, blood, brain, central nervous system. I already suffer from extreme bone pain that is hard to escape when my lupus flares. My lungs have been so inflamed that a walk up two stairs leaves me breathless. I have been in so much pain that I have lost out on work.
When my condition is at its worst, editors have read my writing and asked, “What happened?” My cognition’s been so off that my writing’s turned to gibberish, and I couldn’t see it until later when the disease had calmed. I have canceled so many plans with friends, been afraid to take vacations, been unable to exercise, even unable to shower. I have cried countless times under the hot stream of water because I was unable to lift my arms to wash my hair.
I have lupus, an incurable autoimmune disease. I look like a perfectly healthy woman on the outside; on the inside, my body is engaged in a full-out battle.
I take hydroxychloroquine daily to calm this fight. The drug works. Without it, my organs would eventually be destroyed. I would suffer extreme fatigue, in which the thought of spending energy on chewing food becomes too much. My risk for a heart attack would rise far above the
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