When I was diagnosed with Lupus 25 years ago, I had no idea how many effects it could have on my body. My RA and ANA blood tests came back positive. I had joint pain and that was it at the time.

As the pain worsened in my hips and knees, I had to leave my good job and go on Disability. In 2004, I began a series of surgeries – right hip, left knee, lumbar spine, left hip – all within four years. When spring arrived in 2008, I was eager to get outside. My husband and I drove to a restaurant and he parked as near to the door as possible.

I had my cane and all went well until we began to enter the twin double doorway. My husband held the right outside door and was about to see me through the left outside door when a man threw it open, and, without stopping, headed straight for me, throwing me off balance and into the concrete wall between the entrances.
The owner, hearing my screams of pain, called an ambulance while the man carelessly drove away. And so began the seemingly never-ending story of the broken humerus bone (thanks to an excellent surgeon, the new hip was saved).

Four unsuccessful surgeries and eight years later, a bone graft is scheduled for the second time, the first being cancelled in 2014 because of very low platelets. Meanwhile, other signs of Lupus such as itching and bleeding sores, an enlarging spleen and signs of liver involvement, bladder problems, tiredness, poor balance and weakness, also worsening joint pain, have taken over my life. I can only pray that the upcoming surgery and my small increase in platelets (to be assisted by a transfusion if necessary) will be successful enough to increase my balance and reduce my pain.

I am told that I am very fortunate to have battled the Lupus this long. I thank a wonderful family doctor who deals with things immediately and who encourages me along with being frank. Prayer certainly has played a great part in giving me hope and strength. My greatest hope now is that researchers find a cure for this disease of a thousand faces. That is why I donate to the cause when possible.

Linda Wilkins-Parker