If You Have Been Diagnosed With An Autoimmune Disease, This One Is For You
Health and Wellness

If You Have Been Diagnosed With An Autoimmune Disease, This One Is For You

I have 5 autoimmune diseases, but I cling to the hope that one day, I will overcome them.

If You Have Been Diagnosed With An Autoimmune Disease, This One Is For You
Gabriella Lopez

This long journey grabbed me and pulled me along in September of last year. I was constantly exhausted. I would get up, get dressed, walk to class, feeling as though I had just eaten four huge plates of Mexican food. It left me feeling heavy and lethargic.

That was only the start.

I started losing hair, was in extreme pain every waking moment, and was unable to sleep. My teeth would hurt, my muscles were swollen, my skin was very orange, and my kidneys were failing. My heart hurt every time it beat. I was covered in a rash from head to toe. I was constantly running a fever. I woke up with a yellow paste sticking my tongue to the roof of my mouth. I had severe migraines that would make me throw up, and I would wake up and just hug the toilet throwing up.

My once so athletic and joyous life came to a screeching halt, and all I could do was cry.

Two 1:00 a.m. hospital visits proved to be of no merit because they would just pump me on painkillers and tell me that something was seriously wrong – but they had no answers.

That was really stressful. At the same time, though, I did not want a diagnosis because I felt that if I didn’t have one it wasn’t really that real.

I ended up having to move back home from college around Thanksgiving. I was fortunate enough to have absolutely amazing professors that allowed me to take my finals the following semester and didn’t require my attendance.

My primary care physician didn't even have answers for me. She just blamed it on stress. It definitely was not.

Time moved on, and about a week later, my grandmother took me to the hospital here at home where they finally made a diagnosis: my TSH level was 250. For reference, the normal TSH level is less than four. After that was settled, my health started getting on track a bit more. I go to many different doctors and specialists regularly and I am in therapy for my knee injuries due to the swelling.

I have Hashimoto's, Graves, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Sjogren's. I still live in constant pain. Most days, it’s a struggle to move, everything aches like I am 85 years old. It is difficult and leaves me breathless just getting dressed. I am light-sensitive and will slap or pinch myself to redirect the pain from other areas.

I have depression and anxiety, but you would never know that.

It’s a lifestyle and I am just adjusting.

Don’t let people tell you that you don’t look sick, so you should be normal. Or that you are too young to have this. Whoa no way?! Really, I'm too young to have this??? I agree, but I still do. That used to get to me and really hurt my feelings. They had no idea – not even my own mother.

Everyone assumes that just because you look ‘healthy,’ you must be. They don’t feel the pain and just assume that I am making up excuses. They cannot understand that some days the extreme discomfort is milder. They don’t comprehend the ‘good days and bad days’ situation.

I spend so much time agonizing over how others will perceive me when I am having a good day that it utterly obliterates it. Yes, I was faking the doctors telling me that in two weeks my entire body was going to shut down on itself and slip into a coma if they didn’t find the problem.

I have a therapist to help me through all of this. You can’t tackle it without support. I know everyone doesn’t have that access, but maybe enlist the help of a professor, best friend or someone in the counselor’s office at school. You will lose yourself if you keep trying to people please with such an illness.

Look at Selena Gomez – even she had to take a break.

Do not be afraid to make time for you. I cannot stress enough how little their opinions matter. It is hard enough without others projecting their ignorance and belittling your struggle. When you get to where their comments no longer phase you, please let me know. I am still fighting that one, but I cling to the hope that one day, I will overcome it.

Not all disabilities are seen. You really never know.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.


From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments