Next up in this month's series for Autoimmune Disease Awareness is one of Fight Like A Warrior's Ambassadors! If you missed our first one, head back on over to our blog and check it out. Many more to come this month from our community of Warriors!
1. Can you please tell me about the autoimmune disease/s you have?
I have 3 autoimmune diseases. I have systematic lupus (SLE) meaning my Immune System attacks healthy cells in my body. My lupus likes to attack my nervous system, kidneys and heart.
I also have APS or Anti-phospholipid syndrome, which is an auto immune disorder where my body attacks various lipids in my blood causing clots, heart attack or stroke and miscarriages. Most people with systematic lupus (SLE) will develop secondary APS.
And finally I also have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This causes damaging inflammation in my joints. (Very painful, I do not recommend.)
2. At what age were you diagnosed and how long did it take for you to get your diagnosis?
I was diagnosed last year at the age of 24! And got all three diagnoses within six months of each other. However it took about three years for me to finally get my systematic lupus diagnosis.
3. What is something you wish people knew about living with an autoimmune disease?
I really do think people forget that I’m sick. Yes, I’m keeping up with everyone, but it is extremely difficult. Taking hot showers or going to a grocery store can make me so miserably sick. Having a flareup puts me in the hospital. All the things that I enjoyed doing in the past that required more physical activity I really can’t do anymore...you’re constantly in grief of the loss of a life that you once had, on top of dealing with constant pain and copious amounts of medication.
4.What is the hardest part about having an autoimmune disease?
I am so freaking tired all the time. I have absolutely no energy and it really sucks.
5. What gives you hope?
Research research research!
6. Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself!
I really enjoy studying mycology! (you will see a lot of mushrooms on my Instagram page lol)
I am Pursuing a degree in microbiology so I can get into research.
I’ve had a very successful Naval Military career!....sadly it is coming to an end due to my illnesses, but I would not trade the experiences for anything.
A big thank you to Mollee for sharing your story! For more from Mollee, follow along on Instagram: @molleeisme23