My name is Diana DeFries, and this is my story…
My lupus diagnosis took over 10 years, I have been sick most of my life.
My husband and I (we were engaged then) found out we were pregnant, and man oh man, we were so very happy to be welcoming our first child together. I had my 9-year son who was so excited to have a baby brother. I was 10 weeks pregnant with my child when I started to rapidly gain weight and was feeling horrible, I couldn’t fit into any of my shoes or clothes, and I was only 10 weeks pregnant and throwing up every day. At first, my OB said I needed to stop eating salty things, 2 weeks later I was at a total of 53 lbs. gained in just a few weeks. My OB admitted me to the hospital for 5 days where a number of tests and blood work were completed on my swollen body. I was so incredible uncomfortable, they could never find a vein, I couldn’t walk and was so dizzy, I couldn’t even bend my legs. I had toxic fluid seeping from my skin in my legs and stomach. After a kidney biopsy with no pain medication because I was pregnant, a few EKG’s, heart sonograms, other tests I was diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis. I felt like I was being tortured and then I was immediately told that I needed to make a choice between my baby and my life, because this pregnancy was killing me.
On 7/7/2010, I have birth at 20 weeks, Charles James DeFries flew with the angels. It was the hardest decision I ever had to make. I still have nightmares wondering if I could have fought just a little longer and maybe both of us would have made it. But I had my child at home waiting for me to come home, I needed to be there with him, I knew what it was like growing up without a parent. I was put on disability for 1 year while the doctors changed medications over and over to find what would help me, the side effects of the medications are horrible.
After that year I moved from California to Texas, I was lucky and have found a wonderful team of doctors yet again. I am currently on 13 medications daily along with supplements. 8 years of medications, vomiting, nausea, constant pain and stiffness also brought the diagnosis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Fibromyalgia, Raynaud’s Syndrome along with countless surgeries, doctor appointments and medications.
I now am in remission from my nephritis but my SLE is very active. I currently work fulltime, I homeschool my teenage son, I am a wife and the three of us live with my Mom in Texas. If you ask her, we all just live together. The three of them support me, love me, take care of me, and help me up every time I fall. I really don’t think that I would be alive if it wasn’t for them rooting me on. I cherish them all more than anything in this world.
Someone you know has Lupus, do you know anyone that may have it? We need a cure, and we need your help to spread awareness.
Together, we can solve the cruel mystery of lupus. Thank you for your generosity!