Hi, everyone! This is my first post for HealthCentral and I'm excited to be joining this community. My name is Leslie Rott, and I'm 25 years old. I am a sociology graduate student at the University of Michigan.
In April of 2008, at the age of 22, I was diagnosed with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Each disease definitely vies for primacy, as sometimes the lupus is more of a problem and sometimes it's the arthritis. For about the last year or so, though, the arthritis has been the more problematic of the two.
In many ways, my illness story is quite usual. I began having muscle and joint pain after working out, and then one day, I woke up, and the pain was there and didn't seem to go away. Prior to this I had dealt with eye infections, throat infections, and fungal infections. But everyone, including me, attributed all of this to the rigorous school career I had created for myself, writing an undergraduate honors thesis, applying to graduate school, and trying to begin my life as a bona fide adult.
Until my diagnosis, I didn't know what lupus was, and I thought rheumatoid arthritis was something reserved for old people. Now that my life has become fully entrenched in the medical system, I take nothing for granted. I try to live my life to the fullest and with no regrets. Some days are harder than others, and sometimes the combination of illness and the other dramas that tend to occur in life, feels like just too much. But I continue to write about my experiences to empower myself, and to hopefully empower others, as well.
Right now, I'm nearing the end of my 4th year of graduate school, preparing to begin research on my dissertation, and am coping with the recent break-up of a year-long relationship, which I thought was the one.
I'm currently on a medication regimen that seems to be keeping my diseases relatively stable, although living on the third floor of a 90-year-old building and the Michigan winter certainly help to keep me aware of my illnesses.
My current medication regimen (including over the counter meds): Centrum, Flexeril (20 mg/d), Folic Acid (1000 mg/d), Hydroxychloroquine/Plaquenil (100 mg/d), Lo-Ovral, Methotexate (10 mg/wk), Omeprazole (as needed), Prednisone (as needed), Seroquel (300 mg/d). I used to take Cellcept to control the lupus.
I also author the blog http://gettingclosertomyself.blogspot.com/.
Published On: March 04, 2011