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Stories of Courage and Hope for those living with Lupus

Roxanne L

I was living and working in NYC when a diagnosis of lupus, ten years ago at the age of 27, changed my life forever. It all started with my hands – as I tried to explain then, they just stopped working. Swollen and painful joints made it hard to even make my bed. I was experiencing unexplained weight loss and fatigue to the point where I was unable to stay awake past 8pm, and I was feeling anxious and depressed.

In a state of desperation, I took on my health like a full-time job. Willing to try just about anything to feel even a tiny bit better, I dove headfirst into meditation, something that was foreign to me. It took much practice to quiet what meditation teachers call the “monkey mind,” allowing me to give myself stillness and find ease in my mind and body. Mindfulness and meditation were not the buzz words they are today, but I found my spiritual home through different teacher’s books and audio meditations. I didn’t realize at the time what a necessary break I was giving my nervous and immune system when I allowed myself to get quiet. This was my gateway into trusting my intuition.

From there I moved on to my diet and read as many nutrition books as I could get my hands on. I found an elimination diet that taught me gluten, dairy and soy were not my friends. Without those foods in my system, my joint pain and swelling started to dissipate. I knew that movement helped me with the fatigue and inflammation, so I made the gym a part of my daily routine even if only for 15-20 minutes on the bike. I also incorporated Pilates and yoga, which I still practice today.

I never imagined having the kind of energy that I do now which allows me to care for my two little ones, dachshund and husband all while working part-time as a holistic health coach and Development Director at a non-profit wellness center. My goal is to share my healing experience and support others with health issues. I see my story as one of hope and inspiration and it is my mission to help others achieve positive and lasting changes in their own lives.

(Lupus Foundation of America)

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