Welcome to my page. First things first. I’d like to formally introduce myself. My name is Na’Keevia and I am a single mother with LUPUS, residing in Miami, FL.
Before I was diagnosed with Lupus in 2012, my joints and muscles ached so severely that I could barely get out of bed to tend to my then three-year-old son. I found it rather odd as I have always been a very active individual-being a competitive cheerleader since the age of 5. My face also began to break out in unexplained rashes and I was extremely sensitive to heat. And I LOVE the heat (the sun, the beach, etc). But whenever my skin would come in contact with heat of any kind- the sun, hot showers, a Jacuzzi, etc., spots would begin to form all over my body, then fatigue spells would follow shortly thereafter. My hair started to thin out gradually and then fell out excessively. It was a HUGE red flag and I became quite concerned because I took great pride in my hair. It was always long and healthy. I eventually ended up shaving all of my hair OFF because it became patchy. To make matters worse, I had to go through all of this alone. I was living in Tampa at the time of my diagnosis while my family and friends were miles away in Miami.
Eventually, I mustered up enough strength to go see a doctor. One visit turned into months of seeing a doctor, months of being given tests and months of becoming quite acquainted with the Quest Diagnostics staff. I was given the final batch of routine blood tests in June 2012 and then an ANA test that came back positive. The results of the ANA was the final puzzle piece to helping me figure out what was going wrong with me. The day I was diagnosed with SLE was shockingly, to say the least, the best day ever! The diagnosis put a stop to my questions and concerns. All the questions I had been harvesting for more than a year had finally been answered. I could finally treat what was causing me so much pain and strife.
Fast forward to now, 2016, I am back home, living in Miami. I see an excellent team of doctors and specialists who ensure I am in tip top shape. I see a Rheumatologist in the Hollywood area, who assists me with my joint pain due to RA, a Dermatologist that helps me keep my rashes to a minimum and is aiding me in growing my hair back due to lupus hair loss. I also see a Pulmonologist to keep an eye on the Pleurisy that continues to develop in and around my lungs, as well as a Nuerologist to ensure there is no progression of the Cerebellar Tonsillar Ectopia that was discovered on my brain MRI last year.
After having a major flare up months back, that left me in the hospital for quite some time, I now try to keep my Lupus under control by taking my medication (plaquenil 200mg 2x a day and prednisone 45mg) and eating healthy (plant based diet, gluten and dairy free). I do what my physicians instruct me to do in order to remain in good health for my son. And it’s been working well. I am able to do some, not all, of what I use to prior to the Lupus and for me that’s progress.
I have been a lupus advocate since my diagnosis. Since, I have created a lupus blog page called My Lupus Fight|Flying Above Lupus and I’ve participated in walks all over the state of Florida. I attend the Lupus support groups and the wellness seminars. This year I am getting more involved with the Lupus Foundation of America, Florida Chapter. I was the team captain of my team of 15, for the Walk to End Lupus Now in September, and I have formed a team this year as well,with family, friends and co-workers, who are walking to help me and all of the other Lupus sufferers find a cure. With the help of my doctor’s and the support from my family and friends, I have been able to keep a positive attitude about my life with lupus.