The below article was written by Addie Vee OrTease and featured in Rocket Magazine's Spring 2019 issue.
May is Lupus Awareness Month. What is Lupus? Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body including skin, joints, and organs. It means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues. As a result, it creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body. It is not contagious its usually hereditary and usually in woman.
I have Lupus. I was diagnosed 5 years ago ironically in May. I went into a coma when my kidney ruptured and I internally almost bled to death. The sack around my heart was also so full of fluid that my heart could barely beat. My joints were so swollen and I had immense pain. I went into respiratory failure. By a beautiful miracle doctors saved my life. I spent months in the hospital after my coma to learn to breath, move, eat walk, everything!
I’ve been through chemotherapy, numerous hospital stays and I have been on medication ever since. There’s not a day I don’t wake up in some sort of pain or knocked down by my exhausted body. I don't have an immune System fighting to keep me healthy when I get sick. Something so simple like a cold can turn into physical pain and cause I flare. My face rashes, my chest hurts, I swell. If not treated it could be fatal. BUT I don't let it bring me down. I fight everyday for my beautiful children.
I have a full time job teaching children with autism, I workout daily, I'm a mother and wife. I don’t look sick but I am. I will never give up on myself and I'll never become a victim of Lupus. On May 10 is Lupus Awareness Day wear purple for people like me that suffer but don't show it.
Xoxo Addie Vee Ortease
Featured photography by Thru Joe’s Lens