My name is Charlene Williams.  I am a lupus warrior!  In 1999, I began to ache all of the time, and I didn’t know why.  I went back and forth to doctors, and all I would get from them were pills. I stayed cold all of the time, and I noticed my hands would turn blue and then turned red. I still had no idea what was going on.  I would go through a bottle of Tylenol or Aleve within two days. I knew something was not right. When my hair started to shed, I told my doctor you have to find out what’s going on with me.

One day, I was at work and our school psychologist came in to assist us with a student because we were having serious issues with their behavior.  She glimpsed at my hands and asked if I had Reynaud”s disease. I asked “what is that?” She told me it’s associated with Lupus, she asked me if I had blood work done and been tested, and I told her no. She then said speak with my doctor.  She informed me that she suffered with Lupus. She said she was tired all of the time and she bruised easily. She urged me to inquire.

I was adopted at the age of two years old, and my mom always urged me to find my biological family when I turned 18. I really didn’t feel the need because I was happy growing up. I pursued for a while then stopped. In the year 2000, I searched, and I found my siblings.  Low and behold, two of my five sisters suffer with Lupus.  When I met them,  the first thing my older sister told me was to go and get checked. She told me the exact words to say. She asked if I ached and have chest pains plus other things. I told her yes. By this time, I was in a wig.  My sister lost some of her hair while she was going through chemo. By the way I am the 11th child.

After pressuring my doctor about the issue, I was diagnosed with Lupus. I was placed on Prednisone and Plaquenil. My weight jumped to 280 pounds from the monster drug prednisone. About a year ago, I had a terrible flare. Satan couldn’t shut down my organs, so him and Lupus decided to tackle my scalp. I had severe sore on my scalp. The sore was oozing red and itching, and I couldn’t touch it or wear anything. I had to cut what little I had off. So now here I am wearing wigs, but sometimes I wear my bald head.

I have to be careful in the winter because of the cold because I swell.  I must limit the amount of time I spend in the sun even though I live exercising in the sun.  It’s not easy some days but I keep my eyes on God for I know he has a plan for my life. People don’t understand but those who deal with Lupus understands.  Fatigue is a monster. I can sleep all night and still feel like I’ve been run over by a tractor trailer.  Again, God is good.  The support groups help me a great deal because I can talk to those who understand.

God Bless You and thank you for reading.

Charlene “Charbabie” Williams                                                                                                                                                                         Lupus Warrior