Hi, my name is Isabella! I am 16 years old and I love Jesus. I’m the youngest of 3 children and I love school. I am in the Bio-med Stem program at my high school and I want to become a RN and then a BSN.
When I was little I went to preschool and my teacher used to always rub and massage my legs because my legs were always sore. I had to discontinue dance classes and I could no longer participate in miming with the church’s mime team. Eventually, it became difficult to run and play, to climb stairs, and exposure to sunlight/heat would cause me to breakout in hives. I went to my pediatrician and she diagnosed me with growing pains. Fast forward 2014, I saw visible swollen glands, I visited my pediatrician again and she referred me to a ENT doctor. He discovered in my blood some abnormalities and referred me to my present pediatric rheumatologist with the Levine’s Children’s Hospital. He ordered many blood tests and my next visit with him, I was diagnosed with Lupus SLE. I recall searching what it was and reading about the symptoms. I experienced each of them. Joint pain, headaches, fatigue, butterfly rash, hair loss, etc. Textbook.
I had long nights of crying. I was just 10 when I was diagnosed with Lupus. I was young child and I didn’t know how to feel or how to accept my diagnoses. I’ve always kept to myself so only my family knew about it. My whole outlook on life change. The medicine I was put on was prednisone because I couldn’t do normal things anymore. Normal things like brushing my teeth, lifting myself up from sitting, and then writing for long periods was hard. I had the moon-face. I didn’t like that because I felt suffocated all the time. As of today, I am on 15 different mediations. I became stronger emotionally. I forgive people quicker and I cry a lot more often. Three years ago, I had a relapse and flared up. I was home bound for 7 months and I was in and out of the hospital. I met nurses and doctors that cared about me and helped me to get better. I always had a smile on my face. I shared my diagnosis with my school peers, school staff and church members. Word got around in school and I was treated differently. I was bullied and I become depressed but I grew closer to Jesus and my faith become stronger than ever. I turned the pain that a kept in into strength and love. I shared my love for others and brought them to Jesus. I was granted Make A Wish and appeared on Good Morning America. It was a life changing experience that I would never forget. Everyone was so nice and genuine to me. My rheumatologist was in connection with a Camp called Victory Junction. VJ is a camp established for the support of children with chronic illnesses to give them the life without their illness in it. Its fun, creative, and life changing all in one. I met so many people that have love in their heart and kindness in their soul.
The Bible was my #1 key to my healing. Jesus died on the cross for you and I. I have a wonderful relationship with him and I thank him everyday for life, health, and strength. I exercise daily and always keep water in my diet.
At school, I sometimes have brain fog so I always study a lot. That brings on stress and mood changes because I get frustrated and I forgot things. I see friends going out and I sometimes get invited to go and I can’t because of joint pain and tiredness. I can’t help it, I need to rest and regenerate. It’s one step at a time, it just takes patience.
Whenever I am weak, scared, or feel like giving up God is always there to comfort and fight my battles. It is to him I give the glory and praise. He has done so much for me and I am forever grateful and thankful.
Find Bella | @bellamccray