4-A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation would like to honor Danielle Archie as our weekly Lupus Warrior.
She began having problems with her legs and feet in 2011. It started with swelling in both legs which was very uncomfortable. It caused her to walk with a slight limp.
The next morning she woke up with feet so swollen that she could barely wear slippers. Not only were her legs and feet swollen, but they were tingly. She couldn’t get comfortable, it was hard to sleep, drive, stand and even sit.
Danielle’s primary doctor ran several tests and couldn’t figure out the problem so he referred her to a Neurologist. The Neurologist ran an astronomical amount of tests. She remember a blood draw where at least ten vials were drawn.
She had to sleep with some sort of monitor for a few nights. She was sent for a test where small needles were placed all over my legs and feet.
Danielle was so tired of being poked and was giving up hope. The Neurologist called her into the office and gently told her that she has neuropathy. She didn’t understand what that meant and he really tried to explain it but, the simplest thing he said was “you’re in a grey area and I can prescribe medicine to ease the pain and discomfort”. He also stated that her blood work showed some abnormalities and referred her to a Hematologist. This was one of the scariest appointments for her because the sign on the door or at least all she saw was “Oncologist”!
She stood there staring for at least five minutes before entering. She was greeted by a Receptionist that offered a gentle smile and explanation. When she met with the Doctor, she informed Danielle that her blood work showed that she has lupus but, she wanted to run more tests because doctors that are not Hematologists generally don’t know what to look for. So off to the lab she went. She was so tired of giving blood, her arms were bruised and sore.
The Phlebotomist was nice…it was like talking to your Aunt. She saw the bruising and promised to be very gentle. The tests came back positive for Lupus Anticoagulant. She was confused and didn’t truly understand what it meant. It was simply explained that her body produces blood clots and depending where the clot is, it will be very dangerous. A few weeks later, her legs was hurting really bad, she couldn’t bend it at all. She found herself back at my Doctors office, from there he sent her for a scan. Ten minutes after leaving that appointment, she received a call stating she had a clot and needed to go directly to her Hematologist. She had to do more blood work and also learn how to administer abdominal shots to herself.
She actually passed out from all of the blood work. She woke up next to patients receiving Chemotherapy. One of the elderly ladies came and sat next to her after her therapy was complete.
She comforted her and told her that her illness may not be like someone else but, that doesn’t make it any less important.
Danielle has to get tested for clots twice a year and conduct self tests. She takes a cocktail of prescriptions to ease the pain and discomfort that she experience.
She continue to pray for her health and thanks God that she’s still alive and able to see 50 in a few months.