If you haven’t read my blog post Everyone Has A Story – My Story please do and learn more about Vasculitis, a disease I have been struggling with since 2002.
What is Vasculitis?
Vasculitis is the inflammation of your small blood vessels. For me it is in most evident and damaging in my kidneys. When I was first experiencing visible symptoms of the disease I had red spots all over my legs and feet. They were the small capillaries in my veins leaking blood into my skin.
My disease is caused by my immune system attacking me. I have an autoimmune disease. When I was finally diagnosed with the antibodies that appeared in my second kidney biopsy they were able to see the antibodies in there that causes Henoch Schloen Purpura.
I have Glomerulonephritis because my glomerular capillaries in my kidneys are damaged and blood and protein spill into my urine. Eventually this can cause the kidneys to stop functioning but I work with a great doctor who follows my condition and symptoms to make sure nothing is getting worse.
You don’t hear about vasculitis often but some famous stars have died from it. Harold Ramis has been the most recent celebrity to pass away from the disease and sadly it has brought the disease into the public eye a little more. Kathryn Hepburn also died from complications of vasculitis.
I expect to live a long time while I have this disease because we have been keeping an eye on my condition and I don’t let it stop me from doing the things that I enjoy. When I was first going through it, it was a challenge for me, but I fought through it, trusted my doctor and am now living a healthy, normal life. And I am very grateful that it doesn’t get me down! When I was first going through it and didn’t know what was wrong with me and had to endure the skin and kidney biopsies, drugs, steroids and doctor visits, I was very depressed and stressed. Then I was told I couldn’t have children after just being married a few months before the flare up began. That was very difficult for me. But I can look back now and am so happy to have it all behind me and moving forward into what lies ahead.