Monday, April 9, 2012

Dear 16-Year-Old-Me

Dear 16-Year-Old-Me,

You, or rather I, have Lupus. It's always been lurking in your life waiting to strike. Three years from now, it will find its opportunity when you give yourself a decent cut while shaving. Do you remember those hot flashes you used to get in elementary school? They weren't hot flashes. It was a malar rash caused by sun poisoning. You'll learn that later. And you know how you're always getting UTIs? That will go away once you start taking your antimalarials.

Ya, I said antimalarial. It's neat how it comes from the bark of a tree. Well, the medicine you'll take is most likely synthetic quinine. Did you know quinine becomes fluorescent under ultraviolet light? Too bad it wont make you glow like a glow worm. That would be pretty cool.

The hardest thing you'll have to learn to deal with is the chronic pain and fatigue. Right now in high school, you're dealing with the fatigue. You just don't know it yet. But it makes perfect sense now. It's really just fatigue.

And then there's the pain. That's tough. I'd recommend staying active. The more fit you are when the symptoms magnify, the easier time you'll have dealing with them. And be nice to your friends. They'll be the only ones who stick by you even though you'll be living in a different state from them.

And finally, graduate this year. Don't wait for your senior year. You'll be much happier if you've already got your AA out of the way when you go through this. I didn't, and now I'm struggling to juggle school, work, and this disease. It's overwhelming. Plus, you'll have to rely on your parents again. You were living on your own, but after getting sick, you couldn't work or pay rent anymore.

From your future self,

P.S. Take care of your body. You don't have 20 years to prepare for old age, like you thought you would. You only have three years. Be prepared.


  1. Great advices! I would really loved to travel back in time and change some things myself, well at least we got to write a letter and imagine.. it is all good.

    -Keep up the good work, keep up writing!