THE 8TH ANNUAL FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES
Butterflies of Hope Warrior Stories
Flight of the Butterflies, Butterflies of Hope Warrior Stories is a lupus awareness campaign sharing stories of the brave lupus warriors. Many don’t understand lupus until they hear the walk of a warrior. Flight of the Butterflies, Butterflies of Hope Warrior Stories is dedicated to sharing those stories in May for lupus awareness month.
Flight of the Butterfly Angela Lackey
On February 1, 1996, an emergency Cesarean was done due to preeclampsia I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl that was born at 30 weeks premature with a hole in her heart. The doctors thought that I would be fine, and everything would return to normal after giving birth, but things continued to get worse. My blood pressure was still not normal, my wound was not healing correctly, and blood work was abnormal. The gynecologist was unable to figure out what was wrong with me, so they began to consult with a specialist.
I had been in the hospital for over 5 days at this point and was unable to visit with my newborn baby in the neonatal intensive care unit.
I was later diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus by infectious disease doctor and was linked with a Rheumatologist and internal medicine doctor. I was put on several different medications with one being prednisone to help control lupus.
After being home for only 2 days I was rushed back to the hospital and admitted where emergency surgery was done called Pericardiocentesis. Due to all the issues from the lupus flare of giving birth, another surgery, a heart doctor was added to my care. I was in the hospital this time for about 7 days and unable to visit with my newborn baby prohibited bonding time. All that I could do was call to check on my baby and let my husband and mother visit with her. She was later discharged as a healthy baby at 4 weeks old with no major medical issues where we bonded and still have a strong bond today.
Depression hit after receiving the diagnosis of lupus. I was hurt, didn’t know what direction to turn because I was in a new relationship, a new baby, and trying to finish school. Then to be told you have lupus and wasn’t familiar with the disease made things even harder for me at the time. It was an emotional process that I was not ready for at the time because I was only 21 years and that was concerned the prime of one’s life. I had support from my family, church family and friends helped me through a very hard time in my life. To help me with coping I educated myself about lupus.
I was later told that I was unable to work due to all the issues from lupus. As time went by my health started to get better and I was eventually able to go back to work. Over the years I continue to have lupus flare and other medical issues.
Spring of 2016 as my health began to start failing me. I had the flu, pneumonia, pleurisy and I was left with a bad cough that would not go away. There was continued visits to internal medicine doctor, pulmonary specialist, and rheumatologist. I even consulted with getting a second opinion from another rheumatologist with no help. Until one day my regular rheumatologist did further test and consulted with another doctor which proved I had Interstitial Lung Disease. The recommendation was to take Cytoxan by IV. After I researched it and another second opinion, I did the treatment. I was still having some issues, so I was sent to a Pulmonary specialist at UAB where it was recommended to start taking Cellcept. I am currently on Cellcept and low dosage of prednisone to help maintain.
I currently still have lupus flares where I have major leg pains, muscle pains, and fatigued. I have learned that I have other major medical issues that have caused doctors to say that I am no longer able to work. I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, migraines, avascular necrosis, neuropathy, osteoarthritis, hypertension, insomnia, depression/anxiety, Cushing’s syndrome, Obstructive sleep apnea, sickle-cell trait, restless leg syndrome among other things. I have 3 pages of medications that I take daily or take as needed pending the situation. I keep a list of medications and my diagnosis with me at all times in case something goes wrong and I am rushed to the hospital.
I have fought to get on disability with no avail since August of 2016. I am currently still fighting for my disability because the doctors feel that I will no longer able to work. The struggle is real because I never thought I would be in this position of not working, having all these major medical issues and having so many lupus flares that are beyond my control.
It is currently an emotional battle to cope with my situation of not working, depending on my husband, and family members. I don’t feel I have the support I had 23 years ago with the diagnosis of lupus, because times have changed, everyone has their own challenges compared to then. I know it’s through faith and the grace of God that I’m still here today. Most of my days are spent journaling, keeping up with doctor’s appointments, reading, spending time with family/friends, advocating and believing in my true purpose in life and that’s fighting for my life. I believe it’s important to let others know my story because it is a struggle for me each day to make it through the day. I want to encourage others to be the best they can be and not let the disease take over their life.
Lupus In Color is excited to present Angela Lackey’s story to the world. As a Lupus Warrior she is actively promoting lupus awareness and wearing the armor of strength in doing so.
Lupus In Color Salutes you Angela Lackey. YOU ARE BRAVE, COURAGEOUS, AMAZING and STRONG TO SHARE YOUR STORY.
YOUR BUTTERFLY WINGS ARE FLUTTERING, YOUR CHIN IS UP, YOUR ARMS ARE EXTENDED AND YOUR CHEST IS OUT! FLY ON BUTTERFLY! FLY ON!
PLEASE SHARE Angela Lackey’s FLIGHT ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES AND START HER BUTTERFLY JOURNEY SPREADING LUPUS AWARENESS!
LupusInColor #ButterfliesofHope #FlightoftheButterflies #Brave #Courageous #Strong #SpreadLupusAwareness