Staying Strong for My Daughter With Lupus

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Shurleen Durough's daughter Heather has been living with lupus for more than 20 years.

In our house, there's always been a lot going on. If you let yourself start crying, you might not be able to quit. So I try not to cry or get upset; it won't solve anything. I just keep going.

My daughter, Heather, was diagnosed with both types of lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus and discoid lupus) at age 25. We'd spent years taking her to doctor's appointments, only to hear the doctors say that her intense pain was all in her head, that she was being a drama queen and only wanted attention. I believed them, for some of her life. When she didn't want to get out of bed for school because her joints hurt, I wouldn't hear her excuses. I told her that I didn't want to go to work, but I had to, so I did. I told her she had to get out of bed, so she did. But I had no idea the real amount of pain she was in.

I've learned that doctors are human just like the rest of us. They make mistakes. They didn't catch the lupus until Heather had been suffering for many years. Eventually, Heather got so sick that we brought her to the hospital. That's when she was diagnosed with the lupus, and her pain was finally legitimized.

Shurleen says God gives her the strength to keep going for her daughter.

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