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Staying Strong for My Daughter With Lupus

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This content is created or selected by the Healthgrades editorial team and is funded by an advertising sponsor. The content is subject to the Healthgrades medical review process for accuracy, balance and objectivity. The content is not edited or otherwise influenced by the advertisers appearing on this page except with the possible suggestion of the broad topic area. For more information, read the HealthGrades advertising policy.

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staying-strong-for-my-daughter-with-lupus

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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As a mother, you want only the best for your child. It can kill you to watch your child in pain. And I had watched this pain for years without really understanding it. When the doctor told me it was lupus, I felt so stupid. My husband's sister had lupus, her daughter had lupus, my sister had lupus, and my mother may have lupus. I don't know why the light never came on. But I couldn't wallow in my guilt. I had to keep moving and do all I could to make Heather's life easier.

Caring for Heather has been a roller coaster ride. She has good days and bad days; she has good years and bad years. I'm there for her to rant about her frustrations, and I'm there to help her when she can't get out of bed some mornings. My heart breaks when I watch my family suffer, but we are blessed with so much. I've had Heather longer than I thought... there were times when I wasn't sure she would make it. She's found a loving husband who spoils her, takes care of her, and pushes her to try new things.

I live down the street from the two of them, so I see her as much as I want. She has two beautiful nieces who think the sun starts and sets with their Aunt Heather, and although she can't have her own children, the joy in their faces when they see her helps her overcome that loss. My daughter has had some difficult times, and I've shared in her struggle. But I make myself be strong so that she can be strong, too.

Shurleen Dorough is a mother of three children, including a daughter with lupus.  She lives outside of Atlanta with her husband, Tom. 

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© 2016 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

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