Having sepsis led to the discovery of my Lupus

I'm new here (thanks for the welcome several of you have given me!) and in reading thru postings I found this quote from an article very enlightening:

"Usually when you’re sick the body produces antibodies to fight off the infection but it has the opposite effect in people with autoimmune diseases."

Please bear with me while I tell you my story:

Back in October I was in the hospital for a week with sepsis and cellulitis in my leg. It was the 2nd time in 3 years I've had cellulitis and thankfully the only time I've had sepsis. I could have easily died if the ER dr. hadn't been on the ball.

Prior to this event I'd been using a walker for the last 2 years because I was so crippled up with what we all assumed was pain from my back issues. I have nerve damage in my back and have lost some of the feeling in my feet, so pain in other areas of my body was just a given. I never even thougth to mention it to my GP...I mean, who wants to hear me complain, right? After the sepsis I was so crippled up that I could barely stand and needed help to step up on the exam table. I honestly thought I would be dead within 5 years, it was that bad.

During a followup visit with my GP for cortisone injections in my back, he asked me how my body tolerated Prednisone, because he was thinking of a course of it for the inflammation in my back. I told him my body loves it. Usually I have to take it when I have a chest infection and even tho I'm sick, I feel fantastic! I lose weight, get a ton of things done, move like I never get to move otherwise. He found that interesting and prescribed the Prednisone, starting at 40mg and then tapering down.

The first day I took it I suddenly started to pee like I'd never peed before. I would literally walk out of the bathroom and walk right back in! lol I couldn't even put a pizza in the oven...my hubby had to make dinner! This lasted about 6 hours and I lost 6 lbs of fluid. I thought..."wow, that was wierd".

The next morning I got out of bed and as I'm sitting in the bathroom I realized that I had got there without a walker, was able to get out of bed without pain or gearing myself up for it and was able to walk without any help!

Three days later we did something I haven't done in years...we went shopping. All day. Thru furniture stores, antique stores, you name it, we shopped it. No walker, No cane, No help at all.

Today, I feel 20 years younger. I'm down to 15mgs of prednisone per day (although honestly I'd feel better at 20) and I have my life back. I'm an accountant and I had lost the ability to work large or even small numbers in my head. I used to lay in bed all day sleeping, barely dragging myself out when my 12 yr old came home from school. I'd make it thru that 5 hours and crawl back into bed when he went to bed. Now I'm up all day. I get things accomplished. I can run errands and do them all instead of quitting after 2. My husband is shocked. He never comments on anything and he comments all the time about how nice it is to "have me back" and how great this is. My son is beyond thrilled.

When I went back to the dr. at 10 days for my checkup it was actually fun. He opened the door and I was sitting in the chair. He kind of looked around like "where'd she put her walker". Then he said "How ya' doing?" I said "you really wanna see?" Then I jumped up, kinda did a little jig around in a circle, touched the ground and then reached up to the sky. The look on his face was priceless! He just stood there staring and then said "I've never seen you look so good! What happened!" so I told him. Then I told him we needed his social security number to add him to our will because he gave me my life back! lol It was right before Christmas and I think I gave him the best Christmas present that day. He was smiling as much as I was!

His first thought was polymyalgia rhumatica because of the classic reaction to the prednisone, even tho at 51 I'm really very, very young to have it. However, he ran a battery of tests and the Lupus markers were popping up so he sent me to a rhumatologist for confirmation and consultation. Apparently, after talking with the rhum, I've been plagued with this most of my life and have probably had full-blown Lupus for 15+ years. Its also probably the reason why I could never carry a baby to term and suffered so many losses.

If you're still with me, thats my story. I'm feeling great now even tho I had a minor flare up this weekend. We took the dream vacation of a lifetime to Florida last month, swam with dolphins, did 4 days at Disney, got to see a rocket launch at the Kennedy center, did the alligator thing, the SeaWorld thing and anything else we could pack into 8 days. We're already planning our next vacation, this time to the east...DC and such.

Just wanted to share how a life-threatening infection led to my dx of Lupus and actually saved my life!