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My Lupus Story: ZseTaun Washington

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ZseTaun Washington, a Lupus Warrior and member of the LupusCorner community, was kind enough to share her personal lupus story. 

“Have you ever been tested for lupus?”

Those were the words that started it all. Dr. Thompson was my new doctor. I made an appointment because I needed him to understand the 10 years of pain, surgeries, insomnia, falling out of hair, skin rashes, hives, morbid fatigue, rheumatoid like pain in my feet and wrists and roller coaster weight gain and loss, I had been experiencing. Not to mention, when I got to his office, I was unable to move my neck on the right side; that was new, pinched nerve or muscle spasm. Turned out to be a muscle spasm. Dr. Thompson listened intently to all that I had gone through and finally surmised that it was time to get tested for Lupus. I had previously been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and Hashimoto Thyroiditis, which led to the removal of the right portion of my thyroid gland and consequently permanently prescribed medication for the rest of my life.

I was already limited physically.

Fibromyalgia didn’t allow for long walks, adventures at theme parks, standing for too long or for someone to hug me a little too tight.  Now, this doctor wants to add insult to injury by testing me for lupus.

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I had just taken a new job that had me under surmountable stress. As teachers, we are given 10 sick and personal days to use throughout the school year. From August- June. It was September and I had used 8 of them by then. I hated work, I hated my body for hating work. and I hated being this young and this sick and feeling trapped as if I was in a maze with no out. “Lupus?”, I questioned. ” Like Nick Cannon and Toni Branxton, lupus?” “Well let’s get the test results back and we can go from there”, he calmly stated. If there were any test that I was not happy about passing it was the Lupus assessment. I am the type of person that does a great deal of research before and after doctor visits. I need to partake in my health and wellness, and not just be offered a prescription and good tidings until our annual visit.

Being diagnosed with lupus was different.

I learned there are various types that do various things to the body, mine sought to destroy the use of my joints coupled with severe fatigue. He told me it was mild and to take pain reducers like ibuprofen. But what about fatigue? I am completely useless if I’m too exhausted to teach my students or for that matter get out of bed in the morning. He then referred me to a Specialist who, bless her heart, was supposed to guide me towards a balanced life with Lupus. She didn’t. She didn’t want to call it Lupus, although she wanted to prescribe Plaquenil, which is used for patients with Lupus. Again, I did my research, I thoroughly read about every blood test she ordered, what possible medications she was going to prescribe and I learned about an anti- inflammatory diet.

This was year 10 in pain and discomfort.

I have always heard “if you want to get what you never got, you gotta do something you never done” (pardon the grammar), and I wanted to discuss the anti- inflammatory diet further. I had done the advils, tylenol arthritis, diclofenac and ibuprofen, but I still had pain. None of them were preventative. They were temporary fixes. After literally arguing with her about what I felt was best for me this time, and her getting upset and down playing my diagnosis as chronic joint pain; which she still wanted to give me Plaquenil for, I left her office. My cousin Michael, and a dear friend of mine constantly touted a plant based diet. With the exception of fish, I was willing to give it a try.
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I watched 2 documentaries “Game Changers” & “Forks over Knives”. That was it, I was going to give it a try 5 days a week for 30 days. With the help of my dear friend Te who made vegan meals for me while I got used to cooking differently, I became quickly accustomed to my new lifestyle. I began to feel better, I lost a little weight, I was able to sleep through the night things began to change, but not totally. I was still eating meat and other animal proteins on the weekends or when I went out with friends. Flares came back, and as intelligent as I am, I missed the connection. Then, I met Dr. Price. Dr. Price is an iridologist who I met at a girlfriend’s party. He is all about health and wellness and healing through nutrition. When I told about my diagnosis, we scheduled an appointment for him to come to my house and do an iris read.

This completely changed my life.

He told me that my gut was very acidic and suggested that I cleanse and try a more alkaline diet for 30 days. The list of foods include a spinach, kale, avocados, parsley, cucumber, zucchini, apples, bananas, ginger, garlic smoothie for 30 days, a lemon cayenne pepper cleanse, fish, and brown everything else ie.. brown sugar, rice, honey…etc. He said ” If it’s brown it’s from the ground, if it’s white it ain’t right.” He wasn’t opposed to meat, but I had taken a likening to plant based substitutes, so I decided that I would only eat fish and everything else would be plant based. I excluded cheese, yogurt, milk, sour cream, and all other animal proteins. In 30 days, I was a new me. No flares, no pains, no fatigue, no insomnia and everything else I mentioned earlier eradicated. It has been 11 months since I experienced any assortment of symptoms. I still drink my smoothie daily, which I have named my “medicine smoothie”. I haven’t been on any prescriptions, only true vitamins supplements. With the help of Dr. Price, I have curtailed being lupus symptomatic.

This is what I needed to do for me. It’s not for everyone.

But when I finally noticed that animal proteins were literally making me sick, I had to do something drastic in order to get some semblance of my life back. Years of eating poorly and not taking care of my insides, resulted in something that could have become aggressively worse over time. I was fortunate to put a pause on it by simply eating right. My suggestion is to listen to what your body is telling you. Never give up on finding the answers that work for you. I am not trying to turn anyone vegan, tell you to get off your meds, or fire your doctor. This is my story and what was necessary for me.

My only mantra to you is be an advocate for yourself and keep striving and searching for your healing.

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If you would like to share your personal lupus story, please send an email to hello@lupuscorner.com

Comments (6)

6 thoughts on “My Lupus Story: ZseTaun Washington

  1. Thank you so much for sharing. I have been contemplating cutting back on animal protein. I have already cut the white sugar, white rice and white bread. This very encouraging.

  2. I was recently diagnosed as well with Lupus , this will make my second autoimmune disease I would love to know exactly what it is that you took in your smoothie and the foods that you eat . They want to put me on hydroxychloroquin which I’m not happy about . Been taking CBD oil for inflammation . Been off work for 3 months and getting fat because my hands and feet hurt all the time

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