Because it involves the immune system, [lupus] can attack any part of the body. Like the majority of sufferers, my joints became swollen and inflamed. I also suffered from a crippling tiredness.
With the right treatment, though, it is possible to control these symptoms and you can expect to live a relatively normal life in between flare-ups.
The key is to get the diagnosis, which can help sufferers to enjoy a normal lifespan. The worst case scenario is if it starts to attack your major organs.
For me, each day is a lottery. As I go to bed at night, I never know how I will be in the morning. After writing this piece, I will have to rest for a couple of days.
Confronting my own mortality has given me a new confidence. Once you’ve almost died, there’s nothing left to lose.