Dating with lupus

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Almost all allergies are caused by immune system confusion and overreaction — peanuts are not actually a life-threatening invader — but in most cases, the trigger can be avoided. Your doctor can give you an alternative to penicillin. With an autoimmune disease, the body produces an inflammatory defense response to itself, much the same way that a person with dermal sensitivities might break out in hives if she touches alfalfa hay.

I knew I wasn't getting better — but I still didn't know if I was going to get worse or just stay this way forever.

The last time I actually felt good was about a decade ago. But by the time we were performing our final show, I was so sick I should have been in the hospital.

I remember where I was and what I was doing: I was onstage, rehearsing for my final fall play of high school. In fact, my liver and spleen were so inflamed that doing the show could have ruptured either of them, killing me.

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I'm standing in the kitchen, doubled over, using the back of a dining chair for support.

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