Life as a man living with lupus
Terry was diagnosed with lupus in May 2005. Here he shares in his own words what it's like as a man to live with lupus, both physically and psychologically.
My lack of ability to physically do tasks was very disheartening. I spoke very little of the pain I was enduring, but it was obvious to see my lack of mobility and how much effort it took to do daily things that used to come easily.
I never missed a day of work due to lupus. I was determined to not let this disease affect my ability to financially support my family. I would come home from work many days and just crawl in bed until the next day. The pain sometimes was so intense I couldn’t make myself eat. I had to use a cane on some days, but my employers were very understanding and my co-workers were always looking for ways to make my day a little less painful.
My wife has been unbelievable and understanding. My extended family has been very supportive, and my church has been great! I also have an amazing group of friends who are always there for my wife and me. One friend brought his Harley Road King motorcycle over and let us use it for six years at no cost. He knew it would give me a sense of freedom again, and it worked.
Not knowing what will be thrown at us next with the disease makes it hard to make long-term plans. One doctor told me he didn’t know many men that live past eight years (after diagnosis) with lupus because men don’t do well with it. I hate having to worry about what will happen, but it is a reality. I have tried to live my life by putting God first, family second, and career third, and I feel I have done a pretty good job putting those things in perspective. I once heard the well-known speaker Kevin Elko say, “Be where your feet are!” I took that as “live in the moment,” and I cherish every day that the good Lord gives me with those who love and support me.
and his wife, Arlene, have been married for 35 years and live in Wichita Falls, Texas. After working in construction industry sales and as a police officer, Terry is currently a construction industry safety manager.