I remember waking up with no movement in my legs and the urge to go to the bathroom. When I took off my duvet a chill breeze made me shiver – it was already winter. I tried to move my legs to get out of the bed but I couldn’t. A big bottle of confusion filled my mind.
“Ma, Ma,” I shouted.
“Ya uthini?” Mama answered on the second call.
“Mama woza, la ekamereni.”
“Okay, ngiyeza,” Mama answered.
Mama came to my room looking half asleep as it was the early hours of the morning. She switched on the lights.
“Mama, I can’t move my legs, please help me get to the bathroom,” I panicked.
It was the 22 of February 2015 and that day I had an auditing lecture.
“Good morning class and welcome to Auditing 1601. Please copy these notes and we will discuss them later,” the lecturer told us.
Some students rushed to their bags to get the books, others were busy greeting each other. I had already started taking notes. After some time I noticed my hands getting swollen, but they weren’t painful.
As the weeks went by I noticed my legs getting weaker. I would walk and easily get tired until the day I called Mama, unable to walk.
That morning my parents took me to hospital. They drew blood to try to find the cause of my sickness. I was told to come back the next day for the results.
The next morning I was woken up by excruciating pain like needles in my right hand. Now, not only couldn’t I walk, but I couldn’t use my hands either.
After my blood results were not clear I was booked for an endoscopy. That left me feeling so anxious.
I was admitted to King Edward Hospital. For the first time, in what had been a blissfully peaceful life, I was in hospital.
“Miss N.Khumalo,” the doctor called out.
“Yes doctor,” I replied in a very sleepy voice. I must have fallen asleep after the doctor gave me Tramadol before I had the endoscopy.
“Wake up, I have your endoscopy result with me.”
“I nodded.” I felt shrivelled with sadness and began to shiver.
“We have found that you have an inflammatory disease caused when the immune system attacks its own tissues,” the doctor told me.
“What is that doctor?” I asked.
The doctor told me it was systematic lupus. I googled it, to find all the answers. I discovered that lupus was chronic.
Like elevator doors closing, my dreams of becoming a C.A. were gone.
After months of being in hospital, getting medication, going to physiotherapy like a new born baby, I learned to walk again. I had to learn to eat and write again too.
Fast forward to today. Like a lion is king of the jungle, I have regained control over my life.