Kick start a new series i am starting here on my blog, i have had the chance to ask the lovely youtuber Mya Hernandez a number questions about her journey with her medical condition. i am pleased for many reasons that Maya agreed to write a post about living with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. She was the first woman i came across on youtube that i could relate to. Like Myself Mya has had to make a number of lifestyle changes in order to make managing lupus easier. If you want to know more about what Maya has been thorough then keep on reading.
Tell me about yourself?
My name is Mya Hernandez. I am Multiracial. I am 25 years old. I spend a lot of my time reading, I’m a bit of nerd . I love experiencing & learning new things. Bright colours make me happy but I always tend to wear darker. Cooking is such a passion for me but watching people enjoy what I make makes my soul skip. Simple things make me happy. I’ve learned that small things matter so I appreciate everything and take nothing for granted.
what is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus ( SLE) & What symptoms may someone with SLE experience?
SLE is an autoimmune disease that affects the healthy tissue of the body. For example, your muscles, lungs, skin etc. , what happens is your body is on constant defence mode . In short your body attacks itself. Lupus affects everyone differently, but we have a notorious butterfly rash that marks our faces. For me my lupus effects my lungs , my skin and my liver.
When were you diagnosed and what lead to your diagnosis?
It suspected that I had lupus at 18 years old but it wasn’t written on paper that I had it until I was 23. I got really sick, my skin became reptilian like and was actually falling off. All my hair fell out, my vision was impaired as well as my memory when the doctors finally gave me a name for what was going on with me.
How did you feel when u received the news?
I dealt with my confirmation to my disease in stages. I was angry. I had a moment of self pity and depression set really deep with me. I didn’t want to deal with it, I was suicidal and I didn’t want to live anymore. After that I had the acceptance, I acknowledge and accepted that this was my disease I let go of that anger and began to see my disease as a blessing. I often say it is the best and worst thing to ever happen to me . It’s humbled me, it’s changed my eating habits and it’s made me appreciate life in all the beauty it comes in, good & bad.
How do you treat your condition?
In the beginning I was on all types on steroids but all that did was make my lupus angry and make me fat. So when I was at the bottom of my depression I met my current doctor and he introduced me to the holistic lifestyle , so I treat my lupus completely 100% naturally . I changed my eating. I am completely gluten free, I do not drink juice, I avoid sugar & I don’t eat red meat. I take daily vitamins and supplements that aide in autoimmunity. I am always at a constant state of peace I do yoga regularly because for me stress causes my flare ups . I do sauna therapy which removes any toxins out of my body. I also go into this Himalayan pink salt man made cave, that helps with my respiration.
Besides taking medication what other changes have you had to make?
Everything. I get sick so quickly being my immune system is bad so I have to take extra precautions to avoid getting sick . My eating, no more pizza for me. Everything that I do has to be in consideration of my disease.
How has having SLE affected your social life/relationships?
My social life was very much affected, in the beginning I couldn’t be outside for no longer than 10 minutes so I didn’t have a social life. If I did have visitors I didn’t see anyone simply because I was either put into a sleep because of my pain or people who I thought were my friends stopped caring. Relationship wise on a friendship level I have lost a lot of “friends” due to my disease because I “wouldn’t hang out” or “they got tired of hearing no”. Romantically , it takes a special person to be able to love someone with an illness because it’s not just me it’s me & my disease and a lot of people are not understanding of that . Selfishness gets in the way of understanding sometimes but that is life and I have learned that if it easy for an individual to walk then their feet were never fully planted.
How do you stay positive?
I stay positive because I’ve been at the bottom. I refuse to look at my situation and feel bad for myself or wish a better life for me because this where I am suppose to be, this is what was written in the cards for me. Positivity for me is something that just is, like the fact you breathe. You breathe because it is required of your body to do so, for me positivity is my breath.
What inspired you to start your YouTube channel?
Well, in the beginning my thought was purely selfish. I just wanted to see my body transform as I went through the holistic treatment, but as I started to record I realised that I wished there was an outlet where I could just hear from someone who was going through what I was , so I created one . I wanted to show people what lupus was because at the time it was unheard of, I wanted people to not feel alone the way I felt alone. To know that there’s someone just like them in the world who understands and encourages them to continue fighting.
Do you have any advice for some one dealing with SLE?
Don’t let your disease define who you are .Yes you have lupus but don’t for a second believe that lupus has you. Be kind to yourself don’t slander that beautiful person looking back at you in the mirror. You are beautiful, You are loved, and You are a warrior .
Feel free to follow her social platforms & show some love