“The Purple Purpose”
Day 1
Today it hit me, I found my purpose. I found why God placed me on this earth, it clicked. It all makes sense. From day one, I have wanted to be a nurse. I knew it was my calling, and I have been determined ever since. I have had health problems starting at the age of 14, we never knew what it was exactly, and for years, I was misdiagnosed. In 2016, the pieces slowly started to come together, and I was diagnosed with SLE, systemic lupus erythmeous. It was both devastating and a relief, devastating because of the diagnosis, and automatic negative thoughts that flooded my mind. Yet a sense of relief, because I finally knew what was giving me complete hell for the past 13 years. From this, i then decided that I not only wanted to become a Registered nurse, or nurse practitioner, but an APN, of Rheumatology. I began to do more research. And then discovered The Rheumatological Nurses Society, and became a member. During this time I was a mother in nursing school, working, networking within fashion and health, and dealing with this new diagnosis. I later had the pleasure of meeting the CEO of the lupus foundation of America, Tri-State Chapter,  a make up artist with lupus, a singer with an autoimmune digestive disorder, a fashion designer/artist with an autoimmune disorder, just to name a FEW. You may be wondering where I am going with this, well with this nonstop consistent schedule, I soon went into overload. During the fall of 2017, i decided to dye my hair, a simple black organic all natural black dye, but what I thought was a treat to myself, soon became a nightmare. I had a severe allergic reaction, and after being sent home 4 times from the ER, I was finally sent to the hospital, to be admitted, by my primary care physician/nurse practitioner. Now I forgot to mention that my primary doctor has been my doctor since the age of 9/10, with an Indian background, she always pushed for the more natural and holistic approach and always felt there was something autoimmune going on. She pushed and pushed until the right specialist found the right answer. Her colleague and nurse practitioner is also my lifesaver, and works hand in hand with my primary. Now, after being sent home and knowing that in my gut something wasn’t right, I went to see my nurse practitioner and was admitted. What was supposed to be just for “observation” became 5 days! ALL during nursing school. I worked hard, kept in touch, and completed my assignments from the hospital bed. Once discharged I returned to school and was back on track. Until November, where I developed cellulitis in my right leg, from shaving. Since i was on so many antibiotics and steroids, and already having a weak immune system to begin with, it was almost predicted. I was once agin hospitalized for 5 days, but I continued to push; keeping up with my work, returning to school, once again, right after discharge. Although I felt much better, my body and mind felt otherwise. I decided to take a medical leave of absence. I was hurt, angry, and frustrated for awhile, but then realized it was the best option. I began to get depressed and my focus was else where. One night, I laid in bed relaxing, breathing in the eucalyptus aroma therapy, I prayed and listened to inspirational music. I woke up and took down notes, and became more and more motivated. I made a list and accomplished the tasks I listed. I came home and started to think back, and then it hit me. God put me through this in order to prepare me for what is yet to come. “The Purple Purpose” is the name of my lupus team, under the lupus foundation of America. I choose this name because Purple is my favorite color, and is also the color that represents lupus. I have a purpose, my purpose and calling is to be a nurse, but there are many others with a purpose. Each of the individuals I have had the pleasure of meeting, have an autoimmune disease, but that didn’t stop them from becoming who they were called to be. God brought me together to hear their stories, and collaborate together to raise awareness and become healthy, through a positive, natural, and holistic approach. I will help find a cure, educate, heal, and care for those in need as a nurse, but my calling doesn’t stop there. I will use “The Purple Purpose” as a platform to bring together those with autoimmune diseases, like mine, and show them that they too, have a purpose, and how together we can make the world a better, healthier, more positive place. 💜

Xiomara Elena

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