There is no way to ignore the warm welcoming presence of Eboni Polite. Her smile has the ability to light up a room effortlessly. There is something however behind her lovely smile that Eboni according to the Lupus Foundation of America shares with 1.5 million others in the U.S. Eboni lives fighting the ongoing daily complications associated with the autoimmune disease Lupus. Eboni was gracious to share her story with me in the hopes of spreading awareness, and she wants to encourage others living with the disease.
P.F. M. : How has been diagnosed with Lupus changed your life?
E. P. : Being diagnosed with Lupus has somewhat altered my lifestyle. Since my diagnosis with Lupus I’ve had to slow down a bit. I was diagnosed at age 25, and I’m now 34. I now work harder to stay on top of my health, and make time for myself to rest.
P.F. M. : What are some of the things that people aren’t aware of that effects you mentally and physically with the living with lupus?
E. P. : Physically Lupus effects my body by making me feel fatigued, and worn out. Normally, whenever I have a flare up, my joints may start to swell or hurt, and I may feel like I’ve gotten into a physical fight. Mentally, I hate being slowed down. I’m a very independent woman, and I like to get things done. During these flares, I have to take it easy, and I hate the feeling of not being able to complete my tasks.
P.F. M. : What are you doing to stay healthy and prevent the occurring of flare ups frequently?
E.P. : To stay healthy and prevent the occurring of flare ups I take my medications as prescribed, and see my doctors on a regular basis. I also try to eliminate all stressful factors out of my life which can also lead to a flare up. I also try to eat healthy and exercise. One of the biggest factors to prevent occurring flare ups, is trying to stay away from germs. The medications I take lowers my immune system which makes me susceptible to colds, flus, and pneumonia. I do a lot of hand washing, and I use hand sanitizers.
P.F. M. : Who have been your biggest supporters and how?
E. P. : My biggest supporters have been my family. My mom has been my number one supporter since day one! I’m so thankful to have a team that consists of my parents, my siblings, and my husband. My husband and I met five years after my diagnosis and he’s also became a part of my support system.
Eboni pictured to the left. To her far left her sister Felicia Andrews, and her parents Warren and Donna Andrews. The picture to the right she is featured with her brother Warren Andrews.
P.F.M. : What words of encouragement do you have for other women who have Lupus?
E. P. : For other women with Lupus, I would encourage them to never give up hope! It’s a diagnosis not a death sentence. You can live with Lupus, be happy, and enjoy life. You may get knocked sometimes, but get back in the fight, and keep on fighting.
P.F. M : What does it mean to you to be a woman of purpose despite having life changes and living with Lupus?
E. P. : To me being a woman of purpose despite having life changes and living with lupus means getting up, getting dressed, and pushing through everything that this disease has tried to throw at me. My relationship with God, and my prayer life is what keeps me grounded. If it were not for my prayer life, I could’ve easily given up, but I choose not to, I have so much to live for!