By any standard, Tiffany Williams, 26, has a demanding schedule. A senior assistant editor with John Wiley and Sons, she also volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the American Cancer Society, is active in her church, and sings professionally. Last fall she was involved in an off-Broadway play, and in January, she began teaching an after-school music program. "All my life I’ve been the ‘go-to’ person," says Williams, of Perth Amboy, NJ. "People could call me at the drop of a hat, and I’d be there."
Though Williams loves her busy life, she had to learn to be careful about saying "yes" to things, especially after she was diagnosed with lupus at age 19. "As a young African American woman, my expectations for myself are really high. But when you have lupus, it takes so much more energy to do something that the person next to you can just do." The desire to push herself meant that her health suffered. "I went through a phase of saying, ‘Yes, yes, yes,’ and my blood pressure went up, and I’d take extra pills," she says. "One time my body got so tired that I came home hysterically crying."
Learning how to manage your time effectively, and how to say "no," is a difficult but necessary part of managing lupus.
Taken from the Spring 2010 issue of Lupus Now magazine