From Summer 2010 Issue of Lupus Now Magazine
By Mary Dixon Lebeau
A pretty blonde with an engaging smile, Karon Beasley never had a self-esteem problem. She always prided herself on her slim, attractive appearance. A sun worshipper since childhood, the Woodstock, GA, resident had the tanned blonde look associated with a native Californian. She even did part-time modeling.
“Some of my income depended on how I looked,” Beasley says. “I was never vain, but I did care about my appearance.”
So when Beasley was diagnosed with lupus and Sjögren’s syndrome in 1998, she immediately became concerned about how the disease and her medications would affect her appearance. “I was suddenly taking over 20 medications each day, and I wasn’t sure how they would affect me,” Beasley recalls.
Classic lupus symptoms, such as a rash on her face and chest, began to appear. Despite continuing her workouts, she put on 14 pounds as a result of the prednisone prescribed to control her lupus. Her face swelled, and she felt out of proportion. “I was aware of what I looked like. I would take pictures of myself and compare them to older pictures. It was difficult.”