The Journey Begins

“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 nurse practitioner, but an APN, of Rheumatology. I began to do more research, where I discovered The Rheumatological Nurses Society, and became a member. During this time, not only was I was a mother, but I was also in nursing school, working, networking within fashion and health, and dealing with my new diagnosis. I later had the pleasure of meeting the CEO of “The Lupus Foundation of America’s” 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 my nonstop, and consistent schedule, I soon went into overload. During the fall of 2017, I decided to dye my hair, using a simple black, organic, all natural 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, and 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; with an Indian background, she has always pushed for the more natural and holistic approach, and has always felt that there was something autoimmune going on with me. She pushed, and pushed, until the right specialist found the answer. Her colleague, a nurse practitioner, whom I trust, just as much as, I trust my PCP, works closely with my primary. After being sent home, knowing, 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 weakened immune system, it was predicted. Hospitalized, for another five days. I continued to push; keeping up with my work, returning to school. Although I felt much better, my body and mind knew otherwise. I decided to take a medical leave of absence. I was hurt, angry, and frustrated for a while, 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 had a vision, it was vivid and real. I felt as though I was up, but I was sleeping. I woke up and took down notes, becoming more, and more motivated. I made a list for the next day, and accomplished them. I came home and started to think back… 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 I chosose to represent 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 is to be a nurse, but it doesn’t stop there. I am to be a nurse practitioner in the field of Rheumatology. I want to make a change, I want to inspire others with autoimmune diseases, like Lupus. I want to educate, motivate, and advocate. There are many 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 is taking me thorugh this jounrey to hear the stories of others, advocate, collaborate, and motivate. Together we can raise awareness, become healthy, and find a cure, 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 just stop there. I will use “The Purple Purpose” as a platform to bring together those with autoimmune diseases/illnesses, like mine; 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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