At that time in the 50s there wasn’t much known about lupus, "but I had a good diagnostician. He said I had either syphilis or lupus. How could I have syphilis!" Woody said laughing.
"They put me on prednisone at that time, and I’ve been on it ever since."
Unfortunately, the lupus also caused hair loss. That amazing hair was a wig. The fibromylagia diagnosis was not made until 1993. "I had an accident where I had a compound fracture in my wrist and had to have hand therapy.
I get spasmodic pain. It could be anywhere. It could be my toe, the top of my hand, or my finger. It lasts maybe 30 seconds or more and then it’ll go away. It’s strange. The pain doesn’t stay. It’s nothing that requires pain medications.
I told my hand therapist about this and she says it sounds to me like you have fibromyalgia. She printed out information on fibromyalgia and gave it to me. I did have the symptoms, so I assumed that’s what I’ve got."
Woody is a strong woman both in constitution and personality. Although fibro often goes hand-in-hand with lupus, the assumption of fibro and its symptoms puzzles me. In the 90s, fibro was barely known, and not readily accepted by the medical community.
According to Woody, "I don't have much pain. The fatigue is probably a combination of the fibro and lupus.I take vitamins and I follow health rules. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I had four hours of sleep last night so when I came home from church I was a little tired. But sometimes I can overcome it without too much trouble. It’s normal, at least compared to what some people go through. I don’t suffer too much."