Marianne Gordon originally sought medical help for a low-grade fever and a skin rash. But as time went on, her symptoms got worse.
"I couldn't walk, my feet and legs hurt so badly," she added.
Finally, her doctors diagnosed her with lupus.
"Everything that is going on with the lupus is the result of the body's immune system producing antibodies that are directed against parts of your own body," explained Dr. Lee Shapiro, a rheumatologist.
There are several symptoms that should trigger suspicious for patients.
"Rash, especially with what's called photosensitive rash, which may appears hours or days after sun exposure, and joints which can mimic rheumatoid arthritis perfectly," noted Dr. Shapiro.
In more rare cases, the disease can effect your central nervous system.
"Severe inflammation of the kidney, lymphrytis and inflammation in the central nervous system," Shapiro said. "And there are individuals with lupus that may present with seizures or stroke like symptoms or confusion."
"I had pericarditis which is inflammation around the heart," Gordon said.
Lupus often mimics other conditions.
"Individuals with lupus may also sometimes have rheumatoid arthritis or muscle inflammation called myositis. The one that overlap the most commonly is Sjogren's syndrome," Shapiro said.
The disease is managed with medication.
"There is Benlysta, which suppresses the activation of these B cells, and another drug called Rituxan, which is sometimes used for lupus, which is a B cell depleting drug," he explained.
Gordon has learned how to manage the disease.
"You can live a normal life if you take care of yourself. Rest is the key component, you really have to rest," she said.