If I Could Get One Do Over, It Would Be… – Nonfiction by India Akua Mendonça

If I could get one ‘do-over’ in my life, it would be to do- over my reaction to my primary doctor telling me that I had lupus back in 2010. I felt vulnerable, weakened, and overwhelmed on receiving this news from my doctor. My reaction was to go into denial. I did not want to believe that I had lupus and did not want to acknowledge my diagnosis and the consequences of my reality. Therefore, I did not take any of the medications prescribed to me by my primary doctor. 
Three years passed since my lupus diagnosis, and I still was in denial. In those three years, I was neglecting my health: I was not seeing my primary doctor on a regular basis, and I never scheduled an appointment with a rheumatologist. Boy, did I suffer the consequences of my wrong decisions! 
My lupus flare-ups, when left untreated, became a nightmare to deal with. My symptoms started to worsen after years of neglect. I would experience joint pain all over my body for long periods. I would not be able to open and close my hands, and would have stiffness in my knees, pleurisy in my chest, pain in my shoulders… the list would go on and on. All the pain I endured in the three years of denying my illness could have been avoided if I had simply taken the prescribed medicine, listened to my primary doctor, and accepted my condition. 
India Akua Mendonça

India Akua Mendonça is a stay-at-home mother who loves reading, exploring new places, going to the beach, going to restaurants, and listening to bossa nova music. She received her A.A. in Liberal Arts from Chabot Community College and her B.A. in Black Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara. Before becoming a wife and mother, India worked at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University as a Document Specialist. She and her husband purchased a home in Lake County in 2012 and in 2017 married each other in the living room of their lovely home. She is currently a homeschool teacher to her five-year-old daughter, and she enjoys every minute she spends witnessing and cultivating her daughter’s education. India feels fortunate to have the option and the opportunity to teach her daughter how to read. She lives with her husband, Marco, their daughter, and their three birds in Clearlake Oaks, CA.

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