MOSS BLUFF, LA (KPLC) - It's an invisible illness that many people believe doesn't exist.
"Lupus is an autoimmune disease," says patient Miranda Gradnigo, "Your cells in your body are attacking themselves."
She was diagnosed with Lupus 8 years ago and on top of that, doctors told her she had fibromyalgia.
"Basically it's a pain that you're living with every day," Gradnigo says, "You can wake up in the morning with a chronic pain and throughout the day it may subside or it may not subside."
Gradnigo says the diagnoses turned her life upside down."I used to say I would go from 0 to 100, now I just go from 0 to 0."
14 surgeries later and a plethora of medication, she continues to fight. She says it's all due to her husband, her number one cheerleader.
"That is like the best thing you can have," Gradnigo said. "I've been blessed to have a great husband to have a good support system."
Gradnigo says most days the pain is so bad, she remains in bed. On the days where she's able to get up, she sits in her recliner in the living room.
"It's going to be hard," she adds. "But you also have to have that will and that stubbornness and that desire to just keep getting up."
Gradnigo says she's looking to spread awareness for lupus and fibromyalgia and hopefully find others suffering from similar illnesses. "I just refuse," she said. "I don't know I just know there is no cure but you can minimize things."
But every day is a fight.
"It rips you physically mentally and emotionally apart and financially...it will financially ruin you," she adds.
Gradnigo says the best thing someone can do is get a rheumatologist for a list of rheumatologists in the Lake Area. click HERE.