Inspiration from Shamicka Lawrence “Make Yourself a Priority”

We had the pleasure of speaking with television's Hollywood Exes cast member Shamicka Lawrence. She is so much more than the “ex”-wife of actor/comedian Martin Lawrence. Shamicka is a mom, an entrepreneur, a talent manager, a person with lupus, and as she defines herself – “a joyful spirit!”.

Despite her celebrity, Shamicka’s story is not unlike many with lupus. Diagnosed in 2011, she traces it back 13 years ago after giving birth to her daughter Iyanna. She describes symptoms like vertigo, fevers and hot flashes that were mistaken by her doctor as a cold and a red rash across her face that was thought to be rosacea.  “I figured I would just get better.” And she went on trying to take care of everyone else – her husband, Iyanna, daughter born two years later, Amara, and her “bonus baby,” Martin’s daughter Jasmin. “Like so many women, I put myself last.”

In January of 2011 when her personal life was particularly stressful, symptoms reappeared and this time with a vengeance. Recurring high fevers, hair loss, mouth sores, loss of taste and smell, and fatigue so severe she couldn’t get out of bed.

“I was tired all the time, but I thought that’s because I’m a mom. I just kept pushing,” said Shamicka. But hair loss was one symptom that prompted her to see a dermatologist who ordered a battery of tests, one of which suggested lupus. She was referred to a rheumatologist and has been doing well since.

“I know now that I have to take care of myself, not just everyone else.  So I juice twice a day, eat only fish, exercise, and maintain a positive mentality. When I get down, which I do like anyone who lives with lupus, I give myself 20 minutes to feel bad. Then I say to myself, 'What can I do to feel better,' and that usually gives me the boost to get going again.”