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September 3, 2008 at 8:41 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Living With Lupus

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with lupus, there are daily challenges which will present themselves. Learning to adjust to the disease and how it will affect your daily life is an important step.

Recognize limitations

Learn to listen to your body and identify its needs. Don't ignore symptoms as they appear; address them immediately. Recognize that you may not be able to do some of the things you used to, and modify your behavior to adjust to the change.

Plan Accordingly

You may not be able to do everything you used to, but that doesn't mean you can't live life to the fullest. Maybe you cannot go on long vacations, but certainly you can still take a few days off and indulge in a restful vacation rather than something very active. Try going to a spa rather than rock climbing.

Bring all Medications When Traveling

If you are traveling for any length of time, bring extra medication with you just in case. Be sure to always carry your medical information (prescription and dosage, doctor contact info, emergency numbers, etc). This way, if something ever happens to your medication you'll be able to get more.

Be Flexible

Perhaps most importantly, you'll need to be flexible and adaptable. There will be times where your lupus will interfere in ways you don't want it to. It may ruin carefully made plans or special occasions, but there is little you can do to control the timing of flares. The only thing you can do is accept the occasional flares as part of your life, and move on.

Determine Triggers

You may already have some idea of what triggers your lupus flares, but you'll want to pay special attention to circumstances that seem likely to predict an event. Jot these down in a notebook when they occur to see if there's a predictable pattern. Be sure to tell your doctor anything you'se noticed.

Determine Warning Signs

Many people experience warning signs of a lupus flare, which may include increased fatigue, headache, dizziness, rashes, stiffness, pain or fever. You may experience these symptoms or others, or none at all. Everyone with lupus is different. Again, track these warning signs and see if you can find a pattern. If caught early enough, you may be able to reduce the severity of the flare.

Preventive Care

Take very good care of your physical and mental health. Keep your body in the best shape you can in order to minimize the risk of developing more serious complications. Preventing further conditions will be easier than treating them.

Coping Skills

You'll find you need to develop good coping skills. Adjusting to lupus will take flexibility and patience more than anything. You may find it helpful to seek out a therapist who's familiar with lupus and can give you support when you need it. A professional can educate your family, partner, friends or boss about your specific needs and condition. There are even support groups you can join either in person or online.

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