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Question
Dear Carla Ulbrich,

        My Girl Friend is suffering from Lupus (SLE) Since 3 years and she is about 18 years old.  

        She was suffering from severe joint pains since one year, she got recovered much from past 3 months, and now she is able to stand on her legs but cant walk.

        I just want to know that, is the patient suffering from SLE or Suffered from SLE, can get married?  Is there any problems occur to her married life in futute? Or is there any problem causes to her reproductive system?

        Please Answer

E.A KHAN

Answer
Hello Ejaz, and thank you for writing in.
I'm sorry to hear of the troubles your girlfriend is having.

Can someone with SLE get married?
Well, yes, anyone with a disability can get married.
Will there possibly be issues that come up that would not be there if the SLE were not there?
Yes. For starters, someone with a chronic painful disease is going to need support. Emotional and sometimes physical help doing things. I think you may want to consider visiting some lupus support groups if there are any in your area, so you can talk to some other spouses of people with lupus to find out how they handle being the partner of someone with a chronic illness.

And to be more specific, the area of sex. You didn't ask that specifically, but it is part of marriage, normally. Being in pain and exhausted can lower the desire. And also there can be discomfort for the woman that can be helped by a personal lubricant (for example, KY Jelly or Vagisil). Sorry if that's embarrassing, but it's an important issue.

Finally, regarding reproductive issues. It is possible to have children if you have lupus, but it is riskier. There are more miscarriages in women with lupus, and also sometimes being pregnant can cause the lupus to get worse. But there are women who have lupus who have successfully and joyfully had children. (Specifically, author Sara Gormin and blogger Christine Miserandino are both lupus patients who have successfully and happily had children after developing lupus themselves).

Because lupus causes fatigue, it would probably be wise for her to either have a job or to have children, but having both is probably too much stress to have and also to be healthy. Lupus is aggravated by stress.

I'm not clear as to whether she's being treated at all- is she on any medication? Is she under a doctor's care? Lupus doesn't just get better all on its own like the flu or a cold. It's a serious matter and she need to see a doctor regularly to get blood tests to make sure her internal organs are okay.

Finally, I want to encourage both of you to look into some dietary changes for her. Because it sounds like there hasn't been as much improvement as you'd like (can't walk still), it would be worth trying an elimination diet for one week: have absolutely no gluten (nothing with any wheat or oats or rye) and no dairy (milk, butter cheese). On day 8, eat a normal amount of gluten and dairy, and see how it affects you. If she feels better on days 3,4,5,6,7 and worse on day 8, you will know you can improve her health with this diet change. Being gluten-free and dairy-free has dramatically improved my health, and I was diagnosed with lupus in 1993.

I've got a lot of information about the things I've done to improve my own health since being diagnosed. You can either read it in my book http://tinyurl.com/348hroc , or have a look at my blog http://lupusandhumor.blogspot.com/ .

I wish you both all the best-
Carla

Carla Ulbrich

The Singing Patient: Author, Humorous Songwriter and Entertainer

_____________

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"I am reading Carla's book How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This? and loving it. I LOVE Carla's songwriting, so I'm not surprised that her prose writing is as smart, funny, and insightful as her music." - Christine Lavin

get Carla's book! http://tinyurl.com/348hroc  

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Carla Ulbrich

Expertise

I can answer questions such as "what is lupus?" (How common is it? Is it contagious? What are the symptoms? etc.). Also, I can answer questions such as "what are the available treatments for lupus?" (both standard and alternative). Really, I'll take almost any question on lupus, though. If I can't answer it, I'll be very surprised, but I'll also go find someone who can.

Experience

I've been living with lupus (SLE) since 1992. I've had three severe bouts with it, including symptoms such as kidney failure and stroke (if you can call having a stroke a "symptom"). I have completely regained my health, though I have to be mindful to take care of myself, lest I get sick again. I use both mainstream and alternative medicine, and have tried just about everything under the sun to alleviate symptoms. A lot of it worked.

Organizations
Lupus Foundation of America Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor Toastmasters Folk Alliance

Publications
How Can You Not Laugh at a Time Like This? (Tell Me Press, pub.) What is Laughter Lupus Sundial Newsletter

Education/Credentials
BA in music (UNC-Greensboro)

Awards and Honors
Novelty Song of the Year, Just Plain Folk Awards Winner, South Florida Folk Festival Song Competition Lupus Foundation of America Seal of Approval (for book)

Past/Present Clients
Medicaid Conference Alaska Palliative Care Conference Right at Home Health Care SePHIMA Anritsu Club Med Nursing in Practice

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