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Lupus/support

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Question
hi..i had sent this question to you, but it looks to have not gone over for some reason. anyway, i have a co worker just diagnosed with lupus. the question is, what are some good ways to show support for someone in this situation? thank you!!

Answer
Hi James-

Thanks f or writing in. Please forgive my delayed response- I've been traveling, visiting family.

What a wonderful question. I'm pleased for your friend that you have the desire to help.

The first question to ask yourself is:
What are you good at? And what are you comfortable doing?
For example: sitting and listening, making small talk about light subjects, running errands, cooking, laundry, cleaning, dog-walking, babysitting? Going to doctor appointments together?

The household tasks are hard to keep up with when you are ill, and especially if you are using what energy you have to go to work- and then you come home to children who need you.

So, I would suggest thinking about what you can offer that you can follow through on, then ask your friend if you can help with that. If she says "no thanks" then just let her know if she thinks of some way you can be helpful, please ask. We can be proud, we patients, and it takes a while sometimes to learn to accept help. But maybe she'll be receptive right away.

Thanks on behalf of all of us who have been there for viewing her with compassion and trying to find a way to be supportive.

Carla Ulbrich
The Singing Patient

Lupus

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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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