Like many autoimmune diseases, lupus has many symptoms, and they vary greatly among those who have the disease. When someone you love has lupus, it’s difficult to know how to help. In this article, we’ll discuss how to help your loved one cope with lupus. Understanding what you can do empowers you as a caretaker or partner to help the one you care about continue living their best life.
Lupus is one of the more common autoimmune diseases, so many people have heard of it. Still, most don’t understand the daily struggles. The best thing you can do when someone you love has the disease is to educate yourself. Doctors offer education to the patient; however, the people who care for the patient need just as much education.
Seek courses offered at a medical center or read all you can about lupus. It’s a diverse and confusing illness, and the more informed you are, the better.
It’s human nature to avoid uncomfortable subjects. People don’t often talk about the diagnosis afterward. People with lupus may start to feel like a burden and no longer want to share what they’re feeling each day.
Be the one who steps up and asks the questions. Lupus is frightening to those who must live with it. They don’t know what they’ll wake up to each day as far as exhaustion, nausea, or other symptoms. Keep the lines of communication open and let your loved one know you want to listen.
If you aren’t naturally empathetic, it’s something you should practice when a loved one has lupus. The best way to do this is to visualize yourself in their shoes.
Lupus sometimes puts patients in bed for weeks at a time. Rather than feeling frustrated with your loved one, close your eyes and imagine if you were so exhausted that you couldn’t leave your bed. You’ll quickly realize they aren’t enjoying the fact that they can do nothing but sleep. Practicing empathy is one of the best ways to help your loved one cope with lupus.
Record everything. Keep files for every doctor’s visit, bloodwork, and medication they took. Have a notebook on hand to record the date and how your loved one was feeling that day. This will help you notice any patterns or triggers that may affect symptoms.
Lupus is frustrating since it’s unpredictable. Jump in and stay involved with your loved one. Empathize, ask questions, and keep track of how they’re doing. Together, you can manage lupus and go on with living.