Columns

Remaining Hopeful Is Hard, but I’m Trying

I often remind myself that worrying isn’t helpful, especially because stress is a lupus trigger. In my past life as a well person, I always thought I handled stress masterfully. But after being diagnosed with lupus, I notice that my biggest flares happen when I experience high stress levels.

Taking Advantage of Living in a Time Like No Other

We are living in a unique time, and I am not referring only to the COVID-19 pandemic. How many times in your life have you wished you had more downtime? How often have you wished for more time to do the less urgent, little things you never seem to get…

I’m Learning New Skills as I Adapt to Change

I was hospitalized the first month of this year, and I hope it’ll be the only time this happens in 2020. After the hospital, I was sent to a rehabilitation center. It was the first time since my diagnosis that I did rehab at this level. When I was younger,…

A Different Kind of Connection

The lupus life can feel seriously lonely. Supporters surround me, but I know they can’t understand the things I endure. Lupus can create a whole lot of problems, mentally and physically. A tiny symptom can become something serious. When serious flares strike, I fear that one of the many…

Coping and Thriving During COVID-19 Isolation

My last column focused on fear and other potential effects of being in isolation. As Australia continues to lock down, I have experienced different waves of emotions.   The first was anxiety. If you are overcome with anxiety, know that you are not alone in feeling a…

Remaining Optimistic During Times of Uncertainty

Lupus is unpredictable. If you have it, you might wake up feeling it’s a good energy day only to end up in the hospital. Now, in addition to already living a topsy-turvy life, we have a global pandemic to manage. Those of us already coping with depression and anxiety from…

Energy Is a Casualty of Coronavirus Quarantine

As the novel coronavirus spreads across the world, my native Australia is slowly being coaxed into lockdown. At the start of this week, state and federal authorities announced they would shut down all “nonessential” activities soon. In my life, this means that training at the gym, Brazilian jiujitsu, and yoga…

The Burden of Feeling Like a Burden

When the doctor told me that I have lupus, I first thought only of the diagnosis. I had no clue that so much more would come with the knowledge that I would be fighting my body for the rest of my life. Guilt, depression, anxiety are just a few…

As Social Distancing Professionals, We Have a Head Start

For those of us battling lupus, chronic fatigue is often the reason we cancel social engagements at the last minute. Some friends and family members don’t understand that our fatigue is not a normal type of tired. Sleeping for days on end is not unusual with lupus, and we…

Who Cares About Matching Body Parts Anyway?

Last week I went in for a day surgery to have a cyst removed from my left ear lobe. Unfortunately for me, the scar tissue trauma known as a “keloid” and my left ear lobe appear to have become staunch friends. This is the second time in less than a…