Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Working With Lupus

Hi Lupies:

It has been a while. With life you sometimes have to let things go in order to deal with other things. I have been in school full time on top of my job, so that has me a bit stretched these days.

My husband Geoff is in St. Louis, so we are doing the long distance thing for now. I have to say that I am truly missing that support system. Aside from missing the company of my husband, he used to help me get around. I'm in pain more often now because I cannot take pain meds and drive. My doctor gave me cream to put on my joints. I'm going to try that out and see how it works for me.

I feel lucky that I am able to do my job. We just had mid-year reviews, and I performed pretty well. Take that lupus!

About.com recently reported a study that shows 92% of patients with lupus were no longer working four years after diagnosis. It's tough to work with lupus. Especially if you have a job that requires lifting or moving. I was at the shoe store about a week ago, and I had this salesperson who was moving very slowly to get my shoes. I was very familiar with the way she moved because I've been in that type of pain. I could not imagine having to stand up and chase after shoes all day with lupus. I think I would be telling customers, "Your shoes are in the back room on the left. I'll be waiting right here!"

How have I managed work all these years with lupus? I forgive myself, and my job is very flexible. My boss understands that sometimes I'll have to work from 9:30 to 6:30 instead of 9:00 to 6:00 because sometimes my body is just going to take a little longer to warm up in the morning. I make sure that my joints don't get cold at work. I dress warmly, and I keep a heating pad at my desk. If laws allowed, I'd have a space heater too. If you can use a space heater a work, make sure you do. It really helps!

I arrange my doctor's appointments such that they make the least impact on my workday as possible. That means either in the morning or evening. Never in the afternoon unless it cannot be helped. That just eats a huge chunk out of your workday. Sometimes I see lupies sacrifice doctor's appointments for work. Health maintenance is imperative to staying healthy with lupus, so if you can, never miss an appointment. Take care of all health problems asap so that they don't affect your work performance.

Working can be a challenge with lupus, but it is possible. Especially if you have a job that isn't physically demanding and allows for flexibility.

Take care Lupies.


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