Lupus is a chronic disease which means it’s something that is life-long with no cure. I am doing well today, but that does not mean that’s true tomorrow. I knew I would be dealing with lupus for the rest of my life. Given that, I quickly realized I would have to rely on, and ask for support, from those around me. For someone who is fiercely independent and rather “Type A,” this is very humbling. Asking for help used to make me feel inadequate. Now, lupus forces me to drop my pride and accept support.
If I’m in a flare, my husband Patrick does mostly everything around the house including: meal preparation, cleaning, and caring for our dog, Cash. Patrick is my warrior, ready to fight with me on the front lines through the pain. My dad is also one of my strongest supporters because his help is readily available and always unconditional.
People often ask what they can do to support me. Sometimes, the answer is as simple as taking a few minutes to grow their understanding of lupus. My friends and family offer assistance in many different ways. For instance, one time my brother snow plowed my driveway with his truck. I never asked him to do that; he kindly stopped over. My sister-in-law makes us healthy meals at times; my neighbors send over snacks and flowers; and a friend once dropped off a favorite funny movie of mine. I get cards, calls, and texts just to see how I’m doing and many prayers are said for my well-being. Trust me, it’s those seemingly little things that are hugely appreciated for someone dealing with lupus.
My husband has expressed his feelings of helplessness with this disease because he can’t take it away from me. Until I volunteered with the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota, I felt defeated at times too. It’s only until I started sharing my story, particularity when I started fundraising, I felt as though I was participating in an answer rather than lamenting about the problem. I know I’m not curing anything today, but the money I am raising swings the pendulum in the right direction.
Sometimes there is nothing anyone CAN do but give of their gifts, whatever those gifts may be. If you’ve read this post so far, please go one step farther. If you feel grateful for life, volunteer your time. If you are blessed financially, consider a donation to the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota. If you enjoy the gift of good health, then please join myself and many others at the Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Run. We have less than one week to go (for the Twin Cities event) so let’s mobilize our collective gifts for those battling lupus!