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Support through a support group

The first time I heard anything about a support group was when a woman came into my hospital room. She too had lupus and came to ask me to start a group. At the time, I couldn’t even get out of bed.

In the next couple of months, as we searched for information on lupus, we continued to hear the same words, “Would you start a support group?” With the help of the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota, Dave and I started a lupus support group in Bismarck, North Dakota, in April of 1990.

LFM offered training seminars, retreats and brochures on lupus to get us started. We found it wasn’t as hard as we thought. Overall, people just needed a place to share their feelings and talk to someone who understood what they were going through. We have learned so much just by sharing our stories.

The lady who first approached me in the hospital never did come to the support group. But, ...

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Jan Jundt
Jan Jundt
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Family support

How could I be so lucky to have such wonderful family support?! My family has given of themselves in so many ways, helping me with physical and personal needs. They do little things that they don’t think are much at all, but they are everything to me.

When I was so sick 25 years ago, my husband knew how much I needed to hold my girls. He picked each one up and put them in my hospital bed with me, despite all the tubes, wires and IVs. My recovery began!

Twenty plus years later, again very ill and in the hospital, they worked their magic yet once more. The girls curled up in bed with me and just held me. What better gift could a mother receive!

How has your family supported you? Leave your comments below.

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Jan Jundt
Jan Jundt
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The power of faith and prayer

I was very humbled to find out so many of our friends and family started prayer chains for me. Coast to coast, there were prayers for my health and my family.

I ran into a former coworker. We exchanged stories trying to get caught up. In the few minutes we were able to talk, I told her about my lupus and she told me for two years she had been praying for a lady with lupus. She did not know the lady’s name; just knew there was a need. As we talked, we pieced the puzzle together. That lady she had been praying for was me.

Don’t neglect the power and importance of faith in your wellness and healing.

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Jan Jundt
Jan Jundt
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Worrying. . .

You worry about your children from the minute they are born. But when you know they could also have lupus, you worry even more. Then you add grandchildren to the mix and the worry becomes enormous.

All the worrying in the world won’t change anything. So, we have tried, as a family, to be as educated as we can be about lupus. Watch for the tell-tale signs and behaviors of lupus, with the hopes of cutting it off at the pass, so to speak. Recognizing the signs enables us to seek help professionally when the need arises.

My family can read my face and body language and tell how I’m feeling, sometimes knowing before I do, that I have passed my limits.

Education and awareness of your disease is one of your greatest tools. There are numerous sources of education and information. Seek out information and educate yourself as much as you can. The Lupus Foundation of Minnesota, lupus support groups and your ...

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Jan Jundt
Jan Jundt
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Lupus affects the whole family

Our young family was hit hard and fast 25 years ago when I was first attacked by lupus. My family was forced to deal with the harsh reality of me being in ICU for a month and needing months of care afterwards. The daily care of my young family fell on others, while Dave spent night and day with me. We were blessed to have my parents close at hand. They stepped in to provide the care for the girls and helped me once I came home.

Many of you are well aware that when you have small children there is no time to be sick, but when it happens, you will find that children can handle and do more than we sometimes give them credit. When as a mom I should have been getting my three girls ready for school, they were helping me by putting my Ted socks on for me and getting me dressed. That was so ...

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Jan Jundt
Jan Jundt
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Introducing 2014 Lupus Ambassador Jan Jundt

Hi! My name is Jan Jundt. I’ve been asked to be the 2014 Lupus Ambassador. I was very honored and surprised that our three daughters nominated me. Thanks, girls!

I look forward to sharing “our” journey with you. From the beginning, we have always referred to my having lupus as we (our family) having lupus. As you can well imagine, how mom is feeling makes a difference in how and what we do. At first, I worried about spoiling family outings and plans, but with the help of my husband and girls we learned if plan A, B or C didn’t work, we’d go to Z if we had to.

I was diagnosed in December 1989, almost 25 years ago. I was 35 years old and suffered from pain I thought was caused from rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We were only too familiar with this disease on both sides of the family, so when I was having more and more trouble with my ...

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Jan Jundt
Jan Jundt
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Six weeks later

Six weeks later and things are going great. I had my six-week postpartum check this week with my OB. I was a hoping that my weakened immune system wouldn’t affect my healing. It didn’t. She said everything has healed great. I mentioned to her that my back and neck has been hurting me. She said that it’s common to have back pain as your body’s center of gravity adjusts back to normal. So now that everything is healed, she suggested some exercises to strengthen my core to support my back better.

It’s very weird that I won’t be going back to that clinic for a year (for a one-year check). I got so used to the people there. My ultra sound tech chased me down by the elevators to give me a hug and ask me how things are going. I loved that clinic and would recommend it to any lupus patient who is pregnant. Having doctors who truly ...

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Kristie Bauer
Kristie Bauer
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It’s a boy!

Welcome to the world Kevin Charles Bauer!

Today would have been my due date. Our little man decided to come into the world a little early. I was at 38 weeks and 4 days when Pete and I went into the hospital on Thursday, March 6 around 1 p.m.

I held off on getting pain medicine to see how things went. Like I said in previous blogs, I didn’t really have a birth plan because I didn’t know what to expect. I really wanted to be up and moving around as much as I could. I was put on oxygen for a little bit to make sure he was getting enough during labor. I first tried an IV pain medicine, which was helping just fine until they broke my water at 9 p.m. I did end up getting an epidural around 10:30 so that I could be more comfortable and relax some. babybauer2I ...

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Kristie Bauer
Kristie Bauer
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My final weeks/days

During my 37-week appointment with my OB, she told me again how great I am doing. It’s nice to hear that I have done a good job taking care of the baby and myself. She hasn’t checked to see if I am dilated at all yet. She said we would do that next week and then maybe discuss inducing plan too. I asked her if lupus patients get induced earlier than normal pregnancies. She said yes, that can occur, if so, likely at 39 weeks if they haven’t had their baby yet. This was news to me. Probably a good thing to know! I will be 39 weeks the week of March 10.

Another thing I have been watching lately is my blood pressure. With both preeclampsia and kidney involvement with lupus, your blood pressure can go up with swollen legs. My legs are definitely swollen, but right now the cause is simply being 37 weeks pregnant.  Back when I did ...

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Kristie Bauer
Kristie Bauer
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36, 37 weeks and counting

Last week I had my 36 week check-in. The baby’s growth still looks great. It is such a relief to be able to say I got to this stage. Early on, they told me their goal was to get me to 37 weeks. And, as of yesterday/Monday, I am 37 weeks! I think that calls for some sparkling grape juice to celebrate!

My doctor told me that she is very happy with my progress and that I should be proud of making it this far. I have a very active kiddo in there and both my ultrasound tech and my doctor tell me that all the time. An active baby = a happy baby!

My feet officially do not fit in my shoes, my legs are swollen and I can no longer wear my wedding ring. I went out and bought an $8 fake ring to wear temporarily. My Braxton Hicks contractions are definitely getting stronger. I am getting a lot more cramping, ...

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Kristie Bauer
Kristie Bauer
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