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Introducing 2015 Lupus Co-Ambassador Larry Norgren

My name is Larry Norgren and I am honored to be one of this year’s Lupus Ambassadors for the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota (meet my fellow 2015 Lupus co-Ambassador Ashley Albertson here).

I was born in and went to school in Two Harbors and got married and raised my family there. I have two grown children, a son and a daughter, as well as one adult grandson. After graduating from high school, I started working at the Reserve Mining Company in Silver Bay. After 20 years there, the plant closed down and I had the opportunity to go to school at Hibbing Community College. After graduating with a degree in Radiological Technology,…

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Larry Norgren
Larry Norgren
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Introducing 2015 Lupus Co-Ambassador Ashley Albertson

My name is Ashley Albertson and I am one of this year’s Lupus Ambassadors for the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota (meet my fellow 2015 Lupus co-Ambassador Larry Norgren here).

I was diagnosed with lupus in 2009 after delivering two stillborns (at 18 weeks and 28 weeks gestation) and two years of intensive testing. I currently live in the St. Paul area with my fiancé Justin and two stepdaughters, Megan (9) and Anna (7). Working at BOB-FM 106.1, I thought my unique position as an on-air personality could really help spread the word and bring awareness to lupus.…

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Ashley Albertson
Ashley Albertson
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P.A.L. Series – List: checking all the boxes

Continuing your health care advocacy work toward your ultimate health care goal, we’ve made it through the “P” and the “A” of the P.A.L. tool. Now comes the business part of your appointment, and this is where the third factor comes into play, Listing.

This is where you tie up all the loose ends and make sure you have accounted for everything you had hoped to accomplish in this health care meeting. Consider making a physical or mental check list to see if you’ve covered all your bases. To ensure that you have at least five minutes to review, initially notify your doctor that you’d like to allow a final five minutes for this.…

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Kimberly Dahline
Kimberly Dahline
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P.A.L. Series – Ask: be a detective

Lailah Gifty Akita said, “The power of asking is the key to abundance living.” Keeping in mind your ultimate health care goal, which we establish in the first post of this series, we move on today to the Ask portion of the P.A.L. tool for being your best health care advocate. (Make sure you hit the Prepare post, as it will help with this one.)

The best way to be your best health advocate is to ask questions like a detective. Keep digging until you are satisfied that your questions have been answered. Yes, you might be thought of as “that person who asks a million questions,” but, just like a detective, it’s up to you to get the answers you need.…

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Kimberly Dahline
Kimberly Dahline
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Looking back and forward as Kevin turns one

2014 was one of the best years to date for me. Not necessarily health-wise, but overall. This is mainly because of one little boy. I cannot believe he is one already!

Last March 7, Pete and I welcomed our amazing son, Kevin Charles Bauer. Man, the love I have for this little human is incredible. You hear parents talk about how much they love their kids and how you don’t know what it’s like until you’re a parent yourself. Since I heard a lot of people say that, I thought I knew. I had no idea. One of my favorite parts of my day is rocking him to sleep at night.

Being a mom is amazing. He has taught us so much already. Some of it is patience, but most of it is love and what means most in life. It’s crazy how the human brain works and it’s fun to watch little minds develop and learn. They pick up on things ...

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Kristie Bauer
Kristie Bauer
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P.A.L. Series – Prepare: a couple pounds of cure

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Wouldn’t you love a couple of pounds of cure? Ben was right when he said a little bit of work will do it. A little preparation can prevent a lot of headaches when it comes to your health. This means doing your homework before you get to the doctor’s office.…

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Kimberly Dahline
Kimberly Dahline
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Why I became my best health care advocate…and why you should, too

Have you ever looked back to see how hard something seemed at the time? Ever wondered why you were so afraid?

When I was hospitalized in 2010 for lupus nephritis, I was really afraid that night. My lupus had been quiet for over 15 years, but now I worried I wasn’t going to make it through the night. I was so thankful that I had someone to advocate for me during those days; I know I didn’t have the courage.

But courage came quickly. After several more doctors’ visits after I was discharged, it quickly became clear that there were gaps in the system with the transition of information. It was not flowing smoothly from one physician or care system to another. I realized I had to take an active role in the management of my health care to ensure these gaps were filled. I had to be my own health care advocate if I wanted to manage my lupus ...

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Kimberly Dahline
Kimberly Dahline
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Thinking of summer in the middle of winter

Summer time is a great time for family fun and vacations. This past summer, we took our family – all 12 of us! – to Wisconsin Dells and had a great time enjoying the water rides under the bright blue, sunny sky.

In the midst of it all comes the question of “where do we park Grandma?” Everyone’s on the lookout for the most shade for me. They wheeled me up and down through the park, so I could watch the fun. I was lucky to get a Coolibar hat this past summer and have really been enjoying it. As much as I hate to cover up a good hair day, my hat has really been helpful.

I’m so grateful for my family, as they take such good care of me. It’s sometimes hard to accept their help, as I want to be able to do things like I used to. But, I appreciate everything they do and all ...

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Jan Jundt
Jan Jundt
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Hair Loss

For those of you who have lost your hair, it can be very devastating, to say the least. As a rule, we want to look good. Looking good makes us feel good.

When I lost my hair the first time, my husband and mom bought me a good wig. At first, I was very self-conscious about it. We didn’t say anything to the girls about my wig. They walked past me a few times and one of them stopped, backed up, looked at me and said, “Mom, you’re not bald anymore.”

My first outing with my wig was to see my grandma in the nursing home. There, we sat together holding hands and laughing about us both in our wheelchairs and wearing our wigs.

Can you relate to this topic of hair loss? How have you managed to cope with this change? What would you say as words of encouragement to others experiencing this to help alleviate their self-consciousness and anxiety?

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Jan Jundt
Jan Jundt
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Would a giant horn do the trick? A test of active listening

Most North Dakota and Minnesota people are very friendly. We pass by each other and usually greet each other with “Hi, how are you?”

I had just left our support group, where we were talking about whether or not people really want to know how you’re feeling. Do they really listen to our answer? Even when you say, “Not so great,” they reply, “Oh, but you look so good!” At times, I wish a giant horn would grow out of my forehead to let them know that I really don’t feel good.

Leaving our support group that day, thinking about this, I decided to do a little experiment of my own. I happened to run into a classmate I hadn’t seen for quite a while. I greeted her with “Hi, how are you?”…

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Jan Jundt
Jan Jundt
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