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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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.

In this post and the next two, I’ll share a health care advocacy tool I’ve created called ...

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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 ...

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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. ...

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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, ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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