When you have a chronic illness and particularity when you’re in the midst of a very bad episode or flare, it’s hard to feel grateful for anything. We get overwhelmed by everything we have to cope with and forget to express gratitude, yet if you think about it we all have something to be grateful for.
Naps are not only beneficial because they make us feel less sleepy and more alert, but because they improve our cognitive functioning, reaction times, short-term memory and even our mood. Research also found that found that motor learning, which is where brain pathways change in response to learning a new skill, was significantly greater following a brief afternoon nap for regular nappers when compared to non-nappers.
If you have lupus you know all about napping, infact we’re professionals. So could we improve the quality of our napping? Here’s a few tips to get the best from your nap.
We’re just not used to hot weather in the UK so when we get a sudden heatwave our body struggles to cope with it, especially sleeping. In countries that have more heat than we do they have air conditioning but it would be used so rarely here that the vast majority of us don’t have it. So what can we do to help us sleep in the hot weather?
When you get lupus the reality is that you will almost certainly have to make lifestyle changes and one of those may be to your work life. Whether you live to work or work to live a job is an integral part of most people’s life. When lupus strikes it can often prevent people from continuing to work at all.
When you’re having a flare you really don’t want to move much so this might help. You can prepare a flare or bad day box/bag in advance to have ready for when you need things close at hand. The idea is to put everything you might need into the box, include all your favourite things and a few treats.
Some things that might trigger a flare: divorce, bereavement, virus and Christmas!! Yes Christmas, a wonderful but potentially very stressful time of year.
Lupus is unpredictable and can interfere with our lives, stopping us doing everything that we want to and that includes participating in Christmas celebrations.
So let’s look at a few Christmas hacks so you can participate in Christmas!
I’m sure you’ve read the fact that the majority of lupus patients are between 15 and 45. This is correct, but lupus can develop at any age and can affect men and children too. Doctors may dismiss lupus if the patient falls outside the 15 to 45 age range and this may lead to even further misdiagnosis.
I doubt there’s a patient in the World with an invisible illness that hasn’t heard the phrase ‘but you don’t look sick’. I’m one of the ‘lucky’ lupus patients in the fact that I rarely look sick. I’ve only ever had one visible rash and that was on my legs otherwise I usually have no outward sign that I’m actually ill.
We live a celebrity obsessed world, just take a look at the number of followers they have on twitter/instagram etc to confirm this, when celebrities speak the world listens. If they wear something or do something all the followers sit up and take notice, hence so many brands want to use a celebrity to promote their products.
People follow the daily lives of these people and feel they know them as friends and so who better to give information about health, aren’t friends and family the people we turn to t ask for advice? Some celebrities promote only themselves and their brand, others have used their high profiles for good and to raise awareness of various causes and illnesses.
One of the things people say most often when they see you is ‘how are you’, an innocent enough question to most people, but when you have a chronic illness are they asking exactly how you are or just being polite? How many people want the full low down of how we’re actually feeling?
My stock answer, even with people I know well, is ‘Oh I’m fine thanks’ and I’d be pretty sure a lot of other people with chronic illnesses are saying the same thing. So why do we give this answer?