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#HAWMC Lupie Chicks Love Hate Relationship with the Sun

20130411-204927.jpgWinter has finally realized that his season is over! Spring is here; the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, sun shining, warm weather (75+ degrees daily), fresh spring/summer fruit is ripe and sweet (I had the best strawberries from Sam’s club last week). I love this Caribbean type weather, the hotter it is the more I enjoy it! What’s there to complain about?? The sun… ooh the sun is NOT my friend. Lupie Chicks such as me should avoid exposure to the sun as much as possible. Photosensitivity is one of the most aggravating triggers of our disease. It doesn’t take much exposure to ensure that we have a reaction. I went out yesterday for lunch with a girlfriend (trying to be “normal”). After lunch we walked around, enjoying the fresh air and the street vendors. Minutes after I returned to my desk, the nauseous feeling, and migraine hit me like an atomic bomb. I could feel myself slowly deteriorating right at my desk. I wanted to crawl under the desk and lay in a fetal position until it passed. I held it together trying not to bring attention to myself. As soon as 5 o’clock came, I was OUT of there, went straight home…. 3 extra strength Tylenol and 2 hours later Advil, I SHUT IT ALL THE WAY DOWN….

sun

For us, sun exposure, even for as little as 30 minutes, causes us to develop migraine headaches, makes us feel nauseas and/or we will experience painful joints. Additionally, exposure to the sun can cause our disease to flare-up (an increase in the activity and symptoms of the disease. This may cause an acute attack of arthritis, pleurisy (chest pain when inhaling), fever, kidney disease, and even epilepsy. Sun sensitivity and UV light sensitivity (photosensitivity) is present in about 90 percent of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 40 to 60 percent of patients with discoid lupus, and about 70 percent of patients with subacute lupus erythematosus.

I had to get back into my “summertime” routine. ** I occasionally, try and move about my day like my counter parts and not like a Lupie Chick, BUT I can’t, it’s not healthy for me. I’m accepting that the few extra minutes it takes me to do the extra things are well worth it at the end of the day.

Skin, after my shower, I start by applying Shea Butter (which has a SPF of about 5) & Coconut Oil (whipped together) as an all over skin moisturizer (body only-not face).

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I then apply sunscreen (to my entire body). My dermatologist recommended Neutrogena Age Shield (SPF 70). Face, I apply Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 40, then follow with Clinique stay Matte Sheer Press Powder. You can CLICK HERE to review my complete skin routine (including usage of Clarisonic cleansing brush, hydrocortisone, and daily face cleansing).

420403_3700599594512_871037023_nMe & Mama Naturalista

( I wasn’t being a diva, I was in my summer time protective gear)

Clothing, I wear either long pants, mid sleeve top, with a long sleeve spring/summer sweater or blazer (to cover my arms) or I wear maxi dresses (that come pass my ankles- to cover my legs) along with a summer sweater or blazer. I can’t adorn a hat or scarf to work, but I will wear sunglasses, if I have to go out during the day. On the weekends I will wear a wide brim hat or scarf. I purposefully bring my lunch and avoid going outside until after 2:00pm (when the UV rays aren’t as strong), If I must go outside earlier in the day, I will also use an umbrella to block the sun. Shoes, I typically wear flat ballerina shoes, but most recently I’ve had to opt for pep toe flats (due to Subungual Hematoma).

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Dress  & Sweater Target, Sandals Nine West, Necklace-hand made by Me

I try and wear brighter colors, (it may be my imagination) but it seems as if the dark colors draw more heat. I have to take every precaution necessary to stay cool. The season is here, and we have to be careful and take extra precaution to stay well during these spring/summer months.

Disclaimer: The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.
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Not The End Of Me


Not The End Of Me
Who am I?
I don’t know…
Had I become that person I so despise?
My thoughts
Deep, dark, and unrecognizable
Who am I?
Did I just give up?
Given up on life, love, my passions, and everything in between
Who am I?
A cry baby
Weak
Distorted thoughts
State of confusion
Broken Spirit
Negative
Shaken
Stirred
Who am I?
A silent voice and distant eyes
That no one hears my cry’s
Who am I?
Drowning in the depths of sorrow,
with no tears left to cry.
Who am I?
© The Lupie Chick 2013

I’ve been was battling depression for the past 6 months. A lot of stress triggers has occurred with my relocation to Georgia, my employment, my health, and a multitude of other things. I leaned heavily on my sister- friends that keep praying for my recovery and strength to come out of this dark space. I was having uncontrollable crying spells, insomnia, panic attacks, nightmares (when I would finally sleep) and just an overall feeling of failure. I wanted to die. In my opinion, my spirit was already dead. I was in a very dark mind space and I couldn’t see my way out. While at one of my doctor visits, the doctor was asking me questions and I just looked up at him (as if I was possessed by a demon) and blurted out “I really don’t give a fuck right now.. Whatever you want to do is fine with me, I’m ready to go” I stood up and WALKED OUT, crying as I left his office. Later that evening I received a recorded call from Kroger pharmacy telling me my prescription was ready. [Insert demonic look and gas face] “What damn prescription?? I figured it was a wrong number and I ignored the message. 2 days later I received the recorded call again, I was in Kroger ( at Starbucks) and figured I would go over there and tell them to stop calling me ( they were using my day time minutes and I don’t have any to spare). When I reached the counter, the pharmacist acknowledged that I did have a prescription and it was ready. 
ME:  “YOU CAN KEEP IT- I HAVE NO INSURANCE & NO MONEY!”
Pharmacist: “Ms Dugar your cost is $4 and if you have Kroger points I can reduce that to $2” Me: [face twisted and annoyed] fine [mumbling and grumbling]
Pharmacist: Please step to the counseling window
ME: Continue face twisting/mumbling/grumbling
Pharmacist: You have been prescribed Zoloft. Zoloft is known to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and panic disorder. This medicine is an antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).
ME: [insert, hand on hip, pissed off stance] so what exactly are you saying because I didn’t ask for this?
Pharmacist: Ma’am you may want to call your physician, this prescription was called in
ME: Yeah, I’ma call him [pulls out phone and call doctor office]
After calming down a little and speaking with my physician, I now understand that his prescription wasn’t an insult to my mental stability; it was care, concern, and very well NEEDED! My physician began to tell me he sensed that I was stressed and I was displaying signs of depression. After finishing up the call, I went home, got on the Internet to do additional research.“Between 15 and 60 percent of people with a chronic illness will experience clinical depression. This may be brought on by lupus, by the various medications used to treat lupus, and/or by any of the factors and forces in a person’s life that are not related to lupus. For reasons that are not entirely understood, this type of depression is often experienced by people with chronic disease.”Lupus Foundation of America
 I encourage anyone that exhibits any of the following to consult with a physician.
·  Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
·  Sadness
·  Crying (often without reason)
·  Insomnia or restless sleep, or sleeping too much
·  Changes in appetite leading to weight loss or weight gain
·  Feelings of uneasiness, anxiety, or irritability
·  Feelings of guilt or regret
·  Lowered self-esteem or feelings of worthlessness
·  Inability to concentrate or difficulty thinking
·  Diminished memory and recall
·  Indecisiveness
·  Lack of interest in things formerly enjoyed
·  Lack of energy
·  General slowing and clouding of mental functions
·  Diminished sexual interest and/or perfor­mance
·  Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
I’ve exhibited 15 out of the 16 signs above. As a friend or a family member- please do not assume that a person is having a pity party or just “need to get over it”. There were moments I wanted to die, and a friend response to me was “oh Sixx, come on now, you’re having a pity party”. Depression is very serious and HARD to overcome. I’m not 100% recovered (even with the help of Zoloft).  I take it day by day-sometimes-minute by minute. When I say THANK YOU [to my my inner circle]-it’s not just 2 words. I know I have a praying circle around me-and you’re prays has kept me covered. [ praise & testimony]
  • Between 15 and 60 percent of people with a chronic illness will experience clinical depression.
  • Clinical depression may be a result of the ways in which lupus physically affects your body.
  • Some of the medicines to treat lupus—especially corticosteroids such as prednisone (and at higher doses of 20 mg or more)—play a role in causing clinical depression.
  • Clinical depression may be a result of the continuous series of emotional and psychological stressors associated with living with a chronic illness.
  • Clinical depression may be a result of neurologic problems or experiences unrelated to lupus.
  • Clinical depression also produces anxiety, which may aggravate physical symptoms (headache, stomach pain, etc.).
  • Two common feelings associated with clinical depression are hopelessness and helplessness. People who feel hopeless believe that their distressing symptoms may never improve. People who feel helpless believe they are beyond help—that no one cares enough to help them or could succeed in helping, even if they tried.
 Keep in Touch

Twitter: @lupieeChick
Instagram: @naturally_lupie
Email: lupiechick@gmail.com
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DAY 2: Advice For A Newly Diagnosed Lupus Patient #NHBPM

Being diagnosed with lupus can bring about a flurry of emotions. You may feel upset or nervous about what the new diagnosis means for your future. You may be angry at the idea that your life may change. You may even feel happy that after some time of not feeling well, you finally have a name for what was ailing you. Finally, your condition has a name. Each of these emotions is normal, and no reaction is the right one. In fact, you may feel all of these emotions at some time or another.

But beyond your emotional reactions, you may be wondering what your next steps should be. Below are some tips for moving forward after being diagnosed with lupus.

1. Get a second opinion. Before you begin your journey into chronic health care, you want to make sure you are heading down the right path.

I didn’t get a 2nd opinion when I was first diagnosed. My dermatologist originally diagnosed me (I had the butterfly rash across my face, and lesions on my neck and under my breast). After she performed her examination she was “certain” it was Lupus and referred me to a rheumatologist & neurologist who ran additional test and confirmed that I had Lupus. Honestly, that was the best day of my life. It answered a lot of questions and FINALLY I KNEW that what I was experiencing wasn’t my imagination. After getting over the initial shock, I was ready to battle & WIN!!!!!

2. Bring a friend or family member to be an advocate for you. You may need to have some tests done and see many doctors in the beginning. Having someone else there to take notes, ask questions, or just be an emotional support is very important. It is normal to forget a question, or not remember important information after a doctor visit. It is also great to have a supportive person with you who can hold your hand, distract you, make you laugh, or just listen.
I have never had a friend or family member come with me to any of my appointments (well my husband has attended 2 or 3 ). There were times when I wanted “support” and then there were times when I was happy I was there alone. From my experience, I have found that when people don’t understand what is happening they can be very judgmental. Going through the motions and of trying to come to grips with everything- JUDGEMENT WAS THE LAST THING I NEEDED OR WANTED!

3. Start a notebook or a folder for your healthcare. Take notes and ask for copies of your test results. Take time to actually read your tests and learn what they mean, or ask your doctors. Keeping a record now is a great start. It’s always a much bigger job to back track and get records that you may need in the future. These records and notes can be helpful when you’re seeing multiple doctors, dealing with insurance companies, applying for disability, etc.
Yes, yes, yes!!!!! I started experiencing a “brain fog” and I would literally forget what someone told me only minutes previous. It’s imperative that you keep records and minimum keep notes or download one the apps on a smart phone that will store your medical records and or notes for you. I remember an incident when my rheumatologist  had prescribed me a medicine that counter acted something the neurologists prescribed me, I ended up with massive migraines and I wanted to die (I was in that much pain). Once I gathered everything out of  my cabinets, purse, and night stand, I  went back to the doctor, showed them everything I was taking, and they figured out exactly what the culprit was. From that point forward I have kept impeccable notes and I always keep a record of my prescriptions ( dosages, strength, etc).  

4. Do your research. After being diagnosed with lupus, you will soon hear all kinds of words that you may not have heard before. Names of medications, secondary diagnoses, and symptoms can be overwhelming and scary. A great way to combat this feeling is to learn as much about lupus as you can and get yourself familiar with the lingo. This will help empower you in conversations with doctors and nurses. When you know what they are talking about you can ask appropriate and necessary questions. WebMD is a great place to start on your quest to educate yourself. There are many articles, posts, and videos on the site that are very informative.
I can’t say this ENOUGH!!!!! DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!!!!!! I’m often asked for advice relative to Lupus. While I appreciate strangers, family & friends comfort level to ask me for advice ( treatment, & diagnosis), I refrain from giving medical advice. It’s not that I don’t care or I don’t want to share information, I’m NOT A PHYSICAN. Legally I cannot provide medical advice. I’m more than willing to share what has/hasn’t worked for me, but that information should not be used in place of a diagnosis or treatment plan.   I have this disclaimer at the end of every post The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. I encourage all of you to always consult with a physician before starting/stomping any Treatment plan, Nutrition (eating) regime, and Fitness plan. If you are looking for information and or support, outside of speaking with your doctor, I HIGHLY suggest that you become a member of the Lupus Foundation of America Chapter (in your state). The Lupus Foundation of America offers symposiums, teleconference calls, empowering events and the largest support group network.

5. Ask questions!!! Do not be afraid to ask questions, even questions you deem silly or unimportant. If you feel any kind of change in your symptoms, tell your doctor. I cannot stress this enough. You are a partner with your doctor in your healthcare. You need to take an active role. You are the only person who knows your body best, so if something feels off, say so.
You have to be your own advocate and cheerleader in this fight!!!!! No matter how minor the question may seem, ASK IT!!!! Make no assumptions!!!! Make sure that the doctor/nurses are listening and providing you with the approriate answers. You must be active and aggressive in your treatment  plan !!!!
Tips Provided by Web MD  ( my responses are highlighted in purple)

Until Next Time,
Live ~ Laugh ~ Love
 ¸.· ´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·’   The Lupie Chick
Stay Connected
Instagram:@naturally_lupie
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mzSixx
Twitter: @lupieeChick & @AuNaturaleDC
The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.
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31 Days of Lupus Awareness Facts



Lupus Awareness Month is observed during May to increase public understanding of this unpredictable and potentially life-threatening disease that affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans. Here’s today’s important fact about lupus.

May 1: Lupus is an unpredictable and complex autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and can damage any organ in the body with life-threatening consequences.

May 2: Ninety percent of the people who develop lupus are female. Males also can develop lupus and their disease can be more severe in some organs.

May 3: Lupus develops most often between ages 15 and 44. However, between 10 and 20 percent of cases develop during childhood and these cases can evolve more rapidly into serious health complications.

May 4: In lupus, something goes wrong with the immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs. The result is the production of autoantibodies that causes inflammation.

May 5: Some people have genes that allow them to develop lupus. Factors that may trigger lupus in these people include infections, ultraviolet light, extreme stress, certain prescription drugs, and certain hormones.

May 6: Many symptoms of lupus mimic those of other illnesses, and symptoms can come and go over time, which makes diagnosis more difficult. Consequently, lupus can take three to five years or more to diagnose.

May 7: There is no single laboratory test that can determine whether a person has lupus. Diagnosing lupus involves analyzing the results of several lab tests, a review of the person’s entire medical history, and the history of close family members.

May 8: Lupus is treated by a rheumatologist, a physician who specializes in conditions affecting the joints and muscles. Some people with lupus may need additional care from specialists, like a dermatologist for skin problems, a nephrologist for kidney disease, or a cardiologist for heart complications.

May 9: More than 90 percent of people with lupus will experience joint and/or muscle pain that can be disabling. Medication and mind-body therapies can be used to help control the pain associated with lupus.

May 10: Lupus can be an expensive disease. The average annual cost to provide healthcare for a person with lupus is $12,643, and rises to nearly $21,000 when lost work productivity is included.

May 11: African Americans, Hispanics/Latinas, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans are diagnosed with lupus two or three times more frequently than Caucasians; however, lupus affects people of all races and ethnicities.

May 12: Successful treatment of lupus often requires a combination of medications. A new treatment for lupus was approved recently, and nearly two-dozen clinical studies are underway to develop a full arsenal of treatments.

May 13: As many as 80 percent of people with lupus experience fatigue. For some, fatigue can be debilitating, even to the point of forcing them to stop working.

May 14: People with lupus are usually encouraged to engage in appropriate daily exercise in order to maintain muscle and bone strength. Care should be taken, however, to balance exercise with rest.

May 15: Systemic lupus is the most common type of lupus. Systemic lupus can affect any organ system of the body, including the heart, kidneys, lungs, blood, joints, and skin.

May 16: Discoid lupus (the most common form of skin lupus) accounts for approximately 10 percent of all cases of lupus and occurs in 20 percent of those with systemic lupus.

May 17: Drug-induced lupus is a lupus-like disease caused by taking specific prescription drugs. The symptoms usually disappear after these medications are stopped.

May 18: Women with lupus are at increased risk for loss of bone mass (osteoporosis) and are nearly five times more likely to experience a fracture.

May 19: Blood disorders such as anemia (a low number of circulating red blood cells) are common in lupus, affecting about half of all people with active disease.

May 20: People with lupus should eat a nutritious, well-balanced, and varied diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and moderate amounts of fish and lean meats. Lifestyle adjustments should always include quitting smoking, as tobacco products can cause flares of lupus symptoms.

May 21: More than 80 percent of people with systemic lupus will experience some type of nervous system complication, ranging from mild confusion or memory loss to strokes, seizures, and vision problems.

May 22: The malar, or “butterfly” rash on the face is present in about one-third of those with systemic lupus. This flat, reddish rash across the bridge of the nose and cheeks, is often the only visible symptom of this form of lupus.

May 23: As many as 40 percent of all people with lupus, and as many as two-thirds of all children with lupus, will develop kidney complications that require treatment.

May 24: Only 10 percent of people with lupus will have a close relative who has lupus or may develop lupus, and only five percent of children born to a mother with lupus will develop the disease.

May 25: About 40 percent of people who were originally diagnosed with cutaneous lupus, which affects only the skin, will go on to develop systemic lupus that can affect any organ in the body.

May 26: Neonatal lupus is a rare condition that affects infants of women who have lupus. With proper testing, physicians can identify most at-risk mothers, and the infant can be successfully treated before or at birth.

May 27: Lupus is not contagious and cannot be “given” to another person. Lupus is not like or related to HIV/AIDS or any other infectious disease.

May 28: With current methods of therapy, 80 to 90 percent of people with non-organ threatening lupus can look forward to a normal lifespan.

May 29: Advancing technology and better understanding of the disease have improved pregnancy outcomes. Today, 80 percent of women with inactive lupus can have successful pregnancies.

May 30: Most people with lupus are able to continue to work. However, some people may require modifications to their work environment and schedules, such as flexible work hours, job-sharing, and telecommuting.

May 31: Today people with lupus are leading healthier lives and living longer than at any time in history, thanks to researchers who continue to discover more about the underlying science of the immune system.



Click Here to Learn more about Lupus

Click Here to donate to team Lupie Chicks in the 2012 Walk for Lupus- Baltimore MD – September 29, 2012

Click Here to Join Team Lupie Chicks in the 2012 Walk for Lupus- Baltimore MD – September 29, 2012

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Put on Purple For Lupus- Lupus Awareness Fact

May 18: Women with lupus are at increased risk for loss of bone mass (osteoporosis) and are nearly five times more likely to experience a fracture.

Natural Hair- 3 day old flat twist out- rolled and tucked
 My Brand New #Purple Eyeglasses- Purple Everything
 Lupus Bracelet ” Someone You Know Has Lupus” –
That someone is ” ME”
 Purple Eye Make-Up ( Elf Palette), Purple Lip Stan ( Miliani Cosmetics), Purple Crochet Earrings ( Atlanta World Natural Hair), Purple Print Top ( Burlington Coat Factory)
I’m rocking purple today for myself and all my fellow #lupieChicks!!!!!!!!
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May 17- Lupus Awareness Fact

May 17: Drug-induced lupus is a lupus-like disease caused by taking specific prescription drugs. The symptoms usually disappear after these medications are stopped.

Don’t forget to Put Your Purple On Tomorrow For Lupus
May 18th
By joining the Lupus Foundation of America and thousands of people nationwide for Put On Purple Day you can promote Lupus awareness and support the research for a cure.

Click Here to learn more about Lupus

Click Here to donate to ” Team Lupie Chicks”

Click Here to Join Team Lupie Chicks

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May 10th- World Lupus Day

About World Lupus Day



World Lupus Day began with a Proclamation 8 years ago by an international steering committee representing lupus organizations from 13 different nations when they met in Eaton, United Kingdom to organize the first observance of World Lupus Day. The Proclamation is a call to action for governments around the world to increase their financial support for lupus research, awareness and patient services.

The Proclamation reflects the emerging issues that people with lupus around the world must face every day. The Proclamation serves to give a single voice to all individuals affected by this devastating and debilitating chronic disease.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the body. An estimated 5 million people around the world have lupus.



Most people know very little about lupus. But by working together we can change that. Imagine the impact we can have if we all help raise worldwide recognition of lupus, assuring earlier diagnosis, better treatments, and greater support for people everywhere! Join Julian Lennon and pledge to raise awareness for lupus.


Click Here to sign the Lupus Awareness Pledge