Living with Lupus as a Parent

Not feeling well and not knowing what is causing your symptoms can be troubling. If you’ve been unwell for a long time and your doctor has brought up lupus as a possible or confirmed diagnosis, it can be devastating. The problem is, life doesn’t stop with a lupus diagnosis, and your kids and family need you. Here are some signs of lupus, what your treatment options may be and how you can deal with this condition while being the best parent and person that you can be.

Symptoms of Lupus

Lupus is a disease that affects your immune system. This inflammatory disease attacks its own tissues and can wreak havoc on your overall health. If you’ve been sick for a while, you may have been experiencing certain symptoms, such as:

  • Joint pain and inflammation
  • Low-grade fever
  • A butterfly-type rash on your face (cheeks and nose)
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Weakened immune system triggering more colds and flu-like symptoms
  • Compromised organ damage to the lungs, brain, heart, kidneys and blood cells

There are four different type of lupus; systemic, cutaneous, drug-induced and neonatal. Lupus testing and the correct diagnosis of lupus starts with a physical exam, blood tests to check the function of vital organs and imaging to identify any noticeable issues. Feeling ill can make it hard to parent and function throughout the day while you’re at work. Dealing with symptoms can be grueling and frustrating, especially if you are the main caregiver for someone else. The first step is asking for help from others so you’ll be able to rest and get the right treatment for your Lupus.


While lupus is a common, treatable disease, there is no cure. Keep in mind that there is an 80 to 90 percent survival rate, according to The National Research Center on Lupus. Even though the prognosis for lupus is promising, it can still be scary thinking about your future and that of your family as well. The best thing you can do is manage the symptoms and seek routine medical care to ensure that your vital organs stay protected. You may have to see a variety of specialists, including a rheumatologist, at different times throughout treatment in order to properly manage your lupus. This can make running your household very challenging. If your lupus affects your working lifestyle and you’re unable to work, you may qualify for disability. The first step is to apply and then follow through with any type of questionnaire and paperwork that is requested. Having disability will help you pay your bills and care for your family while you’re seeking treatment and recovering from flare-ups.

Getting Through Your Daily Routine

As a parent, your lifestyle is likely very active. If you’re experiencing some of the troubling effects of lupus, it’s important to get back on the right track with your health. Experiencing things like extreme headaches or severe swelling can make getting general household tasks down very challenging. Your doctor may be able to treat each symptom individually to help reduce your chances of developing ongoing depression. Because lupus tends to flare up and there is no telling how long the flare-up will last, it’s important to seek medical attention right away to get symptoms under control. In order to get through the workday and go and sit through your kid’s baseball practice, you’ll need all of the energy you can get.

Planning for Your Future

A future with lupus can be uncertain. While you know it’s important to maintain your health and remain physically active, your financial health is vital too. The main thing is to make sure that you are financially secure and able to care for yourself and your family even if you can’t work a few years down the road. If you’re employed, see about short and long-term disability. Applying now is the best time so that you have a better chance of fluid income coming in if you have to take some time off of work for recovery. Now is a good time to start a savings account for your future. An interest-bearing account can help you accumulate funds and give you more financial freedom for our future. It’s never too late to save money and build a nest egg for your family and yourself for unexpected health events that may pop up down the road.

Lupus is an unpredictable disease. Keeping things going with you and your kids is important so you reduce the chances of everything falling apart when you’re sick. Prepare now for a more secure future.