Lupus Patients Pampered at Free Wellness Day

“Living Life Healthy with Lupus: Looking and Feeling Good” Event Launches Lupus Awareness Month 2013 in NYC

To kick off Lupus Awareness Month, the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation collaborated with the Hospital for Special Surgery’s (HSS) Lupus Support Programs to hold the 6th annual “Living Life Healthy with Lupus: Looking and Feeling Good” wellness event.

Many people with lupus brought along a family member or friend to enjoy a day focused on feeling better—inside and out. The free program offered complimentary demonstrations from makeup artists, massage therapists, hairstylists, and more.

Making the Most of Every Doctor’s Visit
The presentation “Talking with Your Doctor: What You Should Know” by Monica Richey, MSN, from the Lupus Center at HSS focused on preparing for each doctor’s visit and making every minute count by asking questions and making sure you don’t downplay or exaggerate your symptoms.

Did you know that on average Americans get 18 minutes with their doctors at a visit? To prepare for this visit Monica recommends making a list of all your symptoms and prioritizing them. Then review with your doctor why you are there and set an agenda. Plan to discuss 3 to 6 concerns per visit and tell the doctor your top 2 or 3 concerns. Make sure you tell your doctor about symptoms that are bothering you and review the course of action before you leave. If you don’t understand the doctor’s instructions, ask him/her to repeat them until you are clear.

Monica’s top three recommended questions:

  • What is my main problem?
  • What do I need to do?
  • Why is it important for me to do this?

Avoiding Joint and Muscle Pain

Massage therapist Samantha Paige-Grueber offers these suggestions:

  • Avoid gripping or holding tightly for long periods (or maybe not so long) of time as that can cause shoulder and or neck pain.  The muscles for your hands are in your arms.  When you hold or grip tightly those muscles tighten.  That tightness will extend up the entire arm into the shoulder and neck, causing pain.  If and when you can become aware of this pattern you can change it.  Simply, when you notice tightness in your arm, release whatever you are doing and shake out your hand and arm.  Think of your hand and arm becoming light and free from stress.  If you are carrying a somewhat heavy package, do not lock your elbows; carry the package using your entire arm.
  • Try to get a massage at least once a month, as the benefits to your muscles are cumulative.  The Lupus Project was started in order to make massage affordable.  The Massage Therapy Resource Guide, available on the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation’s website, lists American Massage Therapy Association massage therapists who are open to offering massage therapy on a sliding scale based on income. Please take the reference guide or go online and look for a therapist.  Talk to them.  We are all here for you!

Looking Good Helps You Feel Good

Representatives from Dermablend and Mary Kay provided great information about makeup and skin care. Martha demonstrated how to use Dermablend products to cover blemishes, rashes and even tattoos. Mary Kay representatives Janet and Sharmaine talked with women about the importance of a good skin regimen - cleanse, moisturize and protect.

Also veterans of the event, Stacey Brown of Stacey and Co. and her colleagues provided new hairstyles and manicures for participants. Stacey’s tips for healthy hair and skin include keeping your hair moisturized in order to avoid dryness that leads to breakage and using sunscreen all year round regardless of your skin tone or texture. For women who choose to wear a wig Saskia demonstrated wigs from Andrew DiSimone.

Special thanks to our supporters:
American Massage Therapy Association
Andrew DiSimone Wigs
Dermablend Professional
Mary Kay Cosmetics
Stacey and Co.
J.J. Jackson, Manicurist