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Angel’s Lupus Journey Presents ~ Protect, Provide, Support: A Spouse’s Perspective

Written by Marquis Derricott

When you are the spouse of someone with Lupus, times can get extremely tough. There are nights when you cannot sleep because they cannot sleep. There are times that you cannot do certain things because they cannot do certain things, and even at times it might cause frustration in your (the spouses’) life, BUT you know what?! You still love them through all of that because they are who you have chosen to be with!

Now, I have chosen to name this article Protect, Provide, Support for one reason. That reason being, as a (male) spouse, I was always taught that you protect and provide for your spouse. I mean, I can provide for Angel in many ways, (financially, materialistically, food, housing, e.x.). I can protect her from break-ins, robbers, bugs (which she is afraid of! lol), but there is one thing that I cannot protect her from, LUPUS.

I cannot protect her from not being able to sleep at night because of insomnia or painsomnia. I cannot protect her from being hungry because she could not physically get up out of the bed to get some food while I was at work. I cannot protect her from her achy joints and side effects due to the Benlysta shots that she has to have weekly. I cannot protect her from the headaches that she gets, or the fibromyalgia that she has on a daily basis.

BUT, what I CAN do is SUPPORT her through it all.

I try my best to stay up with Angel when she cannot sleep (even though most of the time I fall asleep anyway lol). I try my best to understand her achy joints and pain even though I do not have the same issues. I try my best to understand that we cannot do certain things today because this is a flare day.

Yes, at times is does get frustrating, but I promise you that my frustration is nothing compared to what she has to deal with on a daily basis.

Now I have to admit, when I first started dating Angel, I didn’t understand everything that came with Lupus, so I kind of became a butt. I didn’t understand how one day she could be okay, and the next day she couldn’t move. I didn’t understand how one day she would be down for whatever, and the next she could not get up. It took me a while to truly understand that things change weekly, daily, hourly, even every moment. It took me years to truly understand what Angel really goes through, but all she ever asked me for was SUPPORT!

When I started to understand what she had to deal with, I became more sympathetic and really began to support her, and will do so for the rest of my life. It’s not always pretty, but its real. The hurt that I feel just from seeing her hurt is unbearable, but we WILL get through it TOGETHER.

I wish that all spouses would wake up and take the same approach. It would really make a huge difference in the life of someone that has to deal with a chronic illness!

As a spouse of someone with a chronic illness, I had to realize that there will be times when you just cannot protect and provide for your spouse in the ways that they may need in that moment, but there is one thing that you can always do and that is to SUPPORT them and try to understand what they are going through at that time. Just being there for them makes all the difference in the world!

Now to put a spin on the words of my beautiful fiancé “I love you all, I love you all with the love of Jesus. May your spouse’s understand more tomorrow than they did yesterday.”

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No portion of this article may be duplicated in writing or in any other recorded format without permission.

Lupus Fact

Hey #teamangelslupusjourney !
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Did you know?????💜💜💜
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According to an article by The Lupus Foundation of America, one of the invisible symptoms of Lupus is organ involvement, affecting areas like the heart, lungs, kidneys or brain, occurring in approximately half of people with lupus.
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I love you; I love you with the love of Jesus!!!! “May your tomorrow’s be better than your yesterday’s!!!~Angel 👼🏽 *
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lupus #lupusawareness #lupusawarenessmonth #mayislupusawarenessmonth #lupuswarrior #lupusadvocate

Lupus Fact

Hey #teamangelslupusjourney !
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Did you know?????💜💜💜
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According to an article written by The Lupus Foundation of America, the most important way to control hair loss is to control disease activity.

If you have lupus and find that you are experiencing hair loss, do not use over-the-counter hair loss treatments, like Rogaine, before speaking with your doctor. Rogaine is for treating male- and female-pattern alopecia, which is a completely different type of hair loss than we usually see in lupus.

Brittle hair also is common, and many treatments—including steroids and immunosuppressives—cause hair to thin. It is important to work with your doctor to discover the cause and identify the best way to treat or manage the hair loss.

For more info, go to lupus.org

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I love you; I love you with the love of Jesus!!!! “May your tomorrow’s be better than your yesterday’s!!!~Angel 👼🏽 *
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lupus #lupusawareness #lupusawarenessmonth #mayislupusawarenessmonth #lupuswarrior #lupusadvocate

Angel’s Lupus Journey Presents ~ Lupus: A Best Friend’s Perspective

Written by Tiara Lighty- Lynch

Have you ever met someone in your life that you just clicked with and you both plan your entire life out together?!

Well, I met that person in 1997 and her name is Angel Williams.

Angel and I met in middle school. I was in 7th grade and she was in 6th. I didn’t know her very well, but she signed my yearbook. During that summer break, I was at my grandmother’s house and decided to call her. That 1 phone call turned into a bond that couldn’t be tighter even if we were blood related.

At the ages of Angel 11yo and me 12yo, we planned our entire lives from our future careers, weddings, trips to what we were going to name our children together. And boy did we have some elaborate plans?!!!

When Angel suddenly became ill with what they thought to be Mononucleosis, then later finding out it wasn’t Mononucleosis at all, but it was something called Lupus, our plans changed drastically. One minute Angel and I would be able to dance and hang out all night and then the next minute she would be in pain here and there.

For many years Angel still tried to hang, but we had to balance it with rest as well. Being young myself, I didn’t truly understand the extent of what was happening. More and more things began to change. Our sleepover days even seemed to be cut short. We would still stay on the phone 24/7 though, and I do mean 24/7. We vowed to never miss a beat and we didn’t.

Then Angel started being hospitalized more and more due to different complications of Lupus, POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome,) Adrenal Insufficiency, Blood Clots in her lungs, etc. and then sometimes they couldn’t figure it out. I still didn’t fully understand it myself.

It wasn’t until 2004 that I truly grasped all that she was going through. There was this time where Angel’s mother and Angel had to have two different procedures done at two different hospitals on the same day. Her mother, who is always there and is always her main caregiver then and now, had to miss this one thing. She was devastated, but asked if I could be there in her place because I knew Angel’s medical history. Without question, I was there, but that week everything hit me.

Angel, my dance partner, Angel my roller coaster riding partner could hardly walk to the bathroom. That first night I didn’t sleep. I cried most of the night. Of course I didn’t let Angel see me upset, but it was in those moments it dawned on me that things weren’t going to be the same as we had planned in our secret book.

My eyes were now wide open. I witnessed her struggle to move and crying from pain. It made me so upset that the doctors didn’t do more for her realizing this was the reality of her life. That week changed my whole understanding of Lupus. That week I learned that Lupus isn’t just pain here and there. I learned that Lupus was taking over her life. Lupus had the say of how she felt. She has no control over Lupus at all.

As the years progressed Angel was still trying to push herself to do more and since I truly understood it now, my role had to change so I became like a Momma Bear telling her to sit down. She would still try to do things other people our age were doing. I understood though. Who wants to be sick?! She just wanted to be a normal person without restraints. Reality is, she isn’t.

That reality is a hard pill to swallow and being a caregiver/bestfriend/sister to someone with Lupus has some truly harsh and hard realities. There is never a time when things calm down. Lupus is so challenging because every day is different. One minute she would be okay and the next she gets a headache and at that point, I already know a flare is brewing.

As the years have progressed, Angel has had many medical complications such as her body locking up and needing help to move, anxiety and needing someone to talk her through, etc. I have learned to listen for changes in her breathing patterns while she sleeps or just being able to look at her and tell when she’s about to pass out.

I have tried my best to be that extra person that could help Angel’s mom out so she could rest or take Angel to a Doctor’s visit so she could work. I am just so thankful that I have been in a position to be able to help out.

Remember when I stated that our bond was tight?! Well, our bond is so tight that there are many days I feel her pain and she will say “Sis, I knew you would call!” Now, the first few times it scared me(Lol,) but that just confirms that she is not only my best friend but my sister in spirit.

Angel’s faith has helped her through many painful days, but sometimes we just have to sit and cry together. I always tell her I wish I could take her pain so she could live normally. Of course she comes back just as adamant saying that she would never allow it. She wouldn’t wish it on her worst enemy, if she had one.

Angel is a trooper and I’m always amazed at how she gets through her flares and does it with a smile.

Angel, I love you and I couldn’t be more proud of your journey. You are helping millions who might not have support! As I always say, “I’m always fighting with and for you, my personal Lupus Warrior!”💪🏼💜🦋💜🦋💜 #LupuswillNOTwin #caregiverofsomeonewithLupus #caregiversunite #caregiverlove #Luppiecaregiver

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No portion of this article may be duplicated in writing or in any other recorded format without permission.

Lupus Fact

Hey #teamangelslupusjourney !
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Did you know?????💜💜💜
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You are likely to have emotions such as grief, fear, anxiety, and depression while battling Lupus.

These feelings are common. Understanding where they come from can help you develop techniques for coping with them.

There is nothing wrong with seeking health from a mental health professional and/or doctor.
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I love you; I love you with the love of Jesus!!!! “May your tomorrow’s be better than your yesterday’s!!!~Angel 👼🏽 *
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lupus #lupusawareness #lupusawarenessmonth #mayislupusawarenessmonth #lupuswarrior #lupusadvocate

Lupus Fact

Hey #teamangelslupusjourney !
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Did you know?????💜💜💜
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Here are some helpful tips given by The Lupus Foundation of America to help the frustrations of cognitive impairment associated with Lupus:

•Pay attention when receiving new information. Repeat it or write it down. Verify any details.

•Focus on one task at a time.

•Take good care of your body; exercise, eat well and get enough sleep.

•Learn memory techniques, such as associating a person’s name with an image or repeating the name several times in conversation.

•Try to stay organized. Consider using a calendar notebook to keep appointments, plans, contact information and reminders in one place.

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I love you; I love you with the love of Jesus!!!! “May your tomorrow’s be better than your yesterday’s!!!~Angel 👼🏽 *
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lupus #lupusawareness #lupusawarenessmonth #mayislupusawarenessmonth #lupuswarrior #lupusadvocate