One Patient's Positive Perspectives

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A month of education!

It is hard to believe that it has been a few weeks since I have had a minute to sit down to write!  It seems that April was filled with nothing but classrooms, conferences and training sessions.  I have been an attendee, performer, and instructor all in a short one-month time keeping very, very busy.  My educational adventures are not quite complete, but this has truly been a month full of learning.

Duet

LA (left) sings duet with friend

Early in April I had the pleasure of attending a statewide women’s Bible conference hosted annually by my church.  I shared the privilege of singing a duet at one of the sessions with one of my best friends.  The music went well, and the weekend was one of spiritual recharge, excellent bible teaching, good music and warm fellowship.  I saw many old friends, and made a few new ones before getting ready to leave Arizona for the east coast.

Hair curls, manicures, pedicures but no lupus cures...

Flying out to Maryland

Next, I flew out to Maryland for a week-long professional legal management conference, and during off hours enjoyed some fresh salmon dinners and sailboat watching on the shores of the Potomac.  In my hotel room I worked on a PowerPoint presentation I would be using the following week back in Arizona.

Returning to work the following Monday, I jumped right into my role as teacher.  Enlisted by the Human Resources and Safety Offices to teach a two-week series of classes, as part of my government employer’s Safety Training Week, my education-filled month continues!

Ergonomics Wordle

Teaching Ergonomics Class

Every morning this past week (and all of next) is taken up teaching classes to my fellow employees about Ergonomics and Back/Lifting Safety.  I have enjoyed getting to know co-workers better, and found interaction with the class members very enjoyable.  With the help of my assistant, it has proven to be a bit more fun than work, and I am grateful to share some information that can help prevent co-workers’ injury!  I am looking forward to the remaining classes next week.

As part of our safety training week, I also attended a class on CPR, and learned the new “no breathing” method of cardiac chest compression.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that, even with my joint and lupus arthritis challenges, I was able to do this type of CPR.  I had always been afraid I would not hold up long enough to do anyone any good in an emergency.  I learned that using my body weight to make the compressions, and not my not-so-strong muscles, I could potentially save someone’s life without wearing myself out before paramedics could arrive.  Click here, to read more about this easy to learn CPR method.

Dr. Amy H. Kao, Director of Biomedical Informatics at Lupus Center of Excellence at  WPAHS

Dr. Amy H. Kao, Director of Biomedical Informatics at Lupus Center of Excellence at WPAHS

This simple live-saving CPR would be a good thing for lupus patients, their friends and family (perhaps anyone) to learn.  To find out more about lupus and the heart, check out this 2009 Lupus Foundation of America educational web chat with one of the nation’s leading lupus and cardiology researchers, Dr. Amy H. Kao, M.D., Cardiovascular Health and Lupus.

Dr. Kao explains that, “young women with lupus have as high as 50-fold increased risk of having a heart attack compared to healthy women of similar age.”

Perhaps, after considering all my educational activities, the new CPR method was the most important.

Let’s hope I never have to find out!

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Comments on: "Lupus Adventurer in Conference and Classroom" (2)

  1. I’m so proud of all you’ve accomplished! That is a heavy schedule for anyone, but with Lupus it’s climbing Mt. Everest & I’m so happy for you!

    Thank you for including the link to the “new” CPR along with the statistic on heart attack risk for fellow Lupies; I am recovering from my first heart attack I had just last week. I’m 46 yo, not exactly “young” in lupus years as I’ve been battling this for 14 years..that I know was undiagnosed longer.
    An exciting, uplifting post..thank you, now Rest!!

    • Thanks for your comments and sharing your example of the truth of the heart risks for us lupus patients. Would you mind sharing what your symptoms of the heart attack were?

      Often, for women the signs and symptoms of a heart attack are NOT sharp chest pain, like men often have during an attack. For many women experiencing a heart attack, the symptoms can be pain or stiffness in their shoulder, left arm, neck, nausea or other abdominal discomfort that feels like indigestion.

      What was your experience like?

      LA

      P.S. I am home from church resting today, following my husband’s wise advice. After we attended the Arizona Lupus Foundation of America, Walk to End Lupus Now yesterday, I am exhausted. I didn’t even walk or go out in the sun… that’s lupus for you!

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