Dating is a romantic way to get to know more about a person with the possible aims of having a prospective partner in the future. If dating becomes a success, two people can commit to a more intimate relationship or even marriage. It may be easy for some people; however, for someone who has lupus, it is a little difficult to talk about the disease openly with other people.
According to Chenelle Covin, the CEO and editor-in-chief of Unheard Voices Magazine, this disease is traumatizing for her. Being diagnosed with lupus at the age of 16, she has also watched her mother suffer from this disease. Then, she later found out that she herself has to face it, too. Her father first saw a butterfly rash on her face one day. It took them several tries before the doctors let her have an ANA test for lupus, because the doctors believed that the symptoms didn't match lupus. But after the test, it turned out positive.
For her, dating is something to be worried about. It’s difficult to tell someone about her chronic illness. But as a strong woman, she doesn't let the disease consume her. She tried to live a normal life and began dating. During her journey with this chronic illness, she found ways to make dating easier for herself.
Being picky with dating options
Normally, women are really picky when it comes to dating. However, if you have lupus, you will be especially picky on who you will be dating. Covin would usually assess the situation first before talking about her condition. People mostly have a negative perception of the disease; so it might be difficult to talk about. It's better to make sure that the person you are dating is also somebody who can be prepared to be patient. If both of you decide to continue into a more serious relationship, your partner should be aware that he or she won’t always come as a priority, especially when you have to deal with your disease.
The feeling of hiding the disease when you first meet someone
It’s not easy to tell other people about the disease, especially since there are negative perceptions about lupus. However, telling people about the disease may also result in a number of things including that they might not believe you (especially if they know nothing about the disease), or they might avoid you. Some people with lupus even have to defend themselves from the misconceptions of some people.
You want everybody to like you, but you will feel afraid of telling them about the disease because of the reactions you might get. For Covin, simply being yourself is the solution to overcome this fear.
When you feel different from others, you may feel alone. You might feel that no one understands you and eventually you might lose confidence. When Covin lost some of her hair which caused some patches on her head, she felt depressed. Her weight fluctuated despite having a healthy lifestyle. Rashes broke out on her skin. Nurses and doctors from the hospital even told her that she was too young to have the disease. Remaining strong and positive helped her through all the struggles.
You may not be physically confident as your appearance changes because of the disease. This could lead you to isolate yourself from people. However, experts claim that surrounding yourself with positive people who understand you and your situation will help you cope with this challenging disease.
Thinking about your health first
When you have Lupus, you may find the guilt of being selfish. It doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t like to think of others. You just really have to look after yourself first, and sometimes it’s completely necessary to do so. Being selfish also has its rewards. Focus more on what you need to do for yourself, especially that you have very limited energy and time. It’s not really bad when you think about yourself first if it concerns your health. People who love you will understand your condition.
When dating, don’t feel bad about canceling dates if you don’t feel well. After all, you cannot fully enjoy the date if you suffer from discomforts caused by lupus. You would most likely feel on edge all the time, and this could send a wrong signal to your partner. The best thing to do is to be completely transparent. Make your partner understand that health is a priority at the moment. Surely, he or she would understand and make the initiative of asking your condition before embarking on another date.
Having the right people in your life
As of now, there is still no cure for lupus, and the symptoms experienced by each person differ from the other. With early diagnosis and the right treatment, one can have lessened pains and lower damage risks of the organs. The treatment not only includes medicines, but also emotional support from friends and family. This kind of treatment may make a big difference on how a person with lupus will feel about his or her own self.
Covin reminds other lupus patients to believe that having fun and being yourself will eventually attract the right person for its comeback. Dating could be a bit challenging for you, but don’t let lupus stand in your way of happiness.
Types of lupus
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: This is the most common type of lupus which can be mild or severe. It involves serious complications in major organ systems such as the kidney, brain, nervous system, and arteries of the heart.
Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus: It’s a type of lupus which affects the skin. It can cause rashes and sores. The most common rash caused by this type of lupus is called discoid rash, which is raised, scaly, and reddish but is not itchy. The areas where the rashes appear may look like disks or circles.
Drug-Induced Lupus: This is a lupus-like disease caused by certain prescription drugs. Symptoms are similar to systemic lupus, but it rarely affects major body organs. Drugs that are commonly related to this type of lupus are Hydralazine. It is used in the treatment of hypertension. Other drugs for lupus include Procainamide which is used in the treatment of irregular heart rhythms and Isoniazid used in the treatment of tuberculosis. This kind of lupus is common among men because they usually take these drugs often. The symptoms of drug-induced lupus will usually disappear within six months once these medications have been stopped.
Neonatal Lupus: This type of lupus is not really a true form of lupus. Neonatal Lupus is a rare health condition that affects the infants of mothers who have lupus. Skin rashes, liver problems, and low blood cell counts are common symptoms among infants. These symptoms fully disappear after several months, but some infants may acquire serious heart defects. Affected infants can be treated at or before birth.
Finding the right treatment
Because lupus symptoms vary for each individual, the best approach to treat it is to find a health care team that will tailor the treatment to your specific condition.
- Choose the right doctor according to your condition. Your doctor will make a treatment plant that will cater according to your age, symptoms, general health, and lifestyle.
- There is a wide variety of medicines for this disease, but only a few are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration or FDA.
- Supplemental therapies are required for people with lupus to treat conditions that are commonly seen such as Diuretics for fluid retention, antihypertensive drugs for high blood pressure, anticonvulsants for seizure, antibiotics for an infection, and bone-strengthening drugs for osteoporosis.
- People who have lupus can benefit from dating someone who is patient and understanding.
- Remaining strong and positive can help people with lupus overcome their fears.
- People with lupus should always put their health first, and surround themselves with positive people.