Tips for Teens Adjusting to Life With Lupus

January 8, 2023

My Advice to Teens Adjusting to Living Life With Lupus

From personal experience, I know that it is very difficult to adjust to life living with lupus in high school.

It is often hard to work through the symptoms, it is hard when people don’t understand what you are going through, and it is even harder when you don’t take care of yourself. So, my biggest piece of advice for teens adjusting to life with lupus is self-advocacy and self-care.

It is important to be your own number one supporter while on your lupus journey. For me, this meant not only advocating for myself in the school and home environments, but also supporting myself by adjusting my lifestyle to stay healthy.

High school is stressful for everyone, but it is more stressful when you have to balance your academics and social life with an invisible, chronic illness. It is pertinent to not only find advocates in your school environment but to make sure that you are your own biggest advocate.

  • First, make sure that your teachers and adults around you are aware of your lupus. If they don’t know that you are struggling, how can you expect them to help you? I have found that all of my teachers have been very supportive. Since they understand what is going on, when I need an extension or miss class because I am not feeling well, they are always helpful and understanding.
  • While it is important to establish an outside support system, it is even more important to support yourself. I support myself by taking my medicine daily, getting a good night’s sleep, and exercising every day even if I dont feel up to it. These three simple things make a world of difference in how I feel.
  • Additionally, I allow myself to rest if my body needs it. Sometimes these afternoon naps draw me away from extracurricular activities, social plans, or even my school work, but, I know that if I give my body the extra time it needs to rest, I will be able to return to whatever I am doing more successfully.

Often I am stressed out about missing things or falling behind on things due to my lupus, but I try to remember that if I don’t take the time to take care of myself, I will not be able to do anything and fall even further behind and miss out on more things. So, it is important to take the time you need to take care of yourself.

It is hard to adjust to life with lupus, especially in high school. But, it is a bit easier if you find a support system and support yourself as you adjust to life with lupus.

By: Lexi Hamburger

Lexi Hamburger was born in Washington DC and now lives in Los Angeles. She is a junior at Brentwood School where she has attended classes since kindergarten. Her favorite activities include: academics, skiing, golf, tennis and community outreach. She was diagnosed with Lupus last year at the height of the pandemic, and is excited to participate with Lupus LA as a teen advocate.

For Lexi’s full lupus story, watch Season 2, Episode #12 of the #YourStoryOurFight Podcast at lupusla.org/podcast! You can also watch the full episode here, on Lupus LA’s YouTube Channel. Tap to stream Lexi’s episode directly from: Buzzsprout, Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts!