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randygonza61

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 #1 
I am a certified athletic trainer at a High School in Baton Rouge, LA.  I recently found out one of my athletes has LUPUS.  He is a great kid and a prankster.  My question is what are some areas that I may need to be more aware of with a LUPUS patient.  For example will he be more prone sensitive to heat ailments and quicker to go into heat exhaustion.  Will small cuts from the field be more susceptible to infection.
Thanks in advance.

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Randy Gonzales MA, LAT, ATC
Ashaline

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 #2 
I am sure that you are going to get a lot of great answers on here.  The sun is a big factor for people with lupus.  It tends to make us get very tired and bring out flare ups.  It is really really important for us to wear a lot of sunscreen.  I do not think it will bring out heat exhaustion more, but maybe others have more to say about that.  And cuts and things like that are not so much a worry.  The biggest issue for most is the pain.  The joint and muscle pain, and the tiredness.  Lets say you have a game or a really hard practice, your student will probably have a little trouble the next day or so, feeling really exhausted with sore muscles and achy joints.  You can not really push through it, it will make things worse.  You really have to take it easy and rest.  People with lupus really need to listen to their body and take care of it.  But, I am not sure what type of lupus you student has.  If it is skin lupus, sunscreen is a must, but they probably won't have too many body pain problems, if it is systemic lupus, what I have talked about will probably be some of the problems.  BUT, I know there are people who still run marathons and do things that surprise me.  I think of myself and when I exercise and I love to work in my garden and do my landscaping, it's really hard work.  I was a big athlete as a teen and twentys (until I had my children!), soccer, tennis, a dancer so I know hard work.  I still try to do things, but it is just hard.  Sometimes I feel like I have been hit by a truck.  The way I describe how I feel on a bad day is this... If you have ever had the flu and you just want to lay in bed, super tired and every joint hurts so badly, that's it.  It might be hard for your student, but let them try.  They will need to figure out what their limitations are and how life will look for them now.  Just know that a lot of pain is involved, even when you don't realize it! 
IrishLass

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 #3 
Dear Randy,

Great question and kudos to you for being concerned about your athlete! [thumb]

Ashaline had a great response for you and I have little to add on the disease aspect since she covered it so well. But I'd just like to add some food for thought. This kid's in high school so I'm sure his parents are keeping an extra special eye on him because of his illness. It must be difficult for them but they obviously want their son to have as normal a life as possible. That you want to educate yourself on the illness gives this kid an extra layer of protection from the adults around him. So having said all that, don't go easy on him. Treat him as you would any of your other kids. Also, be discreet. If you want to know if he's doing OK take him aside privately and ask him. I'm sure he doesn't want to stand out from his friends and team mates. He wants to be like everyone else. Lastly, since you're learning about lupus you know that this kid does have physical limits that he's going to want to push. He's not a china doll and he won't break but if you think he's pushing it have a talk with his parents. I was diagnosed at age 36. I'm 45 now and am just learning how to live with my limits. I didn't take good care of myself and my illness for 8 years and it did a lot of damage to my body. As a kid, he's not going to have the experience or the maturity to want to take care of himself. Keep your eye on him while you give him some space.

I think your student is in great hands! [smile]



Cakelady

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 #4 
Hi Randy,

Like the others I commend you for wanting to learn about lupus and what is good for your student.

I have a suggestion, if your student is not feeling well have a code word that the two of you know that he/she can say to let you know something is up. That way it does not draw unwanted attention to your student.

Like the others I have lupus and my daughter was dx with lupus around 16 years of age. High school kids can be mean, nasty etc. I am sure I don't need to tell you. My daughter was harassed beyond belief because I have lupus and then when she was dx well you can imagine.

We also have some teachers on this forum so they may be able to add something.

Thank you for caring about your student. There needs to be more teachers like you.

Good luck.

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Robinj

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 #5 
That really is terrific that you care enough to get educated for your student. Thanks for doing what you do. [smile]
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lizzieschriner

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 #6 
I was just diagnosed a little less than a year ago, and started the school year in a wheelchair. I built up my strength and was able to play soccer. My coach didn't understand and just brushed it off when my dad talked to him about it, but it turned out okay-nonetheless I'm happy you are concerned for your student. I could tell I was way worse than last year, though I was also very out of shape and gained weight. Anyways, I think, as other commenters have said, the sun, fatigue, and joint pain can be common concerns. I myself had problems with swelling too. If he is in remission and taking precautions and his medications are working for him, he should be like any other kid. Like another comment said, it isn't necessary to treat the student like they are "sick." Additionally, he might be in pain but wants to act tough-this is from personal experience- especially if he's afraid that other kids won't understand or think he is faking, so watch for signs. Maybe heavy breathing, slowing down, acting like he is limping or such. I'm not an expert and I might be wrong but I hope this my comments and the others help you! Thank you for your concern and urge to learn more about Lupus!
meg

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 #7 
Hi Lizzie:  I just replied to your other post.

I think you are a natural in educating adults on lupus.  Keep up the good work!

Are you able to play soccer now?

Mary

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Cakelady

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 #8 
My daughter did competition cheer leading and went all over the USA
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