Boston Lupus Walk! October 24th 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Hi Everyone!  Please join me in the Lupus Foundation of America's 2015 Boston Lupus Walk!

It's a family-friendly, non-competitive walk to raise money to research and hopefully cure Lupus!

Please join us! You can donate to my page here and if you'd like to walk with us, please email me.

Let's raise lots of money and find a cure for this terrible disease!

Finding Balance

Thursday, August 13, 2015

One thing that I struggle with is finding balance.   It's true that life is one big balancing act.  When you have a chronic illness like Lupus, finding balance can be even harder.  As a mom, I love spending as much time each day playing with my son as possible.  I also work as a real estate broker, which is time consuming too.  Add in finding quality time with Brent, keeping a clean house, staying on top of paperwork, etc and there is very little time left to remember to take proper care of myself.  When you have an illness like Lupus, finding balance and taking care of yourself just simply cannot come last.  In reality, it should come first.  My stomach turns at that thought!  My son and Brent come first in my life.  However, I am reminded that if I don't put my health first, then I cannot enjoy my time with them!   It is a constant struggle, both physically and mentally.  Chasing after a 1 year old boy with tons of energy is tiring for sure!  However, it's also extremely rewarding!  
I love this article from Molly's Fund, 10 Tips for Parents Living with Chronic Disease.  I've found many of the tips to be very useful!   But let's all be's HARD to actually put all of these tips into the day to day rotation.  Change is hard.  Changing habits are hard.   I am working on small changes.  

Listen, I think it's okay to admit that you need to do better.  I do.  I also think it's okay to admit that change won't come overnight.  Finding balance is a process.  Here are the top 3 things I'm working on right now to help balance my life and my health...

1.  Accept help!  Accepting help is hard for me.  I like being the one who cleans the house, cooks the meals, manages our son's day to day life, runs my business, etc.  I have recently decided to accept a small amount of help with each of these items.  At work I've started having other agents in my office handle some of my showings, which frees up some time in the day.  I also have a wonderful man who helps me out SO much at home, and that is truly a blessing.  We cook dinner together, and that's a great way for us to also spend quality time together!  And at the end of the day he gives our son a bath so that I can take some time to do a workout video, which helps me get in better shape which also helps my health.  Having help has been huge!

2.  Eat healthy!  I don't believe that any one specific diet helps Lupus.   People will tell you "eat this or don't eat that", but what I personally find helps is eating a healthy balanced (key work being balanced!) diet.  Life is short, I still love ice cream and that's okay...but I eat a balanced diet and try to make healthy choices.  What you put in your body affects how you feel.  With chronic illness like Lupus, that is SO important.

3. Exercise! I love love love putting my son in the stroller and going for long walks.  He likes it, and I like it too!  It gives me the opportunity to stretch my body, get my heart rate up, and is just so good for both of us.  Before having our son, I used to jog or run, and I hope to get back to that level of fitness someday, but for right now walking is just fine and helps a lot!  Getting some exercise each day will help you mentally, as well as physically.  It also provides some time away from your phone, computer, TV, and other stressors.  

With Lupus, I find taking life day by day is really the biggest challenge but also the biggest help!  Don't worry about a year from now, 10 years from now, or even tomorrow.  Today is the only day we know for certain that we have (and even then, we never know!), so make good choices today and take everything in life as it comes.  Finding balance starts by shifting perspective. 
And, worst case, if you have a bad day, there's always tomorrow!

My Lupus Team: The Social Network for Lupus Patients!

Monday, June 1, 2015

I am so honored that featured one of my blog posts on their site!  Check that out here!

If you have Lupus, definitely sign up for an account at where you'll be able to chat with other people who are also fighting lupus.  It's a hard disease and the more people you know who you can share your experience with, the more people you'll help and the more help you'll receive in return!

And if you join, please add me to your team!

A big thanks to everyone at My Lupus Team for featuring my blog post! :)

Products that make living life with Lupus a little easier!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Living with Lupus is hard.  Personally, I experience severe joint pain that makes doing simple things like opening a jar or a water bottle nearly impossible on some days.  I also experience swelling, stomach pain and headaches.   I've found a few products that have helped me in my day to day life and I wanted to share them with you.

1. Babyliss ProNano Titanium Rotating Hot Air Brush.   If you have lupus, then you know that drying your hair is one of the hardest things you'll do each day.  Something that most women take for granted.  I can hold the hair dryer, but the combination of holding the dryer AND a round brush is just too much.  My solution is that I dry my hair about 80 to 90% of the way with the regular hair dryer, but not paying any attention to style.  My hair is wavy, so I cannot leave it like that.  Then I use this Babyliss Rotating Brush to style it.  The buttons make it so easy and it doesn't hurt my hands at all.  It leaves my hair smooth and styled and it doesn't take any energy to use.  There's a small learning curve to get used to the buttons, but after 2 or 3 uses I felt really comfortable with it.  I highly recommend this! I also cut my hair to shoulder length, which cuts down on drying and styling time.  

2. Walter Drake Jar Pop Opener.  Most of the time my boyfriend is here to open jars, bottles, etc for me.  When he's not, I use this jar opener to open any jars.  It's a lifesaver.  It's also really cheap and a must-buy.  It's helpful even for people who don't have lupus.  Now if I could just find something to make opening water bottles easier...any recommendations, please post in the comments section!

3. EmuBliss Banish My Pain Joint Lotion.  I don't like using products with chemicals, and I'm a big fan of natural pain relief.  I go to acupuncture, and in addition I use this EmuBliss lotion.  It really makes a difference in the pain in my hands, knees and ankles. 

4. Hue UltraWide Waistband Leggings.  Some days my stomach hurts too badly to wear regular pants, and on those days, I throw on these leggings with a tunic and call it a day.  They are the best leggings...thick, don't slip down and just fit perfectly. 

5. Sara Gorman Pill Case.   Every day, two times a day, I take Plaquenil, Vitamin D, OmegaPlex, Vitamin B12, and CorePlex MultiVitamin. In order to keep it all organized, I use this cute pill case.  No need to carry around an old grandma style plastic case!  Plus, Sara has lupus and you'll be supporting a fellow lupus survivor/fighter and mom of young kids! 

6. Advocare Spark Drink.  Lupus fatigue is no joke.  I drink Advocare Spark twice a day to give me some extra energy.  It really works!

If you have any products that make your life easier with lupus, please share them below :)

xoxo Nikki

Save the Date: Tues Dec 2nd at 5:30pm Lupus & General Health Chat on Facebook!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

On Tuesday December 2nd, the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation will partner up for chat on Lupus & General Health, which will be hosted on the HSS Facebook page.  

The chat will take place from 5:30pm to 6:30pm Eastern Time and the audience will be able to ask their panel of experts (rheumatologists, dermatologist, and social workers) questions in relation to lupus.

This is a great opportunity to have questions answered, and to learn more about Lupus.  

Please share this with anyone you know who may be interested!