The following post is from Michelle of Mommy Misadventures:
Lupus is a chronic disease where the body’s immune system attacks one or more of the body’s organ systems, cause pain, inflammation and organ damage. Lupus can affect either gender and any ethnicity, however it is most common in women of color between the ages of 15 and 44. It affects 1.5 million Americans and 5 million people world wide. Lupus has no known cause and there is currently no cure.
May is Lupus Awareness Month and May 10th is World Lupus Day. I am one of the 1.5 million Americans diagnosed with lupus. As part of my contribution to lupus awareness, I’ve compiled a list of apps that I use to help me manage the daily challenge that come with lupus.
Lupus is a disease that presents differently in each patient. It is also characterized by a flares, when disease activity increases and remission periods, when the disease takes a rest. Flares can sometimes be triggered by different things, such as stress or weather changes. Keeping a detailed diary of her symptoms is important to helping a patient learn more about her disease’s patterns.
Chronic Pain Tracker (iOS) – Lite, Premium $9.99
There’s a lot of pain trackers on the market but Chronic Pain Tracker for iOS is my hands down favorite. It allows you to create separate, custom profiles to track particular symptoms, especially helpful if you have multiple chronic diagnoses to keep track of. What I like best about Chronic Pain Tracker is that it has various pain tracking variables including type, intensity and location, as well as an analysis tool that allows you to compare data over time. Over time, the data collected by Chronic Pain Tracker can help a patient identify patterns or changes, as well as make it easy to share with doctors.
Many patients with lupus experience what’s known as “lupus fog” which can affect everything from thought processes and memory. For some, the fog is just a mild annoyance but for others, it can be debilitating.
I often deal with mild memory loss which can sometimes make it difficult to recall everyday information or what I’m supposed to be doing. To help me cope, I rely on productivity apps to help capture and access the information that I can’t always remember.
From personal notes to client research, my Evernote account acts like my second brain. I have gotten into the habit of entering just about everything into my Evernote account and it has been well worth the time. I love that I can capture information from just about anywhere — manual notes, clipping web pages, photos, voice notes — and then access them whenever I need via Evernote’s search function. While I still prefer Chronic Pain Tracker for symptom tracking, Evernote is great for capturing questions or specific events that I want to talk to my doctor about.
While Evernote allows you to create checklists within notes, the inability to sync with calendaring applications was always a deal breaker for me. Luckily, there’s a bunch of task management applications available that do just that. My personal favorite is Astrid because it has a robust notes and commenting feature, allowing me to keep track of the progress of a task. Plus, it syncs with Google, allowing me to see my tasks (and set reminders!) at a glance.
My identity as a writer is second only to my identity as a wife and mother. Nothing can send me into a depression faster than being unable to write. More and more, I have found my hands being affected by lupus and some days they are so painful that typing is an impossibility.
Going a day without writing in some fashion just isn’t possible for me, I use Dragon’s speech recognition software to dictate. To be honest, it took awhile to get used to dictating vs. typing but the more I use it, the more comfortable I’ve become. Dragon is an expensive application but well worth it for the paint it saves me when I’m unable to use my hands.
Do you have a chronic illness like lupus? What do you use to help you manage your illness?
|Michelle Mista is an IT professional, writer and blogger with a love for all kinds of technology. She writes about tech tips and trends for work at home professionals on her portfolio blog and muses about motherhood at Mommy Misadventures. She is on the constant quest to balance life, work and geekery.|