Dear Dr. Archer,
I grew up in poverty but never lacked for love. My parents did the best they could with seven children. My father was a farmer, but sometimes we didn't have enough food. When I graduated high school, we moved to California where my father could find work.
I went to college but did not get a degree. I was lucky, because the people that hired me saw my drive and honesty, which helped me to excel at all my jobs. I have three wonderful children and four extremely blessed grandchildren. I've always worked hard, doted on my grandchildren and taught my own children right from wrong. Thank God they got the message.
When I retired from my job of 32 years, I took care of my mother. She has since passed away but the early retirement cost me everything. I would not change a thing, because taking care of her was a blessing for us both. I have always loved to write, and I also love children. Because of that, I began to write children's books. I have self published four books, and have been diagnosed with Lupus.
I am in constant pain, which I hide from everyone and, unfortunately, I am broke. My first book was Turtlebee. My website is lindabuckwassel.com. The medical bills are overwhelming, but I keep thinking if I can have help promoting my books, I can take care of myself.
Being self sufficient is very important to me. I've always been the caretaker. That's my story. Thank you for your time.
No two cases of lupus are exactly alike, as symptoms can vary widely and affect many parts of the body. You've most probably heard it from your doctors, but there are things you can do to help control the symptoms of lupus, with probably the number one being to reduce the stress in your life. Some other things you can do are:
• Stay out of the sun. If you must be out, be sure to wear sun block.
• Do not use fluorescent lighting, as it can trigger skin rashes in some people
• Exercise regularly
• Eat a healthy, balanced diet
• Do not smoke
• Last, but certainly not least, surround yourself by those three great children and four grandchildren. You don't need to hide it when you're feeling poorly. Having a family support system can be priceless, and I'm sure your children would appreciate being able to help you in any way possible.
I've had other letters regarding lupus, such as Disability Is Only One Of My Problems and My Depression Is Treated But I Can't Sleep.... You sound like a fighter and a survivor, Linda, and that's great. Keep that attitude! As Mark Twain said, "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."
Congratulations on writing and publishing your children's books. I'm happy to provide our readers with your website in your letter. For readers who may have little ones to think about for birthdays or Christmas, maybe they will check out "Turtlebee", "Little Hound in the Pound" or one of your other books. Good luck, and all the best.
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