A 20-year old female presents with chief complaint of fatigue, anxiety, and heart palpitations. She has recently given birth to her second child, a daughter. Initial recommendation from her follow up appointment is to rest. The patient’s symptoms worsen and then gradually resolve. Over the next year she has increased fatigue and headaches. She also starts to complain of joint pain in her ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, and fingers. Rest and over-the-counter pain medication relieve her symptoms, but it is difficult for her to find time for much rest due to the responsibilities of caring for a family and working full-time. The winter brings a new intolerance to low temperatures. She states her hands and feet becoming painful and discolored when she is exposed to cold. Her extremities became painful, stiff, and altered in color when exposed to cold temperatures. She also develops a butterfly rash.
DX: systemic lupus erythematosus.
Rx: prednisone and hydroxychloroquine
You are providing the patient with education on her new diagnosis. Create a patient teaching plan that covers the following questions.
1. What is lupus?
2. What key lifestyle changes will the patient need to address to manage her condition?
3. What are the important teaching points for her medications?
4. What are the recommendations to manage her symptoms, to avoid flare-ups, and to monitor her condition?
5. What symptoms, if they occur, should she report immediately to her provider and why?