Number one is listen. She needs a soft place to fall, a shoulder to cry on and a sounding board. She doesn't necessarily need advice or even logic, just an ear.
Gently push her. Sometimes she may need a little extra push. Pain, fatigue or depression may have her down and if she just pushed a little it would help her feel better.
Don't push her. Sometimes she will just need to be left alone and pushing makes us feel stressed and guilty, only adding to our symptoms. Figuring out when to push and when not to takes time and understanding.
Get support for yourself. There are caregiver support groups, online support groups as well as just your own friends and family. You need somebody to talk to when you are overwhelmed. Finding somebody who knows what you are going through helps tremendously.
Take care of your own health. You can't help anyone if you are not well.
Learn as much as you can about Lupus. Understanding is key.
Be a mediator between the Lupus fighter and those who do not understand. She doesn't always have the energy and/or will to explain how she feels or fight for her rights.
When accompanying a Lupus fighter to a medical appointment, she will need help remembering what to tell the doctor as well as what the doctor tells her.
Patience is key. She requires a lot of patience and understanding. She may take longer to do things, she may have to take breaks and naps, she can't always think straight and she can get irritable from the pain and fatigue.
Understand that sex may be painful, difficult or even impossible for Lupus fighters. more tips on Sex & Lupus...
Reassure her that changes to her appearance do not affect your love for her.
Remember why and how much you love her, it will remind you that the hardships are worth it.
Help shield her from stress when possible, this is the biggest cause of flares.
When she's feeling better let her savor it, and help her enjoy it, it is not always easy when you are waiting for the other shoe to drop.
She probably looks better than she feels, remember not to judge a book by the cover.
Try not to take it personally, she's not trying to shortchange you and she probably feels bad about being sick and even worse about disappointing you. She needs to know it's ok to feel the way she feels.