While I’m usually on the fence about reviewing products from pharmaceutical companies, I’ve really enjoyed the “Speaking of Lupus” series so far, so I thought I’d share it.
The “Speaking of Lupus” series is from the website Us in Lupus, which is owned and run by GSK (Glaxo Smith Klein). The site’s pharmaceutical ties don’t play a part in the Us in Lupus website’s design. The site itself is simple and straight to the point. The information is broken down into 3 main sections: the first is Living with Lupus, which covers the basics such as symptoms, common questions and working with your health team. The Tools sections has a nice selection of checklists that you can print out. The Lupus Checklist and Impact Tracker help you chart how lupus symptoms are affecting your life – very handy if you have trouble getting your doctor to take your symptoms seriously. There’s also an Appointment Prep Guide and a link to GSK’s Lupus Log app. Finally, there’s a section of resources that link out to other helpful sites.
Where this website stood out for me was the free customization journal that is advertised. Because I’m a sucker for a free offer, I signed up, expecting some cheap pamphlet that would quickly end up in the trash. When I actually got it, I was happily surprised. The journal was decent quality and showed a good amount of thought. The pages are a mix of monthly calendar, lined and blank sheets The calendar pages are blank, so you can fill in whatever month you choose and the boxes are a decent enough size to record appointments and events. The calendar pages are scattered, so you have the month and then a block of lined and blank pages after it. It’s a versatile book that’s small and light enough to keep in your bag at all times. As a bonus, the journal includes a clear plastic bookmark, a folder for holding loose notes, and stickers to mark good and bad symptom days and doc appointments. I highly recommend signing up, if only to get this freebie.
If you check the box to get more information, you’ll also start getting GSK’s Speaking of Lupus series. It’s a series of small guidebooks, each covering a specific topic with the aim of helping lupus patients cope better. For example, the first guidebook deals with confidence and the hits to the ego that lupus can deal out. Book #2 focuses on making it easier to let people know when you have to change plans due to lupus. The guidebooks are short and interactive, designed like mini notebooks or journals to encourage free expression (they even have little doodles scattered throughout).
All in all, it’s a great free product, with the guidebooks being a fun and causal intro to lupus, especially for younger patients. Even if you’re a lupus veteran, the free journal is a handy record keeper for all your appointments.
Full disclosure statement : I got diddly squat from GSK or the Us in Lupus website for writing thing. Zilch. Nada. Zippo.