Sick Humor: You know you have Lupus or (an Invisible Disease) when…


May is Lupus Awareness Month!

This funny list was written by the members of our message boards It made me laugh, and I wanted to share it with all of you. Sometimes it pays to have a sense of humor!

Any conversation can suddenly turn into a round of “Charades”.
A “good hair day” is when you realize you have some left.
You make a grocery list so you wont forget anything, and then forget where you put the list. (On a REALLY bad day, you also forget where the grocery store is!)
You bathe the lawn, fertilize the dog, and brush the kids.
You use the smoke detector to tell you when dinner is done.
You can’t effectively argue with your husband anymore. ~ “I am mad as all heck at you! I just wish I could remember why! DAMMIT!”
You invent your own ‘Lupus Language’ when typing.
Your medications take up the entire medicine cabinet.
Your wardrobe contains mostly sweat pants, stretch pants, T-shirts & a robe that never gets washed because that’s all you wear most days.
You’re on a first name basis with your Doctor & the ER staff.
Your family knows what “I have half a spoon left.” means.
You end up at the shop, then the doctor’s, then college/work, when you actually intended to be going to the gym.
You can’t remember if the post-it note telling you to remember to take your pills is from yesterday, and you haven’t taken them today, or it’s one that you just wrote to remind you tomorrow.
Your husband asks you to go and stir the beans in the kitchen and finds you brushing your teeth in the bathroom instead.
You bend over to tie your shoes and wonder, “What else can I accomplish while I’m down here?”
You find yourself at home, wishing that you were at work, wishing you were at home!
You leave your keys in the freezer for three days and only find them because your hubby decides to make dinner.
You call the same person three times in one day to tell them exactly what you told them the first time.
You call your husband by the dog’s name on a continual basis and get angry when he doesn’t answer.
You forget how to get back to your house that you have lived in for four years.
You knock yourself out by running into a cabinet door (tree, furniture etc..)
You wake up and can’t remember your partner’s name.
You search an entire day for your remote control and find it by accident in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
A simple trip to your mailbox makes your neighbors suspect that you are another neighbor’s (“Crazy Mary”) drinking buddy because you stumble, trip & weave.
You can play games with your family like “Guess This Rash”.
Your day starts at 1pm and you say good morning to people.
You have red cheeks and everyone assumes you have sunburn!
Tying your sneaker laces seems like punishment.
When you go to the fridge, and stare at it wondering.. what the heck did I want now? Then remember 15 minutes later. when the kids are looking at you wondering why you didn’t feed them yet!
Go to the store to buy something specific… Buy the whole store.. and forget the one thing you went for in the first place.
When the only way you know if you’ve taken your meds for this time of day or not is to look at your pill organizer!
When you tell people “Good Morning” in the afternoon so often they’ve stopped correcting you.
When you’ve called your spouse by your pet’s nickname, rather than their pet name, so frequently they answer to it.
Your cat knows that you are talking about him when you say “the cat”.
You’ve looked for your sun hat while wearing it.
You have to count the amount of pills left in the bottle to tell whether or not you remembered to take your pills that day.
When you know another month has passed, only because it’s time to refill your meds!
Your hair becomes a regular condiment in the dinner.
You ask your children to do the dishes because you just can’t, and they wash all the spoons first and offer them to you.
The food delivery driver shows up at the door and compliments you on your new pajamas! (He was getting kinda tired of seeing the same ones all the time! )
You have to ask hubby to smell your hair before you get out of the shower, because you can’t remember if you washed it or not.
Hubby calls you on your way home from picking up the kids from day camp, wondering where you are. (It’s a 12 minute drive each way and you’ve been gone almost an hour. )
You’re embarassed to admit it’s because you’re lost, 3 miles from home.
You register a new number of a company so that you can pay your bill online, but forget to delete the old number of that company and continue to pay the old account.
You make plans (and budget spoons) in order to go shopping, and then can’t remember where the heck you wanted to go or what you needed.
Your husband calls you by your Indian name “Dances With Lupus”.
When someone asks you what happened, and in response to your confusion, points to a bruise that you didn’t even know you had.
You get up to go to the bathroom (stupid diuretics) before you go to bed and get side tracked and FORGET you were going to sleep…
You are REMINDED that you were going to sleep, start to type a funny entry about having to be reminded you were going to sleep, and fall asleep… WHILE TYPING!!!!
You go downstairs to take your pills and eat something. First leave your pills upstairs. Then come back down, make a sandwich, sit down to eat, and realize, “Oh, I was going to take my pills.”
You are TOTALLY slap-happy… Even after sleeping almost 12 hours!!!
It’s 8pm on a Saturday. After sleeping until 11am, resting in the afternoon, and doing nothing all day, you’re still so tired that you begin babbling about turkey fritters eating the rainbow. Come, 11 pm, you’re so slap-happy that your boyfriend suggests sedatives, and can’t remember the turkey thing.
You get up in the morning and have very few little spoons for the day but have to go to work.
…and 4 hours later, your friend comes to your office and says, “Um, is that shirt supposed to be worn inside out???”
When you are too full to eat breakfast because you already took your morning meds!
You have three clocks in front of you and you stilll have to think about what time it is.
You’re making drinks for everyone’s breakfast & you throw chocolate milk mix in your ice water, put juice in the sippy cup with milk & water in the baby’s bottle with nothing else.
Your father calls to say he’s buying you a Burka to protect you from the sun.
You fall asleep at your town’s annual fireworks show because you’re so fatigued.
You’re heading to the bathroom and kick the dog toy. Limp to the couch to check out your toe. Forget what you where doing and start to watch TV.
You get thirsty, so you head to the kichen for a drink and hit the dog toy again. Limp to the desk, see you have started to respond to thread but can’t remember what you where saying. Later you have to go to the bathroom again and repeat almost the same steps over .
When your husband says, “Go left at the end.” and you merrily swing right and then look bemused when he says, “I said, go LEFT at the end.”
You forget yourself and run less than 25 feet and then spend the rest of the night in AGONY, taking everything you can think of to kill the pain.
You decide what to wear based on the size of your joints!
Your grandfather has more hair than you, and he is almost completely bald.
Your new favorite game is counting the number of new bruises you get in one day.
You know you have Lupus (or any invisible disease) when you can go to and find so many other people that will laugh at these same things with you!
© 2006

  • Cat Attack

    Yep, there are two ways of looking at it that’s for sure. I wonder are we supposed to live alone so we don’t annoy people. What is the real point of living a life either a sleep or in pain or in hospital. I don’t go out much as my clothes won’t and now my shoes won’t either as for some reason I am swollen.
    The jokes were funny. It takes me a week to tidy my closed and two minutes to destroy it looking for something to squeeze into so I can leave the house.

  • miskaten

    I adore the one about children washing dishes and giving spoons to their mother.

  • Jennifer Strasser-Payton

    Thx sooo much for this. I was crying after a failed talk with my husband about Lupus and luckily found this. My tears were changed to laughter. Thank you 🙂

  • Megan

    check out @LupusProbs on twitter!

  • k. k.

    I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am for this post! I’m having a particularly horrific struggle with treatment resistant SLE/RA. I was looking online for resources and support when I came upon this sadly hilarious post. I feel this struggle every day, and it’s so nice to see someone bring a little brightness to our tremendously dark days. Thank you!

  • Bernie

    Thanks you for these, gave me much needed out loud giggles, can’t wait for my daughters to see them as so many of them is so me……:)

  • Susan W

    These were hilarious and I loved them all except the one ‘My Indian name is…” I loathe and despise that joke, no matter what it,s told about. I am Native American, and traditional (have to add that in because there is always someone who says “I’m Native American too and it’s fine.” but most who say that have no real knowledge of their cultural heritage other than that they have First Nations blood.) Yes I know this list is funny and it’s a joke but when you’ve heard that joke a gazillion times and have said a gazillion times “you have no idea what those names mean to us. They are not a joke.” And you remember vividly when you were given your name, in ceremony, and told that name is sacred and not to be treated lightly. It’s not funny. It will never be funny. Most of us who fight these ideas and actually speak up about how we feel are ridiculed by those who are misinformed. The misinformation is spread especially by old movies and tv shows, but also by the lack of education. I’ve even been told I don’t exist by someone who said “My ancestors killed them all.” I said that’s kind of funny since you’re looking right at me. And please remember that “But you don’t look Indian!” is just as irritating as “But you don’t look sick!” That said, the rest of the list is utterly hilarious and I would add a few things to the funny list but… I can’t think of them right now…. where did I put the pen to write them down… now I need paper… oh look cake… and to those that got that (and are Gabriel Iglesias fans) but that was funny huh?! I’d also like to add for Jessica and anyone who doesn’t know why they are sick, have you ever heard of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome or Dysautonomia and looked up those symptoms? Especially if you are hypermobile (double jointed) I’m not a doctor or medical person but I cried when I read the list of symptoms for EDS, many which I’ve had my whole life. There is very little EDS awareness, even among doctors. They think EDS is a Zebra (rare diseas)…it’s not, it’s just very underdiagnosed… and that’s why we EDS’ers use the zebra as a mascot. It may not be what someone who is undiagnosed has but it’s worth a look at the info to see what it’s all about. has a lot more info for anyone interested in learning about EDS. Sorry for ranting about the name joke but I’m already irritated this time of year by the whole costume issue (we’re not costumes either) and that joke just rubbed me raw. Please forgive me but the whole name thing just grates on my nerves. And my nerves are already grated by pain. Have a good weekend And a big gentle air hug to anyone who needs one.

  • This lightened me up, I’ve been sick for about four years now, since I was 11, and am still in the ‘parents think its the flu, stress, kid wanting attention, then repeat’ stage, and my doctor hasn’t really been helping me. This made me smile, since this happens all the time to me, i always get asked why I have sunburn all the time, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m tired of explaining and just shrug my shoulders. I think its hilarious when i touch someone and they scream, since my hands are so cold, me and my friend have this joke that I could not possibly be human. I enjoyed this jokes.

  • OMG this is so me and so funny… thanks I really needed the laugh 😀

  • tell me about it its hard to get up day to day, i had 3 strokes and kidndney faliure and still try to laught about life because tommorrw isnt promised!

  • tracey

    damn straight skippy!!
    we also have stroke-jokes, narcolepsy jokes and epilepsy jokes at my house!! the jokes are hysterical and my family rocks at the punchlines!
    the way I see it is I can be sad and depressed or be grateful for my life and see the humour in everything… i tell ya, damn right laughter is the best medicine!!

  • Dee

    This is great! I dont know why but I laughed so hard at ‘You ask your children to do the dishes because you just can’t, and they wash all the spoons first and offer them to you.’ 🙂

  • sumgurl

    im 23 years old an im not sure if i have lupus or not an im still in all the progress of dr visits. Ive been sick for over a year now in an out of drs like every month it seems, an after hearing im not sure an being switched from physician to physician i feel in my heart that i may have this. They say not to get worked up but after being told through all my drs visits in my childhood to the present, i have been diagnosed with chronic bronchitus, panic attacks, excema, have had both my ankles sprained at least 3 times each i have had pains in my lower back, weakened immune system, have had kiddney infection, severe allergies, and now i have been hit in the side of my car by a drunk driver going 40 and it just seems as though evrything that could go has gone wrong. I sarted breaking out in a rash on my face and now my chest an legs. It feels as though its all over my body. I have started having sharp pains every once and a while in my chest now, so the dr has me on a 2 week cycle of prednisone and this anxiety pill once a day today. He wants me to try this out an if things dont improve i have to pain for yet another drs visit with no insurances on a students low income and two spraind knees and a chest contusion. I have had to withdraw from classes for 3 semesters now due to my abscences an an now have to go to court for the accident. This site has made me realize just how serious this can be mentally an physically, i have been doing these things my whole life, as much as it makes me life an makes me realize it may be that, it has also gave me enlightenment. The fact that im not just stupid an forgetful, and that i really do pay attention and that when i have to have someone repeat themselves im not the only person that has happened to. That when i forget what i was doing and end up doing something completely different, its not just a “blonde moment.” That when i come back with candy and chips from the gas station but not my friends ciggerettes, im not self centerd. although i believe it, i jus wish i knew now.

  • Nicole Danielle

    A personal favorite of mine (and true story): Your constant self-motivational mantra of “I think I can! I think I can!” has led your boyfriend to call you “The Little Arthritic Who Could”. Of course, “Arthritic” can be substituted out for a variety of invisible diseases! Wishing you all many, many spoons!

  • TAYA


  • Amanda

    I loved these so much. I have fibro & peripheral neuropathy! A lot of these fit me. – i didn’t fall asleep through fireworks but an 8 game bowling tournament! that makes me feel better knowing everyone has the same thing no matter what disease we have 🙂

  • Liz

    Never left my groceries at the store… But I HAVE left them in the car. During Summer. I’d brought raw meat.
    THAT was pleasent.

  • pugglemomma

    Here’s a personal favorite..You pack your sons lunch for school only for him to come home and say “MOM, You only sent me two slices of bread! You didn’t put anything on it! “OOPS! LOL Luckily he told the teacher and she got him some cheese to put on it! LOL
    Or another great one..You actually remember where the grocery store is and your list, but after paying, you forget to bring the bags home and leave it all at the store!

  • trish

    Lol loved reading this, made me laugh till it all sank in, that this is my life.

  • This was definately needed. WHAT A RELIEVE!!!! i don’t feel alone living with lupus after reading this article. I finally smiled and chuckled a little in regards to having this disease. That has not always been the case. Usually trying to hide things from others who just don’t get it. Life is short, huge wake up call. Especially the post-it notes. I used to work in a law firm working for three attorneys and could make it work, now I write a list when I go to the market. This posting made me think alot and not try to take things/effects of Lupus so serious. Keep the faith to all those living with Loopie Lupus or Fibro.

  • kaiti

    I have fibromyalgia & heart troubles, but most of this still applies to me. My autistic son has learned to cook in order to be well fed ’cause sometimes it isn’t worth the trouble to wake up Mom. You missed ” Sleeps 20 hours a day for a week everytime the seasons change.” My personal favorite. My kids have brought me spoons.
    : – D

  • Ellen

    I love them! Especially about the clothes. I work at home now and the delivery guy and the painter I hired has seen me in a variety of pjs!

  • Bliss

    I’ll have to read the rest of the list tomorrow (if I remember)…I just fell asleep again… ;-/

  • Julie Culp

    These are fantastic! I especially love “You know you have lupus when you can play games with your family like ‘Guess this rash’ ” and You know you have Lupus when your husband calls you by your Indian name “Dances With Lupus”.

    Thank you for the laughs 🙂

  • stacie

    this made me remember how to laugh at myself…which i very much needed right now because I forgot that while laughter may not cure the pain it can give you a little relief!

  • Dee

    I found this while searching for tips on how to tell my children I have Lupus. It’s been a very emotional couple of weeks for me and this gave me a chuckle. Thank you for sharing.