What is Wrong With Me? {#chronicallywell day 2}

One of the most frustrating times of my chronic illness journey was the road to diagnosis. It took almost two years for me to be {mis}diagnosed with MS and then another year and a half for the doctors to realize I really had SLE {lupus}. Living with debilitating symptoms is hard enough but not knowing the cause adds a level of despair and powerlessness to the experience.  It doesn't help that doctors get tired of their theories proving wrong and eventually start to insinuate that it's all in your head.  If you are on the path to diagnosis, here are a few things I want you to know. Keep a symptom log. Your doctor needs the whole story. You know your body better than anyone so if you are experiencing something new, write it down. Even if you doubt the significance or don't see how it … [Read more...]

31 Days to Living Well with Chronic Illness- An Introduction

Hi friends! Every year when I join the blogging community in committing to write on one topic every day for 31 days I question my sanity.  And, I say I will never participate again.  And, every year I develop some type of writers amnesia and when God lays a new topic on my heart, I once again decide to tap out my heart each day in October.  This year I am writing about a topic I personally deal with every day but don't often talk about- living with chronic illness. I was diagnosed with systemic lupus in 2009 }after being misdiagnosed in 2008 with multiple sclerosis}and have several related medical issues including a blood clotting disorder, IC, IBS and the like. You can read more about my journey with chronic illness here, here and here {you can also search the topic in the top right … [Read more...]

12 Things I want you to know about living with Lupus

May is Lupus Awareness Month. I have systemic lupus erythmatosus {SLE or lupus for short}, diagnosed in October 2009. I have friends that live with this disease as well.  Day in and day out, year after year lupus does not go away. I don't spend a lot of time focusing on lupus and the effect it has on my life but, at the same time, I am not embarrassed or ashamed of it.  I want to educate people about this insidious disease that needs a cure.  I am pulling back the curtain on this thorn in my flesh today to help raise awareness about this illness, one that affects more than 1.5 million people in the US alone and an estimated 5 million people around the world. The Lupus Foundation of America gives a brief description of lupus: "Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can … [Read more...]

I’m Not a Runner…..Yet

I have many friends that have taken up running. And, they LOVE it. Like, it has changed their life, their health, their physique for the better and they can't imagine not running type of love it. They post pictures on Instagram and Facebook. Sweaty happy faces after running a 5, 10 or 15k.  Running in inclement weather, on purpose. And for most of 2012, I watched their transformations from the comfort of my couch, shaking my head and thinking "bless their little running hearts". Meanwhile, I huffed and puffed at the very thought of running.  A brisk walk could leave me breathless. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As I prayed for my … [Read more...]

My Friend is a Big Loser

{Tomorrow, I will be sharing my One Word for 2013 with you and that will make this post even more relevant!} My friend, Jessica Heights, is sweet.  People use that word to describe others often but I really mean it. You look up sweet in the dictionary and there is a picture of this girl.  She is a mama to four, a wife, a writer {who blogs here}, co-host of Allume {the largest Christian blogging/social media conference} and has managed to find the time in all that to write an e-book that is going to encourage and inspire lots of women, this woman included. The 100 pound loser is a quick and simple read, that provides inspiration, encouragement and practical tips for those of us looking to lose weight and live healthier in 2013 {or any year for that matter}.  In her conversational … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

With the holidays upon us I wanted to take some time to talk about the effects that this busy time of year can have on our health. Living with chronic illness {mine is systemic lupus} doesn't have to steal your joy and zap your energy. But, it is tempting to push yourself with the amount of activity on the calendar this time of year.  Here are a few tips for taking care of yourself while still enjoying this joyful time of year. Pace yourself.  It is  not wise to plan several events in one day, especially if you don’t allot any time for rest in between.  It is better to attend a few get togethers and truly enjoy yourself than attend many and end up feeling yucky! Remember to maintain  a healthy diet.  Pigs in a blanket and eggnog do not a healthy diet make!  Certain medications need … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Help Your Husband Feel Loved

    Source: chaseandem.blogspot.com via Emi on Pinterest Mike and I had the privilege of escaping for 10 kid free, work free, responsibility free days in September to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful time together. A few days ago, my hubby remarked that we needed to plan a cruise every year because he felt really loved by me {and not just in a sexual way} on that trip. His words have stayed with me and God used those words to convict my heart that my husband should not have to plan a getaway with me to feel loved by me. I have to admit, I am not the best at showing love to him. We have come far in our almost 17 years together, but I still tend to give him my leftovers, instead of the best of me. I have been praying and journaling and came … [Read more...]

Fighting the Fizz

I have given it up before.  Cold turkey. But, it sucks me back in. Specifically when I have a stress headache and need some caffeine to chase the tylenol. What has me in it's ugly grasp? Soda. {source unkown} I need to stop drinking soda {again}.  I know it is bad for me.  I know that with a chronic illness the last thing I need is to ingest something that I know is harmful to my body. For some reason though, I am failing. Just today, I brought my unsweetened tea and water to work and halfway through the day, I caved and bought a soda, which led to another {cause I had ice left in my cup ;} So, I am calling on you friends.  I need accountability and I need tips. Have you given up soda or something else unhealthy?  How did you do it? What worked for you?   … [Read more...]

Airing the dirty laundry

Has God ever prompted you to do something and you whispered back at Him {in your head of course, because out loud would make you seem crazy} "come again?  Lord, there is no way I can do that"? Oh, it's just me? Usually when I have that type of conversation with God, it isn't long before I acquiesce.  Such was the case this weekend. Our area was hit by a terrible storm that no one was expecting.  We have friends who had trees fall on their homes, people injured from falling tree limbs and debris, closed roads and thousands without electricity.  To top it off, it was over 100 degrees this weekend. I was so thankful that we had power {heat and Melissa do NOT mix}.  Saturday morning, God prompted me to invite {via facebook and texts to friends} those without power to come over to our … [Read more...]

Peeking In

I tend to be quiet here when I am going through something{s}. Really, I have a lot to say but need to say it in real life before I can go blabbing about it on my blog. Plus, I am sick.  After a night in the ER with two bags of fluids, a really strong pain killer and a nurse that seemed to enjoy digging around to start an IV, I am feeling {slightly} better.  The doctor told me today, at a follow-up appointment, that my sample {I will leave what they sampled to your imagination} is growing a pathogen and that Monday he will have results to let me know what antibiotic I need to start.  Basically, I have bad bacteria in my gut? Who knew. So, in an attempt to keep you updated on my oh-so-glamorous life {ha!} here are some pics from my phone this week: Sitting at the DMV on a Saturday was … [Read more...]

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