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...]

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...]

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...]

While I’m Waiting

This song speaks to my heart right now and I hope it does to yours as well! … [Read more...]

Expect the Unexpected

Wednesday morning, I was on a plane traveling to Jasper, GA for five days of seminars and encouragement for YoungLives leaders.  Wednesday night, I was in the ER in Jasper, GA after falling and tearing two {possibly three} ligaments in my knee.  Thursday morning, I was on a plane {to the tune of an extra $150} to get back home to be evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon.  Friday, I saw the orthopedic doctor and received discouraging news {apparently knee injuries take a looong time to heal and I may need surgery}.  This coming week I will have an MRI to determine if surgery will be necessary. The last few days I have been asking God the following questions: Why my "good" leg? How much do you think I can handle? Do You remember that I am having gallbladder surgery in less than two … [Read more...]

Taking care of the Dads in our lives

When I met my husband, he was underweight.  I mean he weighed less than I do now by about 30 pounds underweight and he was 6'2".  After we had been dating for a few months, I felt like our relationship was established enough to suggest that he go to the doctor.  He said, "I don't have one".  At twenty-three, he hadn't been to the doctor since he was a child. And at twenty-three you feel kinda awkward going to the pediatrician. I found the man a doctor and he was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer.  Antibiotics, antacids and changes in diet and how he handled stress made him better and within six months he gained 30 pounds and stopped looking emaciated. You would think that would be enough of a personal success story to make my hubby a believer in seeing the doctor regularly.  … [Read more...]

Listening to the still, small voice

I have been having some (not so fun) issues with my left leg in the last few weeks.  My doctor(s) attributed it to my MS and put me on a steroid dose pack.  While that reduced the swelling on the MRI, it did not resolve the problem.  What is the problem? Muscle atrophy. Atrophy (according to Wikipedia) is the partial or complete wasting away of a part of the body (in this case my left leg). God has a whole post about atrophy in His body (the church) swirling around in my brain.  But, that will come at another time. This post is about how God speaks to us.  He didn't just speak to people in Bible times and then stop.  His Holy Spirit lives in us and guides us- if we listen. Yesterday, returning from the doctor I was not in a happy place.  Trying to digest the fact that my muscle is … [Read more...]

What is this blog for anyway?

Image by frances1972 via Flickr I arrived home from Blissdom with a heavy heart. Mind you, I had a fabulous time (with a capital F) and learned a lot. I also realized that I had strayed from my passions- the passions that led me to start this blog in the first place almost two years ago.  I have been working on shifting my focus back to sharing life from my heart with my readers.  (All my product reviews, giveaways, professional organizing advice, etc. will be on my professional organizing site starting March 1st.) I blog about life. Life as an adoptive mom of a child with severe emotional and behavioral issues, life as a mama of all boys, life as a mama of all tween/teen boys, life as a wife, life with multiple sclerosis and lupus, life as a former foster child, high school drop out … [Read more...]

Invisible Tuesday

Some of you know that I host a MomTV show on Wednesdays (at 1pm EST) called The Invisibles. The show focuses on living well with chronic/invisible illness.  To help my listeners and to educate my readers, I am going to start posting on the same topic that my show will focus on each week on Tuesdays. Tomorrow's show topic is Minimizing the Impact of Your Illness on Your Loved Ones.  Here are some tips related to what I share on the show. Your family member's are not stupid, don't treat them like they are.  Don't say "I'm fine" if you aren't.  Trust is an important component of family life.  Don't become someone your family doesn't trust. Remember that there are things children do not need to know specifics about (including finances and treatments) Resist the temptation to downplay your … [Read more...]

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