Healing My Gut and My Heart

I've battled chronic illness for many years. Heck, it's the reason this little ole' neglected blog exists in the first place. In 2008, I was searching for answers, trying to understand diagnoses that didn't feel quite right and looking to connect to others even though I was often confined to my bed. Since then, I've had good years and not so good years and I've been struggling yet again since last October. I was diagnosed with inflammatory colitis after weeks of severe GI issues in November. Since then, I've endured four stomach bugs, shingles and a raging UTI. To say I'm sick of being sick would be a gross understatement. I've tried modern medicine for all these years but a few weeks ago, as I prayed about how to proceed, I kept coming across articles about "gut" health. Did you know … [Read more...]

Fighting Fatigue {a #chronicallywell post}

Yesterday, I posted about how fatigue affects me and how it can be a blessing, if we choose to view it that way.  I also realize that fatigue is one of the most debilitating symptoms that I, and many others with chronic or invisible illness, deal with on a daily basis.  I wanted to share some things that help me combat fatigue. If you have something that works for you, I would love for you to share it in the comments so others can benefit as well! Stay positive.  People tend to underestimate the power of negativity.  Allowing yourself to stay mired in the negative aspects of your illness will actually increase your fatigue. Eat breakfast.  If you are anything like me, breakfast is optional.  Not because I'm not hungry but because I can't drag myself out of bed in time to eat a … [Read more...]

I’ve been diagnosed…now what? {#chronicallywell}

If you missed day one or day two, click on the links to catch up on the series. Once you have been given a name for the myriad of symptoms you've been experiencing, it is ok to be relieved.  The road to diagnosis is long and filled with setbacks, disappointments and a whole lot of waiting.  Having an answer to the "what is wrong with me" question is important.  But, moving past the diagnosis is just as important and what we will talk about today. Here are some manageable steps to take control of the illness that has probably been controlling you as you waited for a diagnosis: EDUCATE YOURSELF. Knowledge is power.  And, in this case the internet is your friend.  Make sure you visit reputable sites such as the NIH and official foundations dedicated to research for your specific … [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...]

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...]

Gratitude in Hard Places

Living with chronic illness has taught me many things. Utter, complete dependence on God. {Psalm 70:5} The finite nature of our life.  {James 4:14} How our bodies are designed to need true Sabbath rest.  {Isaiah 58:13-14} That everyone has a thorn in their flesh, mine happens to be dressed up as lupus.  {II Corinthians 12:7} Knowing all of these things doesn't make the excruciating pain go away.  It doesn't remove the bone deep fatigue that plagues my day.  Knowing doesn't help me remember appointments or be less distracted. But, knowing helps me maintain perspective.{Colossians 3:2} And being grateful for the everyday little things {like the opportunity to sneak in a nap} and the miracles {I'm still alive} keep me focused on what is truly important. Seeing the good can be hard … [Read more...]

10 Things I’ve learned about living with invisible illness

I have been living with invisible illness {diagnosed} since 2008.  Chronic pain, fatigue and bizarre symptoms are part of my everyday life.  Statistics tell us that 1 out of every 2 Americans lives with a chronic illness {diabetes, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc.}   I know I am not alone.  So, why do I often feel that way? 1.  Invisible illness is isolating. Let's face it, people get tired of hearing about your "aches and pains", tired of having you cancel at the last minute because you suddenly feel like you've been hit by a truck, etc.  At least, I think they get tired of it so I withdraw, not wanting to be a bother.  Loneliness is a frequent companion. 2.  Invisible illness is unpredictable. I can go to bed feeling fine and wake up, unable to get … [Read more...]

Peace and Quiet

Thank you all for your prayers.  I had a great time speaking at a local father/daughter banquet last Friday evening and God granted me not just the words but the stamina to deliver them. I am in a place of rest, quiet and peace.  A beautiful place to be, honestly.  Different circumstances would be preferable but I am used to my health being an issue. My liver function is not normal right now.  The doctors are attempting to figure out why and until then {and possibly indefinitely} I am off the medications used to contain and treat both my MS and lupus.  I am very tired and somewhat nauseous...I had a week full of tests and appointments last week and this week looks much the same. People in my everyday life often comment about how "at peace" I am when things like this occur in my … [Read more...]

Prayer request

Lots of fluids. Rest. Doctor appointments Labs and...I'm not well. Just another thorn in my flesh. Please be patient because posting will be sporadic for a while. I would greatly appreciate prayers for stamina this Friday as I speak at a Father/Daughter Banquet.  And for God's wisdom when my hubby and I meet with a specialist on Thursday at 4:15pm. … [Read more...]

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