chronic illnessfamily

Taking Some Time Off

As I mentioned briefly in my turnout post, I’ve been struggling this last little bit. I can tell I’ve been shutting myself down and withdrawing quite a bit even from my family who mean everything to me. I thought the two day breather would help get me back on the horse but I’ve realized that I’m still not quite ready. Some new and somewhat symptoms have shown up this week which in themselves make it difficult to write. I’ve been trying to use braces and/or ice packs but with little relief. I see my pain management Dr tomorrow and I see my rheumatologist on Monday and hopefully he can make some sense out of everything. I am praying that he does as if we continue in this ‘I’m not sure what else we can do for you rut,’ I’m not sure how I’m going to maintain. I feel like I’be just fallen apart in the last week. I’ve had to spend my days almost entirely in bed so while I am glad that I have the option to rest now when I need, I did anticipate feeling well enough to keep the house clean, dinner on the table, and time to play in the yard until it got dark. But I don’t have it. Maybe I will one day. I keep reminding myself that i cannot expect to feel fully restored and suddenly have no pain or fatigue since I am not working but at least some improvement would be nice. I have a dear friend who as made this move herself and she reminded me that it may take up to 3 months before my body begins to feel restored and fully nourished as I had been rinning on empty for too long and now that i have the chance to slow down, it will take awhile to get that back.  It was what I really needed to hear.

Between all of this drama, we have a special event in our family happening this weekend! Abby is turning 4 on Saturday!! Can you believe it? Her party will be the following weekend so we will have family in town so we’ve got quite a bit on our list to be ready for Mermaid birthday bash!

So to save my mental health and to be able to focus more on our family during the events throughout the next week, I will be taking the next week off from writing! I really wanted to finish out the HAWMC with WeGo Health but I gave it a good run and really enjoying participating in it again this year. I just need this next week for myself and my family. I plan on working on some things behind the scenes and I’ll still be around on Twitter and IG as I get all of the party decorations pulled together for her party.  Still feel free to contact me if you need me!

Thank you guys for your continued support and your endless encouragement that you give me each and every day. You all mean so much. Can we just all get close to our screens so we can have a big group hug? Seriously guys, I love you and I will be seeing you in a week! With pictures from all the birthday festivities!

Hugs & pain-free wishes,

P.S. I will post one more time in the morning to announce the winner of the MIRA Stainless Steel BPA-free snack containers tomorrow so be sure that you entered!

chronic illness

Pinterest & Chronic Illness

WeGo Health HAWMC

Day 24 prompt: Create a Pinterest board for your health focus & share!

It is no secret that I am a complete Pinterest addict and I have found it to be especially helpful in organizing ways to benefit my life with chronic illness! Today’s prompt was a needed kick-in-the-tail to get it organized and I actually split my board into multiple boards so that I can better find my pins in relation to category such as Advice, Encouragement, & Support or Products That Make Life Easier. I hate searching through fifty pins to find the one I’m looking for so I’ve found that reorganizing my boards into more specific categories has made things much easier!

Three of my favorite latest pins are:

10 Ways to Stay Organized with Chronic Illness

Simplifying Life With Illness - Tips for Staying Organizedimage via the Novel Patient

 

Romantic Ideas for a Chronically Ill Wife to Romance Her Husband

Keeping romance in a marriage despite chronic illness

image via Rest Ministries

 

Get-Well Cookies in Jar

Get Well Gifts for Loved Ones with Illness

image via Sugar Dot Cookies

Do you have chronic illness or health-related boards on Pinterest? Leave a link! I’d love to follow you!

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chronic illnessjust for fun

8 Things I Am Loving Right Now: Daily Life With Chronic Illness

WeGo Health 2013

Day 22 prompt: Write about the things you couldn’t live without – list things you love or need the most. Just a little look into normal, daily life with chronic illness

1. Jesus – There is absolutely no way I could make it every day living with chronic illness without the knowledge that my Creator was right there with me in the midst of it. I am thankful to serve a personal Savior who does not stand off at a distance but right beside me and knowing that gives me the strength to press on. Knowing that I can hold tight to the promise that the Lord has plans for me beyond the pain gives me hope beyond what I can express in words.

2. My family – I could not ask for a more wonderful and supportive family. My husband is my biggest advocate and support. I know it is difficult as there are times where he feels helpless to do anything to make me feel better but just knowing that he is there fighting alongside of me means so much. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to have to see your spouse wheeled back to surgery yet he has had to go through it six times already and every time he is right there with me. My entire family is extremely supportive and for that I am very lucky. I think my dad spent more time researching gluten-free options at Disney than I did and it really touches my heart.

  1. Coke – Hi, my name is Jamee and I am a Coca-Cola addict. I don’t know what it is about the stuff but I am addicted. I know its bad for me (have you seen the pin on Pinterest where Coke can clean a toilet overnight? why hasn’t that scared me?!) but I just haven’t been able to quit. There are worse addictions out there right? (humor me)

4. Leroy Jethro Gibbs – I’ll be the first to admit that this hasn’t been my favorite season so far but I still need my Gibbs fix. I mean, who doesn’t want to look at this:

Leroy Jethro Gibbs played by Mark Harmon

Tumblr source

5. My TENS Unit – I have sang its praises before but let me just remind you of how awesome it is. It is worth every penny. I had a vicious migraine last evening and using my TENs and an ice pack worked great. I’ve always just used it mostly for lower back and pelvic pain until my chiropractor’s office showed me how to use it for migraines. Magic. Pure magic.

6. Hard Candy Correction Creme – It seems that BB cremes are all the rage these days so when I went shopping last week I browsed the beauty section and came across this brand’s creme. I have always been pleased with Hard Candy products in the past and for $8 it was hard to beat. I was not disappointed! It helps even my skin tone and brighten my complexion when I don’t feel like wearing makeup (which is often these days). I also love that it has SPF! I can put this one and a quick coat of mascara and feel much more put together which I have learned makes a big difference!

7. Zofran – Another miracle. It works so much better for controlling nausea. Why does insurance not want to cover it though? Anyone else have experience getting insurance to want to pay for it?

8. My Blog Planner – I have tried various ways to try to stay organized and this Blog Planner by Click It Up A Notch has been the best by far at helping me stay on top of my game. Simply amazing and steal at $12.

Those are eight of the things I am loving right now – what are some of yours? What should I be checking out?

 

chronic illness

Burnout

WeGo Health HAWMC 2013

Day 20: Write about burnout. What does it feel like? What are your triggers? What gets you OUT of the pit of despair when nothing is going your way? 

This prompt came at the perfect time as I have really been struggling with burnout the last couple days. Blogging every day for a month is hard y’all! But more than blogging burnout, it is difficult to not get burned out living every day with chronic illness. The pain is not only physically taxing but is also a major drain on you mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

The last two days I have just been maxed out and needed to take a step back. I sat in front of the computer screen on Thursday for what seemed like eternity and just watched the cursor blink on the screen. I stared at the prompt given by WeGo and as much as I tried to come up with something, I just had nothing to offer.

Physically, I am still trying to adjust to life without work. My first week off was spent running after Abby with Lysol and a bucket as she struggled with a stomach virus. Thankfully she is doing much better which has allowed me to focus more time on resting, especially since my endometriosis has seemed to be flaring more than usual. Sleep has been fleeting so I feel more fatigued which seems to exacerbate my pain (which makes it harder to sleep and the cycle continues).

Mentally and emotionally, I feel checked out. The reality of not working hasn’t fully set in and I’m still working on not feeling guilty for spending most of my day resting. I feel like I should be doing something else. I question the reality of my pain. I wonder if I’m doing something wrong. I worry that the pain will become too much to carry.

To escape the burnout, I had to take a step back from writing for the challenge and take a breather. I really wanted to achieve 30 posts in 30 days but I had to give myself permission to step away. I needed to not think about life with chronic illness for while. I don’t have a choice about living with it so I allowed myself some time where I didn’t have to focus on it. Instead I watched some Ghost Hunters, browsed Pinterest, caught up on my blog reading, and worked on plans for Abby’s birthday party. I did some behind the scenes work on the blog (have you checked out my updated About Me page?) which helped me feel like I was being productive without focusing on illness.

Taking a step back and working on some self-care has definitely made a difference and I feel more refreshed mentally and emotionally. When I sat down to write, I felt much more at ease and have a better perspective on my life and my goals with writing in the WeGo Health challenge. Through some of my seminary classes, I feel like I have been able to learn about burnout and steps to take to both prevent it and recover from it as well as learning to be more in tune with my body and my own personal triggers throughout my journey with illness.

What are your signs of burnout? What are some ways that you practice self-care to either prevent it or recover from it? 

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chronic illness

Vintage

Day 19: Post a vintage picture of yourself with a caption about the photo and where you were in terms of your health condition.

Looking Back: Before My Hysterectomy

This picture was taken the week before my hysterectomy in 2008! John and I had our pictures taken at a nearby botanical garden by a special friend to use for our adoption profile! Almost five years to the day of this post, we were attending our first adoption seminar and now we are a week away from our daughter’s fourth birthday! The week before my surgery, I was so nervous about what to expect and worried about how it would affect my life with endometriosis. We didn’t quite get the results we were hoping for but I am thankful for these photos as they give me the opportunity to look back and be thankful for the good times surrounding my surgery.