Archive for ‘This and That’

September 8, 2017

#535 – Your Input, Please

I’m working on an article for HealthCentral about Breaking Rules with Chronic Illness. My topic will explore how your rules for living change when you have a chronic illness, or have they?

Lene Andersen explains:

As a society, we have a norm, an average, and this determines how we react to each other. For instance, if you are having a meeting with your boss, showing up in ripped jeans and a cropped shirt is not likely to enhance your promotion chances. Adults are expected to work, couples are expected to marry and live in the same home, and we are all expected to say please and thank you. Not following those rules can bring censure by others and possibly societal stigmatization.

When you have a chronic illness, you find out that there are a whole lot of unspoken rules regarding health that you didn’t know about. Which makes sense — when you’re a healthy, able-bodied person, you’re not navigating those implicit commands of the chronic illness world we live in. Throughout September, we will be exploring what it’s like to be a rule breaker, the consequences we face, and how to cope.

I’d love to hear your comments about the rules you have now that you have a chronic illness, versus those pre-diagnosis:

  • Do you have rules?
  • Do other people have rules or expectations of you?
  • How have either of them changed since your diagnosis?
  • What happens if you break a rule? How do you feel?
  • How has this impacted you, your loved ones, your colleagues, etc.?

Please feel free to email me to add your input.

Please share this post if you know someone who might like to comment. Thank you in advance for passing it along.

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August 31, 2017

#534 – Double up on Things that Work

Shoes

Yes, you are seeing double. That’s intentional.

It’s taken me longer than I care to admit that when I find a product that works well for me, such as these shoes, that I should buy more.

I’ve written about what I love about the water shoes you see in this picture. After posting, I hurried off and bought another pair. Lucky for me, they were on sale!

I loved my first pair of  Merrell slip-ons  so much that I bought a second pair, just in case they stopped making them. (Isn’t that often the case? You find something you love and when you go to replace it, it’s no longer available.) For a slip-on they’re surprisingly comfortable. The sole provides support, yet is cushioned enough to treat my RA feet with TLC. I also like the fact that they allow air to circulate. (No one likes stinky, sweaty feet!)

Recently, I found some baby-skin soft bamboo blend underwear at Mark’s.  (Yes, my mother would be horrified. I agree that  maybe it’s a little TMI – too much information! ) Regardless, I’m planning on stocking up because they’re just too good not to have.

When you have a chronic condition, some things become very important. For me, it’s shoes. While the bamboo blend underwear is comfortable to wear, it’s not crucial that I have them. However, Lene Andersen has a different take on them, which she describes in her epigrammatic style on A Farewell to Underpants. One word: fibromyalgia.

Whatever is important to you, whether it makes your life easier, more comfortable and/or aesthetically pleasing, you may wish to double up. Now, if only I had bought a second three-quarter length sleeves black sweater with the cute polka-dotted placket!

 

 

April 7, 2017

#522 – I have RA. What’s the bright side?

NDeltaPoolThis post is like half and half cream. Part serious and part poking fun, it’s my way to strive for optimism, an attitude that Michael J. Fox has adopted. Optimism is a way to be well, in spite of living with RA. I may have RA, but it doesn’t have me!

“Choose to be optimistic. It feels better.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

  1. You become an amateur scientist, if you’re not already one. Experiment. Test.
  2. You become adept at adaptability.
  3. You have no fear of becoming your community’s version of Imelda Marcus or Carrie from Sex and the City. If your feet hurt, you become very choosy about the shoes you buy, and there’s only a limited number of comfortable, yet semi-fashionable shoes available.
  4. People may offer their seat on transit when they see you struggling.
  5. You learn anatomy through the back door. You get to know how your body works from all those appointments with your healthcare team.
  6. You have a good reason to exercise.
  7. You have a valid reason for when you don’t want to go to an event.
  8. You are a creative problem-solver, finding unique and unusual ways to get the things you need to do done!
  9. You have a great appreciation for your mobility.
  10. When you become a senior, you won’t suddenly be complaining about all your aches and pain. You’ve had them all along.

What am I missing from this list?

 

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February 23, 2017

#517 – Thrifty Tubes

tubes

A chronic illness can be costly – energy, health, money, relationships and time. A waste-not attitude can save you money, with the added bonus of doing your small part to decrease the amount that goes to the landfill.

It’s surprising how much product remains in a squeeze tube, even after using a tube sqeezer. Once I can’t get any more toothpaste, cream, mustard, or whatever is inside, out, I use either scissors or a utility knife to perform “minor surgery” on the tube. I then transfer the contents to a clean container. There’s actually quite a bit of product left in the tube. For example, by doing this I usually have at least an extra month’s worth of toothpaste.

I had to laugh when I was telling a friend about this little trick. She commented that she also does the same thing. Maybe that’s why we’re friends – we think alike!

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