Posts tagged ‘Lene Andersen’

August 31, 2017

#534 – Double up on Things that Work


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!



December 2, 2016

#510 – Book Giveaway: Chronic Christmas

chronicchristmasChronic Christmas: Surviving the Holidays with a Chronic Illness by Lene Andersen is an advent calendar-style book that is brimming with common-sense and humour, and is also infused with personal stories (and family recipes), that make for enchanting reading.

On each day leading up to Christmas, Lene covers a topic that can not only help those who live with chronic illness survive this season of merry-making, but also thrive. She takes each day further by suggesting how family and friends can assist someone with a chronic illness. If you struggle with what to do to help your friend, family member, or neighbour, this section is for you.

Here is an example from December 4th in the chapter entitled Take a Walk:

Find out which kind of limitations your friend, neighbor, or family member has because of their chronic illness and adapt your walking to that. This could mean walking a shorter distance and/ or doing it slowly. You may also need to adjust the time of day that you walk. You may also need to adjust the time of day that you walk. For instance, if your friend is sensitive to heat, bright sunlight, or humidity, walking in the evening after the sun goes down is less likely to make their chronic illness flare (an increase in symptoms). Have a conversation about what you both would like to do and the aspects of your lives that affect how and when you walk.

If the buddy-system means you’ll start moving, walking, swimming, dancing and more, then I’m all for it. At the very least, you want to maintain your strength, flexibility and endurance when you have a chronic illness. It’s a bonus when you improve it.

Here is a suggestion from Lene that is music to the ears of someone who is going through a tough time, whether it be a chronic or acute illness, or a death of a loved one:

Your offer of help can do wonders. Not that elusive some day in the future that never really happens kind of help, but now. This month. Don’t say, ‘Can I help?’ Instead say, ‘I’m setting aside a day to help you before Christmas. When would you like me to come over, and what would you like me to do?’

People in those situations are often overwhelmed. They may feel like it’s too much to ask for all the help they need, so they quietly struggle to do the things that need doing. A definitive offer of help can be like a breath of refreshing winter air.

Bear in mind that it’s empowering to ask for help when you need it. Lene addresses this topic on December 20th. How? You’ll just have to read this book to find out!

Chronic Christmas is the little book that:

  • Gives you practical tips you can put to immediate use.
  • Can help you get through the holidays with a smile on your face.
  • Help you deepen your relationships.
  • Is for sharing and caring.

Enter the giveaway for a copy of Chronic Christmas:

  1. One person will receive a copy of Chronic Christmas: Surviving the Holidays with a Chronic Illness by Lene Andersen.
  2. Contest closes at midnight PT, on Thursday, December 8th, 2016.
  3. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment. (Mandatory.)
  4. Earn another entry by subscribing to my mostly monthly newsletter. (Let me know in the comments section if you’re already a subscriber and you’ll receive two entries.)
  5. For extra entries to the giveaway, get social:
    On Twitter? Share the following: #Giveaway from @AuntieStress for the new book #ChronicChristmas by @TheSeatedView
    On Google+? Be sure to +MariannaPaulson when you share the link, and you’ll earn another entry.
  6. Make your way over to my Pinterest Board called “Giveaways”. Earn one entry by clicking “Comment” on the Chronic Christmas pin, then leave one. Earn another entry by repinning this giveaway announcement.
  7. If you decide to share on one of your other social media sites, be sure to paste in the link in the comment section, below.
  8. Good Luck!

Buy the book here.

January 17, 2014

#499 – A dash of this, a pinch of that


A very long time ago!

“It ain’t over until the fat lady sings,” so goes a politically incorrect reference to opera singers.

As you can see by this image, the fat lady has slimmed down considerably—80 pounds, to be exact—and although this blog is soon coming to a close, you can still read my posts over on Auntie Stress Café (ASC) – no singing, though. At least, not on either of my blogs! As for the weight, yo-yo would be a good word to use. Although, in recent years I’ve either maintained or watched the numbers on the scale decrease. But that’s a story for a whole other blog.

Incidentally, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis about a year before that picture was taken. It’s been a long journey, fraught with tears, pain, sadness, contentment, laughter, disappointments, satisfaction, worry, uncertainty, frustration, anger, depression, loneliness, calm, joy, peace, … in other words, life!

We all have a story to tell, secrets to keep, gifts to give and love to share. A Rheumful of Tips (ART) is my gift to you.

So, on my second-to-last post I’d like to share a few final thoughts that didn’t make it into full-blown posts.


Always check your prescription when you get home. Recently, I discovered that although the medication was correct, the dosage was 5 times greater than prescribed!

Delivery Drivers

Admittedly, this one doesn’t have the potential for dire consequences, but it is annoying. The phone rang once, twice, and then stopped before I could get it. It turns out that it was supposed to be a door-to-door delivery; unfortunately, the driver was in too much of a hurry to wait. I promptly emailed the company and got a standard response that might as well have said, “Yeah, we care, but don’t expect us to make any improvements.” I also mentioned it when I picked up the parcel. “We hear the same thing from seniors and many people who have disabilities.” Well, if that is the case, why aren’t the drivers told to wait a little longer? Have you experienced anything similar?

Adjust your attitude

Recently, I came across two blog posts that resonated with me. Both these women have made a decision, one that demonstrates an incredible capacity to live well, in spite of the mercurial nature of rheumatoid arthritis. The sooner you can come to terms with your disease—and it does take time—the better off you will be. I hope you’ll enjoy the posts on  Beating Rheumatoid Arthritis and The Life and Adventures of Cateepoo as much as I did.


Keep track of when you have your flare-ups. Is there a pattern? What is going on in your life. Specifically, how are you responding to the events that are swirling around you? Perhaps you notice that you always flare at holidays? Several things could be at play. You may associate your holidays with past ones like ‘Tis the Season To Be Jolly…Or Is It?

The downtime may signal the crash that is preceded by months of high cortisol levels. Remember that cortisol is cumulative. You may have “held on”, until it was more “convenient” to get sick. How many of you have become ill while on vacation? It’s important to see if there is a pattern. If there is, you can be proactive and make some changes.

Although the stress techniques I teach are not meditative in nature, they do induce mindfulness, which as this one study shows, proves beneficial in the extinguishing of those inflammatory fires that are all to common in a rheumatoid disease flare-up. Call or email if you’d like to find out more about how I can help you help yourself. Programs are only five weeks long – the effects last a lifetime!


One thing I know is that I would never have had the courage to write this blog had it not been for the growth I’ve experienced from my stress transformation. I believe that when you feel better, you do better.

April 13, 2013

#443 – A Virtual Visit and an E-Book Giveaway

If you’re like me, you  get joy from crossing things off your list, regardless of what type of list it is. On Forget the Bucket List, Make a Life List, Lene expresses her satisfaction at doing and crossing off a project she had on her Life List. It is a lofty one, too. I am in awe of her chef d’oeuvre. Well done, Lene!

I have invited Lene, and Lucy, too, to spend some virtual time here with you. She shares her hopes for Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Scroll down to the end where you can find out how to enter the giveaway for an e-book copy of Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tools for Managing Treatment, Side Effects and Pain.

Note: you don’t necessarily have to have an e-reader; you can also read an e-book on your computer or phone. Also, for those who are interested, Lene will be launching a paperback version in the near future.

How to Enter and Rules:

1. To enter the giveaway, answer one of the following questions by clicking the green Comment link, below:

  • The project that I am most proud of is  ____________ .This project can be big or small, personal or public. Don’t get caught up in comparatitis; the purpose of this question is to recall how you felt when you accomplished something. When you do this on a regular basis it will help turn off the taps to the cascade of stress chemicals. 
  • In the Foreword, Lene’s couch is _______?
  • Lucy sleeps on the __________?
  • The book is called Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tools for Managing Treatment, ________ and Pain.

2. Entries must be received by midnight PDT, on Sunday, April 21st 2013.

3. This contest is wide open to residents of planet Earth!

4. On Twitter? For an extra entry share the following: I just entered a #giveaway from @AuntieStress, courtesy of @TheSeatedView –

5. Here are two more ways to earn extra entries. Make your way over to my Pinterest Board called “Giveaways“. Click “Comment” and leave one . (If you repin it, you’ll get another entry. Just leave a comment here, providing me with the link to where you pinned it on your Pinterest Board.)

6. One winning entrant will be drawn from a hat. You will be notified via email. Your name will appear here, on Twitter and on Pinterest.

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