Category Archives: mental-health

How Charlie’s Angels Prepared Me to Live with a Chronic Illness

Pictured Charlie's Angels. Title: How charlie's angels prepared me to live with a chronic illness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Charlie’s Angels Prepared Me to Live with a Chronic Illness

I may have been born in the late 60’s, but I am a child of the 70’s!

One of my favorite television shows of the seventies was Charlie’s Angels.  Not only did I never miss an episode, the following day I would make my friends act them out with me! For those of you who are not familiar with this show, Charlie had a private detective agency and he hired three sexy women that he called angels.  The original angels were Farrah Fawcett as Jill Munroe, Kate Jackson as Sabrina Duncan, and Jaclyn Smith as Kelly Garrett.  They were badass women kicking butt and uncovering mysteries.

I wanted to be an Angel, Jill in particular because, well, hello that hair!!!!!

Little did I know that a show about beautiful, strong, and intelligent women would also give me the “know how” I would need to surviving life with not just one, but multiple chronic illnesses!

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook groups.

Look for clues

When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, degenerative disc disease, coccydynia, and endometriosis, I had no clue that each chronic illness would lead to a life of searching….

Searching for what you ask? What not would be easier to answer, but whether you have one chronic illness or a slew of them, the life of the chronically ill is spent searching for ways to relieve pain, new symptoms, reoccurrence of old symptoms, side-effects, and treatments. The chronically ill spend a lot of time investigating their bodies, the fluids that come out of them, their mental status, abilities and disabilities.

Thankfully Charlie’s Angels taught me to never give up and that there is always an explanation.  My doctors may have given up, but I will never give up searching for the source of my chronic illnesses.

Trust my instincts

Like any good detective, I have learned to trust my instincts.  I received my first chronic illness diagnosis in 2001 and since then I have had countless tests come back and show nothing wrong when I went in with a complaint of pain.  Thanks to my Angel training I knew not to accept that answer and kept pushing the issue and presenting new clues to my doctors.  In several cases, tests showed absolutely nothing wrong with me, but surgeries revealed the truth.  The findings of each surgery proved and validated my complaints by being something that no test could have ever revealed.

Trusting my instincts has saved my life countless times and will until I am no longer able to speak for myself.  I can never stress enough how important it is to be your own advocate!

Know when to fight

Like a well trained private eye, I know how to protect myself.  While I may not be punching or handcuffing my enemies, I have to fight to receive the care I deserve and need.  I have learned when fighting a doctor about a diagnosis or test is worth my time or not.  Sometimes my energy is better spent finding a new physician.

I have also learned to listen to my body.  It will let me know if the situation is urgent or if it can wait a little longer.  This instinct also helps me get through life.  I have learned what levels of pain and exhaustion can be pushed through and what cannot.

Teamwork works

Living alone, void of any assistance from others when you have a chronic illness is possible, but it’s not realistic.  Whether you are married or not, it is best to have a team.

First you need a medical team that is working together and not against each other.  They and you, need to be on the same page about treatment of the disease and pain.

Then you need your personal team.  You need someone that you can confide in, because trust me there are going to be days when you just need to vent your fears without terrifying your spouse/partner.  My husband is a fantastic team member that I don’t ever want to be without.  He has witnessed the horrific treatment from surgeons and has been there for me at the absolute worst moments of my illnesses.  Other teammates that are beneficial are folks to help with transportation, provide an occasional meal, or to tidy up your home when you are at your worst.   No matter what, you need someone in your life to make you laugh, because without laughter we are only left with sorrow.

Be sure to train one or more of your team to be your patient advocate.  You may not always be alert enough to express your requests or needs.  Having someone who can speak for you when you are unable is invaluable!!!

Thanks to the skills I learned from Charlie’s Angels, I continue to fight pain, solve symptom mysteries, and refuse to give up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Disabled Diva’s Blog Weekend Recap March 4, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Disabled Diva’s Blog Weekend Recap!

March 4-8, 2019

Tears: I hold them back, until pain pushes them out

Spring Clean Your Chronic Life

Mobility Aids: Everybody uses them

What I have learned from using PEMF daily for two years!

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook groups.

Hey psoriatic arthritis buddies or caregivers!!!

Could you please spare a few minutes to take a survey that will help create beneficial programs for the psoriatic disease community?
Click here to take survey
Thank you!

 

 

 

Spring Clean Your Chronic Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Think spring cleaning only involves giving your home a good cleaning?

Think again!

Disinfect Your Diet

Clean up your personal care products

Spruce up your view!

Spring Cleaning doesn’t have to be painful

Sanitize your social circle

Five ways to make your home chronically safe and friendly

Scrub away negative thoughts

Spring Clean your social media feed

Cleanse your calendar!

 

 

Spring Clean: Spruce up your view!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does spring cleaning mean to you?

For some it may be a time to put away their winter gear and start pulling out their outdoor stuff.  Others may think of it as a time to go through the house and garage gathering items no longer needed or used and then donating them to charity.  Of course there is the traditional thought of spring cleaning which is to give your home a full no inch, nook, or cranny missed cleaning.

Today I am going to present you with a spring cleaning idea that you may not have thought of…….

Sprucing up your view!

Here are three views that you should consider sprucing up this spring!

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook groups.

Outdoors

What do you see when you look out the window near where you spend most of your time?  If you see trash, abandoned or inoperable vehicles, or anything that doesn’t make you feel good to look at, it is time for a change.  Moving is one option, but not always the best, easiest, or affordable.

So what can you do to change your view?  Hang curtains with a print that brings you joy, but don’t cover the entire window.  Instead of hanging the rod at the top of the window, hang it halfway.  That way you will still get the natural light your body and mind both need, without having to look out on a scene that makes you cringe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another option is to rearrange your furniture so that it gives you another angle to look out that window.  By moving my bed from one wall to another in a former home, I swapped my view of a traffic light for one of a beautiful tree filled with flowers in the spring.

Indoors

If your chronic pain from chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, or MS is high, you probably spend most of your time in you bedroom or in the living area.  I know that is where my time is spent when my pain is not being managed well or when I am recovering from an injury.

Look around the room/area that you spend the most of your time in.  Does it make you feel anxious, agitated, angry, or annoyed?  It shouldn’t.  The place you spend the majority of your time in should be a place that makes you happy, that calms you, that provides comfort and peace.  If that doesn’t sound like the area that you spend the most of you time in, it is time for a change!

First, clean it up!  Avoid having piles of items that need to be put away.  If you really can’t keep up with putting things away, use pretty baskets to collect and store the items in until you can.

Second, make it comfortable! Do you have somewhere comfortable to sit?  Could you use some new bedding? If the area is dull and dreary looking, brighten it up with vibrant colors and prints.

Last but not least, give yourself something to look at! Whether it be a piece of artwork or real/artificial flowers, find something to have on your walls or shelves that brings you joy.

Mental

Now time for the view we would rather not think about….. our view on living with our chronic illness(es).  How do you view your life?  Do you think it sucks, is miserable, or not worth living?  It is time to get some help.  I am not saying that you have to be positive all the time, I am not.  But, the difference between having a bad moment and life is that with a bad life you can’t find things to be thankful for, to like, or enjoy.  The thing is, life with a painful chronic illness can include joy.

I have said this before and I will say it again, there is no shame in seeing a therapist!!! Too many people think they can handle everything on their own, but they are wrong.  Therapy has been an important part of my dealing with past abuse and my chronic illnesses.  If your insurance provider doesn’t provide adequate mental health coverage, is expensive, or you just don’t have the physical strength to go out to see a therapist, I highly recommend Online-Therapy.com. Their therapist provide the therapy you need when and where you need it most.

Other tips to help clean up how you view your life includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • End each day listing what you WERE able to do
  • Create realistic plans, not plans that require you to be 100%
  • Be gracious to your body for what it can do
  • If you must focus on what you can’t do, do it only to find a new way to perform that task or activity.  Find an alternative solution.
  • Practice showing yourself compassion

Therapy when you need it, where you want it…. ****** Save 20% when you click here to enroll.

 

 

 

 

Which of your views needs sprucing up?

 

The Disabled Diva’s Blog Weekend Recap Feb 25 – March 1, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Disabled Diva’s Blog Weekend Recap!

Feb 25 – March 1, 2019

March Madness Fitness Challenge

Packing for your chronic illnesses

What Happens When I Live My Old Life

Fibro Farts

Telling me that it could be worse won’t make me feel better

One PEMF Device, Two Years, Tons of Pain Relief!

 

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook groups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Telling me that it could be worse won’t make me feel better

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How many times have you explained your chronic illness to someone and their response was “It could be worse”?

I would be a millionaire if I had even a penny for every time I was told this.

I don’t believe that the majority of people who say this to us, do it with the intention of hurting.  I truly believe that they think they are offering words of comfort.

However, the reality is that those words, no matter what intention they were said with, cut deep into the heart of someone living with a chronic illness.  And here is why saying “It could be worse” should be avoided:

  • It makes the chronically ill person feel that their illness isn’t as important, painful, or difficult to deal with as a terminal diagnosis.
  • Those words are often misheard and translated into “Stop your whining, you can complain when you have a serious disease”

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook groups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The truth is that things could always be worse.  Even for someone receiving a terminal diagnosis, things could always be worse.

I am just as guilty as anybody else who has uttered those words. However, after being cut by them for so many years, I have come up with ways to say them without invalidating the severity of what someone is going through. For example: When the words “It could be worse” pass through my lips I follow up with…..

  • , but that doesn’t make what you are going through any less terrifying.  How are you coping?
  • , but that isn’t here nor there…. What do you need from me? How can I help you?

When followed with a validating comment and question, I am less apt to throw up walls or to emotionally shut down.  Instead, I feel safer to open up and have a discussion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have someone in your life who likes to remind you of how much worse things could be, talk to them.  Share how it makes you feel and offer alternative words for them to communicate with.  It may feel awkward at first, but the more we talk to our friends and family about what they say, the better we all get at communicating with each other.  Just remember, to talk, not yell or attack!  Not everyone will get it.  In that case, just let it go….. because seriously, there is so much more to worry about when you are fighting chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, degenerative disc disease, and abdominal adhesions.

How do you react to hearing “It could be worse”?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Disabled Diva’s Blog Weekend Recap Feb 18-22, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Disabled Diva’s Blog Weekend Recap!

Feb 18-22, 2019

Cinematic Calisthenics: An Indoor Workout Than Anyone Can Do

Four ways I prevent leg cramps

How to have a pleasant bowel movement

The Disabled Diva’s Review of Earthley Good Night Lotion

Update on Soothing Skin Balm: It’s been four weeks since my daughter began using this balm on her eczema.  See the difference in her wrist! 

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook groups.

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