Tag Archives: mental-health

Why I fear doctors, hospitals, and test results

Why I fear doctors, hospitals, and test results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I fear doctors, hospitals, and test results

Since my first chronic illness diagnosis in 2001, my life, that is my chronic life, has been nothing short of a nightmare.

I know my body well.  In fact I know better than any test or doctor.  Not to sound conceited, but not one test or scan has ever shown the destruction that has been taking place in my abdomen since 2003.  NOT ONE!! However, my theories have been validated in surgery and each surgery was proved necessary.

Before you suggest that my fears aren’t warranted, I need for you to understand something…… I do not have White Coat Syndrome, where patients experience a higher blood pressure reading when at the doctor’s office, it goes way beyond that.  My fears and phobias stem from incompetent care.  Not from just one doctor or surgeon, I am talking double digits!!!

In case that is not enough of an explanation, here is a list of some of the reasons I fear doctors, hospitals, and test results……

Continue reading

How to plan the best summer vacation despite your chronic illness

How to plan the best summer vacation despite your chronic illness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does the thought of taking a summer vacation get you excited or does it send chills down your spine?  I loved traveling before I became chronically ill.  In addition to yearly Disneyland vacations, I loved exploring new areas in other states or within the ones that I lived in.  Weekend road trips without a destination were my favorites.

Soon after chronic pain became a part of my daily life I began to loathe traveling. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go exploring, instead it became too painful. Not only did my excursions increase my pain while away, it would take weeks and sometimes months to recover from them once I returned home. Not wanting to spend most of my time recovering I opted to stop traveling.

Continue reading

FINDING SATISFACTION IN WHAT CAN BE DONE

 

APRIL FITNESS CHALLENGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINDING SATISFACTION IN WHAT CAN BE DONE

Have you joined The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddy group on Facebook?

Current members, scroll below to read this month’s challenge rules.

If not, it is time you joined the fun!

This group is for anyone who needs a little accountability and encouragement to help them stick to their fitness goals.  You could have fibromyalgia, an autoimmune disease, arthritis, diabetes, MS, or any other chronic illness.  In fact you don’t even need to be ill.  I needed motivation and encouragement before I was chronically ill just as much as I do now!

The group goal is to move our bodies every day.  This means in whatever form of exercise you are able to do.  If you can go for walks, that’s perfect and if not, that’s perfect too! Whether you  run around the block, walk to the end of your driveway, or stretch your muscles every morning, you are welcome.

This group is not about killing yourself or triggering a flare in order to exercise your chronic body.  Instead it is about figuring out how to incorporate physical movement into your day without having it disrupt your life.

Each month a challenge is issued.  Members earn entries to win Starbucks and Amazon eGift cards just by following a few simple rules.

Sound fun?

Then check out April’s challenge!

*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.

April’s challenge is simple and sweet.

This month your challenge is to find satisfaction in what you are able to do.

You should be overjoyed when you exceed your daily goal.

You ought to be joyful about hitting your daily goal.

You need to be okay with falling short of your daily goal when your chronic illness decides to misbehave.

AND

You have to be willing to accept that an extended flare, injury, or illness may require decreasing your daily goal.

For one month you are going to go to bed each night satisfied with what you were able to physically do.

The only way to be dissatisfied would be if you didn’t make an effort.  But, I know that won’t be you!  Why, because I read your comments on the daily check in posts, I know that each and everyone of you who participates in the challenges makes an effort to do what you can no matter how cruddy you feel.  Every single one of you is a warrior!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here is the deal….

April’s challenge will last for four weeks.

1-7

8-14

15-21

22-28

Step one: If you haven’t already, join the group .

Step two: See the challenge post located in the announcements and comment with “I AM IN”  to join the challenge.

Step three: Earn up to three entries daily.  Earn one entry for posting your results (this could be steps or miles walked, minutes of cardio, yoga, tai chi, Pilates, stretching, water aerobics, etc.) .  Earn a second for sharing how you feel about what your ability for that day was.  A third point is yours if you include a statement of being satisfied with what you accomplished for that day.

Each week one winner will be drawn, no later than 5 days after each challenge week ends.

Winner chooses between a $5 Starbucks or a $5 Amazon eGift card.

This month is about trying our best and being satisfied when our best isn’t as grandiose as we would like it to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starbucks, Amazon, and Facebook are not affiliated with these drawings.

The Disabled Diva is not a medical professional and does not issue medical advice.  Always seek the advice of a medical professional before starting any new exercise program.

 

Is Your Social Circle Filled With Energy Sucking Vampires?

 

is your social circle filled with energy sucking vampires

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Your Social Circle Filled With Energy Sucking Vampires?

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have people in our lives that just suck the life out of us.  Prior to becoming chronically ill I had a high tolerance for toxic people.  Now? Um not so much. 

*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.

Emotion sucking vampires

These vampires will suck the positivity, joy, and peace from your life.  They steal our attention with what is often self-inflicted drama.  They rarely have anything constructive to say.  Instead all they spew is negativity and often over react to the simplest of issues or events. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toxic people don’t want solutions or advice, they just want to be heard and seen.  You might be thinking that you are able to handle hanging out with vampires because it’s their problem and not yours.  Unless you are somebody who is able to shield your heart and soul from other’s emotions you would be wrong. 

My chronic illnesses have increased my sensitivity to emotions, mine and of those around me.  Feelings like pain, sadness, despair, anger, rage, inadequacy, doubt, and worthlessness are felt deeper than before. 

 

 

Break out the garlic

I was ready to end my life after falling down the rabbit hole of depression a little over 4 years ago.  I had to work hard to climb out of that dungeon.  It takes an enormous amount of effort to remain positive and happy no matter what my physical circumstances are.

There was no way I was going to let an emotion sucking vampire destroy my progress, so I broke out the garlic.  Some vampires were easy to eliminate from my life.  They were mostly acquaintances, people that really weren’t part of my life.  I stopped taking phone calls or would walk away when they began biting. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, some of us are related or close to some vampires and cutting them loose isn’t always an option.  However, don’t let someone suck the life out of you just because you are related, that doesn’t give them a free pass. 

To deal with them I had to set boundaries.  Telling them I couldn’t handle their drama didn’t work, because they didn’t care about how their drama affected me.  They only cared about having an audience and instead accused me of not loving or caring about them.  That wasn’t true, but try explaining that to someone who just wanted attention and created reasons to get it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  I had to let a few go. Sad? Yes, but no longer feeling the stress or anxiousness that I used to was worth it.  My best weapon was offering advice or putting a positive spin on whatever they were lamenting about.  This stopped them in their tracks as like I stated earlier they weren’t seeking solutions nor did they want to see the good in any situation.  Once I started utilizing this cleaning tool their visits and phones calls began to dwindle. 

A drama free life?

I hope you realize that you deserve a happy life.  Decluttering my social circle has improved relationships with those who value my friendship or relationship with them.  These people are the ones who aren’t creating chaos and wanting everyone around them to get caught up in it too. 

There is always going to be some kind of drama in our lives, situations that we didn’t create or have control over.  Real friends and family want to help and comfort not suck the life out of each other. We laugh, come up with solutions, bounce ideas off of each other, and most importantly we respect one and other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Clean Your Chronic Life: Scour Your Social Media Feed

spring clean your social media feed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is time to apply some good old fashioned spring cleaning to our social media accounts.

Have you ever noticed a change in your emotions after scrolling through your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter feed?

For example, maybe you were feeling down but cheered up after viewing some encouraging memes.

If happiness were the only emotional outcome of scrolling through social media, then I wouldn’t be writing this article….  Too often social media leaves people feeling depressed, anxious, unworthy, or angry.  These emotions, while normal, can and often aggravate chronic pain.

The good news is that there is a way to overcome it!  Read on!

*Disclosure: I am not a medical professional. I am not issuing medical advice. Consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or treatments. This post contains affiliate links. Meaning that, at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission from purchases made through my links. These pennies fund the giveaway funds for my Facebook Groups.

online therapy

 

 

 

So what do you do when what your friends and family post on social media has a negative effect on your mental well-being?  You take control!

Here are five options for taking control of your social media feed and emotional health.

Choose wisely

Don’t scroll through your feed.  Instead only visit the pages of the people and or businesses that won’t instigate unwanted feelings.  Need a pick me up? Visit the accounts of those who often brighten your day.

Get help

As I stated earlier, it is normal to feel the feels that many social media posts invoke.  However, if you find that you are unable to let go of them, they consume your mind, or they are affecting your health, it is time to get help.  I am not saying that everyone needs to seek out therapy, but if you find yourself drawn to posts that increase the intensity of negative emotions there is a problem.

Hide

You love your Aunt Sally, but she every day she goes on a political rampage.  Her posts are angry and hostile, which leave you feeling the same after viewing them.  Guess what?  You don’t have to endure those posts!  Do yourself a favor and hide her posts from your timeline.  Facebook allows you to be friends with people, yet to also NOT follow them!

To make sure you aren’t missing anything important, you may want to pop over to her page once every blue moon to see if she has posted anything of importance.  I have assigned someone to check the pages of those who trigger extremely unpleasant emotions for me.  It doesn’t bother them and it makes my life so much better.

 

 

 

Unfriend/unfollow

If hiding their posts doesn’t work, you may have to unfriend or unfollow them.  I save this option for those who lack personal boundaries.  For example, you can post whatever you want on your page.  I have the right to not go there and see it.  But you cross a line when you continually tag me or post your vile content on my profile page.

Just because you are related to someone or are friends, it doesn’t mean that you have to be their social media buddy too.  If socializing with them online is going to send you into a panic attack, cause you to socially withdraw, increase your blood pressure, or cause you to go into a rage, let them go!!

By the way, if the people in your life are the cause of negative emotions or activities, please seek out help with a therapist.  They can help you determine which relationships can be saved and which are truly toxic.

Leave

Your last option is to leave the platform that leaves you with the most destructive of feelings and thoughts.  Having a social media account isn’t a requirement of life.  Yes, they provide an easy way to keep in touch with and to connect with our friends and family on a daily basis, but if they are creating a problem for you, let it go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feelings of sadness, anger, etc. are inevitable.  However, if you find that those feelings are becoming a way of life or all that you feel, there is a problem.  The answer isn’t threatening people to only post what makes you happy or to unfriend you.  The answer is first finding out if your reactions are typical, second recognizing just how much you can handle, then last but not least, taking action to protect your mental health.

With that said….. Before you decide to take a social media vacation, be sure to subscribe to my blog! I would hate for you to miss out on a blog post just because of a few rotten apples!  Click here to subscribe!

Click here to read my entire Spring Cleaning series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Disabled Diva’s Weekly Recap March 11-15, 2019

The Disabled Diva's Weekly Recap March 11-15 Pictured, sunglasses on green grass next to a dandelion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Recap March 11-15, 2019

Chronic Life: Does the waiting ever end?

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

The Disabled Diva’s Top Ten Travel Tips

Spring Clean Your Chronic Life: Disinfect Your Diet

Are your spring break vacation expectations realistic?

Spring Clean: Spruce up your view!

*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.

Ending soon!

If you have psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis, or you are or may become a caregiver to someone who does, would you please spare five minutes of your time to take WEGOHealth’s survey that will benefit the psoriatic disease community?  Participants will be entered into a drawing to win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards!  Click here to take the survey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chronic Life: Does the waiting ever end?

 

chronic life does the waiting ever end

 

 

 

 

 

 

#CHRONICLIFE

Does the waiting ever end?

Living with one or multiple chronic illnesses involves a LOT of waiting.  We wait for doctor appointments, test results, pain relief, cures, diagnoses, people to understand, and so much more….  But does it ever end?  There is no simple answer for this question.

My chronic illnesses which include but are not limited to, fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, degenerative disc disease, abdominal adhesions (from endometriosis and surgical scarring), and coccydynia, have all forced waiting periods into my life when I would have rather not been sitting around waiting.  The problem with all the waiting that has to be done is that waiting then becomes a way of life.  However, as I discovered after the first 12 years after my first diagnosis, there are some things that we shouldn’t be waiting for, like living.

*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.

What are you waiting for?

My early chronic years were spent waiting for answers, test results, and most of all pain relief.  Even though I heard my doctor say “There isn’t a cure, but we can treat the symptoms”, I wasn’t able to accept that I would never be 100% pain free.  I kept waiting for that unattainable dream of waking up without pain and being able to do whatever I wanted.

Although I had no choice but to wait for test results, to recover from surgeries, and for treatments to begin to working, my life was meant to be lived.  Waiting to live caused me to miss out on a lot.  I missed out on many opportunities to grow as an individual, to spend with others, to make memories with my family, and so much more.

In my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life, I share how to live a good life despite your chronic illnesses.  My life didn’t change overnight, it took time, patience, and hard work to create a life that I am passionate about.  Nor did I wait until my pain level became manageable, no I began carving out my new life while flat on my ass in one of the darkest periods of my chronic life.

Chronic pain or any new twists or turns that my chronic illnesses want to take will never hold me back again.  Why? Because I won’t let them.  If my body won’t let me do things one way, I will find another.  If I have learned one thing throughout 20 years of living with my chronic illnesses it is that life should never be put on hold, no matter what I am waiting for.

Waiting room meditations. Buy book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why are you waiting?

I vividly remember the day in 2013 when I realized that I had been waiting to live.  That I had done nothing with my life since my symptoms began disrupting it.  That, when you think about it, I had lost over a decade of my life.  The heartbreaking part was that I was also raising children who were watching me wait.  Existing was the last thing I wanted my kids to do.

When I realized that I had been waiting to live, I had to ask myself why I did it.  The answer came easily, I was waiting to be healed, even though I knew that would never happen.  Why did I wait so long for something I knew would never occur?  Because, being healed would make what I wanted to do so much easier…….  Friends, that hit me like a ton of bricks….. I wanted life to be easy.

Life isn’t easy for anyone, even those who aren’t chronically ill have their challenges.  Reaching my goals would never be easy or pain free, but instead they would require a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

Take a chance, don’t let the unknown diagnosis or unexpected flare stop you from creating a life that is filled with passion and purpose.

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can be done while waiting?

I will be the first to confess that it is extremely difficult to think about the future while waiting on a medical test result or diagnosis.  If you are like me, your mind goes to all the worst case scenarios and not one of them includes a future you can bare to think about.  But we can’t allow the unknown to control our destiny.

Instead of continuing to allow my life to abruptly come to a halt, I began looking at alternative ways to make my dreams come true.  If a particular diagnosis is going to dictate that I can’t do something the way I have, I begin looking for other ways to continue what I am doing.  For example, working from bed doesn’t mean that I am working less than if I traveled to an office every day.  Nor does using a mobility aid make spending the day at Disneyland any less special than when I am on foot.

Currently, I am experiencing a flare up from abdominal adhesions.  Thankfully, my pain management plan is keeping pain from my other chronic illnesses under control, because combined my pain level would be off the charts.  However, the abdominal pain I am experiencing is forcing me to do things a little differently.  Here is how I continue to live while waiting for relief…..

  • I accept assistance
  • Allow for a flexible schedule
  • Use mobility aids
  • Cancel or turn down anything that will derail me from what most needs my attention and energy
  • Practice patience with myself and body
  • Listen to my body and give it what it demands
  • Breathe: I allow myself to enjoy small moments and to be okay with living differently than my friends and family.
  • I forgive myself for not being the perfect, pain free, super woman I wish I were.

What are you currently waiting for? Why and what can you do in the meantime?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chronic life Does the waiting ever end

%d bloggers like this: