my thoughts on chronic illness

abstract break broken broken glass

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My life feels like a glass vase slipping out of my hands and watching it shatter in hundreds of pieces……………..in slow motion.

I look at the pieces, lying scattered all over the cold, hard floor and wonder, where do I start?  Is it even possible to put the pieces back together?

 

So what is a person to do?

You get tired of appointments, tests, the stress of paying for “treatments” that you know may not work or worse yet, make things worse.  Searching for a medical professional that understands you as an individual and yet can see the whole picture is beyond frustrating.  Trying to find someone who can handle multiple chronic illnesses is nearly impossible.

You feel as if you are hiking through a deep, dense, dark, daunting forest with little sunlight streaming through the branches.  You are without a map or compass to guide your way.  You hear voices coming from all directions telling you what to do.  There are too many instructions and the words are so different from each other that there is no consensus, and it all sounds like jumbled nonsense.  Maybe they are all speaking in different languages?

It is now you realize it is really up to you to get out of this scary place.  But you are exhausted both mentally and physically, not sure how much longer you can travel.  You are praying for miracles…………..maybe a woodland fairy shows up to give you a magic healing potion,  or a light beam shines down directly on you from heaven and gives you divine healing, or maybe, just maybe, a phone booth will appear out of nowhere and  you can go inside and turn you into a superhero.

 

Until next time……………YOU are a superhero and superheros are born and gain their powers through tragedy.

5 ways to reduce anxiety when dealing with chronic illness.

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It has been my experience dealing with illnesses for decades, that anxiety rears it evil, unwanted head often for those of us living with chronic illness.  We live in a world filled with a lot of unknowns.  This is a reality we don’t want, in a world that doesn’t really get it, and can appear as if it doesn’t care.  So, how do you tackle those moments (or days) when anxiety comes charging straight ahead and doesn’t take into consideration where you are or what you are doing?  I definitely don’t have answers, just a humble list of things that have worked (not always) for me.

  1.  Breathe.  I know this sounds so simple, but in times of extreme stress and anxiety sometimes we forget to truly breathe.  We need to take a slow, deep breath to tell our bodies that we are in control……….whether we feel like it, or not.
  2.   Remind yourself you have been here before and you got through it.  This is a big one, the road is bumpy and terrible and you want to take a detour but sometimes there is just no where to turn around.  You have to go down the road and it will end.  You’ve got this!  It may not feel like it, but I have confidence in you!
  3.  Magnesium.  Yep, only if it is allowed by your medical professional.  But for me, magnesium glycinate has helped take the edge off more times than I can remember.  Most people with CI are low, so getting your magnesium levels checked may be beneficial for you.
  4.  Meditate.  I pull up a YouTube relaxation video and do my best.  One minute is better than none!
  5.  Get up and move.  Sitting still appears to keep my thoughts stagnant and focused on the bad.  Moving my body seems to start my thoughts moving and can bring a new perspective.

On top of these five, I also have one thing I do NOT  do.  When I am really stressed out and filled with anxiety about my health (or lack there of) I want to search for solutions.  I want to get better, I don’t want to be like this.  Like everyone else suffering from CI, I want my life back.  But, I have found that “googling it” makes things worse.  No matter what you are researching it seems as if the first thing that pops up is the word cancer……..who the hell needs to read such a horrible word when you are already super stressed!

Until next time YOU are a superhero!  Only a true superhero could do what you do, day in and day out.

quotes to inspire you to take care of yourself!

 

 

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It is important for everyone to take good care of him/herself.  But for those of us with chronic illnesses, it is vitally important.  Our days can be are filled with pain, discomfort, anxiety, loneliness, sadness, brain fog, confusion, appointments, and the fear of the unknown.  It is a lot for one person to handle and because of this, self-care is something that needs to be high on every CI persons’ list.

Please take a moment to read the quotes below.  It is my hope that they inspire you to make yourself a priority and encourage you to go do something nice for yourself!

 

“Self-care is how you take your power back.”

–  Lalah Delia

 

“Take time to do what makes your soul happy.”

–  Unknown

 

“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.”

–  Benjamin Franklin

 

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

–  Unknown

 

“Sometimes the most important thing in the whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.”

–  Etty Hillesum

 

“If compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”

–  Jack Kornfield

 

“Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.”

–  Christopher Germer

 

“How do you define taking care of yourself?  Create a new self-care practice today.  Observe your comfort level when it comes to being good to yourself.  Discomfort is a wise teacher.”

–  Caroline Myss & Peter Occhiogrosso

 

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries.  Your time and energy are precious.  You get to choose how to use it.  You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.

–  Anna Taylor

 

“A merry heart doeth good like medicine:  but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”

–  KJV Proverbs 17:22

 

“Self-care is not selfish.  You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

–  Eleanor Brown

 

“Self-love, my liege, is not so vile as sin, as self-neglecting.”

–  William Shakespeare

 

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority.  It’s necessary.”

–  Mandy Hale

 

“When we give ourselves compassion, we are opening our hearts in a way that can transform our lives.”

–  Kristin Neff

 

“Self love is asking yourself what you need – everyday – and then making sure you receive it.”

–  Unknown

 

“When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy.  This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits.”

–  Kim McMillen

 

“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”

–  Jean Shinoda Bolen

 

“Self-care is how you take your power back.”

–  Lolah Delia

 

“Get rid of the weeds and foster the flowers.”

–  Charlotte Mason

 

Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.”

–  Mahatma Gandhi

 

“Happiness is the highest form of health.”

–  Dalai Lama

 

“Self-care is taking care of yourself in a tender, loving way every single day.  Self-care is making sure you get what you need every day to thrive.”

–  Amy Kurtz

 

“You are worth every moment you spend taking care of yourself.”

–  simplywendi

 

Hopefully one of the quotes has inspired you to look for ways to be good to yourself every day!

When I find a saying that speaks to me, I like to write it down on an index card and place it in a location where I will see it often, like at my kitchen window.  Who doesn’t need daily inspiration?

……….Until next time, YOU are a superhero and superheros need to take care great of themselves!

 

 

 

 

 

Meditation

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Living with a slew of CIs, I have to put up with a lot of crap from my body.  Through these stressful years I  tried to eat right, exercise as able, rest when needed, and research various ways to help ease my pain.  One of the ways that I discovered over and over in my research was the practice of meditation.  As I continued to read about it’s benefits, I just kind of pushed it aside in my mind.  I have always been one who has prayed regularly and I  figured it would have the same impact on my immediate health…………but oh, I was so very wrong.

When I first began meditating I couldn’t do it for more than 3 minutes……….my body and my mind couldn’t rest for even that short amount of time…………in fact, meditating made me feel more anxious;  well, talk about counter-productive!  So, I continued to read more and more about meditation………..the benefits, the different types, the best times and became determined to continue my quest to be able to meditate once a day for 10 minutes.  I reached this goal by slowly increasing my time in one minute intervals when my body felt “ready.”

My very basic meditation practice consists  of listening to meditation music in a relaxed, sitting position, closing my eyes, taking some slow, deep breaths and letting my mind empty.  Nothing special, nothing complicated…………except I have to keep letting thoughts that want to crowd into my “alone time” go off into space.  But I have done it……….I am now able to meditate for 10 minutes a day and not only enjoy it, but I actually look forward to starting each day this way.

As I continue to meditate daily I have seen my level of anxiety drop and when I do start to feel increased anxiety I am instinctively taking  slow deep breaths.

As time goes on, my goal is to learn more about meditation, extend my time, and learn different techniques to incorporate into my routine.  As for now, I will stick to listening to Meditative Mind free off Youtube and enjoy the healthful benefits.

Until next time…………………YOU are a superhero (this is a huge job, so you may need to find a way to deal with all that stress!)