living our best life possible – JUST SAY IT!

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Through all the years I have lived with chronic illnesses, I have felt the pressure to say that I was ok, even when I absolutely was not.  These pressures may have come from my internal desire to be well, not wanting to admit that I was sick, or living, if only briefly, in a fantasy world of being normal.  Or it could be a result of societal pressures, of people not wanting to know the truth of illness, or hear about others’ problems because it is way more fun to listen to happy stories.  Maybe it was because I heard, “you don’t look sick” one too many times.  Maybe I was tired to hearing people tell me how so-and-so was cured from some new thing.  I am guessing it is a combination of reasons.

I have always felt looked down upon when I spoke the truth.  That I was being judged for being ill, that somehow it was my fault, and that I was not working hard enough at healing.  Whether or not this was true, it was how I felt, so it was my reality.

There are days I want to open my back door, step outside and scream, “This sucks ass!”  Yep, I just swore, trust me, God can handle my truth, even if others can’t.  Who am I expecting to hear this?  My chickens?  My neighbors?  No, just every single person I have ever lied to when I said I was ok.

So, is there something you have always wanted to say about your illness, but have been too afraid?  Something you have wanted to scream to the world, yourself, or others?  NO JUDGEMENT HERE!

Sometimes is takes us being very, very honest with ourselves and others before we can even have a snowball’s chance in hell to begin the very long road to healing. 

 

Is chronic illness simple?

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Oh my goodness NO!  Actually not just no, but hell NO!  So why in the world would I give this blog such a title?

Before I started this blog, I struggled to give it a name because once you name something it becomes real and reality can be harsh.

It has taken me years and years to accept the fact that I am chronically ill.  Just typing out that sentence makes me sick to my stomach, I don’t want this to be real, not for me and not for you.  I am tired of feeling the need to explain myself regarding why I can’t do certain things, for having to cancel outings at the last minute, for not being able to live my life the way I planned it all out in my head many years ago.  Chronic illness has taken so much away from me and I hate it, I hate the whole stupid thing and I want it to all go away and leave me alone.  Alas, that wan’t to be and I had to suck down a whole bunch of reality and accept the fact that I am simply put, chronically ill.

After I accepted the fact that I am chronically ill, I realized that I  needed to structure my life as simply as possible in the not-so-fun areas of cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands,  finances and the ability to say no, so I just may have enough energy to add some fun things into my life.  Along the way I have learned, many times the hard way, some tips that have helped me save some of that precious energy and I wanted to share it with anyone who is also struggling.  Maybe I can help just one person get a little more out of life and I know all of you have amazing tips to share too.

I know we all feel alone, but in reality there are so many of us who struggle daily with these dreaded chronic illnesses. Just remind yourself that we are not our illnesses, we are warriors and warriors simply change the world.

Until next time……………..YOU are a superhero!

 

An illness kit.

Well, I finally created an illness kit, like the one I mentioned in a previous post.  I visited my local Dollar Tree (like most people I also live on a budget) and was able to get everything you see in the not-so-professional picture below.

For me, the most important item I purchased was a pack of 3 pairs of white socks.  When I came down with the dreaded, can’t-get-out-of-bed flu, I had not washed any whites in about a week and I ran out of clean socks on day two.  It was a huge bummer as I hate having cold feet but I dislike wearing dirty socks even more.  I also purchased a two pack of wash clothes for running under cool water and placing on your head when you are feverish.  Even though you can usually find a cloth lying around for this purpose, I wanted them just in case.  I believe that you could probably find these cheaper at Walmart but I did not have the energy to go and check.

I also purchased a package of small happy face plates and travel drink cups with lids because who in the heck is able to do dishes when you are extra extra sick?  Plus, I know I will not be able to find a single disposable item when I really need one.

Also purchased on this trip was a box of tissues, a bag of herbal cough drops (made in the USA), a small bottle of acetaminophen, a jar of Carmex and a Sparkling ICE drink.  All of these items are going to place in a 2 gallon zip lock bag and placed in the bottom of  a dresser drawer with a prayer that I will not have to use them!

 

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one in the freezer

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I usually don’t post two days in a row but I wanted to add on to what I posted yesterday regarding putting meals in the freezer for later use.

This afternoon I taught my youngest daughter how to make meatloaf.  I already had ground beef thawing in the fridge and knew I had to do something with it soon.  So, I used this meat as a wonderful opportunity to teach my daughter and to put an extra “meal” in our freezer.  I had my daughter prepare all the meat which fit into two loaf pans, with some left over.  One loaf was for tonight’s dinner and the other went into the freezer for a later date!

Since there was still meat left over from the meatloaf, we made meatballs and those also went into the freezer.  Although it took a little more time to prepare the extra meat for the second meatloaf and to make and bake the meatballs, it was much faster then if I had to start the process from scratch.

I have to admit, I am super tired tonight after spending 3 hours in the kitchen teaching my daughter to cook an entire meal which consisted of baked potatoes and green beans and she just had to make cupcakes…..but…..we were able to get goodies in the freezer (including cupcakes) and enjoy a healthy dinner.

So, I am encouraging you, if/when you are able, to plan ahead while grocery shopping and purchase extra ingredients so you too can put some food away in the freezer for your less than decent days!

 

When you get the flu…

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Over a week ago, I had been working on another post and I was really struggling with putting my thoughts on paper.  Although this is a daily issue for me, it seemed as if I was having more trouble than usual.  So, I put it aside and was feeling mad at myself for not being able to push through and get something “readable” on the computer screen.  Two days later I woke up with the flu.

Thank goodness it has been 18 years since I have had the flu this bad and by bad I really mean debilitating and miserable.  The morning I woke up with the flu I realized instantly that I had not done an adequate job planning ahead for such an event.  I am fortunate enough to have people in my life who help me out during times like these, but there is no way I am going to ask…………”hey, could you please put a whole chicken in the crock pot, add filtered water, celery, carrots and cook it for 8 hours then make it into a soup?” Nope, I wouldn’t do that plus I was so ill I couldn’t have spoken all those words at one time without taking a nap.

So, I have learned a valuable lesson.  I need to prepare for these dreaded times that I receive an extra illness.  I know that if I eat healthier while ill, I heal quicker.  I know the extra comfort that my favorite bottled water can bring me, or the soothing comfort of only cough drop that doesn’t make me sick to my stomach.  Did I have either of these things on hand, heck no!  So, planning ahead is on my list of things to do once I have fully recovered.

How do I plan on preparing for the next illness?  Great question!  I am going to have homemade chicken broth and soup waiting in the freezer.  I am going to put a bin in my closet and fill it full of things I so missed this time around………favorite bottled water, lip balm, the right cough drops, warm socks, paper plates and bowls, plastic utensils,  comforting teas and some puzzle books from the dollar store.

What do you do to prepare ahead for the cold and flu season?  I would love to hear your great ideas!

 

 

 

Simplicity and chronic illness

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I have wanted to start a blog for years, but thoughts of insecurity and lack of writing skills kept this dream from becoming a reality.  I have had ideas rolling around in my head for so long, yet a blog takes energy and confidence……….something that I lack.  But, I ‘put on my big girls pants,’ sucked up my pride, and with a prayer I hope that this blog will help at least one person in a similar situation as myself.

The purpose of this blog is to help those of us with these dreaded chronic illnesses to live a more simple life.  In the chaos of our diagnoses, we need to have calm and there are many ways we can help create some sense of calm and control.  These are going to be the topics of my blog posts…………ways to live a more simple life.  Simply.  Chronically.  Ill.  We can do it but it takes work, effort and a whole lot of unconditional support from others.

Here is to finding ways to experience calm within the chaos, and make the complex more simple …………so, let the journey begin.