- April 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- September 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008
- April 2008
- March 2008
- February 2008
- January 2008
- December 2007
- November 2007
- October 2007
- September 2007
- August 2007
- July 2007
- June 2007
- May 2007
- April 2007
- March 2007
- February 2007
- January 2007
- December 2006
- November 2006
- October 2006
- September 2006
- August 2006
- July 2006
- June 2006
- May 2006
- April 2006
- March 2006
- February 2006
- January 2006
- December 2005
- November 2005
- October 2005
- September 2005
- August 2005
- July 2005
- June 2005
Sometimes, the most helpful thing is to read another person's story of success. Here we give you personal examples of real ChronicBabes in hopes of inspiring you to keep working toward your goals.
Let's start here: I believe in you. Each and every one of you.
Does that feel good? Let it soak in. Steep in the knowledge that someone out there really trusts that you can be successful in your endeavors. If I can lift above my struggles and thrive, I know you can too, because we're like sisters. Your struggle is my struggle.
I created a short list today of things that inspire me and keep me in fine spirits, even on the toughest days. Enjoy, and add your own in the comments for other babes to enjoy, too! XO Jenni
Posted: 1/11/2012 in Inspiration
Every year I make a long list of resolutions. And most years, I'm able to stick to most of them. By there are a few I find myself annually adding to my list, and then each December I wonder why I haven't mastered them. Well, no more foolin' around! This is the year, babes. I'm gonna make magic!
When I was diagnosed with lupus in my early teens, I had my first, true taste of worry. I was terrified that having lupus meant that I would live a painful, exhausted, unfulfilled life. In short, I thought that there was little chance that I could have lupus and be happy.
I thank God every day that I was absolutely wrong and that it is possible to have a chronic illness and be happy. Here's my list of 12 resolutions to live the happiest life I can!
Each trial is an opportunity for growth, and when viewed in this manner, pain becomes a stepping stone to higher awareness. Use your pain wisely. It may be your greatest burden, but it can also become your greatest gift. Read more from Maria Mooney...
Posted: 10/7/2011 in Inspiration
Lisa Copen writes about the power of claiming our illness: "Yes, words do have power. But if I started telling all of you who live with daily chronic pain to call it intermediate pain, would you feel all cheered up? Or completely invalidated? You know the saying, 'If it walks like a duck, if it talks like a duck. . .'"
Posted: 9/28/2011 in Inspiration
When I read stories about other ChronicBabes and their illness experiences, it's always an education. I love hearing their perspectives, reading all the little details that make their lives more complex and full, finding out what makes their days more difficult—and more simple.
Holly Finn's story of trying to create a family—despite endometriosis, despite other acute health issues, despite the ticking clock—is no exception. This is a fellow ChronicBabe whose voice resonated deeply for me. Reading The Baby Chase, which is newly available from Byliner.com (and makes for a great Sunday afternoon read), was an incredibly moving experience.
My great pal Cary posted this on his Facebook page today, and it made me so happy to see. What an awesome friend. So I copied and pasted and posted it myself. Now I hope ALL OF YOU will do the same! Here it is:
It's day 16 of the WEGO Health (they're @wegohealth on Twitter) Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge (HAWMC)*, in which they offer a blog prompt per day for a month, and organizers have given us a couple of options today. The one I chose is to pretend to be a news reporter (which should come easy, as that's what I'm trained to do) and announce an invention or cure for our condition.
Posted: 4/16/2011 in Inspiration
On the 6th day of the WEGO Health (they're @wegohealth on Twitter) Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge (HAWMC)*, in which they offer a blog prompt per day for a month, organizers have asked us bloggers to write about why we write about we write about. Got that? So, why do I write about my health? Read on to find out why...
Posted: 4/6/2011 in Inspiration
WEGO Health is hosting a Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge – offering a blog prompt per day for a month. I decided to give it a shot. (Now, I know I'm a couple days late to the game. But I'm here, aren't I?) Here's my first take: an acrostic of the word FIBROMYALGIA.
Posted: 4/1/2011 in Inspiration
New year's resolutions can be so useless sometimes. I resolve to eat more fruit...well, that can be difficult if you live up here in the frosty north where fresh citrus goes bad in the blink of an eye. I resolve to go for a walk each day...well that can be hard when you've got a toddler whose mood changes with the shift of the wind and whose schedule is packed with activities. I get it—new year's resolutions aren't the easiest to keep, and especially for us ChronicBabes, who have additional factors that make our days hard to manage. Well too bad, ladies! I challenge you to make some resolutions. To inspire you, I made some myself.
Did I make my resolutions in the traditional sense? I think you know me well enough to know the answer to that, Babes. No way. Instead of cut-and-dry and measurable (and therefore, easy-to-break and easy-to-feel-bad-about-failing-at), my resolutions are mostly open-ended and flexible. They're forgiving enough so if I don't make them work one day, I can come right back the next day and give them a try again. I'm a little nervous to bare my soul so much, but here goes; I hope you find these inspirational. My resolutions for 2011:
Posted: 1/3/2011 in Inspiration
ChronicBabe Sarah in Chicago wrote to us to say she had a funny story about chronic illness, but no blog to give it a home. Never fear! ChronicBabe.com is here. Read on to hear why she thinks food TV is porn-a-licious...
Posted: 9/30/2010 in Inspiration
I've had many opportunities lately to listen to my gut. Sometimes I trusted it, sometimes I didn't. I'm doing my best to learn from my mistakes. And I think there are some lessons here for you... this is a SHORT little tips list from Editrix Jenni, whose hands hurt today but has a strong desire to share what works...
In honor of Invisible Illness Awareness Week, here's my contribution to the "30 things" meme. Want to write your own? Head over to the forum and post!
Posted: 9/2/2009 in Inspiration
I've been spending a lot of time lately on learning mindfulness, trying to be present in every moment. A big part of that is breathing and as regular readers know, music always inspires and motivates me. I asked for suggestions on Twitter and Facebook, and combined those with my own faves to create this terrific 17-song playlist. Enjoy! (You can also listen to the entire list streaming at Playlist.com.)
Posted: 7/10/2009 in Inspiration
Everything is brand new and waiting for you to enjoy. That's what I was reminded of yesterday, Father's Day, as I held a brand new baby in my arms. His innocence and wonderment took me out of myself, helped me forget my pain and exhaustion for a moment. What a gift! Are you looking for these gifts in your own life?
Posted: 6/22/2009 in Inspiration
With all the stress we face today, it's hard to stay present in the moment and appreciate what we DO have, especially when we're sick chicks. So I was inspired, by an idea a reporter shared, to take a 30-day challenge. This is my challenge: to—in the words of Ray LaMontagne—Be Here Now. (I'm sure he's not the first to say it, but he's got this lovely song all about it, and that's where I first heard the phrase.) Want to join me? It should be a fun experiment. I even created a blog all about it.
Read on for more details...nothing much to it, just a chance to try something new and re-connect with yourself and your world in a meaningful way.
Posted: 4/1/2009 in Inspiration
I was asked recently to write about thriving at college in spite of chronic illness. And although I didn't get really sick until after graduation, I did have a recent experience that felt just like going back to school. Here are just a few thoughts that might help inspire you...I know the experience taught me a few things!
So how do ChronicBabes nurture hope for the future, when we cope with so many variables? For myself, three specific things are on my to-do list: surround myself with success, make one simple promise, and cultivate a little faith. Want to give it a try with me?
Posted: 12/22/2008 in Inspiration
Editrix Jenni is always on the lookout for things that can make her feel better. Even if they don't make her pain or fatigue go away, a new trick that makes her feel stronger or more capable or happier is a welcome addition to her bag. She's got some tips that will help you fight your fears and try new things today!
Life with chronic illness is hard. It sucks. We all know that. And plenty of us talk about it, in person to our friends and family, or online in forums or blogs. But all that talking about it...thinking about it...obsessing about it...eats away at our joy.
We've got some basic tips you can start using today to reclaim your joy. Sure, there's no way everyone can feel joyful every moment of the day—but you CAN reclaim joyful moments and live a more fun life, no matter how sick you are.
Her husband thinks she's like a hot car, even if she's a sicko. The Professional Patient offers up a quick story to inspire and make you giggle.
Posted: 8/23/2007 in Inspiration
Our inspiration section is full of great stories, but we want more. Babe Cecilia suggested that we ask for photos of things folks love to do, and we think stories of great achievements would also be terrific. Email us your story and photos and we'll post as many as we can!
Posted: 8/20/2007 in Inspiration
From dLife, we bring you an exclusive interview of Soprano’s Star Aida Turturro talking about her battle with diabetes for the first time on television. Enjoy!
Recently, Editrix Jenni took her gym's holiday challenge: between November 15 and January 15, maintain weight, body measurements, and a consistent workout program. She really wanted to lose weight, but knew it was unrealistic — especially considering all the holiday parties, traveling and wonky schedule. Did she meet her goals? Yup - and she has some ideas to help you meet yours, too.
Posted: 1/22/2007 in Inspiration
Michelle recently found out she has Type 2 diabetes, and decided to become the Best. Patient. Ever. Of course, no one is perfect. But she's having fun trying to get as close to it as she can - and getting healthier in the process.
Posted: 11/12/2006 in Inspiration
In this personal essay, writer Kim Moldofsky gives us a new perspective on coping: Two weeks ago I woke up to my grandmother's hands. It wasn't her gentle caress rousing me from sleep; rather, it seemed that her stiff, arthritic hands somehow replaced mine in the night. It was like the movie Freaky Friday in which a teenager and her middle-aged mom mysteriously switch bodies except I'm 35 and my nana passed away at 72. Like a curious infant I stared at my hands as I wiggled my unfamiliar digits. Where did these come from? How do they work?
I was brooding under the covers, talking to my mother on the phone. "I should just cancel my book tour,"I told her, frustrated to the point of tears. "I can barely get to the bathroom. How can I possibly get across the country?"My knee had been badly injured two weeks earlier, and hobbling to the kitchen had become about as much adventure as I could stand.
Articles that use Inspiration as a secondary category:
We're always looking for ways to offer new, interesting resources here at ChronicBabe. As Editrix Jenni travels to health care conferences around the country, she's meeting fascinating folks—who have amazing stories to tell.
So we decided: Let's open up ChronicBabe to some guest posts. We want to hear YOUR story! Here's how to participate:
22 amazing women share their plans for 2012. If you're not inspired to make this year great, you're not trying hard enough. Dig? Enjoy the wide range of ideas including resolutions the Buddha might have made, practical advice for holding true when things get tough, and ideas for those who positively loathe resolutions.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so guest blogger Selena recently decided to draw her own illness picture and was both humbled and amazed by the results.
Guest blogger Sophie Lee shares a short story about how sharing her experience with IBS inspires people to help her...and how great that feels. You'll be happy to hear how awesome people can be!
Of course, there were plenty of days where I was stuck in bed or on the couch due to flare-ups, but on the days I could get out, I did, and I tried my best to make them count. It was rejuvenating, I reconnected with my friends, both old and new, in a way I never really experienced. I was also able to stick to a budget; you know medical costs are not cheap. I focused on not only being Fabulous and Sick but also Fabulous and Free.
One thing that's been missing lately from ChronicBabe.com is stories from other women. So today, I'm putting out a call for real patient stories—the kind that can inspire other women in your shoes.
Summer's here, and the living is easy...well, kinda. With chronic illness, sometimes it's a bit harder. We asked you how you plan to spend your summer and work around challenges to make sure you get to spend some of it having a blast—and as usual, we got a fun array of answers. Dive in!
The "You Can Do This Project" by Kim over at Texting My Pancreas is shaping up to be a fabulous way for folks with diabetes to help spread the word that despite all the daily struggles you may live with, you CAN still have an incredible life. You can be part of it! Read on for more...
Friends, we are so thrilled to announce that today, ChronicBabe.com was featured on Chicago's ABC 7 news! Read on for the video...
This is my second post for WEGO Health's (they're @wegohealth on Twitter) Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge (HAWMC)*. They're offering a blog prompt per day for a month, and I decided to give it a shot. (Now, I started a couple days late, so I'm writing my first three posts all in one day. Don't judge! And...it's not too late to sign up yourself if you're a blogger!)
Today's challenge: Word of the day. Pick a word from the dictionary or a book nearby and write a post, possibly related to your condition. Here goes:
Next week is Thanksgiving, and I love the idea of getting all Oprah and writing in my gratitude journal and celebrating how awesome everyone and everything is around me. So why not focus our blog carnival on the topic? Some folks with chronic illness have a hard time finding things to be grateful for, but not these Babes...we've got loving husbands, farting, mean people, fellow bloggers, our bodies...it's quite a collection. Enjoy!
One of my favorite programs on NPR is This I Believe. These little personal stories about strong convictions sometimes buoy me on tough days, or make me giggle, or teach me something new. Like when Brian Eno says that he believes singing will make me more sexually attractive. Or when Kay Redfield Jamison reminds me that, "unless one wants to lives a stunningly boring life, one ought to be on good terms with one's darker side and one's darker energies." (Kay lives with bipolar disorder.)
I've been looking for some more of that inspiration lately. There have been a few days lately when I just felt lost. Completely, utterly lost. I've cried myself silly, until my throat is raw and I can't even squeak out a human sound. Things got so bad I went beyond throwing a pity party; it was like the pity party had ended and I was the rude guest who just wouldn't leave, staying drunk on the couch, talking stupidly about nothing while you try to load the dishwasher. So even though the past week has brought a great upswing, I know it won't last forever. Life with fibromyalgia means flare-ups, especially during stressful times. So I thought it was high time I wote myself a reminder list of things I believe in, a list I can refer back to later when things get bad again.
Hey Babes, this time we asked, What are the funniest things you've experienced or done to deal with chronic illness? and you responded with some pretty funny stories. You proved our point that chronic illness isn't all about tears and struggles; sometimes chronic illness is damn funny! This edition showcases 16 posts—from porn to poop—that prove laughter IS the best medicine and humor a mighty powerful coping mechanism.
I had a major revelation today, poolside, sun on my back, my headphones playing a favorite tune: I have lived much of my life according to someone else's rules. And I'm sick to death of living like that. But I'm making a pledge to myself right now, and you're my witness: I'm making a big change.
Hosting Patients For A Moment (PFAM) is a great honor. (Thanks, Duncan!) Sure, I love a good edition of Grand Rounds, but sometimes there are so many health care provider-created posts I'm a bit overwhelmed. And after all, the idea of patient-generated content is why this whole ChronicBabe thing got started. So without further ado, let's see what the ChronicBabes and ChronicDudes are talking about this week:
I've been having trouble sleeping lately, lots on my mind and lots going on are combining to mess with my sleep schedule. So just like the breathe playlist I created a couple months, this playlist is designed with a specific purpose: to get me thinking about sleep. I think you'll love it too!
Invisible Illness Week starts tomorrow, and there are TONS of ways to participate and learn. You can hear all the speakers LIVE at BlogTalkRadio (and ask questions) but even if you can't make it LIVE, you can listen to archived presentations later. We've got the full schedule of speakers...check out the official website for all the scoop!
Editrix Jenni has a good pal, Leah Jones, who recently walked the Susan G. Komen 3-Day For the Cure. She wrote about the experience and has some awesome messages about managing pain and listening to her body.
Optimism is not the easiest quality to come by. For us ChronicBabes, it can be hard to embrace fully. But there's a positive energy in the air right now, and I think the time is ripe to capitalize on it and remind ourselves that we can accomplish SO MUCH with just the right attitude.
In two days, the U.S. will have a new president, and with him will come a wave of change. Our new leader represents optimism in action, a concept I've been thinking about a lot lately. For those of us who live with chronic illness, optimism is a precious commodity—something we cultivate and cherish. Barack Obama is a perfect example of what it means to not only be optimistic, but to take that positive energy and drive it forward to create a positive result...and to inspire others to do the same.
In honor of our incoming president, I've crafted a short list of five things I do to cultivate a sense of optimism in myself and the people I impact. These are simple things you can do in your own life, too!
For the benefit of the Babes out there who are newly diagnosed, or who have been struggling and need that little extra inspiration, here are some of the things I've learned that are part of being resilient (there are even more tips on resiliency available from the American Psychological Association).
Whether it's new or persistent illnesses (or anything else crappy for that matter), maybe you've had a tough year and you're ready to enter 2008 with a fresh mindset. I've got a few ideas that will get you in the mood for some major self-improvement. (If you've had a great year, terrific! Keep doing what you're doing. But still read on for some ideas to make it even better.)
In our last Goodie Bag, we asked Babes: Have you been surprised by love? Many women with chronic illness or disabilities think they're not going to find love - or even have some great sex - because of their health limitations. Bogus! Here are just two examples of responses we received. Hopefully, they'll inspire you to open your mind to the possibilities.
Is it possible to re-claim a word that has negative connotations and make it our own, turn it into something positive? We think so. Jenni Prokopy wrote this article for Young People For (she's been a guest blogger there during the month of May, so check out some of her other posts at the site!), and they've given us permission to reprint a slightly modified version of it here.
We have five winners! Thanks to everyone who entered our contest—we had lots of inspirational stories to consider. Here are our five winners, and their stories. This is an article worth taking the time to enjoy in full!
I'm not the same girl I was a few years ago. Each time I take a cross-country trip, I'm reminded that I'm not the person I was in the late '90s - the chick who could sling a 40-pound suitcase without thinking twice, who could do a 10-hour travel day and then go dancing later that night. Now I'm the chick who shows up at the airport with meticulously packed lightweight rolling bags, an inflatable back pillow, a ziploc full of meds, and a reservation at a hotel that promises a comfy bed and lots of relaxing amenities.
ChronicBabe is growing, and we're looking for more of your stories to tell. If you love to write and want to share an experience that could help another Babe, check out our article submission guidelines.
Welcome to Grand Rounds ChronicBabe style, where it's all about the ladies. We got a ton of excellent posts, so take some time to really work your way down the list. You won't be disappointed! Thanks to everyone who participated, and to Nick for organizing Grand Rounds! We're honored to be your hostess this week.
Babe Iris is wired with a Holter monitor - a portable electrocardiogram (ECG) machine - and to get completely accurate results, the 24-hour test should include, shall we say, exercise. It's time to call the boyfriend and see just how nimble he can be. What happens when intimacy includes wires and cables and batteries, oh my? Iris gives us the inside scoop.
Here's the fifth edition of LadyBloggers, where we profile a ChronicBabe who's doing superior writing. There are so many great web sites out there created by, and for, ChronicBabes. But sometimes it can be hard to find them! LadyBloggers is a way to connect you with some of our favorite resources, and offer a peek at why and how these women are sharing their voice in the community. And maybe we'll spark some creativity in you, too! If you want us to profile your web site, let us know and we'll consider your project.
There are so many great web sites out there created by, and for, ChronicBabes. But sometimes it can be hard to find them! That's why we feature LadyBloggers -- ChronicBabes who are doing superior writing. It's a way to connect you with some of our favorite resources, and offer a peek at why and how these women are sharing their voice in the community. And maybe we'll spark some creativity in you, too! If you want us to profile your web site, let us know and we'll consider your project. And now, without futher ado, we bring you: TheDailyHeadache.com, by Kerrie Smyres.
There are so many great web sites out there created by, and for, ChronicBabes. But sometimes it can be hard to find them! That's why we feature LadyBloggers -- ChronicBabes who are doing superior writing. It's a way to connect you with some of our favorite resources, and offer a peek at why and how these women are sharing their voice in the community. And maybe we'll spark some creativity in you, too! If you want us to profile your web site, let us know and we'll consider your project. And now, without futher ado, we bring you: DiabetesTeenTalk.com, created by Allison Blass.
Here's the second edition of LadyBloggers, where we profile a ChronicBabe who's doing superior writing. There are so many great web sites out there created by, and for, ChronicBabes. But sometimes it can be hard to find them! LadyBloggers is a way to connect you with some of our favorite resources, and offer a peek at why and how these women are sharing their voice in the community. And maybe we'll spark some creativity in you, too! If you want us to profile your web site, let us know and we'll consider your project. And now, without futher ado, we bring you: MooglesThoughts, created by Tracy Young.
There are so many great web sites out there created by, and for, ChronicBabes. But sometimes it can be hard to find them! That's why we're starting a new weekly feature: LadyBloggers. Each week, we'll profile a ChronicBabe who's doing superior writing. It's a way to connect you with some of our favorite resources, and offer a peek at why and how these women are sharing their voice in the community. And maybe we'll spark some creativity in you, too! If you want us to profile your web site, let us know and we'll consider your project. And now, without futher ado, we bring you: DiabetesMine.com, created by Amy Tenderich.
I have to admit, I hesitated to bring this book home from the store. From the outside, Chronically Happy: Joyful Living In Spite of Chronic Illness by Lori Hartwell--cover complete with silly happy face--was just not all that appealing. But this is actually an excellent book, full of helpful advice, fresh perspectives, and anecdotal examples of ways to improve your life even if you have a chronic illness.
If you're a regular reader of the site, you're probably a little annoyed with me, or perhaps disappointed. That's understandable. I haven't been around a lot these last couple weeks.
Christa Barnell is a fine artist living and working in Carbondale, Ill. Despite her chronic daily headache, Christa supports herself with art and uses it as a sort of therapy. ChronicBabe caught up with Christa about her work, her headache, and everything in between.
When I'm feeling less than fantastic, I often turn to stories of inspiration to boost my spirits. No, not the Chicken Soup for Your Stinky Feet variety... the That Takes Ovaries!, by Rivka Solomon, variety.
Like J. Lo, I couldn't function without a fleet of people keeping me fabulous, aka Team Jenni. These are the folks in my life who help me be my best. When I'm feeling great, when I'm feeling crap, and everything in between, I've got Team Jenni.
Sometimes you just need to be ridiculous. Seriously, go for it. Sometimes you just have to ride the cheeto.