Be a Babe: Subscribe & get a free Beginner's Toolkit + more. Smooches!

Emergency Preparedness Issues and Solutions Series Part 1: Managing Your Phone for Crisis Situations

Posted by on Aug 29, 2016 in ChronicBabe Basics, coping, fears, featured, guest author, inspiration, practicalities | 1 comment

This post was guest-written by Team Blue (Kyrie-Inn Blue with help from Tao Blue, Service Dog, Canine Good Citizen; and Mijo, Service Dog In Training).     Often disabled folks are too busy trying to survive day to day that they neglect tackling the emergency preparedness necessities that may just save their lives, their health, their property, their sanity, and their independent living status. Where do you store your important documents? How can someone track you in a SHTF (“sh*t hits the fan”) situation? Do you have a plan in place for solid shelter if you face a storm? If so, what do you need to have on hand to create viability? Two weeks without power has faced Team Blue on multiple occasions. Let us help you avoid omissions in your checklists!!   Today’s topic: managing your phone for crisis situations 🙂   We all need to seriously evaluate our personal emergency preparedness on at least a quarterly basis, rather than wait until the weatherman predicts a “superstorm.” Emergencies of all kinds happen on a daily basis, even those that are un-weather- related, like fires, certain types of evacuations, identity theft, etc. Can you efficiently respond to rather than freeze in a crisis? Team Blue knows it’s easier said than done… unless you have taken the time to prepare, equip, and practice.     Cell phones If you do not have a cell phone, save your money so you can get the best plan and phone possible. Lifeline and Safelink offer phones at zero or minimal cost to people who are under an income limit and/or receive state services like Medicaid and SNAP. You can apply online at: www.safelinkwireless.com, www.assurancewireless.com and other sites as well. Have your phone on a charger as often as possible. It will not help you if it is not charged. Make sure you have at least two extra chargers, so you can have one in your BOB (“bug out bag” – to be discussed in a later post) and another in your bedroom. If you have a vehicle, get the 12-volt charger as well. You can charge your phone as you drive and also charge it from your car battery when electricity fails. (In these situations make sure to have the car idling so you do not kill your car battery.) Amazon.com has every charger out there at extremely reasonable prices. Often phone accessory bundles will save you even more money. Consider getting a small solar charger as well. We have used them often and saved ourselves countless times from a dead phone. Have your phone wherever you are. Turn it to vibrate or silent at bedtime, but do not leave it in another...

Read More

Why we MUST break through the taboos of chronic illness #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in acceptance, ChronicBabe Basics, fears, featured | 9 comments

Poop. That’s right, I said it. Poop. You can’t stop me! Poop! We have a lot of taboos in our society, things we’re not supposed to talk about. But silence slows down progress and cuts off support. Today, I want to talk about why we must break the taboos we all face with illness. Watch today’s video now for some really – I mean REALLY – frank talk about my own experience with breaking the “poo taboo.” *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: What taboos are you breaking? Which ones do you wish people would get over? Share your experience in the comments below. Want more #AWAPwednesday? Check out our #AWAPwednesday video playlist, which has more than 100 videos packed with practical advice, lots of humor, and bloopers. Lots of bloopers. Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email. Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches! (Loose) Transcript: Hi! I’m Jenni Grover Prokopy of ChronicBabe.com and today is AWAP Wednesday (that stands for As Well As Possible). Each week, I offer you my personal favorite tips and techniques to help you craft an incredible life beyond illness. Yes! I know you can. Subscribe to the ChronicBabe YouTube channel today to make sure you never miss another video, OK? We have a lot of taboos in our society, things we’re not supposed to talk about. It was only a generation ago that no one said the word cancer out loud – we had to whisper it. My generation saw the rise of HIV and AIDS, and for many years most people were silent about being HIV-positive – but that did nothing to help the community. I understand why people were silent – they needed to protect their careers, their personal safety, their families – but silence slows down progress and cuts off support. Today, I want to talk about why we must break the taboos we all face with illness. The Poo Taboo and the Isolation Problem My intern, Alix, has irritable bowel disease or IBD. She introduced me to a new phrase yesterday, which I can’t believe I hadn’t heard before: the poo taboo. I grew up in a household of mouthy ladies and we talked about everything, so poo was never a taboo. But some people are REALLY hung up on talking about poop. We’re afraid to talk about our butts, which is weird, because most people have no problems talking about other bodily fluids. But butt stuff gets us all freaked out. This causes isolation. Here’s a personal example from my life: I recently crapped myself. Yup! I said it. I got some kind of GI bug...

Read More

Taking Precedence

Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 in coping, fears, featured, friends and family, guest author, health care providers | 9 comments

This post was guest-written by Lee-Ann Liles. My health precedes my every decision. I live in Bermuda, an ideal place to work and vacation in one package. Yet, Bermuda is known for harboring an increasingly high number of people with chronic illness, some of the most stand-out ones being heart disease, diabetes and cancer. With 65,000 people on 22 square miles, Bermuda has produced some very rare and difficult to diagnose and treat illnesses due to its isolation in the middle of the Atlantic. With this in mind, you would think that doctors would be receptive to patient woes, but this is not always the case. Every year after completing my annual physical, I would celebrate the fact that I had not acquired any of the chronic diseases that have marred my family. In my maternal family alone, everyone has a “chronic disease.” These include Crohn’s disease, lupus and breast cancer and gives me every reason to be attentive to my health. After having my daughter in my late thirties, I took full advantage of the quiet times when she was asleep, but I was also completing my Masters. The pain, stiffness and exhaustion that developed during that time never went away, later growing into inflammation and a strange hyper-vigilance to the noise in my environment. I discretely talked to friends and family about my health and received helpful information, but I stopped seeking help until a friend asked me why I was always out of breath. I realized my health was just as important to others as it was to me. I visited three physicians before I was tested for a chronic illness. The third doctor concluded I had Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (S.E.I.D.), but after further investigation with a Rheumatologist she concluded that it was possibly psoriatic arthritis, Celiac’s disease, Crohn’s disease or lupus. She gave me a Cortisol shot for adrenal fatigue and I was amazed at the change! I was to hop on a plane to London and then France the next day and for the first time in five years, I stayed energetic throughout the trip and even danced in a nightclub. As difficult as it may be, I am adjusting my daily plans to accommodate my health, even though I have not yet received a diagnosis. I will listen to my body to avoid exhaustion. I will learn to say “No” more often and regulate my diet and exercise to find balance. I will continue to find peace of mind, through quiet periods of relaxation, which will reduce my stress levels. In this way, I know there are wonderful things to come. Never give up.     **This is the fifth of many in a...

Read More

Step Therapy Sucks, and I’m Tired of Being Quiet About it (AWAP Wednesday)

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in activism, Affordable Care Act, coping, depression, fears, featured, Health Care Reform, pain, ranting, resilience, suicide | 22 comments

This week’s video is different. I’m sharing a personal story about something I’ve been struggling with this year—Step Therapy—in hopes that you’ll relate… and that you’ll join me in fighting this awful practice: Step Therapy. So it’s a longer video, a more passionate stance, and a request. Please take some time to watch it all the way through… it comes from deep in my heart. *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: Have you gone through Step Therapy or something similar? How did you fight back? What worked, and what didn’t? I wanna know! Join the conversation in the comments below, share your experience and ask for advice from our community. Want to watch more videos like this? Check out our AWAP Wednesday video playlist, which has more than 10 hours of guidance, advice, and bloopers. Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email. Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches! Rough transcript: Hi! I’m Jenni Prokopy of ChronicBabe.com and today is AWAP Wednesday (that stands for As Well As Possible). Each week, I offer you my personal favorite tips and techniques to help you craft an incredible life beyond illness. Yes! I know you can. Subscribe to the ChronicBabe YouTube channel today to make sure you never miss another video, OK? Today’s AWAP Wednesday is a little different, my friends. I have a personal story to tell you, and a request I hope you’ll honor. Here we go… [Bumper] The past four months have been absolutely hellish here at ChronicBabe HQ, and I want to tell you why. I’ve been pretty quiet about the details, but today I want to explain it all to you—because I bet many of you are going through the same challenges. If my story helps you feel like you’re not alone—and if my outrage helps motivate you or anyone you know to advocate for folks like us—then this video could possibly change lives. I’ve been taking an FDA-approved fibromyalgia medication for many, many years, with great success. The change it made in my life was enormous. You know me as someone who, despite fibromyalgia and a host of other chronic conditions, is able to run her own business; maintain an active social life; be part of a committed romantic relationship; volunteer for both local efforts like my community garden, and national efforts like patient advocacy; and much more. Right? That’s the Jenni you know: spunky, lively, upbeat, even in the face of deep struggle. [Transition] This year, my new insurer took away my fibromyalgia medication through a process called Step Therapy. (link to us pain doc) For those who don’t know, Step Therapy is cost-saving policy...

Read More

How Do We Take Baby Steps Toward Goals if We Have Chronic Illness? (AWAP Wednesday)

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in ChronicBabe Basics, coping, fears, featured, self care | 6 comments

Today’s AWAP Wednesday video is all about taking baby steps, those first little moves toward a goal. For many of us, making changes to accommodate chronic illness can feel overwhelming or downright impossible… but breaking the goal into baby steps can really help! Watch today’s video, in which I share some of my favorite techniques for taking baby steps: *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: How do you break a big goal into small steps? What has worked, and what hasn’t? I wanna know! Join the conversation in the comments below, share your experience and ask for advice from our community. Want to watch more videos like this? Check out our AWAP Wednesday video playlist, which has more than 10 hours of guidance, advice, and bloopers. Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email. Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches! (Rough) transcript: Spiders. They freak me out. So I’m watching Charlotte’s Web. It’s my baby step toward conquering my fear. But enough about me… today, I’m talkin’ baby steps for you, babe. Hi! I’m Jenni Prokopy of ChronicBabe.com and today is AWAP Wednesday (that stands for As Well As Possible). Each week, I offer you my favorite tips and techniques to help you craft an incredible life beyond illness. Yes! I know you can. Subscribe to the ChronicBabe YouTube channel today to make sure you never miss another video, OK? On Baby Steps: Quite often, when I talk with someone with chronic illness who wants to make a change, they feel overwhelmed by the enormity of it, or they’re scared. I recommend taking baby steps toward their goal. But some folks have a hard time figuring out what baby steps look like for them, so today, I’ve got a technique to teach you that really helps me. Fear Can Stop Us. Let’s say your doctor says it would help you to exercise more, but you’re afraid that getting back to the swimming pool is going to flare you up. That fear keeps you from even trying, right? (I’ve totally been there, so no judgment!) How can we begin to use that fear to propel us to try swimming again? If you’re scared to try something, sometimes diving in headfirst is not a possibility. Instead I like to walk it back. Walk it Back. In this example, I want us to go back to the very first step of the process of getting back into swimming. I think it’s buying a new bathing suit. If you can start by getting yourself a cute new suit that fits great, and hang it on your closet door so you see it each day, that’s...

Read More

How to Get Cool with Fear (AWAP Wednesday)

Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 in acceptance, ChronicBabe Basics, coping, fears, featured, inspiration, practicalities, self care | 9 comments

Today’s AWAP Wednesday video offers one of my favorite, and somewhat radical, approach to fear. We ALL feel fear about life with chronic illness. You are not alone in feeling afraid! But we don’t have to let fear rule our world. We can learn how to get cool with it. Watch today’s video, in which I share a very simple-but-effective technique: *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: Have you tried sitting with fear? Do you think I’m being a weirdo? Are you excited to try this technique? I wanna know! Join the conversation in the comments below, share your experience and ask for advice from our community. Want to watch more videos like this? Check out our AWAP Wednesday video playlist, which has almost nine hours of guidance, advice, and bloopers. Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email. Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches! (Rough) transcript: Eeeeek! I’m scared, too. We all are. Today’s video is a quickie, and a must-watch. Let’s get scared babes! Hi! I’m Jenni Prokopy of ChronicBabe.com and today is AWAP Wednesday (that stands for As Well As Possible). Each week, I offer you my favorite tips and techniques to help you craft an incredible life beyond illness. Yes! I know you can. Subscribe to the ChronicBabe YouTube channel today to make sure you never miss another video, OK? [Transition] Chronic illness is scary. There’s no getting around that. And anyone who tells you they feel fearless about being sick is, well, probably not being 100% honest with you, or with themselves. Everyone Gets Scared. Everyone gets scared. Everyone. Whether you’re newly diagnosed or a seasoned ChronicBabe like me, you will have moments of fear. You’re afraid you’ll never be well again. You’re afraid of how your illness will impact your family. You’re afraid people will abandon you. You’re afraid of that new bump on your arm. Life with chronic illness is full of fear-inducing moments. You’re not alone with this. Can You Sit With Your Fear? I’ve got a TON of other videos that offer ways to identify fears, conquer them, cope with them, but this video is not one of them. Today, I want you to do something radical. I want you to sit with your fear. “Sitting with” something is a concept from meditation, and from Buddhism, and from many other spiritual pursuits. The idea is to simply look at the feeling, instead of trying to fight it or rid yourself of it. I know, bizarre, right? Here’s the thing: Fear is just a feeling. It’s a moment of experience that passes along your synapses in the brain. It can be fleeting… but sometimes,...

Read More

WE’RE NOT DOCS!

Info posted here should not be considered medical advice; it's not intended to replace consultation with physicians or other health care providers. 

Every Babe needs to find her own path for achieving optimal wellness. While we do tons to help guide you, it’s up to each of you to make well-informed choices and live with the consequences. ChronicBabe.com assumes no liability or responsibility for stuff that goes wrong.

Links to other web sites are provided as a service, but do not constitute endorsement of those sites by ChronicBabe.com; we are not responsible for their content. We do our best to find the most rockin’ resources but hey, we’re human.

Take what you like from this space, and leave the rest. Use what you learn to make your life better. Be responsible for your own choices. And please don’t sue us. XO!

As Seen In