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3 Weird Sounds to Make When You Feel Bad #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on Nov 2, 2016 in coping, featured, humor, inspiration, pain, resilience | 11 comments

When I’m doing my morning yoga routine, I hurt. And I tend to moan and groan a little as I ease into poses. But sometimes, I get so sick of hearing myself moan and groan. And on days when I feel my depression creeping in on top of the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia, moans and groans can make my heart hurt, too. So I came up with three fun sounds to make instead to crack myself up. I think they’ll help you, too—at the very least, you’ll have a laugh! *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: How do YOU crack yourself up when you’re struggling? Tell me all about it 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: (Jenni making weird sounds) 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? Sometimes when I’m doing my morning yoga routine, I hurt. OK, fine – let’s be real – I always hurt when I’m doing my morning yoga. And I tend to moan and groan a little as I ease into poses. My beau, Joe, is used to this. Sometimes I feel bad, because I know it must make him feel uncomfortable to hear me groaning so much – but when I say “I’m sorry,” his response is always, “babe, don’t apologize – you’ve gotta express that pain so you can let it out.” (He is so smart!) But sometimes, even I am sick of hearing myself moan and groan. And on days when I feel my depression creeping in on top of the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia, moans and groans can make my heart hurt, too. So I came up with three fun sounds to make instead to crack myself up. The sounds are really simple. First: cartoon horn. Ah ooo gah! Just imagine shouting that as you feel pain, instead of sighing, or moaning. Ah ooo gah! Next up: karate sounds. Hiyah! Just imagine you are bending over to pick up something and your back twinges. Instead of groaning, a little hiyah! can really hit the spot. Finally, try this one out: Hey-oh! This one is just...

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Laugh, ChronicBabe!

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in acceptance, coping, featured, friends and family, humor, inspiration, resilience | 3 comments

This post was guest written by ChronicBabe Elizabeth A. Delisi.   “He who laughs last, laughs best.” Famous saying…I don’t know who coined the phrase. I suppose it could be interpreted as a courageous act – you know, “Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone.” And there is no place more needing of a laugh than when a ChronicBabe is fighting a chronic disease. My dance with disease began in January of 2010, when I pointed the remote control at the television and noticed my hand was wobbling up and down. What the heck? The trembling in my hand continued to get worse, so I saw a neurologist and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in August of 2010. That was the day that my life, and my future, changed. My sister, who had accompanied me to the doctor, asked me how I felt about the diagnosis. I said, “I feel numb.” And to tell the truth, that feeling lingered for some time. I felt fine other than the tremor in one hand…so how could I have an incurable disease? Well-meaning people tried to get me to join support groups, but I turned them down. I was struggling with the diagnosis as it was. I was afraid if I saw people who were worse off than I was, farther down the disease’s road, I’d give up all hope. My attitude toward Parkinson’s started to change when I read three books written by a fellow Parkinson’s sufferer, Michael J. Fox. He spoke of how the disease gave him a chance to restructure his life and his priorities, to look at all the positives he had instead of focusing on the negatives. His words struck a chord with me, and I figured if he can be positive, so can I. It was easier said than done. The symptom that bothered me most wasn’t the tremor, the slowness of movement, the stiff muscles, the fatigue, the weakness, or the inability to focus. I could have laughed at them. No, my least favorite symptom was a nasty case of anxiety that popped up frequently, in all sorts of situations. And it was hard to laugh when I felt an impending sense of doom hanging over my head. But I had a husband, children, and grandchildren. I needed to do more than put on a brave face for them. I had to accept what I couldn’t change, and try to be light and happy as much as possible. The easiest way for me to project joy was to make what the kids always called “Mom jokes.” My husband, Dan, had “Dad jokes,” too, but his were of a different character....

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QOTW: What’s in your ear buds?

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in community collab, coping, Creativity, featured, guest author, humor, inspiration, self care | 2 comments

We asked, you answered! This week our Question Of The Week was “What’s your favorite podcast that gets you through the week?” Here are some new podcasts for you to listen to, suggested by our ChronicBabe community: 2 Dope Queens Dedra suggested the WNYC podcast “2 Dope Queens.” I recently began listening to it and it’s an amazing commute podcast as it’s essentially a live comedy show with some of the funniest people in NYC. Listen to it here.   Adventures in Roommating Thanks Brianna for this suggestion! “Adventures in Rommating” follows two roommates living together in LA who talk about love, life, and film. Listen to it here.   Lore Fran suggested Aaron Manke’s podcast, “Lore,” and I’m totally with her! It’s a wonderfully skin crawly podcast that details true scary stories. Listen to it here.   Welcome to Night Vale Thanks Sabrina for this cult podcast classic. The podcast gives updates on the ficitonal small desert town of Night Vale. Listen to it here.   99% Invisible Kerry-Ann suggested this popular podcast that won the Webby award this year for best podcast. “99% Invisible” is about the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world. Listen to it here.   Still Untitled the Adam Savage Project Amy Graves (read her contributor article here!) suggested this podcast where Adam Savage, Norm and Will discuss all topics from Adam’s life to hot-button issues within the maker community. Listen to it here.   History of English Vikki, “language geek,” suggested this podcast that is covering the history of the English language, starting at the beginning. The podcast is barely into Middle Ages, so follow it as it progresses to our modern-day English! Listen to it here.   Can I Pet Your Dog? Thank you Anne for introducing us to this podcast for unashamed dog lovers. The podcast includes segments liked “Dogs We Met This Week,” “Cool Dog Tech,” “Mutt Minute,” “Cool Dog Tech,” and “Dog News.” Listen to it here.   Stuff You Should Know My favorite podcast will always be “Stuff You Should Know” from HowStuffWorks.com. It’s a podcast hosted by Josh and Chuck where they cover everything you would ever want to know, from SuperBalls to LSD to cats to poop (a lot of us can really learn a lot from that one!) to Lizzie Borden to animal imprinting. Truly everything! Give it a listen here.   Do you have any favorite podcasts we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!   This post was written by Alix Kramer, ChronicBabe intern and proud ChronicBabe....

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QOTW: What’s your favorite self-care practice?

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in community collab, coping, Creativity, featured, guest author, humor, inspiration, practicalities, self care | 6 comments

ChronicBabes need to take some time to indulge in self care and self love. This week we asked you What’s your favorite self-care practice? Here are some of our favorite responses:   Painting our Nails Here’s Jenni with her nail polish: And a gorgeous showing from Katie S.   Face Masks My guilty pleasure is face masks…every day. CVS sells some really great bottles of face mask stuff for cheap and the 4 bottles I have have lasted me for 3 years! Here I am wearing the avocado mask. According to CVS they are just $4 a pop! My favorites are the avocado and the blue one (dead sea minerals). Peep them here. Reading a good book Mary Beth L. likes to read with her little dachshund next to her! Mary Beth I think we’d all like to know the name of the book you’re reading your adorable puppy. Other great ideas An epsom salt bath Spending time outside Bike rides Adult coloring books (This coloring book is hilarious and highly recommended by me if you’re going through a break up.)   Do you have any other great ways to practice radical self care? Let us know in the comments!   Post written by Alix Kramer, ChronicBabe intern and proud...

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5 Secrets to Coping with Chronic Illness (AWAP Wednesday)

Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 in ChronicBabe Basics, coping, featured, friends and family, humor, practicalities, relationships | 6 comments

Today’s AWAP Wednesday video offers five of my all-time favorite coping techniques for chronic illness. They’re fast and advice-packed, so get ready! Watch today’s video, in which I share my favorite coping skills… and encourage you to develop your own: *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: What is YOUR favorite coping skill? 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 eight 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: PSSSSSST come closer… I have a secret for you. Here it is: Chronic Illness does NOT have to ruin your life. It can actually make you sexy. What? I know! Shhhhhh! 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. There are limitless ways to cope with chronic illness, and if you ask just about anyone, they’ll offer you advice. Heck… many people will offer you advice whether you ask or not, amirite?! But you know me, you trust me to steer you straight. So yay! Today I want to share with you—in rapid-fire succession—my top five secrets to coping with chronic illness. Here we go… Radical Self-Care for Chronic Illness When you’re sick all the time, you often lose the time and energy to do some self-care. Pedicures and face masks go out the window. But they shouldn’t. Why? Because you already feel like crap—why deny yourself the very things that can give you even a smidge of relief? Radical self-care is prioritizing the things that make you feel great. Don’t have time or money for a full pedi? Take five minutes and slap on a coat of paint, babe. Get creative. Fit it in. You simply must. When you prioritize your self-care, you’re sending a conscious and unconscious message to your mind that YOU MATTER. Make it Sexy Make it sexy. Seriously. I’ll sometimes joke about, say, having gas. Because nothing is sexier than farts, right? If I’m having a bad gastrointestinal day my boyfriend hears me toot, I’ll say, “aw yea, sexy!” We both laugh. Is it really sexy? No. But you know what is? Having a sense of humor about it. Rally Your Team You’ve heard me say it before, and I’ll say it again now: You’ve gotta have a strong...

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AWAP Wednesday: Reclaiming “Flareup”

Posted by on Apr 8, 2015 in ChronicBabe Basics, coping, featured, humor, inspiration, resilience | 18 comments

I’ve been in a weeks-long flareup, and it’s been a big drag. But a friend’s humorous approach helped lift my spirits yesterday, and inspired this week’s AWAP* Wednesday video. Here’s what she said: “Why can’t flareups be when your body is so full of joy, fireworks shoot out of your fingertips?” You won’t want to miss this week’s video, which includes some homemade props. Watch today’s video and get inspired: *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: What does YOUR flareup look like? Post your pics on any social media channel with the hashtags #chronicbabe and #flareup. I can’t wait to see what you create! Also: Join the conversation in the comments below, and share your experience. Want to watch more videos like this? Check out our AWAP Wednesday video playlist, which has more than six 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: I’ve been in a weeks-long flareup. I’ve had off and on bouts of extreme pain, fatigue, dizziness, fibrofog, gastrointestinal symptoms, headaches, and trouble sleeping, among other things. Plus I had an allergic reaction to something and spent a couple weeks dealing with an intense rash. And I’m still flaring up today! To be honest, the last thing I feel like doing is getting in front of a camera, but here I am. Unwashed, without makeup, barely out of PJs, but I’m here. All this pain and discomfort is doing a number on my mental health, too. For a little while, I’ll be fine… and then I’ll start to feel deeply depressed and unhopeful. The rational part of my mind knows this is temporary and that I’ll feel better again soon, but the little lizard brain part of my mind is all THIS IS NEVER GOING TO STOP ARRRRGGHHHH! I’m trying to listen to my rational mind, and to touch base with people who will remind me it’s going to be OK. That includes texting with friends. Funny friends, especially. Humor makes it all OK Sometimes, a laugh can make it all better. Even for just a moment! But that moment is priceless. Take, for example, a text exchange with one of my pals yesterday. Me: “My body is so unhappy lately.” Her: “Why can’t flareups be when your body is so fully of joy, fireworks shoot out of your fingertips?” Me: “Or suddenly I’m dressed like Jennifer Aniston in the movie Office Space – just enough ‘flare’ and suspenders?” The image in my head of fireworks shooting out of my fingertips… or walking around in suspenders, covered in flare… made me...

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