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Community Collab: What’s your bottle?

Posted by on Aug 19, 2016 in community collab, Creativity, featured, guest author, practicalities | 2 comments

This week we asked what water bottle do you swear by for our Question of the Week. Water bottles can be a super divisive topic and many people have specific brands they are crazy loyal to so it was awesome to see what you babes love! Here are some ideas for other babes to try out:   The Bobble This is my trusty bobble. Not only is it great for being able to filter water when you don’t have filtered water around, but it makes for the perfect infuser. I like to infuse strawberries, oranges, lemons, and limes and all the pulp stays in the bobble because of the filter! (Which is fantastic because I hate pulp.)   Liquid Solutions Travel Tea Tumbler   The Liquid Solutions Tea-Zer Tea Tumblr was suggested by Jennifer. You can infuse tea or fruit inside!   David’s Tea Glass Bottle Joanne sent us a picture of her David’s Tea glass bottle with a drink top and an inside filter. This one too can infuse fruit, herbs, or even loose tea!   Rubbermaid   Kyrie-Inn can’t have glass so the extensive Rubbermaid water bottle collection is perfect! They have every type of lid imaginable and are easy to clean out. She makes sure to drink two to three gallons of water a day to keep her blood volume up which is a good reminder to anyone reading to go drink some water!   S’well Pat is in love with the S’well bottle, which is one of the hottest water bottles on the market right now. (I see them everywhere and I’m so thankful that I now know the name of the maker!) S’well is great at keeping cold cold forever.   Teavana Stainless Steel Mug Denise is a visionary who saw how her stainless steel mug from Teavana kept tea hot for a super long time and decided to try it out with cold drinks as well. Luckily she found that it works just as well for cold water! She says even in the car it stays cool and fresh for hours.     Well babes, what do you think? Do you have a water bottle you love that wasn’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments below!     This post was written by Alix Kramer, ChronicBabe intern and proud...

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5 Reasons Why Leaving My Job and Working From Home Was The Best Decision I Ever Made

Posted by on Aug 15, 2016 in acceptance, career, coping, Creativity, featured, guest author, inspiration, pain, practicalities, resilience, self care, Work | 1 comment

This post was guest-written by Jennifer Kain Kilgore. Find her at her blog, Wear, Tear, & Care here. Hi! My name is Jen, and I’m a 29-year-old attorney, editor, writer, and patient advocate. I have spinal fractures from two car accidents that required two cervical fusions. The jury’s out on whether I’ll need more surgery. I worked in an office for three and a half years after law school. At that point I was dealing with the fallout from my first car accident, which happened in 2004 and decimated my thoracic spine. Law school happened, and then my job, and then… another accident. That second accident became a barrier to a normal life. Eventually I decided to leave my job and work from home. Here are the reasons why it was the best decision I ever made. My health comes first now. I was living the dream: I had a legal job that started at 8 am, ended around 6 pm, had great coworkers, and allowed for a life. My bosses were cool. During my second year, however, I had another car accident. The moment the pain set in, I knew I’d eventually have to leave the traditional workforce. In the year before I left I suffered from increasing pain (which caused repeated vomiting and a hernia), insomnia, loss of control of my hands, limping, muscle spasms, and loss of my ability to focus. In the end, it wasn’t worth it. Now, I telecommute from a recliner. I schedule my day around doctors’ appointments. I work a schedule that flows with when I’m feeling best. Before, there wasn’t time in the day to work on my health, so it controlled me. I am much happier.  The “What should I do?” questions wore down my family –  especially my husband. I steered every conversation in that direction because I wanted someone to say, “No, you can’t work.” I wanted someone to make that impossibly hard decision for me. My husband begged me to think about my health while I thought about finances. How could I leave without a backup plan? What if I made the wrong decision? So I did what is generally inadvisable. I started a side-hustle, working on sites like and to create a cushion for when I made the jump. I don’t know how I did that, because the level of pain at that point was inhuman. I think it’s because I knew that leaving was inevitable. Now, having the weight of that decision off my chest feels unbelievable. I can breathe. I can think. And with that, I can work. I’m not paralyzed. My body doesn’t rebel. The longer I stayed in the office, the more my body fought....

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How to rock your look despite chronic illness #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on Aug 10, 2016 in ChronicBabe Basics, coping, Creativity, featured, inspiration, practicalities, self care | 24 comments

One question y’all send me over and over is: How do I look less frumpy? I get it. Many of us kind of live in PJs and sweat pants. But after a while, that’s a real drag – kind of boring and frumpy and bland. Who wants that kind of lifestyle? You can do better, babe. With a few simple steps, you can begin to rock your look – YOUR look! – and you’ll feel more put-together, more human, and more ready to conquer the world despite illness.     *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: What are YOUR strategies for creating a unique look? How do you save on awesome accessories? Do you think it’s important to rock a look even if you’re a sicko? 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 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? One question y’all send me over and over is: How do I look less frumpy? I get it. Many of us kind of live in PJs and sweat pants. But after a while, that’s a real drag – kind of boring and frumpy and bland. Who wants that kind of lifestyle? You can do better, babe. With a few simple steps, you can begin to rock your look – YOUR look! – and you’ll feel more put-together, more human, and more ready to conquer the world despite illness. Pin it You’re using Pinterest, right? Time to create a board where you gather inspiration for your look. Don’t get intimidated by how put-together people are, or how much things cost; at this point, you’re just compiling a visual map for your look. Get comfy Once you’ve honed in a little bit on your look, consider more comfortable alternatives to some of the things you like. For example, I love a stylish black pant, but some days, I don’t want to wear anything tight – it flares me up. So I found some beautifully comfy black workout pants, grabbed a size up so they’re really flowy and drapey, and those are my go-to...

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I Am Sew Supportive

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in acceptance, community collab, coping, Creativity, featured, inspiration, practicalities, resilience | 3 comments

Post written by ChronicBabe Tracy Mooney   About a year and a half ago, I was talking to one of my sewing buddies on the phone. We both have autoimmune disorders and we were discussing the ways in which we set up our sewing rooms to accommodate our bad health days.   She said something like “It is unbelievable what we are willing to do just to keep sewing!”   I countered with “But we have already given up so much! Why would we give up something that brings us so much joy???”   As a senior editor for the quilting magazine Generation Q, I travel to buyer’s conventions like Quilt Market and VDTA/SDTA. I found myself often saying to manufacturers “You know, you can market this to people in wheelchairs, people with tremors, and people with arthritis.” Somewhere in these moments is where it became my unconscious mission to help our community keep sewing.   I realized the importance of continuing to do the things we love when faced with chronic illness. Being diagnosed with an incurable disease and facing chronic pain on the daily is incredibly difficult to process. It is so easy to fall into depression. It is so easy to give up hope.   Perhaps you sew, or love something else. Perhaps you are a runner, build models, paint, dance, garden, love woodworking, or car restoration – it doesn’t matter what your hobby is – it just matters that you keep doing it.   For me, I look for ways and products that help sewing enthusiasts modify the way they sew. This can be special glasses that help them see better, guides that fit on their machines to help keep the fabric steady, or even managing break time with ice breaks to minimize pain. What can you do to modify your favorite hobby ChronicBabe-style?   Recently, a friend of mine was experiencing a flare and found that she couldn’t join her running club. She was worried that she was missing out on social time with her friends and that they would move on without her. I suggested she look at other ways to participate. So she contacted the organizer and found they needed help setting up drinking stations. She was thrilled. She could still visit with her buds even if she couldn’t run because of a flare.   Some of my readers love quilting, but when they are in a flare don’t have the energy or physical stamina to sew. One creative ChronicBabe said she would stroke and refold her fabric collection. Another said she would sort and choose fabrics for her next project.     Be creative! Think outside the box! What is it...

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Tips for being a Chronic Explorer Gal on the Go

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 in Creativity, featured, guest author, inspiration, practicalities, resilience, self care | 4 comments

This post is guest written by ChronicBabe Michelle R.   Hi ChronicBabes! I’m Michelle. I’m currently attending school in Stockholm to multitask on my dreams of going back to school and living in Europe. I also have an autoimmune disease called ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura if you feel sassy), in addition to Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Living abroad with health challenges can be annoying, but it hasn’t stopped me from exploring my new surroundings.   I travel when possible, and it usually turns out to be solo. Being a “sick” single gal on the go is tricky, but often more rewarding. I found that with extra planning, trips by myself are possible! Each journey I discover something new about managing my health, and here are some self-care tricks and practical tips I’ve learned so far.   Shyness is nice! (eh, sorta) The Smiths song “Ask” has some of my favorite advice: “Shyness is nice, and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to.” When I need help or advice I buck up and just ask someone. This is essential for me despite feeling anxious to do so. Asking around has also led to making new friends or getting some tips that make the journey more enjoyable.   “Just in case” Case Stranded at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere in a country where you don’t speak the language is not a fun place to be. I make sure to carry extra water, snacks, meds (don’t forget the Rx if you have it), tiny first aid kit, and extra charger until I can get somewhere where I can get something to eat/directions. I’m hopeful, but I try and anticipate any sticky situations.       Self Aid Bonuses I also carry some supplemental bonuses that help with anxiety or just well-being in general. This could include pedialyte packets, headphones for calming podcasts or music, and scented oil when I need more zen. The headphones/music helps especially when I know I’m going to be in crowded, unfamiliar areas that might trigger anxiety, such as a subway or major tourist spot where everyone’s loud and slapping me in the face with their selfie sticks. It’s happened more than once.   Sit! It sounds obvious but sometimes I forget to just sit and take a breather! It’s amazing how you can turn anything into a seating arrangement. Window sills, curbs, concrete street barriers. Anything. Most recently in Rome while trying to find shade outside the colosseum I found some tiny space around the base of an ancient pillar ruin to sit on. If you need a rest but there’s no actual seating – give MacGyver a...

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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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