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Support From Friends and Family

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in acceptance, caregivers, community collab, coping, featured, friends and family, guest author, relationships | 2 comments

This week we asked: “What is your favorite thing a friend or family member has done for you when you’re flaring?” Here are some of our favorite answers. Read and re-read when you’re feeling down.   Keidra says she’s had numerous friends walk her home when her vision is bad and install lights in her hallway and on her stairs to help her see. When Fran was in the second acute phase of her Ramsay Hunt Syndrome and couldn’t move or see, her friend brought her a huge shopping bag full of books on tape so she would have something to do. Michelle’s 70-year-old supermom came and helped for the 3 months of recovery Michelle spent after a nasty car accident. Lindsay’s roommate and boyfriend threw her a mini party with cookies and party blowers when she had to go through an injection medication process that she hated. Tania’s friend cleans and de-cluttered her room for her as a surprise when she was at the doctor. Patricia’s mother moved to live with her daughter and help at home! When Mary Beth was embarrassed of her chipping toe nails at the hospital, her husband gave her a pedicure. Alix’s friend from across the US sent her flowers when she was in her first overnight hospital stay.   We are surrounded by such love! Being a ChronicBabe can be tough, but having loving family and friends makes all the...

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Block, ban, buh-bye: How to set boundaries in online chronic illness conversations #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in ChronicBabe Basics, featured, friends and family, ranting, relationships | 0 comments

Are you sick of being irritated by Facebook? Tired of getting into online arguments with jerks? Me too! Today, I’m sharing my favorite tips for setting boundaries online so you can love social media again. Watch today’s video right now. *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: How about you: Are you able to set boundaries? Do you ever ban or block folks on social media? 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? There’s the denier: Your illness isn’t real. Your diagnosis isn’t accurate. Your symptoms are atypical so it can’t be (made-up disease name). There’s the comparer: At least you don’t have cancer. Or: Your pain may be a 5, but mine is one zillion! There’s the fixer: If you drink this or eat this or take this pill you’ll be fine. My aunt Mabel is cured!   And there’s the bully: You’re not really sick. You’re an asshole for sharing what works for you because it doesn’t work for everyone. you should (bleep) off. These folks are mostly well-meaning but let’s face it, they all suck to run into online. I mean, you’re there because you want help, you want to contribute, you don’t want to feel alone. These folks all get in the way. We will always have to learn how to cope with people who are different from us, and it’s a beautiful skill to learn to have meaningful dialogue. But when the dialogue is no longer meaningful, there are some easy tricks to minimize negative interactions. Quit. I don’t mean quit being online altogether, I mean quit the groups and forums where these folks thrive, and where moderators don’t step in to cultivate a positive community. There are a gajillion communities out there; you can find better ones. Block. If someone is still trolling you after you’ve given them a chance to change, block them. Yes, yes, people have the right to freedom of speech, but you have the right to stop listening. Cut them off. Ain’t nobody got time...

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How to ask for what you need when you have chronic illness #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in ChronicBabe Basics, featured, friends and family, relationships, self care | 2 comments

Just about everyone—chronicbabes, chronicdudes, healthy folk—struggles with asking for help. It’s not the easiest to get vulnerable, and sometimes we don’t want to feel like a burden. But we live in communities for a reason: so we can coexist and help each other. Seriously. So you’ve gotta ask for help, babe. In today’s video, I’ve got three tips to help you be a better asker-for-helper. watch it now. *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: Do you have trouble asking for help? What has worked for you in the past? 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: (reading from a scroll) I need cake. I need a foot massage. I need a hoverboard. I need unlimited access to quilting fabric. I need more nail polish. I need a green smoothie, like, STAT. I need a bigger closet. I need my tomatoes to get ripe. I need all the cash. I need a thousand more wishes. I need candy. 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? Why do we have trouble asking for what we need? So many people, not just ChronicBabes, have trouble asking others for help. For ChronicBabes, there’s a huge desire to be fiercely independent, to avoid feelings of inadequacy, or feeling like a burden. I’m here to tell you that’s whack, babes. You’re allowed and encouraged to ask for help. You’re amazing, but you’re not Superwoman. Be direct Asking people for help sucks. But you gotta do it. Throw your hat in the ring and ask for what you need. Be direct: “I need help loading my groceries into my car” or “I need recommendations for a good babysitter.” You can even ask for help to ask for help: “I need help brainstorming how to ask my boss for more at-home work days.” Don’t expect people to read your mind Similarly, don’t assume your friends, family, and acquaintances know what you need. They aren’t mind readers and unless you tell them you need something–and exactly what it is you need–it probably won’t get done. And sitting around waiting for someone...

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How to Be a Good Friend if You Have Chronic Illness #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in ChronicBabe Basics, featured, friends and family, relationships | 0 comments

Lots of ChronicBabes put way too much pressure on ourselves to be perfectly reliable and present for everything—and to always plan fun outings and events. But babe, most of your friends don’t care if you’ve planned a special outing. What they really care about is connecting with you. They’re probably just as happy staying in, doing a face mask and watching a bad movie. And who do you know how is perfectly reliable? I mean, really? Anyone? The reality is, no one can be perfectly reliable—it’s just now how humans operate. You can be a good friend by planning fun times that work for YOU, and YOUR good friends will come along for the ride. Today’s video is all about how to be a good friend, which you totally can do! Even with chronic illness. Watch it now: *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: How do you make sure you’re always being a good friend? How do you handle scheduling with friends? 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: Lots of ChronicBabes put way too much pressure on ourselves to be perfectly reliable and present for everything – and to always plan fun outings and events. But babe, most of your friends don’t care if you’ve planned a special outing. What they really care about is connecting with you. They’re probably just as happy staying in, doing a face mask and watching a bad movie. And who do you know how is perfectly reliable? I mean, really? Anyone? The reality is, no one can be perfectly reliable – it’s just now how humans operate. You can be a good friend by planning fun times that work for YOU, and YOUR good friends will come along for the ride. Your illness might be something like Crohn’s or fibromyalgia, which can cause big flare-ups out of nowhere – so you may be fearful of making plans in advance. That doesn’t mean you can’t make an effort to see folks. While some people don’t have the flexibility to do last-minute stuff, plenty of folks do – so give yourself permission to host last-minute gatherings whenever you feel like it. Just don’t take it personally if some people can’t make it – just like you hope your friends don’t take it personally when you have to cancel. You can be a good friend by continuing to invite folks...

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6 ways to answer “how are you?” #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in ChronicBabe Basics, featured, friends and family, relationships | 4 comments

Today’s video is another take on the time-tested question: How to answer “how are you?” So many of us are asked these questions all the time, and it can be aggravating to come up with a response. So I’ve got a few ideas for you today, and a free download of 100 more that can be customized to your unique personality. Watch today’s video, then tell me: what are YOUR favorite responses?   *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: Have you responded in ways that harmed relationships, and how would you do it differently? Have you responded in ways that were educational and turned folks into your allies? I would love to know! 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. The reason I created AWAP is because I was tired of sending emails to people wishing them well. Hoping they’re well. Asking if they’re well. People ask me how I am all the time, and I often don’t know how to answer. People ask me if I’m well often, and it can feel really confusing to come up with an authentic answer that’s not going to freak them out, or push them away—or even start a big conversation. So today, I’ve got some ideas for how to answer “how are you?” And I’m also sharing a PDF with 100 ways to tackle this difficult question. Here we go: “I’m fine, how are you?” I know, I know! You’re all like BOOOOO! But sometimes this is the easy way out. You don’t really want to get into a long explanation with a cashier or a doorman, right? So just fake it and keep moving on. It’s OK. “I’m AWAP! And you?” This is a fun way to introduce people to the concept of AWAP, so they can use it too—and you don’t have to dig into your health issues much at all. “Strange, and getting stranger!” Answering with something weird or silly but not too pushy is a fun way to set the tone. This one works great at parties. Maybe you don’t want to get into your symptoms at the...

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Be Nice (in Conversations About Chronic Pain and Illness) #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in activism, announcements, ChronicBabe Basics, featured, ranting, relationships | 18 comments

Last week, some folks decided to jump into a ChronicBabe Facebook conversation and be disrespectful to others. It sucked. The conversation was originally about a handful of stories about chronic illness and how relatable they are. Then one person declared that one of the women profiled was using an incorrect diagnosis, and that it was “pseudoscience.” I stepped in to stop the thread, asking folks to back off and be respectful. They didn’t; in fact, they stepped up their efforts. It was very upsetting for many people, and I eventually deleted the whole post to shut down the conversation. I hated doing this! The ChronicBabe community is built on a solid foundation of mutual respect and support, so it’s awful when some folks can’t see that. I understand that they were well-meaning, but no matter their intentions, they were being rude and disrespectful. So today’s video is a handful of thoughts I have about this event, and a reassurance that I will always protect ChronicBabe and keep it positively awesome. Even if the tone of the nation’s conversation about chronic pain and illness is trending negative, we don’t have to follow suit. I’m so eager to hear what you think! Watch today’s video, and then chime in below. *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: Have you faced bullying or negative feedback online? How did you react? Were you able to steer the conversation toward a more productive outcome? I would love to know! 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!...

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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.

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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!

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