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Embrace the Suck of Chronic Illness #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in acceptance, ChronicBabe Basics, coping, featured, inspiration, practicalities, resilience | 4 comments

Sometimes you will just feel like crap, and no amount of pep talks from me is going to make you feel better. This is how I feel today. No matter how much self-care you do, no matter how faithfully you take your meds, no matter how good you are at your daily routine… sometimes, you’re just going to feel like crud anyway. I mean, this is true for ALL humans. So on some days, you just have to “embrace the suck.” Today’s video teaches you how to do just that: *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: How about you? Have you tried to embrace the suck? How did it work out? 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? Sometimes you will just feel like crap, and no amount of pep talks from me is going to make you feel better. This is how I feel today. No matter how much self-care you do, no matter how faithfully you take your meds, no matter how good you are at your daily routine… sometimes, you’re just going to feel like crud anyway. I mean, this is true for ALL humans. So on some days, you just have to “embrace the suck.” I heard this term, “embrace the suck,” from a couple of U.S. military veterans I’ve met recently. These are folks who live with chronic pain and illness and yet work so hard every day to accomplish their goals. If I understand their approach correctly, it is about acknowledging the reality of the suck, and moving ahead as much as you can. So here goes: I feel like crap today. My bowels are going berserk, I have a headache, my back is super-sore, and I’m exhausted. There – I said it out loud. I acknowledged it. Now, what can I do to mitigate this suck? I can drink lots of water to hydrate, I can take some pain meds for my back, I can eat a simple diet today to help calm my bowels, I can...

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Emergency Preparedness Issues and Solutions Series Part 3: Creating a Bug Out Bag

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in community collab, coping, Creativity, featured, guest author, inspiration, practicalities, resilience | 0 comments

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: creating a Bug Out Bag (BOB)   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.   Today’s topic: Creating a Bug Out Bag (BOB) (aka survival bag, aka GO bag, aka get-home bag, if anyone cares to search Google for further information and ideas!)   Today, we look at what one should stock in their BOB.   The Basics We should first define what a BOB is, how we prepare and use a BOB, and then you may adapt your BOB to serve your particular needs and situation. BOBs contain the supplies, documents, and whatever you need in case of emergencies, where you may be forced out of your residence or vehicle and need to stay safe until you may return to either, or until you can get to a safe location. We have found it helpful to have one centrally located in the house, clearly marked, so if we find ourselves needing to have people like our home health aides, case managers/case workers go get it, they can easily run in and grab it.   We choose backpacks of different colors to identify which BOB is for which situation (we need several). Our service dog has his own doggie backpack for outing and a messenger bag for his hospital/fire BOB. Choose the bag that suits your physicality best. Often one can find reasonably priced gently used backpacks or other styles of bags at thrift stores, or by posting a “want” on freecycle.com; if...

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Emergency Preparedness Issues and Solutions Series Part 2: What To Stock In Your Residence for Various Emergency Situations

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in ChronicBabe Basics, Creativity, fears, featured, guest author, practicalities, resilience | 0 comments

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).     Disabled folks are often 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: what one should stock in their residence for various emergency 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.   EMERGENCY SUPPLIES for your residence Most survival and government emergency preparedness websites advocate planning for a three-day to two-week immediate crisis. Most everything one needs is available at the local dollar store, WalMart, and other discount retailers. If you wants to step up a level, other items like weather band crank radios are available for purchase at reasonable prices at Amazon.com and similar websites.   Start Saving Put aside $10 per month to begin equipping yourself at least minimally for SHTF (“sh*t hits the fan”) situations. If you can save more, that works… but we understand completely about limited finances, which is why we are attempting to keep the basics on the cheap!     Items available immediately and locally: Flashlights: At least one should be stored in every room of the house. Check the batteries monthly and change as needed. Batteries: Purchase multiple packages for your flashlight sizes, as many in all sizes as you can stock. Tip: they last much longer when stored in the freezer! Water: Often one finds oneself in a “dry” situation during SHTF. Make sure you ask your landlord (if you rent) exactly what utilities you will lose if the power goes out. For example: a residence in which we formerly lived still had water when we had no power. We had town water. However, we...

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Watch Out, Diabetes – Don’t Stand In My Way

Posted by on Aug 26, 2016 in activism, career, coping, featured, guest author, inspiration, resilience | 0 comments

This week’s guest post is written by ChronicBabe Christel. Christel is a blogger, certified personal trainer, bikini fitness competitor and fitness model. She has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1997, and at an early stage decided that that wasn’t going to slow her down. On TheFitBlog.com she writes about Health, Fitness and how to be Fit With Diabetes. She trains people with diabetes from across the globe, online and in person, and supports them in meeting their fitness goals.     I’m probably one of the most stubborn people you will ever come across. …Or you could call it focused or determined. Yes, that sounds better. My husband says I am like one of those huge tankers that needs a lot of time (or an iceberg) to change course. ☺ I have managed to make my stubbornness work to my advantage though (for the most part) and I truly believe there is hardly anything I can’t do if I set my mind to it. I’ve managed to get my MBA, travelled the world, had a successful corporate career, started my own business and, lately, competed in (and won) a fitness competition.     It all starts with your mindset So what does all that determination have to do with my diabetes? Well, it made me decide right away that my 1997 Type 1 diabetes diagnosis would never prevent me from doing and accomplishing everything I wanted in life. Honestly, I never thought twice about that first injection or about arranging my life so that the diabetes didn’t interfere with the things I want to do. That doesn’t mean that it’s easy to manage the diabetes monster, but I would claim that it’s doable if you set your mind to it, take the time to understand your unique reaction to different stimuli, and structure your life so that the diabetes doesn’t run the show but is instead in the background. I know that I am lucky to “only” have diabetes, and none of the other “friends” it can bring along. Additional physical or emotional burdens will of course change the situation and how hard it is to figure out your diabetes management.     How fitness took my diabetes management to the next level   My adventure into fitness and making that my career has actually been what has taken my diabetes management to the next level. I spent a lot of time tuning in, listening to my body, experimenting, and analyzing the outcomes (and a lot of blood glucose testing). To me, that’s the key to learning; experiments and analysis. I’ve found that my body’s reaction to stimuli differs as I get older, but the patterns are...

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How to Roll with the Punches If You Have Chronic Illness #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on Aug 24, 2016 in ChronicBabe Basics, coping, featured, inspiration, resilience | 7 comments

Surprise! You’re having a flare-up. Surprise! Your insurance changed its coverage of your meds. Sound familiar? I know it does! Chronic illness is a daily series of surprises. Babe, sometimes you’ve gotta roll with the punches. Today’s video has a few of my favorite tips for doing that.  *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: What things help you keep rolling even when life wants to knock you down? 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? Last weekend I was booked to fly home from a family visit in Houston and our flight was majorly delayed. We got the call 10 minutes away from the airport, and an hour away from my family’s house; we had an extra three hours to kill before our rescheduled flight. I was PISSED. The delay meant I would get home and climb in bed more than four hours later than usual, which is a big bummer for my health. I knew I’d have a flare-up the day after, possibly for many days after – and what a cruddy way to end my awesome fun trip! Ugh. But I had a choice in that moment: I could pout, grumble, be irritable. Or I could roll with the punches. Do I have to roll with every punch? Nope – some are just too extreme. You are entitled to some strong reactions to big ol’ punches. But also: You get to choose how you react. See this tattoo? [Picture of Jenni’s left inner arm.] It says “peace is every step,” the title of my favorite book by my spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. I need this daily reminder, that I get to choose how I’ll react to things. So I tried to react with peace. My brother-in-law and fiancee found a bowling alley near the airport, and we headed over to have “pin and tonics” and bowl with my nieces, which was HILARIOUS. In the end, I was glad for the extra time.   Flexibility is key I hate bowling. A broken...

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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 Upwork.com and Flexjobs.com 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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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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