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I’m still here. Here’s what’s been going on at ChronicBabe HQ…

Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 in announcements | 53 comments

Hello, my friends. It’s been a while since I posted, and I wanted to give you an update—especially since a few of you have written me recently asking if I’m okay. I’m okay. But just okay. It’s been a rough few months here at ChronicBabe HQ. I’ll tell you about it now, because a big part of the reason I run this project is to show the real side of life with chronic illness, including all of its ups and downs. And I want to fill you in on how this part of my business works, too, because it has bearing on how often I’m able to create new content. Acute illness In December 2016 and January 2017, I had an extreme upper respiratory infection that lasted for weeks and sent me to the hospital. It was very scary—struggling to breathe always is, right? Because of that, I missed a lot of fun holiday celebrations and travel. It took me a very long time to recover, and during that time, I was almost completely unable to work. That meant client work fell behind schedule, ChronicBabe projects fell behind schedule, and I spent a lot of time in my PJs… which sounds dreamy but seriously, after a few weeks, a girl just wants to put on a bra and get outside, right? I think all of us know how hard it is to live with chronic illness, and think it should prepare us for handling acute illness all breezy-like, except it doesn’t. In fact, I kind of resented the acute illness; how DARE I get another illness on top of all the other crap I have to manage day in and day out! Sigh… this is just life. It does help some, but when we’re already sick all the time and we pile on another sickness, it’s really tough. A beautiful thing is that I rallied for a couple days in there and got married! It was a tiny ceremony with a tiny group of friends, and low-pressure, and just perfect. I’m very lucky I found enough health to enjoy that day. Family tragedy Quick on the heels of my recovery from acute illness, my mother-in-law became gravely ill. My husband and I drove overnight to be with her and our family, and ended up staying out of town (mostly at the hospital, and then a hospice center) for a couple weeks. She passed away, we held a lovely service, and came home. And I felt completely numb. I’m crying as I write this. I only knew Connie for about seven years, but I saw what an incredible presence she was in the family, and I’m forever grateful to have...

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Vote for ChronicBabe in the 2016 WEGO Health Advocate Awards: Deadline October 21

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 in announcements, featured | 0 comments

Hello, babelicious friends! I’m thrilled to announce ChronicBabe is up for SEVEN awards this year in the 5th Annual WEGO Health Advocate Awards. So exciting! I need your endorsement to qualify as a finalist in any of the categories. Can I count on you? (Much more fun than voting in the Presidential election, amirite?!) To endorse me – which counts as a vote – click the badge below. Thank...

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If you’ve ever talked about “spoons” or called yourself a “spoonie,” take a moment to help out its originator, Christine Miserandino

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in announcements, featured, friends and family, guest author | 5 comments

by Linda Kaserman, admin for (editor’s note: Christine is a long-time friend of mine, and I hurt so much for her right now. She has done so much for our community and while I almost never post things like this, I am in big favor of supporting her in this time of crisis. xo, Jenni) Christine Miserandino, health advocate and author of The Spoon Theory, has had a really tough year. Christine was due to deliver a beautiful baby girl in March 2016. She was hospitalized after suffering months of constant nausea and vomiting, then weeks of renal failure and trying to keep the baby to term. On January 26 she had a c-section to deliver her stillborn daughter. This heartbreaking and soul-crushing experience affected the whole Spoonie community, too. Christine reached out for comfort and assistance in getting through this devastating event in her life. The response was amazing; she received so many responses of encouragement, of support and sympathy, and lists and lists of resources to help her climb out of her depression. While living with this grief, Christine faced serious jaw surgery. Christine’s teeth are literally falling out of her mouth and she’s needed six teeth extracted, four root canals, and too many fillings to count. The effects of 20+ years of steroids, plus many months of throwing up many times a day during her pregnancy, plus saliva issues from Sjogren’s, have taken their toll. Christine literally lost her smile – well, she still has a few teeth in the front. Plus, there are more dental surgeries and repair work for her mouth and more huge bills to come for Christine’s smile. Dental surgery, implants, and dentures don’t come cheap. The financial aspect of all of this has given her a new symptom: panic attacks and anxiety.  The events I’ve described have been physical, mental, and financial. There is a mountain of hospital bills already. The amount is staggering – upwards of $50,000. Christine and her parents are using their credit cards, too – and those are nearing the max. At the end of the day, Christine is a Spoonie, too, and after pouring her life into helping us all, she needs us to help her by giving a little back. Christine finally allowed her friends to ask the chronic illness community – all her fellow spoonies – for help: We’ve set up a page for donations and you can read her entire story at her GoFundMe page: Help Christine Smile. Every little bit helps and Christine would be so thankful for your donation. We’ve also set up a Facebook page where you can “like” us and offer support and share her story. Please help. Christine is one of the original chronic...

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Giveaway: Beautiful inspirational necklaces & keychains by Lisa Copen of Rest Ministries

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in announcements, featured, giveaway | 23 comments

UPDATE: We picked a winner! Congratulations Kathy, we loved your Mother Teresa quote: “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” We had SUCH a hard time picking a winner! We also loved these quotes: “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea” — Isak Dinesen “Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways – a wine glass in one hand and chocolate in the other – body thoroughly used up and totally worn-out, screaming at the top of your lungs: ‘Woo Hoo, What a Ride!’ ~ adapted from a quote by Hunter S. Thompson “Never half ass two things, whole ass one thing.” – Ron Swanson —————————————————————————————- I’m a big fan of Lisa Copen, creator of Rest Ministries. For years, she has been a beacon of light to so many people. We’ve had so many enlightening and encouraging conversations over the years about community, spirituality, and perseverance in the face of chronic illness. Now, she’s got a terrific new business: Gutsy Goodness! Lisa takes lots of cute little charms and gems and inspirational quotes and scriptures and creates beautiful works of art—necklaces and keychains. Here I am, wearing a bunch of pieces that inspire me—including the Gutsy Goodness necklace Lisa made just for me. It’s a quote from Bob Dylan: Behind every beautiful thing there is some kind of pain. There are days when I wear this necklace that it simply gets me through the day. Sometimes I need a reminder that there is more than pain in this world, that there is beauty. Lisa loves ChronicBabe so much she’s letting me do a giveaway! She’ll gift one lucky winner the necklace or keychain of her/his choice. Isn’t that awesome? The selection includes spiritual inspiration, motivational quotes and many more options. And I can tell you, after weeks of wearing my necklace, that the quality is excellent. How do you enter the giveaway? Share your favorite inspirational quote in the comments below. I’ll take entries until Tuesday, July 19 at midnight. I’ll have a friend pick the best quote of all, and the winner will get something beautiful! Can’t wait to check our Lisa’s creations? We’ve got a coupon code! Just for us, Lisa is offering a limited-time discount. Go to Gutsy Goodness and use the coupon code GUTSYBABES to get 15% off anything. It expires July 30, and requires a minimum purchase of $18....

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Community collab: What’s your favorite song to get you out of a funk?

Posted by on Jun 17, 2016 in announcements, community collab, coping, featured, inspiration | 2 comments

We’re trying out a new feature at ChronicBabe: Question of the Week. We’re posting the questions at our Facebook page, and soliciting community collaboration and comments. This week: What’s your favorite song to get you out of a funk? My personal  favorite: Bjork’s Alarm Call. So joyous! So raucous! Our pals at the Blood Clot Recovery Network are jamming to Mumford & Sons, specifically Below My Feet and I Will Wait. Yes! Maura says it’s impossible to stay in a bad mood if she’s listening to Jimmy Buffett. Preferably sung out loud and acted in full, Becky favors Don’t Rain on My Parade from the movie Funny Girl. Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine is Michelle’s fave, and I gotta say, I ADORE that song! Sally is into anything that makes her wanna dance, like Pharrell’s Happy, Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling, and Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars. Yassss, girl! Lindsay has put together some of my favorite selections: Nicki Minaj’s Fly, Florence and the Machine’s Shake it Out, Eminem’s Lose Yourself, Defying Gravity from the musical Wicked, Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys, Survivor by Destiny’s Child, Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger, Make it Happen by Mariah Carey, This is How We Do It by Montell Jordan, F**kin’ Perfect and Try by P!nk, Hold On by Wilson Phillips, and lots of Sia. Lovely Day by Bill Withers works for Maggie… and me, too! Mary loves Tusk by Fleetwood Mac. Yes! Kyrie-Inn reminds me that Question by The Moody Blues is just lovely. The Beautiful Ones by Prince is Andy’s go-to tune. Love it! Tina is into anything by Ian Moore… curious, anyone have a specific song by him they love? Similarly, Mary Ann loves Tiesto (me too!) and I’m curious if anyone has a fave tune he’s produced? Hannah recommends Lime Tree by Trevor Hall. Love Song and Commando by Vanessa Paradis make Courtney Jane’s heart sing. Shannon loves Depeche Mode, favoring Enjoy the Silence when she feels like being alone, and I Feel You when she wants to be reminded that it’s nice to get close to someone. Greater by Mercy Me is Jamie’s fave, and I can see why! Sagar loves Existence by Shylah Ray Sunshine featuring Mother Medicine. Emily favors Paul McCartney’s Dance Tonight, and while I’m usually not his biggest fan, this tune really gets me feelin’ good! Finally, Wendy reminds us that Stevie Wonder is a god, and his song Superstition is a kickin’ jam. Want to contribute? Babes, this has been so fun! I learned about a lot of songs that are really inspirational and fun. I hope you’ve found a new favorite tune to lift you out of a funk....

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Call for personal essays

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in announcements, featured | 0 comments

Howdy, babes! After a long hiatus from publishing other people’s stories here on the blog, I’ve decided to open up the platform for a few personal essays from women with chronic illness. Perhaps you’d like to write a story to publish here? If you’re interested, fill out this brief questionnaire, and someone on the ChronicBabe team will connect with you about next steps. We will not be able to say yes to everyone—no matter how much we want to—but we’re collecting info now so we can choose a variety of stories that represent many perspectives, from women on a wide spectrum of race, sexual identity, illness experience, spiritual leaning, and more. Please share this with your community so we can pull stories from a wide audience, and provide inspiration, advice, and support for all. Thanks! Smooches,...

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