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How to practice “stealth care” if you have chronic illness #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in ChronicBabe Basics, featured, practicalities | 3 comments

“Stealth care” is made up of all those tiny things you do throughout the day to make yourself feel better. They may not seem obvious to others, and you may not even think of them as self-care — but they are essential to life as a ChronicBabe! Today, I share some strategies so YOU can begin to build up your stealth care routine.   *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: What are some of your stealth care practices? 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: (rifling through handbag) Let’s see, I’ve got my fan, my baby wipes, my meds, my phone charger, my… oh, hi there! I was just getting ready for a day of “stealth care.” Join me? 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? Today’s video is a quickie, but an ESSENTIAL for all ChronicBabes. We’re talking about “stealth care,” a term my friend Cece and I came up with recently. “Stealth care” is our alternative term for self-care. I think we’re all bombarded with messages every day about self-care, and the overriding message – if you believe the advertising industry, anyway – is that self-care has to be big acts: An hour-long massage. A makeover. A new wardrobe refresher. A weekend getaway. But seriously, who has time for all that? I mean, if you do, more power to you! But I almost never have the time or money to do that kind of huge self-care action. So: “stealth care.” What is “Stealth Care?” “Stealth care” is made up of all those tiny things you do throughout the day to make yourself feel better. They may not seem obvious to others, and you may not even think of them as self-care. Here are a few examples from my life: I keep a lip balm in my purse, on my nightstand, in the living room, and in the kitchen, so I never have to get up to moisturize my kisser. (I take a bunch of meds that dry me out, so this is an issue for me.) Even during...

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How to Talk to Kids About Your Chronic Illness #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in ChronicBabe Basics, featured, friends and family, practicalities, relationships | 3 comments

Have you ever needed to talk to a kid about your chronic illness? Not the easiest, is it? I recently got my first questions about it from one of my nieces, and I was very careful about what I said. Today, I share what has worked for me in the past. And I’m very curious to hear what works for you! *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: How about you? Have you had conversations with your kids (or your friends’ kids) about your chronic illness? 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: 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 you take medicine? My nine-year-old niece asked me this recently while I was visiting my family back in my hometown. Why did you decorate your pill case? What’s chronic illness? Why do you have it? She was full of questions! Most kids will be, by a certain age – especially when they start to realize that other people are noticing you’re different in some way. I’m not a parent, and I’m not a child psychology expert, so take what I have to say here with a grain of salt. Because I am a very active auntie to a handful of kids, biological relatives and family of choice. And I’ve had to explain my chronic illness to almost all of them. Don’t make it depressing If a little kid you love asks about your chronic illness, you are not obligated to explain all the gory details. In fact, I think simplicity is best; they’re going to take what you say and process it for a while, and you don’t want them thinking about all your intense symptoms, right? With my niece, I simply said I have a chronic illness that makes me hurt and makes me tired. That’s it. She’ll learn more about my many symptoms as she gets older, but for now, that’s enough information to give her a framework. Welcome their questions My niece didn’t understand what “chronic” meant. She gets illness, but the chronic part was hard...

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Round-Up: Emergency Preparedness Posts, All in One Place

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in ChronicBabe Basics, coping, featured, guest author, practicalities, resilience | 2 comments

We’ve had such a terrific response to Kyrie-Inn’s series of emergency preparedness posts. And ironically, this babe is in the middle of the worst-hit part of Florida by Hurricane Hermine! But because of her awesome preparation, she and her dogs, Tao and Mijo, are doing just fine. We here at ChronicBabe HQ recommend you review her posts and get yourself prepared – we’re doing it, too. Here they are: Part 1: Managing your phone for crisis situations Part 2: What to stock in your residence for for various emergency situations Part 3: Creating a bug out bag We are proud to host this series on emergency preparedness for ChronicBabes. Have anything to add that we’ve forgotten? Hop into the comments for each post and share your tips....

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What do you do when you feel like it’s the worst day ever and you want to give up?

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 in acceptance, ChronicBabe Basics, classic post, coping, fears, featured, resilience, self care | 5 comments

Special note: This is classic post appeared in 2012 on the original ChronicBabe site. And it’s an example of “getting back to the basics” we’ll be doing in the September 2016 Secret Club. Join us!   I’ve had them, and I bet you have, too: Those days when everything feels way too hard, like every small task is Herculean, like the world is out to get you, like nothing on Earth will ever be right again. The days when you feel like giving up. The days when you think it might just be easier to quit work, go on disability, and stop caring about your career. The days when you want to tell everyone you know to eff off. The days when you want to throw your purse in the car and just drive off into the sunset. The days when you want to kick your doctor in the nuts. The days when you feel utterly alone. The days when no one—not your nephew, your husband, your girlfriend, your daughter—can make you laugh, because there’s not a damn funny thing in the universe. The days that feel like a horror movie. The days when you turn out the lights, curl up under the covers, and sob yourself to sleep. The days when you Google your conditions endlessly, hoping someone has come up with a magic fix. The days when you feel like it’s not worth trying anymore. The days when you just don’t care. The days when you feel like it’s not worth it. The days when you feel like giving up. Yup, I’ve had those. You might be surprised by how often I hear this question: Maybe YOU haven’t felt this way, but how am I supposed to cope on the days when I want to give up? Oh, ladies. If you think I’ve never wanted to give up, you’ve got me all wrong. I’ve had plenty of those days, and I’m sure in my life I’ll have at least a few more. Even the most kickass ChronicBabe has moments of self-doubt and exhaustion and frustration. It just comes with the territory. So what do you do when you want to give up? First: Don’t. Next: Come here. Notice that there’s not just a website, but an entire community of women who have walked in your shoes. So you may not have someone holding your hand physically, but you’ve got thousands of women who can support you during your time of need. Then: Watch this 5-minute video of Bjork singing “It’s Not Up To You,” a song I find immensely comforting. The lyrics include this perfect bit: “If you wake up, and the day feels broken, just lean into...

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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 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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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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