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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 in your ear buds?

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in community collab, coping, Creativity, featured, guest author, humor, inspiration, self care | 2 comments

We asked, you answered! This week our Question Of The Week was “What’s your favorite podcast that gets you through the week?” Here are some new podcasts for you to listen to, suggested by our ChronicBabe community: 2 Dope Queens Dedra suggested the WNYC podcast “2 Dope Queens.” I recently began listening to it and it’s an amazing commute podcast as it’s essentially a live comedy show with some of the funniest people in NYC. Listen to it here.   Adventures in Roommating Thanks Brianna for this suggestion! “Adventures in Rommating” follows two roommates living together in LA who talk about love, life, and film. Listen to it here.   Lore Fran suggested Aaron Manke’s podcast, “Lore,” and I’m totally with her! It’s a wonderfully skin crawly podcast that details true scary stories. Listen to it here.   Welcome to Night Vale Thanks Sabrina for this cult podcast classic. The podcast gives updates on the ficitonal small desert town of Night Vale. Listen to it here.   99% Invisible Kerry-Ann suggested this popular podcast that won the Webby award this year for best podcast. “99% Invisible” is about the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world. Listen to it here.   Still Untitled the Adam Savage Project Amy Graves (read her contributor article here!) suggested this podcast where Adam Savage, Norm and Will discuss all topics from Adam’s life to hot-button issues within the maker community. Listen to it here.   History of English Vikki, “language geek,” suggested this podcast that is covering the history of the English language, starting at the beginning. The podcast is barely into Middle Ages, so follow it as it progresses to our modern-day English! Listen to it here.   Can I Pet Your Dog? Thank you Anne for introducing us to this podcast for unashamed dog lovers. The podcast includes segments liked “Dogs We Met This Week,” “Cool Dog Tech,” “Mutt Minute,” “Cool Dog Tech,” and “Dog News.” Listen to it here.   Stuff You Should Know My favorite podcast will always be “Stuff You Should Know” from It’s a podcast hosted by Josh and Chuck where they cover everything you would ever want to know, from SuperBalls to LSD to cats to poop (a lot of us can really learn a lot from that one!) to Lizzie Borden to animal imprinting. Truly everything! Give it a listen here.   Do you have any favorite podcasts we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!   This post was written by Alix Kramer, ChronicBabe intern and proud ChronicBabe....

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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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How I Maintain My Happy

Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 in acceptance, coping, Creativity, featured, guest author, inspiration, pain, resilience | 10 comments

Post written by ChronicBabe Amy Graves   In the Beginning… I’ve dealt with different types of chronic pain for as long as I can remember. I was diagnosed with migraines and seizures at the age of three; this meant that at an early age I had to learn how to manage pain. I trained myself to go to bed as soon as I felt a migraine coming. I learned what my triggers were for seizures and attempted to avoid them. I was lucky in that I still had a mostly normal childhood. Then, in 2004, I injured my left arm. As a result of that injury I was diagnosed in 2007 with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Through three years and 13 doctors, I kept telling myself someone will figure this out. The pain will be cured and I will go back to normal. But the diagnosis brought with it the realization I would have to live in pain every day for the rest of my life.   The Realization that Sparked a Change My diagnosis left me depressed. How could I live with constant burning pain? My pain levels started increasing and the feeling of hopelessness was completely consuming. Then one day I was on the phone with my mom. I realized I had become a negative person – like her. I looked at her life, and I didn’t want to go down the same path. So I made a deliberate decision to reform my attitude. I altered my focus so finding the positive became a daily practice. This change in thought was not easy. It took at least a year before I was able to see the positive without having to stop and ask myself what is the silver lining? This does not mean I was – or am – happy all the time. When I lost the ability to work 20 hours a week I had to focus on the positive outcomes. I trained myself to look at the positives rather than focusing on the negatives, like losing money.   My Secret The key to me maintaining my happy is allowing myself to have bad days. I have days where I cry or get mad at the world. At the end of the day, I know it won’t solve my problems, but I feel better. You will exhaust yourself trying to be positive all the time. No one else can expect you to be happy all the time, either. When I have to deal with a problem, I let myself feel the necessary emotions, whether it be anger, sadness, or even fear. Once I am done, I sit back and analyze the situation. I focus on...

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Community Collab: What’s in Your Bag?

Posted by on Jul 8, 2016 in community collab, Creativity, featured, guest author, practicalities, self care | 3 comments

Hey babes! This week’s QOTW was “What’s one thing you never leave home without?” We had a bunch of great answers and an especially funny one (that you’ll have to scroll to the bottom to see!)   Some of the most common answers included: Phone, with pill timers! Hair ties ChapStick Inhaler Credit cards and drivers license (note the license info) Kleenex And of course pills of every shape and size And: keys, wallet, planner, pain gel, water Our favorite answer comes from Ann U. She says: “I think we should list what we WISH we carried! My list is a string bikini, a thermos of piña coladas, George Clooney’s phone number & keys to my Maserati.” All graphics made by Alix Kramer, ChronicBabe intern and proud...

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