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How to plan for a future with chronic illness #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on Oct 5, 2016 in acceptance, coping, fears, featured, practicalities | 0 comments

“What if?” can really haunt us. When we live with chronic illness, every day is full of surprises, and sometimes those surprises sideline our lives. It makes planning for our life ahead – in spite of chronic illness – very challenging. But I have a simple concept for you to consider in today’s video that I hope will help you get over the “what if” challenge and make plans anyway.   *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: Do you get stuck on “what if” sometimes? Have you ever created a contingency plan? 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: But what if my feet hurt and I can’t wear cute shoes on my wedding day? But what if I don’t sell enough books to make a down payment for a new car? But what if? What if? 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? “What if?” can really haunt us. When we live with chronic illness, every day is full of surprises, and sometimes those surprises sideline our lives. It makes planning for our life ahead – in spite of chronic illness – very challenging. But I have a simple concept for you to consider today that I hope will help you get over the “what if” challenge and make plans anyway. Everyone Has “What Ifs” Here’s a revelation. You ready? Everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – has “what ifs” in their lives. People with huge amounts of money have “what ifs.” People who are broke face “what ifs.” Folks who are perfectly healthy have “what ifs” that keep them up at night. We ChronicBabes are not alone with feeling “what if?” Over and over, I hear from women with illness who are afraid to plan, because they’re worried about “what if” this or that happens – and they consider it a trait of those with chronic illness. They often forget they’re not alone with this challenge. Remembering that everyone worries about what may or may not happen in life can help us stay calm, and find the courage to...

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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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Community Collab: Your favorite comfort foods

Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 in community collab, featured, inspiration, practicalities | 0 comments

This summer, we’ve been hosting Questions Of The Week (QOTW) on our Facebook page, and it’s been great to see what our community is into! Last week, we asked: what’s your favorite comfort food? Here are some of your responses: Jenni: Sushi, specifically spicy tuna maki! Sandra: Double-baked potatoes. Bake you tater without foil. Scoop out the inside, add butter and sour cream and fake bacon bits and cheese, if you like. Get it mashed together and put back in the skin. You can then bake it off for snacks or freeze for later. We make 8-10 big potatoes at a time and freeze for the days you just can organize more than reheat. Joanne: I’m Italian; comfort food is definitely pasta. Any kind of homemade pasta. For a really difficult day when sweetness is required, affogato is my go to, easy to make and comforting with autumn soon here. Here’s the basic recipe for Affogato: Place 2 small scoops of quality vanilla ice cream (you can replace vanilla flavor by coffee or chocolate ice cream) in a coffee cup, then pour in a shot of espresso or 3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee. Top with shaved dark chocolate and chopped hazelnuts. Jennifer: My comfort foods tend to fall into the soup/bowl food category. Miso Soup (South River Miso makes soy-free miso which is perfect for me), and Arroz Caldo (a savory chicken and rice porridge with garlic and ginger) in particular since they both sit very well on an upset stomach (for me). As far as sweet things, honey is my comfort sweet whether it’s in tea or just a small spoon. Kathy: Chicken rice or noodle soup. Preferably my mom’s! Lynette: Mexican food. (Oh, me too! – Jenni) Erin: This is really simple, but I love rye bread toast with [vegan] butter. It reminds me of my dad because that was his favorite kind of...

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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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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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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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