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Showing posts from 2016

2016: One Hell of a Year

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Well, that;s been quite something, hasn’t it?  2016 was a year that had opinions about what should happen, made it so, and many of us didn’t like it. For one, it was, in the words of the Toronto Star, “ the year the music died .” David Bowie left us in early January and I’m still not over it. I’m also not over the loss of Alan Rickman, Prince, and Leonard Cohen, and the loss of Carrie Fisher i s still so raw . And that’s just the people who make the news when something bad happens to them. It seems as if everyone I knew were facing monumental challenges, as well. There’s been illness, worsening of conditions, intense pain, losses. So much it was about two steps forward and three – or 16 — steps back. We climbed mountains, all of us. I’ve talked about my mountain quite a bit here on the blog. Nine months ago, I got the flu and almost died, more than once . The Boy says he figures St. Michael’s Hospital saved my life three times over a two week period. That’s a sobe

The Year in Review on RAHealthCentral

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Year-in-review articles all around in this. Personally, I'm sort of addicted to the things, so it was a pleasure to write a version of this phenomenon for RAHealthCentral:  "We have come to the end of another year, and I can’t be the only person who feels it went by in six months instead of 12. Here on RAHealthCentral, we have packed a lot of life, a lot of talk, and a lot of information into 2016. It was all under the overarching umbrella of our annual theme Your #ChronicLife with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), which is about openly talking about the  reality of living with chronic conditions . Please join me as I share memories of some of our most popular posts. Relationships and sex We kept it real when we wrote about how your chronic illness can affect relationships and sex. In an interview with Kira Lynne, we discussed  dating and relationships . Anna shared  tips to nurture your relationship , and Leslie shared her story of what happens when your  conditi

3 Self-Care Resolutions for Chronic Illness

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There’s nothing like taking some time off to help you get a bit of perspective on your life and the crazy it has become. I’m not done thinking yet, but I have come up with a somewhat quirky list of resolutions for the new year inspired by Chronic Christmas . I’m sure they could benefit me and maybe you, as well. Sing Singing opens you up in so many ways. Physically, it benefits your breathing. Emotionally, it’s a connection to joy. Mentally, it gets your brain working remembering the words and the melody. Also, it’s a lot of fun. Even for those of us who can’t sing on key if our lives depended on it. When you live with chronic illness, finding fun can be a bit of a challenge (to put it mildly). Singing is an easy way to incorporate having a good time every day. It doesn’t cost anything and you don’t need to go anywhere to do it. Crank your favourite tune on YouTube or iTunes and belt one out. For me, singing might have an additional benefit. I’m still working on

A Chronic Christmas Greeting

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From all of me to all of you: Gl├Ždelig jul!

Photo Friday: Midwinter Sun

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Foods To Trigger RA, Foods to Help RA

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  When you live with a chronic illness, you try a lot of different things to chip away at the symptoms. What foods can help and heard RA has been a topic for probably as long as the disease has been around, but it seems to be even more prevalent at present. In my new slideshow for HealthCentral, I looked into the topic, sharing information about foods that may help or hurt RA : "At present, researchers have not found evidence to suggest that diet can effectively control rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, studies have shown that certain types of food may affect levels of inflammation. Knowing which types of foods can help and which can cause you to flare can be helpful in managing your symptoms." See the rest of the slideshow on rheumatoid arthritis and food .  

Should My Partner Have Sex with Someone Else Because I Have a Chronic Illness?

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When you live with chronic illness and disability, pain and mobility limitations can make sex difficult. But does that mean your partner should find someone else with whom to have sex? I see this fairly often, mostly late at night on private Facebook groups where it’s safe to bare what’s deep inside. I’ve been there myself, as well, right when The Boy and I first started dating. The conversation went something like this: Me: I don’t know what I can do. Maybe we should talk about you having an outlet somewhere else. The Boy: not a chance. We’ll figure it out. I had thought it only fair, had been very focused on my limitations and worrying about whether I'd be able to participate fully in all aspects of our relationship. When I heard his reply, I was deeply relieved. I am at heart monogamous. Internalized stigma with general decrepitude So many of us who live with chronic illness struggle with self-esteem issues, with feeling like we are damaged goods.