QOTD: Do you take any supplements to help with your autoimmune/autoinflammatory or related condition?
I get this question in my inbox a lot: what supplements do you use to support your immune system and health re: chronic pain and autoimmune/autoinflammatory diseases:
- Fish oil
- EGCG (essentially a green tea supplement)
- Vitamin D
- I like Turmeric for anti-inflammatory use too.
Now it’s your turn. What supplements do you use? Care to share any you find helpful for your Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, chronic pain or similar conditions?
Do any of my medblur friends have any suggestions or thoughts?
Share here in the answer box or comment on the facbeook discussion post.
Staying Positive With Chronic Disease
How do you stay so positive through your hard times?
Rebloggable by request after the question was posed here.
I started by redefining the word “positivity.” I used to think positivity meant obnoxious optimism and being happy all the time. I thought it meant not acknowledging the negative or being able to turn the negative off, so to speak. I thought it was something that some people just had, and either you had it or you didn’t— and I sure as hell didn’t.
I was wrong. Staying positive requires hard work! Positivity (at least for me and my situation) is about being healthy mentally, making healthy and proactive choices when dealing with terribly unhealthy physical circumstances. It’s about taking the waves as they come. It’s about stopping to smell all of the roses in the garden and remembering that even when there are no roses to be found, they will bloom again. It’s about noticing and appreciating little things— finding a handicapped parking spot on campus, a good hair day.
It’s about hope.
I don’t smile all the time. I am not happy all the time. I don’t love my situation and I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t jump at the chance to live a “normal” life. And I don’t believe in shoving that kind of optimism in the face of my readers or sugarcoating these diseases because it’s just not real when your disease(s) cause the kind of symptoms many of us experience (sometimes that kind of optimism/positivity is, quite frankly, insulting and invalidating). But this is my life and it’s going to pass me by even if I spend the next 10 years being miserable, so I choose to redefine it.
And for the record, you don’t need a life changing disease to make the choice to see the world through a fresh pair of eyes.
I surround myself with people who lift me up and make me laugh. It took a really long time to put together a support network that was the right fit and healthy, but it is imperative.
Humor (often strange and inappropriate) and laughter are the best medicine. I try to laugh at myself and my situation as often as possible. It doesn’t make it any less of an awful disease or hand of cards, but it makes it easier to deal with.
I have friends who look at it the same way. Having friends who can make inappropriate jokes about my situation— being able to laugh at things like shitting my pants in the grocery store or being called a sloth, or at a rash that makes me look like a lobster— helps me remember that everyone has something.
So I laugh about it. I also cry when I need to and do not let anyone invalidate my tears. I get depressed. I get sad. I get angry. Some days I wake up and don’t choose positivity; some days, I choose to wallow. But even when my circumstances keep me down, I hold tight to perspective that there will be kinder days, and I will pull myself above water and go smell the roses again, even if it takes a little while. And it’s okay to use a life jacket if you can’t get your head above on your own. Ask for help.
To me, that’s what positivity is. It’s a choice— not a choice to be happy, but a choiceI make to keep a healthy perspective and be proactive, even when I am at my lowest point. It’s a lens I see the world through. It is a way of life.
Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge 2013: Day 08
HAWMC Day 08 (April 8, 2013)
- If your health condition (or the health condition of a loved one!) was an animal, what would it be? Is it a real animal or make believe?
Driving down the beautiful city limit roads of Tallahassee today with my roommate/good friend, Stephanie, I remembered today’s post. And couldn’t think of a single animal without making it into a joke.
So Stephanie also being a writer, I asked her what animal would be the perfect representation of my diseases.
Her immediate response?
Because apparently I have told her on numerous occasions that I feel like a
dying sloth. Apparently I was also either half asleep or medicated, or both.
So as I’m writing this post, I decide to ask my close circle of friends and family. Three of my four closest friends said sloth without being told any previous answers. The fourth friend said “bear” and he gets the Friend of the Year Award for saving my last shred of dignity.
So there you have it.
My diseases are like a dying sloth. Now that’s bad ass.
Definitely a fun little exercise to see who says what, and how consistently. Have you asked your friends or family what they think?
You are so sweet, Kate! I’m so glad that my Chronic Illness and Dwindling Friendships/Changing Relationships post was helpful and gave you a new perspective! That’s exactly why I wrote it, so your feedback really made my day.
You are most definitely not alone and the little community we have here and on facebook are always here for you!
QOTD: How Has Chronic Disease Affected Your Mental Health?
Have depression and anxiety made an appearance in your life as a result of your disease(s)? How do you ride out the emotional roller coaster that is autoimmune/autoinflammatory?
Feel free to answer here or join in the discussion on the facebook page!
It can be frustrating to deal with depression as a consequence of a new lifestyle and disability. Doctors can feed you all the SSRI’s they’d like, but ultimately many of us realize we do not have a brain chemistry problem, we have a pain problem.
What are your thoughts? It’s something I’ve been struggling with quite a bit lately, what about you?
I have a post on anxiety, depression, and coping skills coming up this summer specifically for those with chronic diseases.
A Request: Please Help, Vote, Reblog!
I’ve been nominated for Healthline’s Best Health Blog of 2012 Award and am in the running for up to a $1,000 prize. I spend at least 15 hours a week working on Chronic Curve and corresponding with others to find them resources, doctors, or send them in a helpful direction. I love it, this is my passion, but passions do not always pay. Most of you know how difficult not being able to work is, especially with tuition and living expenses and no disability benefits.
I am not a fan of asking for votes. I am not a fan of asking for help. But I am, and all it takes is a twitter and/or facebook vote to help me win this incredible gift.
If Chronic Curve or myself has helped you, resonated with you, or impacted you in any way, shape, or form, if you would be so kind as to vote for me and reblog/signal boost this post, I would be so grateful.
- You can vote daily between now and February 13th. Click alphabetical and I should be on either page 7 or 8, and just click “vote!” Click the like above or on the sidebar.
- If you don’t want to vote for me, please consider voting for the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation, the first organization of its kind for people with types of Rheumatoid Disease.
Again, thank you to those of you who have already voted or expressed support.
Love & spoons,
Chronic Illness Problems 11/12/2012
- When you wake up at 9am (or a normal hour) and have to nap just a few hours later.
- Fatigue: the feeling of wearing five soaking wet down comforters over your head while running a fever, with heavy weights tied to each muscle and joint, and each step feels like running a marathon through quicksand.
Chronic Illness Problems 10/20/2012
- Buying multiple heating pads for different areas of your body
- Having to rest after taking a shower
Obligatory gif that represents my (our?) current existence: