Living With Disease In The Modern World: A Hard (& Busy) Life

living with disease in the modern world

They say that we all live stressful lives now, but what about those people who have to go through every single day with a debilitating disease? Life is not just going to be stressful, but it can have a major impact on their outlook on life. Regardless of the disease, if you are going through this, or know someone who is suffering from a chronic illness, undergoing treatment in the early stages of a disease, there are some things to take on board when you are feeling pressure from all directions.

Tips For Living With Disease In The Modern World

1. Make Yourself A Priority

If you aren’t focusing on yourself at all and listening intuitively to when you need to take time off, or have a break from your day-to-day activities, then it’s time to start. You are not defined by your disease, and so it shouldn’t affect every aspect of your life. However, you know when it’s impacting you more than it usually does. You are in control of your choices. So even if you have a family to take care of, remember to take care of yourself so you can be around as long as possible.

2. Ask Other People For Help

The modern world is a difficult beast, and we can feel like people are wrapped up in their own individual worlds sometimes. But don’t forget that there are usually people around to help you. As disingenuous as social media may appear at times, if you have a genuine problem, and you have nobody to talk to you about it apart from social media friends, you will see an outpouring of support in this respect. Many people love to help, but they have to be made aware of needs first. So don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

3. Find High-Quality Professional Support 

Everywhere you go in the world, there is always a complaint about the healthcare system. But there are many that can’t sing their praises enough. There are some facilities that are incredibly sensitive to your nature, and don’t treat you as cattle, which you are not! There are healthcare facilities like the Southwest Diagnostic Centers which try to be flexible for people with busy lives, which is great if you are leading an active life, such as a high-powered job where you feel the pressure on a personal level as well as a professional one.

4. Understand The Importance Of Balance

A lot of people who are diagnosed with a chronic illness or disease have no choice but to keep working. And if this is you, the stress of trying to maintain a proper wage while also living with something like this can be incredibly difficult. It’s always important to remember that stress will exacerbate things. So you need to find ways to tip the scales in your favor. Make sure you have enough quality down time so you can feel refreshed and rejuvenated. You need to make time for yourself regardless. And if you’re going to live with this for as long as possible, you should not feel trapped in the present state of affairs.

Nobody said it was easy, and you know this more than anyone else, but living a busy life with an illness is definitely harder now than years ago. Always remember that you need to understand what you can control and what you can’t. The disease is something you may not be able to control, but your choices are.


What tips do you have for coping with disease in modern-day life?

Leave your comments below in the comment section. Your opinion matters to me!


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Spring Break Adventures With The Family And Tips For Traveling With Chronic Illness

traveling with chronic illness
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Hey guys! I’ve been out of the blogosphere for a few days because we took the family on a little spring break adventure to Florida.

I’ve missed being in touch and posting, so I thought I’d share a bit about our trip to let you know what’s been going on in my world.

I took my laptop on the trip thinking I’d write along the way, but between being so busy and feeling pretty wiped out from the fast pace, it simply didn’t happen.

David and I agreed it was one of our favorite trips with the kids yet. I was so thankful the boys could come because they’re often busy with work or other activities like college kids are.

Every family has their own vibe and when we all get together, there’s usually a lot of laughter, and with the 6 of us, things can get pretty loud.

We all love music, joking around, the occasional debate (some more than others-ha!), and having fun.

Spring Break, 2017

traveling with chronic illness
MO State Basketball – David and the girls

The weekend before our flight left for Florida we’d been in Columbia, MO for the Class 4 State Basketball Tournament where our Bolivar High School boys played in the championship game.

They played hard and did a great job!

We went back home for a night and repacked for Florida.

The next afternoon we flew into Orlando and moved into our hotel near SeaWorld.

Universal Studios, Islands Of Adventure

We woke up early the next morning, ate a big breakfast and headed to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure.

traveling with chronic illness
The kids at the Harry Potter castle.
traveling with chronic illness
Sweet Emma enjoying a Butterbeer.

Drew and Cooper have read the Harry Potter books and seen the movies, and Maddie and Emma have read and seen some too, so this was definitely something they wanted to check out!

Some of the kids even tried the Butterbeer.

We rode ALL the rides we were interested in riding and then some. Thankfully we all love to ride roller coasters so no one was left out and it was a blast. 🙂

Talk about a G-force extravaganza!

And we did a lot of walking! At the end of the day my fitbit said I’d taken over 15,000 steps!

traveling with chronic illness
Cooper trying Butterbeer.
traveling with chronic illness
David and Drew at Universal

Wowza!

By 5:00 we’d conquered all the rides and had such a fun and full day.

We were hungry! So we headed out to Freddy’s for giant burgers and fries and frozen custard (because vacation ;)).

Then back to the hotel to crash around the pool and go to sleep.

SeaWorld

Rest.

Rinse.

And Repeat.

Woke up early. Ate a big breakfast. Headed to SeaWorld first thing.

traveling with chronic illness
Love them.

SeaWorld has changed so much since when D and I were kids. I thought it was pretty cool then, but they have some of the best coasters now, including Mako, Kraken and Manta.

The weather was gorgeous! The lines to the rides were short. I don’t think we had to wait more than 10 minutes to ride anything so we were loving that!

Plus, the shark aquarium is super cool and the Antarctica penguin exhibit

traveling with chronic illness
Coop and penguins

is so fun! Are penguins not the cutest little birds?!

We talked to some beautiful parrots…”Polly want a cracker?”

And petted the stingrays. The leopard print ones were my favorite!

We saw several shows, all of them entertaining and impressive

  • dolphins
  • killer whales
  • sea lions  (arrr, arrr, arrr!)
traveling with chronic illness
Not sure what this is about, but I like it. 😉

Overall, it was another super-fun day! And my fitbit said I had walked

about 14,000 steps….much more than I’ve done lately. Thankful.

But, whew, was I feeling the burn!

We were all hungry for dinner and went to Moe’s and filled up on giant burritos and burrito bowls made with fresh ingredients, including cilantro lime rice and guacamole (my personal favorite).

Then back to the hotel for some relaxation by the pool until we were ready to turn in for the night.

Tips For Traveling With Chronic Illness

If you or someone you love have a chronic illness, you probably understand how difficult traveling can be.

For me, traveling is one of my favorite things to do. I love the beach and won’t pass up an opportunity to go if humanly possible.

But since getting Lyme disease and a host of related medical issues, traveling is often challenging in ways that I never considered before when I was healthy.

I love to be on the go and be involved and it really bums me out when I can’t keep up with everyone else (but it won’t stop me from trying).

Even so, there have been plenty of trips when I’ve been stuck in the hotel room with a migraine, or in too much pain or too exhausted to move, etc. I can definitely be pretty stubborn when it comes to accepting this and have a lot of work to do in this area. But trust me, I get it. It really stinks to be shut in when everyone else is out exploring and having fun.

But then again, I’m praying and working towards recovery of my health so I’m not willing to give in.

I’ve learned the hard way plenty by overdoing it (as I’m sure many of you have too) and then spending a week or more recovering flat-out exhausted.

We all make our choices I suppose.

But you know what? You only live once, and (assuming your doctor hasn’t put restrictions on your activities) sometimes, to me, it’s so worth it to have to take a few days off to recover when I return from a trip.

Like right now, I’m wiped out, but I’m thankful to be able to write this blog post.

This particular trip I made the mistake of forgetting my turmeric curcumin supplement I take for  body pain.

Nothing is perfect, but if we can learn to go with the flow it helps!

Tips To Help When Traveling With Chronic Illness

  • Pack your medicines, supplements, etc. ahead of time to make sure you have everything you’ll need. Research the area you’re visiting. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but do they have a hospital nearby in the case of an emergency? It’s good to be prepared.
  • Communicate with your family or friends you’re traveling with. Be honest about your medical limitations and how you’re feeling.
  • Give yourself grace! You probably won’t be able to do everything you want to do but that’s okay. This is the hardest concept for me but I keep repeating it to myself and it really helps.
  • Be thankful for the small things. Focus on the positives. They are always there. Sometimes we just have to look a little harder to find them.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. I’ve found the more I’m aware of all I’m grateful for, the less I’m aware of the frustrations that come with my illness.
  • Show kindness to your travel companions. Say thank you. When you’re not feeling well it’s so easy to forget this, for me anyway. Try to remember that your illness is not only difficult for you, but can be hard on your loved ones too….because they love you and care about you and want you to feel better.
  • Drink lots of water! Eat healthy, whole foods.
  • Move your body. Gentle stretching is wonderful. If you’re up for a short walk that’s great too.
  • Get some fresh air. Take in the sunset in a comfy chair. Go barefoot outside.
  • Be flexible when scheduling outings.
  • Have fun!

    traveling with chronic illness
    Push ups by the pool

The Takeaway

Thanks for letting me share about our family trip with you!

We’ve enjoyed plenty of “staycations” and they can be super fun too, but I’m thankful it worked out for us to get away together this time.

I want you to know that if you enjoy traveling like I do, you don’t have to give it up just because you have a chronic illness.

Remember to be prepared, honestly communicate how you’re feeling with your travel buddies, give yourself grace, be flexible with your travel plans, focus on the positives and get some fresh air.


Do you enjoy traveling? Do you or someone you love have a chronic illness? What tips would you add to this list?

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. I love hearing from you and will reply to your comments as soon as possible!


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9 Essential Questions About Intermittent Fasting Answered

questions about intermittent fasting

Since I started 16/8 Intermittent Fasting last year I’ve enjoyed some pretty awesome benefits including:

  • better balanced blood sugars
  • fewer sugar cravings
  • weight loss
  • increased concentration during fasting periods
  • less time spent prepping food
  • less body pain

In the mean time I’ve received a bunch of questions about how this whole thing works. I’ve answered some of the most common ones here. I hope this helps you guys!

Intermittent Fasting Q & A

  1. What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)? It’s an eating pattern. It is not a diet. It’s eating, or not eating, in a strategic way.
  2. If I’m fasting in the morning can I still have my coffee or tea? The short answer is yes! Generally speaking, you’re free to have water, black coffee, tea, and greens powder and you should be fine. Also, if you drink one cup of coffee each morning and like to add a splash of cream you’ll most likely be okay. But, if you’re one of those people who drinks it all morning long and adds the fixins each time…then probably not. Most people can get away with consuming 50 to 100 calories during the fast, but any more than this is too much and is considered breaking the fast.
  3. How hard is it…..really?? I love this question! Ha Ha! I certainly hope that didn’t sound insensitive because I had the same question when I started. This one just tickles my funny bone. So, depending on how often you’re fasting it may take a few days to get used to. But it’s been my experience that once I adjusted I wish I’d known about IF sooner. The benefits definitely outweigh any negatives felt in the first couple of days.
  4. How much weight will I lose? This depends on several factors such as how long and often you fast, what you eat between fasts, whether you work out, age, muscle mass, metabolism and other elements.
  5. Can I work out while I’m fasting or will I pass out? Yes, you can work out while fasting. In fact many athletes (and non-athletes) plan their workouts an hour or so before they break their fast so they can eat as soon as they’re finished training. For example they might plan to work out from 12 pm to 1 pm, then eat breakfast/lunch at 1 pm.

    questions about intermittent fasting
    Intermittent fasting is a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.
  6. Do I have to do it every day? No, you can IM as much or as little as you choose. It’s totally up to you.
  7. What’s the difference between a diet and Intermittent Fasting? Dr. Michael Eades does a great job explaining the answer to this question here:
    Diets are easy in the contemplation, difficult in the execution. Intermittent fasting is just the opposite — it’s difficult in the contemplation but easy in the execution.Most of us have contemplated going on a diet. When we find a diet that appeals to us, it seems as if it will be a breeze to do. But when we get into the nitty-gritty of it, it becomes tough. For example, I stay on a low–carb diet almost all the time. But if I think about going on a low–fat diet, it looks easy. I think about bagels, whole wheat bread and jelly, mashed potatoes, corn, bananas by the dozen, etc. — all of which sound appealing. But were I to embark on such a low–fat diet I would soon tire of it and wish I could have meat and eggs. So a diet is easy in contemplation, but not so easy in the long–term execution.Intermittent fasting is hard in the contemplation, of that there is no doubt. “You go without food for 24 hours?” people would ask, incredulously when we explained what we were doing. “I could never do that.” But once started, it’s a snap. No worries about what and where to eat for one or two out of the three meals per day. It’s a great liberation. Your food expenditures plummet. And you’re not particularly hungry. … Although it’s tough to overcome the idea of going without food, once you begin the regimen, nothing could be easier.Dr. Michael Eades
  8. Won’t I have trouble concentrating and feel super tired while I’m fasting? You’d think so, but most people report having more energy and better concentration! Count me in!
  9. Can anyone try Intermittent Fasting? IM is not recommended for people who have eating disorders. Also if you’re pregnant or nursing, if you have diabetes, other blood sugar problems, heart disease or other chronic disease it is best to speak with you doctor before doing an intermittent fast. *Please note that I have been diagnosed with several chronic diseases as well as reactive hypoglycemia that was causing me a lot of problems. Intermittent fasting has helped even out my blood sugar and benefited me in several other ways.

The Takeaway

Intermittent fasting has recently gained notoriety even though it’s been around for ages. More and more studies are showing the benefits of IM on the body. As a flexible eating plan it’s a great way to lose weight and increase concentration and energy.


Have you tried Intermittent Fasting? What did you think? 


Please leave your comments and questions in the comment section below. I love hearing from you and will respond to your messages as soon as possible. Thanks!

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The Health Benefits Of Rebounding On A Mini Trampoline

benefits of rebounding
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What’s airborne and wears a big smile?

You…jumping on a mini trampoline!

Corny jokes aside, rebounding is one of the healthiest (and most fun) activities you can do.

It improves lymph flow, is easy on the joints, increases strength and bone mass and is great for detoxing.

The NASA Rebounding Study

Astronauts lose muscle and bone mass in space due to the weightlessness they experience in the zero gravity environment.

NASA was looking for an exercise which would help astronauts regain bone and muscle mass. As you probably know, weight-bearing exercise increases bone mass.

In 1980 NASA studied the benefits of rebounding. They learned it is a highly effective weight-bearing exercise which is easy on the skeletal system and joints.

When rebounding the pressure, or G-force, is more evenly distributed throughout the body. In contrast, when you’re running almost all of the pressure is at the ankles, which can lead to injuries.

These findings were recorded in The Journal Of Applied Physiology.

And more good news for those of you who despise running — NASA’ s research showed that rebounding can be twice as effective as running on a treadmill! (1) 😉

Benefits Of Rebounding

1. Improves balance

In a study of elderly women, significant improvements in postural balance were recorded after the women completed trampoline workouts for 12 weeks. (2).

2. Relieves stress

Turn on some upbeat jams and jump your worries away!

Once your blood starts pumping you’ll forget about your to-do list.

3. Circulates oxygen to the tissues

Oxygen is vital for survival and strengthens our cells.

In one study, participants jumping on a trampoline showed increased oxygen uptake. Because of gravity changes that take place when rebounding, more oxygen is able to get to the cells. (3)

4. Improves lymphatic circulation and detoxification

Our lymph system is in charge of moving the “junk” out of our bodies.  And exercise encourages this full-body detox.

The up-down movement of rebounding is one of the best ways to increase lymph flow, helping move toxins out.

Many holistic doctors recommend it for their patients.

You may want to read more about the lymph system here.

5. Improves the resting metabolic rate

As your muscles grow stronger, your body burns more energy when it is at rest. This can help if you’re trying to lose weight.

6. Strengthens the heart and other muscles

Rebounding provides cardiovascular benefits and strengthens the heart muscle.

According to James White, Ph.D., director of research and rehabilitation in the physical education department at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), jumping offers many benefits to other muscles as well:

Rebounding allows the muscles to go through the full range of motion at equal force. It helps people learn to shift their weight properly and to be aware of body positions and balance.

7. Increases bone mass

As I mentioned above, the NASA study showed astronauts returning from space had improvements in bone density after doing rebounding workouts.

8. Strengthens the immune system

The rebounding movement stimulates the body’s immune system due to the increased G-force.

The immune cells include the macrophages and T-lymphocytes. Their job is to rid the body of harmful bacteria, viruses and cancer cells.

How To Do A Rebounding Workout

If you’re just starting out, I suggest taking it slow.

Rather than jumping too high, you can start with small bounces, keeping your feet in contact with the trampoline or mini trampoline.

As you get used to the feeling of being on the trampoline you can jump a little higher, increase the intensity, or try a variety of different moves such as high knees, jumping jacks and trampoline squats.

But if you like to keep it simple, feel free to do a basic bounce.

I usually rebound 5-15 minutes a day for detox.

The Takeawaybenefits of rebounding

Rebounding on a mini trampoline has some pretty impressive health benefits. These include increased muscle and bone mass, enhanced digestion, detox and lymph drainage.

Purchasing a mini trampoline is a small investment. I bought mine through Amazon.com and it only cost $27.22 (with Prime shipping). I’m really happy with it.

You can check out the mini trampoline I bought here.


 Do you own a trampoline? Can you think of more benefits to add to this list?


If you enjoyed this article, you might like to read:

Here’s a beginner’s rebounding workout you might like to try.

 

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