What is a ChronicBabe?


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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

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© ChronicBabe.com 2013. Feel free to share with friends, but contact us if you want reprints. Thanks!

by Jenni Prokopy: ChronicBabe

HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

Hooray! Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being part of the ChronicBabe community. I’m so glad you’re here! XO!

Who’s this Jenni Prokopy chick, and why is she smiling at me? Excellent question.        You  may  ask  yourself   why  I’m  smiling  on  the  6irst   page  of  this  toolkit.  Do   people  with  chronic  illness   really  smile?  Laugh?  Have   fun?  Feel  satis6ied?  Yup,  a   lot  of  us  do.  Maybe  that   feels  impossible  to  you   right  now.  But  it’s  not—I   promise!          It’s  unusual  to  create  a   publication  like  this  where   the  author  speaks  to  you   directly,  but  hey—this  is   2

girl-­‐talk  time,  right?  I’m   giving  it  to  you  straight.   Just  so  you  know  where  I’m   coming  from,  let  me  tell  you   my  story:        I  was  often  sick  as  a   kid—allergic  to  every-­‐ thing,  always  with  an  ear   infection,  suffering   “growing  pains”  that  would   keep  me  up  for  nights  on   end—even  experiencing   frequent  chest  pains  that  I   thought  were  small  heart  

attacks.  (The  doctors  never   found  anything,  and  I   learned  as  an  adult  that   they  were  likely   symptomatic  of  anxiety   attacks.)  I  had  spinal   meningitis  at  13,  and   mononucleosis  at  18.          Despite  all  that,  I  was   extremely  athletic  and   active,  and  always  took  my   physical  6itness  for  granted.   Until  I  turned  25.  That’s   when  a  bunch  of  things  

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

Why did Jenni start ChronicBabe? To help you be more awesome. came  at  me  from  left  6ield:   6ibromyalgia,  asthma,  depression,   anxiety  and  Raynaud’s   phenomenon.  (And  since  then,   I’ve  added  GERD  and  hypothyroid   to  the  list.  It’s  a  party!)        I  had  no  idea  how  to  handle   myself.  The  fear,  confusion  and   loneliness  I  felt  were  immense,  and   I  started  to  experience  deep   depression.          My  situation  felt  ridiculously   unfair.  I  was  young,  and  active,  and   “in  the  best  shape  of  my  life”—and   yet  I  also  felt  like  crap.  The  stress   caused  me  to  lose  almost  40   pounds  over  just  a  few  weeks,  and   when  acquaintances  would  say,   “you  look  amazing!”  I  would  smile,   and  say  “thank  you,”  all  the  while   thinking,  “I  am  dying!”  With  every   test,  each  more  invasive  than  the   last,  I  was  sure  the  prognosis  

Being a ChronicBabe is a state of mind. You’ve made a great start! would  be  a  worst-­‐case  scenario.  So   it  was  even  more  frustrating  to  go   through  dozens  of  examinations   and  hospital  visits  and  have  almost   every  test  turn  up…  nothing.          Eventually,  a  doctor  explained  to   me  that  with  6ibromyalgia,  the   symptoms  were  highly  varied,   somewhat  unpredictable,  and  that   conventional  tests  wouldn’t  show   us  anything  of  value.  Wow,  was  I   glad  I  had  gone  through  the  paces   of  all  those  other  doctors!  Sheesh.          One  doctor  eventually  told  me  to   “get  ready  to  live  a  life  of  pain”  and   to  “take  some  Advil.”  Of  course,   with  compassionate  treatment  like  

Are you ready to rock this life? Yes! I know you are!

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© ChronicBabe.com 2013. Feel free to share with friends, but contact us if you want reprints. Thanks!

HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

I’ve been living with chronic illness for more than 15 years. My life isn’t perfect—far from it. But I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve. And I am SO excited to share them with you! - ChronicBabe Founder & Editrix Jenni Prokopy

Are you ready to kick ass and take names? Yea, I thought so. RAWWWRRRR! that,  it  was  no  wonder  I  fell  into  a   depression.  I  stopped  working  out,  gained   back  all  the  weight  I  had  lost,  and  began  to   feel  helpless.  It  was  a  real  low  point.           Big bummer, right? Don’t worry—I’m getting to the good part! Despite  all  the  bad  health  stuff,  other   parts  of  my  life  were  looking  up.  My  career   was  growing  and  getting  stronger  (I  had  a   great  boss  who  gave  me  lots  of   4

opportunities  and  the  6lexibility  to   sometimes  work  from  home),  I  was   making  some  cool  friends  (who  continue   to  be  a  solid  support  system  years  later),   and  I  had  fallen  in  love  with  a  great  guy   (who  accepted  me,  with  all  my   limitations).  I  had  some  real  motivation  to   get  better.        I  started  hunting  for  new  solutions.   After  working  with  a  few  different  doctors,   I  6inally  found  a  rheumatologist  (and  a  

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

ChronicBabe is for ladies young & old. It’s about attitude. Age ain’t nothin’ but a number. team  of  pain  management  folks)  at  the   Rehabilitation  Institute  of  Chicago.  These   were  people  who  understood  my  struggle,   and  would  work  together  to  help  me   become  more  active  again—to  help  me   reshape  a  life  that  included  all  the  things   I  loved.          Over  the  next  couple  years,  I  began  to   rebuild  my  self-­‐image.  I  had  to  6irst  accept   that  6ibromyalgia  had  changed  my  life  in   signi6icant  ways.        With  lots  of  help,  I  slowly  adapted  and   learned  how  to  keep  working  and  having   fun  despite  lots  of  pain  and  fatigue.  Even   with  asthma,  I  learned  how  to  exercise  in   ways  that  didn’t  cause  a  big  6lare-­‐up.   (I  had  some  great  physical  therapists  who   taught  me  to  pace  myself.)          Cognitive  therapy  helped  me  learn  about   behaviors  that  were  holding  back  my   progress,  and  I  started  using  a  variety  of   alternative  pain  management  techniques   to  get  my  symptoms  under  control.  I  got   comfortable  telling  friends  and  family   about  my  limitations  and  needs,  and  most   people  handled  it  well.  

       And  YES  there  have  been  many,  many   bumps  along  the  road.  I’ve  had  my  house   nearly  destroyed  in  a  storm.  (With  me  in   it!  Talk  about  PTSD;  that  took  a  while  to   get  over!)  I’ve  been  through  a  divorce.   (And  now  have  a  kick-­‐ass  boyfriend).  And   with  the  economic  ups  and  down  of  the   past  6ive  years,  I’m  sure  it  won’t  surprise   you  to  know  that  I’ve  had  to  work  my  buns   off  to  stay  6inancially  strong.  Whew!  And   still:  I’m  happy.  I’m  ful6illed.  It’s  pretty  rad. Why am I telling you all this?        I  want  you  to  know  that  I’m  not  just  a   white  coat  spouting  “do  as  I  say,  not  as  I   do”  advice.  I’m  a  real  person,  with  more   than  15  years’  experience  with  chronic   illness.  I’m  here  to  point  you  in  a  direction   I  KNOW  will  give  you  a  better  life.          Am  I  offering  a  cure?  Nope.  Am  I  offering   a  guarantee  that  I  can  “6ix”  you?  No  way.          I’m  offering  a  perspective  that  can  give   you  hope,  and  pride  in  yourself  and  your   accomplishments.          I  want  to  show  you  how  to  be  what  I’ve   become:  a  ChronicBabe.  

       The  longer  I  worked  at  getting  better,   the  easier  it  became.  The  result:  today,  I   feel  better  than  I  have  in  many  years.  I’m   able  to  work  full-­‐time  (heck,  even  own  my   own  business!),  my  6itness  level  is  good   enough  that  I  can  enjoy  daily  hour-­‐long   workouts,  and  I  have  a  truly  hopeful   outlook.  Yes,  there  are  hard  days,  even   days  when  I  feel  like  staying  curled  up  in   bed.  But  those  are  few  and  far  between,   and  that’s  awesome.  There  was  a  time   when  I  felt  that  way  every  day  so  I  know   that  all  the  work’s  been  worth  it. 5

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

     I  started  thinking  of   myself  as  a  ChronicBabe  a   few  years  ago.  It  was   around  the  time  I  really  got   the  hang  of  meditation,   eased  back  into  a  daily   workout  routine,  and  got   comfortable  with  all  my   friends  knowing  my   condition.        For  the  6irst  time  in  years,   things  just  felt…  less   dramatic.  Sure,  I  still  felt   crummy  sometimes,  but  I   wasn’t  afraid  because  I  had   tools  to  reduce  pain,   fatigue  and  anxiety.  And   sure,  I  still  had  some   limitations,  but  I  had   accepted  them,  and  found   workarounds  that  would   sometimes  allow  me  to  do   more.  

So, what is a ChronicBabe?

and  portable  back  pillow.   And  that  felt  incredible!          One  day,  I  was   remembering  what  it  was   like  for  me  years  earlier,   when  I  had  felt  so  alone  and   scared.  I  decided  to  create  a   project  that  would  help          For  the  6irst  time  in  many   other  women  like  me,  and   ChronicBabe.com  was  born. years,  I  felt  like  myself   again.  Not  a  patient—not  a   sick  person—but  a  woman.   What is a ChronicBabe?        A  ChronicBabe  is  a   A  babe.  Even  with  my   orthotics  and  medications   woman  who,  despite  being   Changing your perspective is good for lots of things. Mind. Body. Soul.

Take time to smell the flowers. Cheesy? Yup. Totally worthwhile? Oh yea.

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Making  a  big  change  like  this— becoming  a  ChronicBabe—is   great  for  you  on  many  levels.        Your  mind  will  thank  you,   because  you’ll  spend  less  time   worrying  and  more  time   thinking  up  creative  ways  to   feel  better.  

a  sick  chick,  still  does   everything  she  can  to  create   balance  in  her  life.          She’s  a  woman  6irst,  a   patient  second.          Her  approach  is  open-­‐ minded  and  creative,  and   she’s  not  afraid  to  stand  up   for  her  needs  and  rights.        She  tries  to  have  a  sense   of  humor  when  she  can,   and  she  relies  on  her   friends  for  support  when   she  needs  it.          Your  body  will  thank  you,   because  you’ll  be  doing  more  to   keep  it  as  healthy  as  possible,  all   things  considered.        And  your  soul  will  thank  you,   because  you’ll  be  showing   yourself  some  amazing  respect   and  love  and  compassion.          Time  to  change  your   perspective.  Time  to  look  at  life   like  a  ChronicBabe.  I’m  so  proud   of  you!

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

What is a ChronicBabe? Well, now a ChronicBabe is YOU.        A  ChronicBabe  accepts  that  there   are  some  things  about  her  health   she  can’t  change,  and  musters  up   the  courage  to  take  charge  of  the   things  she  can  control.  

There’s no hard and fast rule about what makes a ChronicBabe. YOU get to make the rules! But a couple must-follow guidelines:

       Being  a  ChronicBabe  takes  work   and  creativity,  and  a  great  support   system,  and  planning,  and…  you  get   the  picture.  It  requires  a  conscious   effort—as  opposed  to  the  blind   following  of  medical  advice  and   just  waiting  around,  wishing  for   that  magic  pill  that  transforms  us   back  into  the  Babes  we  were  before   we  got  sick.

1. 2. 3. 4.

       Maybe  chronic  illness  is  old  hat   to  you,  and  you’ll  slip  right  into   ChronicBabe-­‐ness  like  it’s  your   favorite  pair  of  heels.  Or  maybe   you’re  newly  diagnosed,  and  this   all  sounds  a  little  unrealistic.  

Be kind to yourself. Be open to new things. Cut yourself some slack. Get connected with ChronicBabe online so you don’t miss out on support tools. 5. Keep being awesome. XO! That’s  okay—this  toolkit  is  for   beginners,  old-­‐timers  and  everyone   in  between.  The  ideas  and  tools   offered  here  can  be  used  by   anyone,  and  even  those  of  us   who’ve  been  ChronicBabes  for  a   while  can  always  use  a  reminder.

Wondering where all these photos come from? My phone, that’s where. :) >That’s me on vacation! Follow me on Instagram for more.

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

How to use this toolkit: * Remember that I’m just a girl with a laptop and some ideas. Feel free to call me on any bullshit you spot. Scribble all over it. Cut out bits & tape them to your bathroom mirror. Email me ideas I should add for future editions. Think about it & discuss with your girlfriends. Make it yours. Make it yours. Make it yours.

How to use this toolkit: Read it. Print it. Tweak it. Make it yours.        I  wrote  this  toolkit  as  an  introduction  to   the  ChronicBabe  approach,  featuring  some   of  the  basic  essentials  for  achieving   balance  in  your  busy  life.          Use  one  idea,  or  use  them  all.  Adapt   them  to  6it  your  needs  and  lifestyle.  Print   out  the  templates  and  use  them  in  any  way   that  works  for  you.  Read  this  toolkit  on   your  computer  screen,  or  print  it  out.          If  you  like  the  toolkit,  let  me  know!  Send   me  a  comment  through  the  website’s   8

contact  page  (www.chronicbabe.com/ contact)  or  shoot  me  an  email  at   [email protected]          If  you’d  like  to  share  the  toolkit  with   someone  else,  instead  of  just  forwarding   the  6ile  PLEASE  ask  them  to  subscribe  to   the  ChronicBabe  newsletter  so  they  can   get  their  own  copy  (and  never  miss  any  of   the  special  goodies  I  share  each  week).                  Thanks!  I’m  so  psyched  you’re  along   for  the  ride.  Now:  Tools.  

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE: TOOLS TO ROCK YOUR WORLD

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© ChronicBabe.com 2013. Feel free to share with friends, but contact us if you want reprints. Thanks!

HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

First things first: Learning to take good care of yourself        If  you’ve  been  living  with  chronic  illness   for  a  while,  you’re  probably  very  ready  to   start  feeling  better.  There  are  lots  of   simple  things  you  can  start  doing  today.   While  some  of  these  might  seem  obvious   at  6irst  blush,  they’re  worth  taking  a  closer   look.  Stating  a  good  intention—and   carrying  it  through—is  a  great  way  to  feel   like  you’ve  accomplished  something,  and   will  help  you  feel  just  a  little  bit  more  in   control  of  your  health.  

       I  chop  a  ton  of  veggies  for  salads  (I  use  a   Cuisinart  so  I  don't  hurt  my  hands),  throw   a  few  chicken  breasts  on  the  grill  (and   then  slice  and  bag  them  for  future  meals),   slice  a  bunch  of  strawberries  and  bananas   for  breakfasts,  and  divvy  up  snacks  into   single  serving-­‐size  containers.                  Not  only  does  this  make  meals  easier   to  prepare  throughout  the  week,  but  it   also  keeps  healthy  snacks  in  front  of  me,   reducing  the  chance  that  in  an   overworked,  overtired,  deadline-­‐driven   fog  I  stumble  into  the  kitchen  and  eat   Start eating better        You  may  be  thinking,  “Eat  better?  Duh.   a  whole  bag  of  Fritos.  You  know  how   It’s  not  like  I  haven’t  read  that  on  the  cover   that  goes. of  every  magazine  in  the  universe.”  But          Find  an  “accountability  partner.”    This   are  you  really  doing  it?  Here  are  some   is  a  great  way  to  keep  yourself  in  line.  Use   simple  steps  you  can  take  today  to  start   the  daily  health  journal  later  in  this  toolkit   eating  better:   to  track  your  food  intake,  and  then  hook          Do  some  meal  planning.    Lots  of  sites   up  with  your  accountability  partner  once  a   offer  easy  meal  planning  tools,  like  Weight   week  (or  whenever  it’s  convenient)  and   compare  notes.   Watchers  (www.weightwatchers.com)   (you  don’t  have  to  be  a  member),  Cooking          Just  knowing  your  partner  is  going  to   Light  (www.cookinglight.com),  and  Every   Day  with  Rachael  Ray   (www.rachaelraymag.com).  For  folks  with   celiac  disease  and  food  allergies,  Living   Without  (www.livingwithout.com)  offers   great  meal  planning  tips,  and  diabetics  can   get  menu  ideas  and  recipes  from  the   American  Diabetes  Association   (www.diabetes.org).          Try  some  advance  food  “prep.”    My   biggest  obstacle  to  healthy  eating  is  the   weekday  rush.  So  instead  of  trying  to  cook   meals  from  scratch  each  day,  I  sometimes   take  a  couple  weekend  hours  to  do  a   bunch  of  “prep.”  

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

call  you  on  your  bad  habits   can  be  enough  motivation   to  stay  on  a  healthy  path. Practice good “sleep hygiene”        Good  sleep  habits  help   everyone,  not  just   ChronicBabes.  The  National   Sleep  Foundation   (www.sleepfoundation.org)   offers  some  great  tips  on   getting  good  sleep.  For  a   quick  start,  here  are  four   things  you  can  start  doing   today  to  get  on  a  good  path          Exercise  early.  Evening   to  sleepy-­‐time: exercise  can  get  you  all          Establish  a  routine.  Pick   pumped  up  before  bedtime.   a  time  when  you  plan  to  go   To  avoid  that  adrenaline   buzz  late  in  the  day,   to  bed  every  night,  and  a   exercise  as  early  as   time  to  wake  up  every   morning.  Start  tonight  and   possible.   stick  with  it!  It  won’t  be   perfect  at  6irst,  but   eventually  your  body  will   6ind  a  rhythm,  it  will   become  easier  to  fall  asleep,   and  you’ll  wake  up  more   refreshed.        Skip  the  caffeine.  Not   everyone  can  go  cold  turkey   like  I  did  a  couple  years  ago   (it  really  helped!)  but  try  to   exercise  some  restraint  and   don’t  drink  any  caffeine   after  lunchtime.          If  you’re  a  coffee  junkie,   start  by  cutting  back  a  little   earlier  each  day  to  avoid  a   major  caffeine-­‐withdrawal   headache.  

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Already doing some of these? Great! Now: Get better. I believe in you!

engagement,  or  travel).   Some  of  these  hurdles  can   be  eliminated  right  away  by   simply  scheduling  your   workouts,  just  like  you   would  a  doctor’s   appointment.          In  my  calendar,  for          Change  your   instance,  I  have  workouts   surroundings.  Does  it  get   scheduled  Monday  through   too  hot  in  your  bedroom  at   Saturday  from  7-­‐8am.  I  do   night?  Lower  your   my  best  to  treat  those  times   thermostat  before  bed,   like  they  are  appointments   open  a  window,  turn  on  a   that  must  be  kept,  no   fan—whatever  it  takes.   matter  what’s  going  on.   Too  cold?  Invest  in  some   cute  PJs  and  wool  socks.          It  might  take  you  a  couple   Live  on  a  noisy  street?  Get  a   weeks  to  get  a  routine   white  noise  machine,  or  an   going,  but  if  you  commit  to   air  6ilter  that  creates  a  low   working  out  and  treat  it  as   hum.  And  buy  ear  plugs. a  priority,  it  will  get  easier.          Other  people  in  your  life   will  learn  to  plan  around   Plan for exercise        It’s  not  uncommon  to  set   your  valuable  workout   a  healthy  exercise  goal,  and   times.  And  just  like   then  fall  6lat  when  we  hit  a   establishing  a  sleep   hurdle  (like  an  extra-­‐long   schedule,  your  body  will   get  into  a  rhythm  that   work  day,  a  social  

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

You are your most important asset. Love yourself. Value yourself. expects  exercise—you’ll  even  begin   to  look  forward  to  it. Invent your own rituals        Do  you  remember  being  a  small   child  and  having  a  bedtime  ritual?   It  was  probably  very  comforting  to   follow  a  predictable  routine  each   evening.  Well,  it’s  time  to  build  a   few  of  those  little  rituals  into  your   day  once  again.  The  familiarity  of  a   routine  will  bring  you  comfort  and   a  feeling  of  control—something   that’s  often  lost  when  we  live  with   unpredictable  illness.  Here  are  a   few  ideas  to  get  you  started:

As RuPaul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” shower,  meds,  a  healthy  breakfast,   and  15-­‐20  minutes  of  stretching   and  yoga.  It’s  a  nice  way  to  ease   into  the  day  and  when  I  do  get  to   work,  I  feel  relaxed  and  ready,  not   frantic.

       Pampering:  Pick  an  evening  to   designate  as  your  personal   pampering  time.  Grab  your  favorite   polish  color  and  do  your  nails,  or   put  on  a  soothing  facial  mask.  Take          Morning:  I  used  to  get  up  and   a  bubble  bath  and  settle  in  with  a   immediately  sit  at  the  computer,   good  book.  Throw  a  good  chick   catching  up  on  email  until  I  was   6lick  in  the  DVD  player.  Whatever   done.  Some  mornings  that  could   you  need  to  feel  pampered  and   take  a  couple  hours!  No  more— now,  when  I  wake  up  I  start  with  a   relaxed—make  this  a  weekly  habit   Sometimes, a little outdoor time is all you need to refresh and get feeling better. Give it a try today.

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

Try this: Make a list of 5 things you’re thankful for right now. Here’s my list today: 1. New nail polish colors 2. The sunrise 3. Raspberry smoothie for breakfast 4. Magic marker stains on my fingers cuz I just made something 5. Comfy pillows on my bed

Take moments throughout the day... ...to be thankful for what you DO have. and  don’t  allow  yourself  to  be  disturbed.   You  deserve  it!

Craft beautiful reminders        When  I’m  feeling  my  worst,  it’s  hard  to   remember  the  good  things  I  can  do  to  feel   better—I’m  focused  on  my  pain  and   exhaustion,  and  it’s  hard  to  get  out  of  my   own  head.  To  help,  I  created  some   reminders  that  symbolize  positive   in6luences.  A  few  examples:  

       Evening:  Just  like  my  morning  ritual,   my  evening  ritual  involves  some  self  care   and  relaxation:  I  moisturize,  take  my   nighttime  meds,  stretch,  and  spend  some   quiet  time  winding  down  with  a  good   book.  I  do  this  around  the  same  time  each   night,  and  I  appreciate  the  predictability          I  wear  a  locket  almost  every  day  that   of  my  routine.   contains  a  tiny  message  of  af6irmation.  I   13

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

Change isn’t easy. It takes courage. You’ve got it! know,  it  sounds  cheesy—but  who   cares?  It  helps  me  feel  better,  and   it’s  portable.          In  my  of6ice,  I  framed  a  quote   from  a  letter  written  by  artist  Sol   LeWitt  to  fellow  creator  Eva  Hesse,   something  funny  and  comforting   that  always  makes  me  laugh  and   feel  less  stressed  about  doing   “perfect”  work.          It  says,  in  part:  “Stop  it  and  just   DO…Try  and  tickle  something   inside  you,  your  ‘weird  humor.’  You   belong  in  the  most  secret  part  of   you.  Don’t  worry  about  cool,  make   your  own  uncool...”  I  love  this   advice!

Start small. Find one thing you can change today to make your day-to-day life better.

Seeing  that  every  day  reminds  me   to  be  present,  to  practice   mindfulness  and  enjoy  each   positive  moment,  even  when  it’s   surrounded  by  bad  stuff.  It  helps   me  remember  that  things  aren’t   always  bad.

       You  can  take  any  object  and  turn   it  into  a  positive  reminder.  Pick  a   favorite  ring  and  wear  it  on  tough   days  to  remind  yourself  to  call  a          On  my  nightstand,  I  have  a  tiny   friend  for  support.  Buy  a  beautiful   phrase  encased  in  a  beautiful   handmade  beaded  frame,  that  says   pillowcase  for  your  bed  and  use  it   as  a  reminder  to  follow  your   simply:  “each  moment  counts.”   Try doing something outside your comfort zone. Try hugging a public sculpture. It’s totally fun. Make sure someone snaps a pic.

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

bedtime  ritual.  Use   anything!  

Change is uncomfortable, so if you feel a little itchy, it’s OK. It really is.

Create a sanctuary        Find  a  spot  in  your  home   and  turn  it  into  YOUR   space.  You  may  live  in  the   tiniest  apartment,  or  in  a   house  crowded  with   family,  but  you’ve  GOT  to   carve  out  one  little  spot.   Maybe  it’s  your  bedroom,   maybe  it’s  part  of  another   room—make  it  yours.          Decorate  your  sanctuary   in  a  way  that’s  pleasing   and  relaxing.  Close  it  off   from  the  rest  of  your  home   so  you  can  go  there  and   chill  out.  

day  to  meditate  or   just  relax.

Cut yourself some slack        Last  but  not  least,  I   want  to  remind  you          Even  if  it’s  just  a  corner  of   to  be  cool  with   your  living  room,  place   yourself.  A  lot  of  this   something  there—a  candle,   may  be  new,  and  it   a  photo,  a  pillow—that   may  take  time  to   reminds  you  that  it’s  your   adjust.  That’s  OK.   special  spot.  Then  use  it!   Love  yourself  enough   Take  a  few  moments  each   to  be  patient.  

Breathe deep and remind yourself that this difficult time of change is all for an amazing reason: To help you kick ass!

       If  you’re  looking  for  a  great   place  to  start,  check  out  Chris   Germer,  PhD.  His  site          Have  you  ever  tried   (www.mindfulselfcompassion.org meditation?  It’s  not  just  for   /meditations_downloads.php)   eastern  philosophy  gurus.   offers  many  wonderful  10-­20   In  fact,  many  of  the  world’s  most   minute  meditations  that  walk   successful  celebrities,  scientists,   you  through  the  process.  I  listen   inventors,  politicians  and   to  one  of  them  every  day!   philanthropists  credit  meditation          Give  it  a  try.  And  let  me  know   for  their  success. what  you  think!  

Meditation. Good for: Mind. Body. Soul.

You don’t have to go far to find sanctuary. Close your eyes. Breathe. You’re home.

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

Strengthen your foundation: How to build your support team        Go  team!  Your  team,  that  is.   Team  (insert  your  name  here).          Many  chronic  illnesses  can  be   isolating,  especially  when  they  take   a  person  who  is  highly  active  and   limit  them  to  a  large  degree.  When   you  feel  extremely  limited,  it’s  hard   to  6ind  the  motivation  to  get  out   there  and  connect  with  other   people,  knowing  you  can  conserve   precious  energy  staying  home  and   watching  re-­‐runs  of  The  Gilmore   Girls.  I  know—I’ve  been  there.        But  there  is  a  whole  team  of   people  surrounding  you,  full  of   individuals  who  can  help  you  in   ways  you  never  imagined  before— if  you’re  open  to  it.   Learn how to tell people what’s going on, and ask for what you need.

Building a support team requires some give and take.        For  us  independent  Babes,  the   concept  of  asking  for  what  we  need   can  seem…  icky.  Many  of  us  belong   to  a  generation  of  absolute  go-­‐ getters  and  it’s  hard  to  accept  that   we  need  help.  But  you’re  gonna   have  to  get  over  that,  chicks.  It’s   time  to  express  yourself!        Start  with  one  person,  someone   close  to  you.    Find  a  close  friend,   someone  you  know  from  church,   your  spouse  or  partner,  your  sister   or  brother,  your  mom.  Make  a  date   to  talk,  and  explain  what’s  going  on   with  you.  Don’t  drown  your  pal  in   speci6ics  and  gory  details—offer  an   overall  picture  of  your  health  

Your support team is there to keep you going when it rains, when it’s cold, and when it’s dark. Don’t be afraid to lean on them for support.

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

Who’s on your team? Make a list. Add anyone who helps you. Ever. condition,  and  how  you’re  feeling  about  it.   Just  the  simple  act  of  telling  another   person  can  offer  big  relief.  And  the   comfort  they  can  provide,  even  if  it’s  just  a   gentle  hug,  or  an  “I  hear  you  and  I’m  here   for  you,”  can  feel  wonderful.

       During  one  of  my  recent  moves,  about  a   dozen  people  came  over  for  a  “packing   party”  and  helped  me  pack  the  entire   apartment.  After  I  moved,  another  friend   came  over  one  night  and  helped  me   unpack  the  whole  kitchen.  (I  fed  everyone   a  nice  dinner  and  drinks  in  return,  and  I’ve          That  person  is  now  on  your  “team.”    You   shared  all  our  saved  packing  boxes  and   don’t  have  to  tell  her  that  (although  she   tape  guns,  too.)  Now  that’s  some   might  like  to  know!),  but  remember  it  for   incredible  help!   yourself.  You  may  even  want  to  start  a  list   (keep  it  handy).   When you’re ready, start adding to        Being  part  of  a  team  isn’t  a  one-­‐sided   your team deal—you  need  to  be  ready  to  reciprocate.          No  need  to  go  crazy—a  couple  people   If  you  call  a  team  member  for  support,   will  do.  Take  your  time,  and  be  thoughtful   think  about  what  you  can  do  in  return.   abut  your  choices.  Pick  people  you  trust,   Baby-­‐sit?  Bake  them  a  cake?  Proofread   who  you  think  will  be  empathetic,  and   their  resume?  Walk  their  dog?  Or  maybe   keep  at  it.  Soon  you’ll  have  a  nice  circle  of   just  listen  to  their  woes  one  afternoon   friends  and  other  folks  you  can  call  on  in   over  coffee?  These  are  bonds  you’re   times  of  need.  As  an  example,  I  present   building,  and  they’ll  be  strong  if  your   Team  Jenni: relationship  goes  both  ways.        Practice  asking  for  what  you  need.    This   might  be  the  most  challenging  part  of  the   “team”  building  process.  If  you  6ind  it   tough,  start  with  something  small.  Ask   your  girlfriend  for  a  ride  to  the  airport  so   you  don’t  have  to  take  public  transit.  Ask   your  husband  to  take  a  turn  with  the   laundry  or  other  chores  if  you’re  having  a   bad  day.  Start  small  and  practice,  and  soon   enough  it  won’t  feel  as  awkward.          It  took  me  a  couple  years  to  gather  my   team,  but  it  was  worth  it.  (And  my  team  is   constantly  in  6lux;  I  add  people  who  are   awesome,  and  dump  people  gently  when   it’s  clear  they’re  not  awesome  for  me   anymore.)  My  team  rocks!  

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

“Team Jenni” is a long list of folks. Your list is likely bigger than you think! Friends.  They  make  me  laugh  so   hard  I  pee  my  pants.  They  show  up   to  parties  with  home-­‐baked   goodies.  They  call  to  see  how  I’m   feeling,  they  call  to  see  if  I  want  to   go  for  sushi.  They  give  me  their   seat  when  my  tootsies  ache.  They   call  me  on  my  B.S.  They're  the   biggest  part  of  my  team. Family.  Some  days  I  adore  them.   That's  what  unlimited-­‐minutes   plans  are  for.  Some  days  I  want  to   strangle  them.  That's  what  caller   I.D.  is  for.  But  when  it  comes  down   to  it,  I  know  they  would  back  me   up  in  a  6ight. My  boyfriend.  He  is  my  partner,   my  friend,  and  an  amazing  dude. Primary  care  physician.    He’s   been  my  doc  for  15  years.  We’ve  

built  a  solid  trust,  and  he  knows  me   backwards  and  forwards.  literally.   Pain  doc.    I’m  lucky  to  have  the   Rehabilitation  Institute  of  Chicago   (RIC)  just  a  few  minutes  away,  and   my  doc’s  the  head  of  the  pain   program  there.  They’re  not  ranked   the  best  rehab  hospital  in  the  U.S.   for  nothing. Psychologist.  Yup,  I  have  a  shrink,   and  she  is  super  cool.  Another   member  of  the  pain  program  at   RIC,  she  works  with  the  other  folks   there  to  help  me  manage  my  pain.   Among  other  things.   Occupational  therapist.  Patient   with  my  quirks  and  creative  with   her  approach,  she’s  one  of  many   excellent  physical  and  occupational   therapists  I’ve  seen.

I bet you have a ton of members on your team: The mail carrier. Your dog walker. The pharmacist who is always kind. They’re everywhere!

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

Your team is there for you. And you’ve got to be there for THEM. Beauty  queens.  Nothing  can  boost  your   self-­‐esteem  like  a  funky  hair  color  and  cut.   And  I  treat  some  of  my  most  pain-­‐prone   parts,  my  hands  and  feet,  to  manicures   and  pedicures  when  I  can. House  cleaner.  I  resisted  paying  for   cleaning  services  for  a  while,  and  now  I’m   kicking  myself.  In  just  a  few  hours,  my   house  cleaner  does  the  work  it  would  take   me  a  whole  weekend  to  do.  I  no  longer   exhaust  myself  so  my  bathroom  sparkles.   Business  coach.  Since  working  with  her,   my  business  is  stronger,  I  feel  more   balanced,  and  I  know  I’m  learning  how  to   embrace  creativity  in  all  my  actions.  

       Is  that  an  awesome  list,  or  what?  It’s   no  accident.  I’ve  worked  hard  to  build  it,   and  almost  everyone  knows  that  they’re   on  “Team  Jenni.”  They  seem  to  love  it,   and  they  know  how  much  I  appreciate   them—and  I  feel  great  knowing  they’ve   got  my  back.          You  can  have  the  same  kind  of  incredible   team  in  your  life.    You  just  need  to  start   thinking  about  people  in  a  new  way,  and   be  prepared  to  give  back  in  ways  that   make  sense  for  you.  You  won’t  regret  it!  

Building a good team also means benching the bad players        There  are  bound  to  be  people  in  your  life   who  just  exude  negativity,  and  part  of   Computer  Hixer.  He’s  saved  my  tush  a  few   crafting  Team  You  is  minimizing—or   times,  even  enforcing  cord  control  so  I   eliminating—their  in6luence.   don’t  have  to  crawl  around  on  the  6loor   untangling  stuff.        This  is  not  the  easiest  thing,  especially   for  women,  who  are  taught  almost  from   Accounting  genuis.  She  has  saved  me   birth  to  “play  nice.”  But  the  skill  of  creating   money,  helped  me  plan  for   boundaries  with  people,  and  weeding  out   homeownership,  and  given  back  dozens   negative  forces,  is  one  that  will  serve  you   of  hours  I  used  to  waste  doing  my  taxes. well  in  all  areas  of  your  life. Financial  planner.  He  got  my  accounts   ship-­‐shape  and  handles  all  the  little  details   so  I  can  focus  on  fun  ways  to  spend  my   money.  (And  save  some,  too.) Creative  genius  pals.  A  6leet  of  graphic   designers,  web  developers,   photographers,  writers,  marketers…  a   bunch  of  folks  with  whom  I’ve  traded   services  and  advice.  I  don’t  know  where   I’d  be  without  them!  

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

Make new friends, but keep the old, One is silver and the other’s gold.        Take  some  time  to  think  about   OK, that’s all fine and good. the  people  you  know.  Are  there   But if someone’s being a folks  whose  phone  calls  you  always   jerkwad, dump ‘em. If old dread?  People  you  avoid  at  social   friends can’t handle your functions?  Even  worse:  people  who   ChronicBabe-ness, show blatantly  disregard  your  needs  or   them the door. limitations,  or  have  no  empathy  for   your  situation?  People  who  tell   hard—I’ve  had  to  do  it  myself—but   you  to  “get  over”  your  illness  or   in  the  long  run,  you’ll  be  better  off. “suck  it  up?”          *This  kind  of  work  is  all  about   forming  good  boundaries,  and  I   recommend  a  couple  of  excellent   books  on  the  subject,  both  by  Anne   Katherine.  Boundaries:  Where  You   End  and  I  Begin  is  a  great          I’m  not  telling  you  to  run  out  and   introduction  to  the  concept  of   setting  boundaries,  and  Where  to   announce  to  someone  that  your   relationship  is  over,  but  you  should   Draw  the  Line:  How  to  Set  Healthy   start  thinking  about  re-­‐prioritizing   Boundaries  Every  Day  is  a  great   follow-­up  with  lots  of  practical   your  time  and  weeding  out   advice  and  strategies.     negative  people.  I  know  this  is          Those  people  need  to  get   bounced,  big  time.  They  are  no   good  for  you,  and  the  sooner  you   minimize  or  eliminate  their   presence  the  better  you’ll  feel.  

Talk to your friends. Explain how you’re trying to live a more awesome life. Involve them in your process. I bet they’ll love your new outlook! If not, BUHBYE.

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

Record-keeping 101: A big stress-buster        There’s  nothing  like  a  big  stack  of   and  keep  everything  6iled  in  one  binder.   medical  bills—or  worse  yet,  a  call  from  a   (Or  keep  one  binder  with  bills  and   collections  agency—to  destroy  your  peace   related  paperwork,  and  another  as  a  fact   of  mind.  But  when  you’re  sick  often  and   6ile  with  magazine  clippings  and  other   struggling  to  accomplish  the  most  basic   research.) daily  tasks,  the  extra  work  of  staying   • Some  people  6ind  it  easiest  to  have  one   organized  can  feel  like  a  chore.  The   folder  that  holds  all  their  medical   trouble  is,  neglecting  personal   information  chronologically.  (An   organization  can  cause  increased  stress,   alternative  is  to  designate  a  folder  for   aggravating  your  chronic  condition(s)  and   each  month  in  the  year.) making  you  feel  even  worse. • If  you  see  lots  of  providers,  you  may   want  a  different  folder  for  each  doctor.          At  the  end  of  this  toolkit,  I’ve  included   • If  you’re  a  real  frequent  6lyer  at  the   some  templates  and  structures  to  help  get   hospital,  you  may  want  to  create  a  folder   you  organized.  Yes,  it  will  take  a  little  time   for  each  hospital  stay.   and  work  up  front  to  get  this  system   • If  you’re  feeling  creative,  go  for  color-­‐ started.  But  in  the  long  run,  it  will  simplify   coding!  Use  this  as  an  excuse  to  go  wild   your  daily  life  and  reduce  stress,  which  is   at  your  of6ice  supply  or  craft  store  and   good  for  your  physical  and  emotional   make  your  system  something  fun  to  use   health.  Getting  more  organized  will  also   and  look  at.  Why  not  inject  some  positive   make  it  easier  for  other  people  to  help  you   energy  into  an  otherwise  yucky  task? in  times  of  need.   How to start getting organized:        Your  6irst  step  is  to  commit  to  being   organized.  Sound  simple?  For  a  lot  of   people,  this  is  a  real  hurdle.  Are  you  the   Babe  who  keeps  all  her  receipts  in  a   shoebox  under  the  bed  and  then  freaks  out   at  tax  time?  I’m  talkin’  to  you,  girl!   Create  a  Hiling  system  for  your  health-­ related  paperwork.   • If  you  already  have  a  6iling  cabinet,  this   might  be  as  simple  as  designating  a  few   6ile  folders  that  hold  your  bills,   medication  inserts,  test  results,  6itness   guides,  etc.   • You  may  want  to  buy  a  binder,  some   tabbed  dividers  and  a  three-­‐hole  punch,  

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

Designate  a  place  to  put   that  paperwork. • This  place  is  not  on  or  in   your  nightstand.  In  fact,  it   should  NOT  be  in  your   bedroom  at  all  if  you  can   help  it.  This  is  stressful   stuff,  so  keep  it  away   from  any  place  you   consider  a  restful   sanctuary!   • If  you  already  have  a   place  for  your  household   6iling,  plug  your  health   6iles  in  there.  (If  you   don’t,  maybe  it’s  time  to   get  that  other  stuff   organized,  too.) • If  you’re  feeling   • If  you  must  hide  your   uncreative,  grab  a   paperwork  under  your   girlfriend  and  brainstorm   bed,  consider  using  a   ideas  for  getting   handle-­‐top  plastic  box  so   organized.  (Chocolate  will   it’s  easy  to  slide  in  and   probably  help  get  the   out.  The  last  thing  you   creative  juices  6lowing.   want  is  to  pull  a  muscle   Or  some  good  music.   lugging  around  a  bunch  of   Uh-­‐huh.) paperwork. • That  same  girlfriend  (and   • Pick  a  spot  to  archive   maybe  a  few  more)  would   older  paperwork  (like  a   probably  be  happy  to   basement  or  storage   come  over  for  an  hour  and   space),  and  plan  to  clean   help  sort  through  all  your   out  your  6iles  every   past  paperwork  and  get   January. you  organized.  Mix  a   batch  of  margaritas  and   Enlist  the  help  of  others. make  it  a  mini  party.   • If  you  share  a  household   Filing  Fiesta! (and  record-­‐keeping)  with   • If  all  else  fails,  check  out   a  spouse,  kids  or  others,   my  favorite  book  on   make  sure  they’re  clear  on   personal  organization:   your  new  system.  Don’t  let   Organizing  From  The   them  put  your  newly   Inside  Out,  by  Julie   awesome  organizational   Morgenstern. system  into  disarray!

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Once you embrace the habit of tracking, you’ll see it has enormous value. Use  my  handy  templates.        I’ve  created  four  different   templates  you  can  print  as   many  times  as  you  want.   Use  one  or  all,  and  adapt   them  to  6it  your  particular   needs.  (They’re  included  as   attachments  at  the  end  of   this  toolkit.) Daily Health Journal:        I  use  a  journal  to  track   lots  of  things  every  day:   what  I  eat,  how  I  sleep,  my   workouts,  my  state-­‐of-­‐ mind.  Use  whole  sheets  to   hold  two  days’  worth  of   entries,  or  cut  the  pages  in   half  to  make  smaller  sheets.          Use  the  journal  to  track   patterns,  to  inspire  yourself   to  try  something  new  each   day,  to  inform  your  health   care  providers  of  habits  and   trends.  Using  a  daily  journal   is  one  of  the  best  things  I’ve   ever  done  for  my  health!

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

Another fun way to document: Photos. Practice the art of the selfie. It can be a fun way to see yourself in a new light!

Oooooohhhh handy templates! Print ‘em. Use ‘em. Share ‘em. Health Care Providers list:        Keeping  contact  info  for  all  your  health   care  providers  handy  is  not  only  easy  for   you,  it  also  makes  it  easy  for  people  to  help   you  in  an  emergency.  In  addition  to  the   basic  contact  info  for  doctors,  you  might   also  want  to  keep  numbers  for  admitting,   testing  and  billing  departments.  (I  keep   all  these  numbers  in  one  place,  which  is   handy  when  I’m  too  foggy  to  remember   everyone’s  names.)

you  forgot  one?  Worse:  have  you  ever  been   in  the  E.R.  and  not  been  able  to  tell   emergency  caregivers  what  medications   you’ve  taken?  This  list  will  eliminate  the   guesswork.  I  keep  a  small  copy  in  my   purse  and  on  my  iPhone  at  all  times.

Important Phone Numbers list:        This  is  your  “break  glass  in  case  of   emergency”  list.  Complete  the  list,  and   keep  a  copy  in  your  wallet  or  handbag.   Give  a  copy  to  a  couple  people  you’re  close   to:  your  best  friend,  your  spouse  or   Medications list: partner,  your  roommate,  your  mom—        Have  you  ever  been  at  a  doctor’s   whoever  seems  most  appropriate  (and   appointment  and  had  to  recall  from   memory  the  exact  dosage  and  names  of  all   responsible).  Include  home,  of6ice  and  cell   your  medications,  only  to  realize  later  that   numbers  as  available.  Update  as  needed. 23

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

Fun. You remember what that is, right?        Being  sick  is  a  drag.  It  can  drain   When we’re sick all the time, all  your  enthusiasm,  and  suck  out   it sucks. There’s no nice way energy  you  would  put  toward   to say it, right? BUT we can doing  fun  stuff.  If  you’re  going   also have fun. That’s why I to  be  a  ChronicBabe,  you’ve  got   adore dirty jokes. Fart jokes. to  start  learning  how  to  make  room   Boob jokes. Bring ‘em on. No for  fun  again.   matter how bad I feel, they        Maybe  you  can’t  do  everything   will ALWAYS make me laugh. you  used  to  do,  but  that  doesn’t   mean  there  aren’t  ways  to  have   - Love, 12-year-old Jenni ;) fun,  even  when  you  feel  cruddy.   Some  ideas: Plan  a  pedicure  party.          Some  nail  salons  will  do  in-­‐house   Call  a  funny  friend.   parties,  where  they  bring  their          This  is  easy,  and  takes  almost  no   tools  and  come  to  you.  Grab  a   energy.  Call  a  funny  friend  (I  hope   couple  girlfriends  and  chip  in.  One   she’s  a  member  of  your  Team!)  and   Babe  can  bring  beverages,  another   tell  her  you  need  a  laugh.  She  can   snacks,  and  you  provide  your  living   tell  you  a  dirty  joke,  make  fart   room  and  some  cool  tunes.  It’s  a   noises,  read  to  you  from  the   low  energy  way  to  spend  an   CraigsList  ads—I  don’t  care,  as   afternoon  or  evening  with  people   long  as  she  makes  you  giggle. you  love,  while  pampering  yourself.

I love a goofy joke. Especially a public one. Laughing out loud releases endorphins that relax you AND other people. Let them in on the joke!

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

Rent  a  chick  Hlick.          Watch  it  on  your  own,  or   invite  a  friend  over.   Nothing  perks  me  up  like   watching  a  goofy  movie! Dive  into  a  stack  of   books.            In  my  house,  there’s   always  a  stack  of  unread   books  just  begging  for   attention.  If  you’re  the   same,  grab  one  and  settle   in.  It  won’t  be  the  wildest   night  of  your  life,  but   reading  can  be  a  great   distraction  from  your   troubles.  Same  goes  for  that   stack  of  magazines  that’s   growing  on  the  coffee  table. Cook  a  meal  with  a  pal.          It’s  fun  to  experiment,   and  even  more  fun  when   you  do  it  with  a  friend  or   two.  Grab  a  recipe  you’re   dying  to  try  and  give  it  a   whirl.  If  it  sucks,  you  can   always  order  take-­‐out.

Endorphins released when we have fun are natural pain killers. (Oh, and when we have sex, too.) YES!

Get  creative  and  make  something.          I  like  to  make  beaded  jewelry;  my  pal  Natalie  likes   to  knit;  Cinnamon  likes  to  sew…these  are  all  great   ways  to  distract  yourself  from  negative   circumstances.  Bonus:  you  get  a  tangible  result,   something  you  can  use  or  give  as  a  gift. Show  off  your  sense  of  humor.            Sometimes  you  just  need  to  blow  off  some  steam   and  laugh  about  it  all.  I  like  to  wear  funny  t-­‐shirts  to   the  gym,  especially  ones  that  poke  fun  at  my  illnesses.          Great  examples  are  at  MedTees   (www.cafepress.com/medtees),  No  Pity  Shirts   (www.zazzle.com/rickybuchanan)  and  The  Nth   Degree  (www.thenthdegree.com).     Rally  your  team.            An  old  episode  of  “Dr.  90210”  (I  know,  I  know,  trash   TV—but  it  relaxes  me!)  featured  the  story  of  a  young   woman  who  needed  breast  reconstruction  (she  had   chosen  to  have  a  prophylactic  double  mastectomy   because  many  women  in  her  family  had  died  of   breast  cancer).  Before  surgery,  she  gathered  her   girlfriends  and  had  a  cupcake  party—with  a  prize  for   the  girl  who  created  a  set  of  cupcakes  that  most   resembled  boobies.  Now  that’s  teamwork!

What is that crazy phallic thing above? It’s a huge source of entertainment for me & my friends. It’s called a “Banana Bunker,” for carrying bananas in your purse. Google it. You’re welcome.

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HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE A BEGINNER’S TOOLKIT

THANK YOU!

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We can’t do it without you. Become part of the ChronicBabe community.        This  is  a  community  because  YOU  are   a  part  of  it,  and  there  are  so  many  ways   to  connect  with  ChronicBabes.          Check  out  the  website   (www.ChronicBabe.com)  where  you   can    read  articles  that  motivate  or  help   you  learn  to  deal  with  chronic  illness.          Make  sure  to  6ind  the  forum   (www.chronicbabeclub.ning.com)   where  you  can  offer  solutions  and  tips   of  your  own  or  just  get  something  off   your  chest.          Also,  make  sure  to  sign  up  for  the   ChronicBabe  newsletter  at  the   website,  where  we  share  lots  of  freebies   and  announce  upcoming  projects!  

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       You  can  chat  with  us  on  social  media   channels  like  Twitter  (@chronicbabe)   &  Facebook  (www.facebook.com/ chronicbabe),  to  get  fast  health  news   and  other  babelicious  updates.          Follow  us  on  Instagram   (www.instagram.com/chronicbabe)   and  Pinterest  (www.pinterest.com/ chronicbabe/)  for  cute  pictures  that   lead  to  smart  thoughts  and  articles.        Finally,  check  out  our  Zazzle  shop   (www.zazzle.com/chronicbabe)  for  all   kinds  of  ChronicBabe  swag!        That  should  keep  you  busy.  See  you   online!   -­  XO,  and  thanks!  Editrix  Jenni

© ChronicBabe.com 2013. Feel free to share with friends, but contact us if you want reprints. Thanks!

HOW TO BE A CHRONICBABE: PRINT-ABLE TEMPLATES

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© ChronicBabe.com 2013. Feel free to share with friends, but contact us if you want reprints. Thanks!

Daily Health Journal Date: Wake-up time:

Bedtime:

Breakfast: Lunch: Dinner: Snacks: Medications: Relaxation: Fun: How I feel physically: How I feel emotionally: © 2013 ChronicBabe

Daily Health Journal Date: Wake-up time:

Bedtime:

Breakfast: Lunch: Dinner: Snacks: Medications: Relaxation: Fun: How I feel physically: How I feel emotionally: © 2013 ChronicBabe

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© ChronicBabe.com 2013. Feel free to share with friends, but contact us if you want reprints. Thanks!

Health Care Providers & Contact Info for: ___________________________ Current as of: Name:

Specialty:

Phone, Email, and/or Address:

© 2013 ChronicBabe

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© ChronicBabe.com 2013. Feel free to share with friends, but contact us if you want reprints. Thanks!

Medications List Current as of: Medication:

Dosage and prescribed use:

Supplements:

© 2013 ChronicBabe

Important Phone Numbers Name:

Relationship:

Numbers:

© 2013 ChronicBabe

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© ChronicBabe.com 2013. Feel free to share with friends, but contact us if you want reprints. Thanks!