Do you ride the roller coaster of symptoms?

Do you find that living with flaring symptoms from a chronic health condition feels like riding a roller coaster?  I do and listening to clients, I know I’m not alone.  I find it helps them when I remind them that things change and even if today or this month is bad, it’s not a static state.  Sometimes the changes are within days, sometimes years.  Changes can be subtle and other times, huge.  When I’m in a particularly bad phase with health, it’s easy to forget this and fall into the trap of thinking “I’m always sick”.  What a downer and worse, it gets in my way. 

Last Fall, after weeks of intermittent pain and festering urinary tract infections that left me weak, Thanksgiving Day was a blur.  I was lucky I wasn’t hosting it and only had to show up at my sister’s.  I could do that.  Good news, yes?

By the next day, the antibiotics kicked in and my bladder worked better, the fever and weakness were gone, and the pain receded.  By Saturday, my usual health and energy level returned.  Was I disappointed that I felt so lousy on Thanksgiving Day with family?  Yes.  But I was glad I didn’t go into the pit place of negative thinking, which would have made it all so much harder.

Funny thing is that until writing this post, I’d forgotten how sick I felt last Fall.  

Then last week, I got a very bad cold while on a lovely vacation in the sun.  I felt horrible and although I could tell myself that viruses get better (unlike my chronic illness symptoms that never completely go away), I was angry this happened.  Isn’t it enough?  Shouldn’t I get a free pass and not get a cold?   I’m sure that I’ll remember that vacation in Jamaica by how the cold spoiled things and feel just a little sorry for myself.

What do I notice?  I’m more frustrated by the ‘normal’ illnesses and have more acceptance when I feel sick with chronic illness symptoms.   And I hate feeling sorry for myself.  I think there’s a lesson here but I’m not sure what it is.  Ideas?




Are You Choosing Wisely?

If you’re living with a chronic health condition, it’s likely you’re a frequent consumer of healthcare services.   When I was a child in the mid 20th c., doctors asked few questions, were supposed to tell us what was wrong, and we expected a prescription to fix it.  By 1980, when I was diagnosed with my first chronic illness,Read More


Can we talk about something other than stress?

I’d be rich if I had  a quarter for every conversation in which a client brought up fear of stress and the worry that it will make her illness worse. But is that the most effective use of time and energy? According to Medicine Net ,  stress  “….is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension.  Stresses can beRead More


Can you achieve balance and extraordinary?

Do you  find yourself thinking at random times about something you’ve just read, seen or heard?   A phrase pops into your head as you’re fixing a meal, taking a shower or walking the dog  (ok, it’s true, I’m bored when I walk my dog) .  That’s just what happened to me after reading,  “The Unbreakable Laura Hillenbrand” in theRead More


Can chronic illness promote resilience?

I understand if you’re not interested in reading one more post about resilience.  I get it if you’re not feeling particularly resilient today and this is just one more thing that you don’t seem to be getting right … But if you’re at all interested in this idea, don’t stop reading.  Because I want to share a new take on the word that just might brighten your dayRead More