Making the Most of Life with a Chronic Illness

Making the Most of LIfe with a Chronic Illness

Life with a chronic illness can be incredibly hard. Most of us who face chronic health issues have one thing in common: our lives do not look the way they did before we got sick. No matter the level of debilitation, the symptoms we face change the way we function.

Changes may be big or small depending on the severity of symptoms at the particular time. For some, it’s a roller coaster of symptoms that get better or worse (or both) each day.

Some people are able to be functioning members of society, while others are confined to their homes, unable to get out into the world to do things as “normal” as grocery shopping.

I’ve been in both camps. I know what it’s like to try to manage a full-time job while very ill. I also know the challenges of being unable to get out of bed for long periods of time. In both situations, my life was vastly different than it was when I was healthy. Accommodations had to be made to conserve energy and meet my needs. I was often discouraged.

So, how do we make the most of our situations?

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Emily Lofgren’s heart beats for authenticity. She craves true connection where we can be real about our struggles and find hope together. Emily became a Christian in college and since then has had a passion for writing in a way that helps others encounter life. Grab your free copy of her eBook Finding Hope Through the Fog.

5 Ways To Pray When Lyme Symptoms Flare

5 Ways to Pray When Lyme Symptoms Flare

Some days on the journey with Lyme Disease are harder than others. It’s all up and down, which makes feeling stable something to be desired, but not grasped.

It’s interesting how different our experiences with Lyme Disease may be. For some, just leaving the house to go to the grocery store is a major victory (that’s been me!). For others, they homeschool 4 kids and remain active in church. Others may work part-time but spend every minute outside of work resting. Chronic Lyme Disease can be a debilitating illness that affects each of us differently.

But, one thing we all seem to have in common is that symptoms come and go. They increase and decrease. The pain migrates to various parts of our bodies. There are flares and Herxheimer Reactions.

While in the midst of difficult symptoms, I am aware of what is happening with my body. I know the pain is bad and I begin to get used to it. It’s somehow expected as I wake up each day.

However, if I have a few “good days” in a row (good is all relative…), I begin to be shocked or discouraged when symptoms increase, either by flare or Herx. I may have started out content on the difficult days, but when good days come, they bring a glimmer of hope for more better days. Then, when a good day is followed by a bad day, I grow more depressed about my current situation.

That’s why prayer must be the first thing I do when symptoms come on stronger. I have seek God in it before I allow my sinful nature to take over. My tendency is to grow bitter and become angry, but I know that letting my mind engage in that kind of thinking is never helpful!

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Emily Lofgren’s heart beats for authenticity. She craves true connection where we can be real about our struggles and find hope together. Emily became a Christian in college and since then has had a passion for writing in a way that helps others encounter life. Grab your free copy of her eBook Finding Hope Through the Fog.

Trusting God When Healing is Slow

Trusting God When Healing is Slow

The process of healing from chronic illness (or at least getting to a place of stability) has gone nothing like I thought it would.

About fourteen months ago, I was officially given names for the host of symptoms that gradually led to the debilitation of my body. I saw various symptoms come and go over a period of five years, but it wasn’t until February 2016 that my health began to decline to the point where I needed serious help to get better. By the time of diagnosis, I was exhausted, in constant pain, unable to function at work, and deeply depressed.

Many days of research, blood work, and doctors appointments led to the discovery that I had Chronic Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, several co-infections, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and more.

For some, receiving test results that pointed to multiple conditions and food sensitivities would be devastating. But for me, it provided a glimmer of hope. I finally knew what I needed to treat so I could move forward toward better health. I had a plan for healing, and I love plans!

In my typical Type A fashion, I followed my doctor’s treatment protocol to a T. This meant giving up all my favorite foods and focusing only on the things I needed to get better. I had to quit my serious Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup addiction and instead fill up on Vegan Chocolate Shakeology and a (mostly) Paleo diet.

My health protocol was overwhelming, sometimes consisting of 60+ pills a day. My weeks were filled with detoxing, sleeping, lying on the couch while listening to podcasts, and working as much as possible to maintain some sense of normalcy in the office and get a paycheck (gotta pay for all those supplements and meds!).

I was doing everything “right” in my journey of healing, but instead of finding stability, any step forward was met with two steps back.

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Emily Lofgren’s heart beats for authenticity. She craves true connection where we can be real about our struggles and find hope together. Emily became a Christian in college and since then has had a passion for writing in a way that helps others encounter life. Grab your free copy of her eBook Finding Hope Through the Fog.

Resting Well When You Have a Chronic Illness

Chronic Illness - Rest - Lyme Disease

Rest: a key component in healing and keeping symptoms at bay when facing a chronic illness.

We all know we need it.

We likely crave it.

Many times, our bodies won’t let us go without it for too long because there’s crippling fatigue involved in the challenges we face.

However, even though I know that rest is essential in my battle with Lyme Disease, I often find myself unable to adequately rest. Even when I want to rest badly enough that I’d give up almost anything for it, I still fall short when it comes to resting well.

Why is this? How could something so simple be incredibly difficult to actually obtain, especially when I spend the majority of my time in bed (the place where rest is supposed to happen)?

It may seem crazy that even though I “rest” all the time, up until I got serious about being kind to myself, I rarely felt like I was actually resting when I rested.

There are many contributing factors to this, including the symptoms of fatigue and insomnia that come along with Chronic Lyme Disease, however, I’ve recently realized that it goes deeper than that.

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Emily Lofgren’s heart beats for authenticity. She craves true connection where we can be real about our struggles and find hope together. Emily became a Christian in college and since then has had a passion for writing in a way that helps others encounter life. Grab your free copy of her eBook Finding Hope Through the Fog.

Spoonie Essentials Box Review

Spoonie Essentials Box
I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

When I was first diagnosed with Lyme Disease, I felt lost and alone. My health had deteriorated to the point where I barely left my apartment. I only went out for work (on days I could make it in) and food.

Each day, I tried to muster up enough energy to get things done to care for myself, but it was never actually enough. Those days were dark. I was pushing, trying, and feeling like I was in a pit that I’d never be able to climb out of. It felt like nobody else understood.

But, one day during my lunch break, I came home to make a protein shake and found a pleasant surprise waiting for me.

My dear friend, Rosie, had sent a care package.

That care package was exactly what I needed at that moment! The care package told me that I had a friend who cared, who understood, and who loved me. Even if she didn’t know exactly what I was experiencing each day, she wanted to show that she cared. It meant the world to me!

I opened that care package and cried. It included an assortment of things: from healthy snacks, to a journal, to a neat travel cup, to a sweet card.

Even though my situation with chronic illness was less than desirable, that care package brought a smile to my face just when I needed it.

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Emily Lofgren’s heart beats for authenticity. She craves true connection where we can be real about our struggles and find hope together. Emily became a Christian in college and since then has had a passion for writing in a way that helps others encounter life. Grab your free copy of her eBook Finding Hope Through the Fog.