Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tips for a Brand-New ChronicBabe

Coming to terms with a chronic illness is a real challenge but I think learning to deal with the day to day living as a chronicbabe is a bigger challenge. I'm certainly no expert but after almost 5 years of experience I've learned a few things about this daily struggle. Here are a few tips I would like to pass along to a brand-new chronicbabe:

1. Find a good doctor or team of doctors. A good doctor should listen, think and be willing to go the distance in partnership with you even when you don't fit into a perfect diagnosis or respond to medications as expected.

2. Learn as much as you can about your affected anatomy and your condition(s). The more you know the better advocate you can be for yourself - there will be times when you have to intervene on your own behalf.

3. Reach out to the online community of chronicbabes. If you're reading this you have likely already discovered the chronicbabe community. Getting involved in the forum is a wonderful way to get support, exchange ideas and information, and make friends with other people living with chronic illness. It can be a real challenge for our friends and family to understand what we're going through and provide the positive support we need as we face the plethora of difficulties associated with chronic illness/pain. It can be lonely. I, for one, feel much less alone now that I have contact with people who can relate to what I'm going through.

4. (as always) LAUGH! One of my favorite quotes is something to the effect - life doesn't cease to be serious when we laugh any more than it ceases to be funny when we cry (I don't remember who said it either). The sentiment is so fitting to us chronicbabes. No matter what we face, we must find laughter in our days. It doesn't mean we're not struggling; it just means we are still living. Laughter IS wonderful for our bodies, minds, and souls.

5. Listen to your body. Understand that you are unique and you alone have the benefit of being you. Communicate what your body's cues to your docs so they can have that advantage too (this goes back to having a good doc - a good doc will listen and use this intelligence).


  1. I think this is a great list! It seems to deal with all of the important areas we need to cover.

  2. Those must be the 5 best tips!

    And a particularly good cartoon!

  3. Great tips! I like how you made me laugh ... tip #4! :-)

  4. Lovely list! And the comic gave me a giggle too :P