Archive for August 19th, 2008
How Should the Chronically Ill Respond to Well-meaning Christians?
It’s amazing how fellow Christians respond when you are living with chronic pain and/or invisible illness. Sometimes you wonder if they even realize what they’ve said. I’m sure we’ve all heard, the usual…
1. You don’t have enough faith.
2. I prayed for you, so you must be better.
3. Aren’t you better, YET?
4. You need to have the Pastor/Deacons lay hands on you.
5. You need to do……(whatever they decide would work at that time).
and the one that amazes me the most….
6. You have sin in your life, that’s why God can’t heal you.
Why do people think it’s “our fault” that we are not healed? Haven’t they ever read the story where the disciples asked Jesus, “Who sinned, this man or his parents?” Jesus’ response, “NEITHER! This is to bring glory to me and my Father.” Why don’t people think of this Biblical example when they have their reasons for God not healing us? Why is it always something we did or haven’t done?
Then of course there is the aspect. “It’s God’s will that you be healed.” How do they know God’s plan for my life? The Apostle Paul asked God to heal him, and God said, ‘No, it’s better that I not heal you.’
People will continue to “share” their reasons of why God hasn’t healed us. What can we do? How do we respond to the comments? Should we just stand there and scream? That’s how we often feel. No, I guess that really wouldn’t help the situation. We can smile and say nothing. Or we can simply and kindly say, “Thank you for your prayers. God has heard them. However, He has chosen at this time not to answer your requests. God has a plan for each of us, and right now this is the journey God has chosen for me. But please continue praying.” Of course, by the time you get through “thank you for praying”, they may walk away.
One important job we have is to educate more people. With National Invisible Illness Awareness Week approaching, it’s a perfect time to spread the word. Of course, some have no desire to learn, but even if one more person, that we each have contact with, learns more about invisible illnesses and pain, just think of how many that would be! Then when we saw that one person, perhaps we’d hear….”I know you are hurting, but I’m praying for you and just wanted you to know that I care.”
As for the others and their comments…all we can do is pray for them. They miss out on the blessings God showers upon us as we continue our journey to glorify Jesus and His Father.
I’m glad that NICIA Week exists because it addresses the real issues those of us with chronic illness/pain face. It gives us hope, encouragement and real-life examples of how to live our lives no matter the extent of our illness or pain. We can experience JOY!
The workshops/seminars and books offered are right on target. They give real-life solutions to everyday issues.
I’ve learned so much not only about how to live with chronic pain, but about others with various chronic illnesses and what they experience. This week is awesome as it allows others a glimpse into our lives and what we experience. It allows them to learn what we face, how we feel, and how we deal daily with our pain and illness. Through education, our friends and families know more about our struggles, our triumphs and how they can support us. NICIA Week is education, encouragement, and an enormous help to all who take part.
Rhonda’s chronic pain and illness started with a cough in Oct 2000. That cough ‘blew out a disc’ in her back and led to 7 back surgeries over the next 7 years. Due to nerve damage, she now lives in chronic pain and the inflammation of the spinal cord causes a constant headache. Rhonda lives with Max, her parakeet, who provides much laughter. An avid Football fan, she cheers for the Chicago Bears and the Florida Gators. In order to live life to the fullest with her chronic illness, Rhonda’s philosophy is “Create a positive day!”Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 5 so far )
Chronic illness statistics are staggering, with nearly 1 in 2 people in the USA living with a chronic condition and, according to U.S. Census Bureau, about 96% of illnesses are invisible. With hundreds of thousands of people on the Internet searching for health information and support, thousands of bloggers now post daily journals about the emotional challenges they live with while facing a daily chronic illness filled with pain.
National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, September 8-14, 2008, is inviting these blogs to have a substantial role in their awareness campaign. For example, part of their outreach includes over thirty days of guest bloggers as well as bloggers across the internet posting about invisible illness matters. For example, if you have an invisible illness-and a legal handicapped parking placard-you’ve likely faced a few stares and questions if you park in the blue spot since your invisible illness does not require the use of a wheelchair.
All over the internet, bloggers are putting their illness awareness efforts together to join in helping more people become aware of invisible illnesses. They show their support by posting about invisible illness issues, on their own blog. A downloadable badge that says, “I’m blogging for Invisible Illness Awareness Week” can spread the word about their commitment to the cause. Plus, bloggers are also thanked publicly each Friday on the Invisible Illness Week blog, which can give them lots of extra exposure for their own web site. Bloggers can post anytime, but they are also encouraged to specifically post on September 8th to kick off the week.
Lisa Copen, who founded National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week in 2002 says, “Though we live with thousands of different illnesses, we have more in common than not. For example, illness impacts our families, careers, finances and daily living, to name a few. We can all learn from one another and share during this journey.” She adds, “And frankly, people are tired of hearing, ‘But you look so good!’ and they want others to know that their illness is legitimate despite how well they seem to be holding it all together.”
Laurie Edwards is the author of a recently published book called, “Life Disrupted: Getting Real About Chronic Illness in Your Twenties and Thirties.” She has blogged about her illness since 2006 and says, “When you are a young adult people expect you to put in long hours to establish a career, to jump into the dating world, and to build a life for yourself. But they certainly don’t expect you to be sick. There’s no such thing as ‘too young’ to be sick! That is just one of the many reasons why Invisible Illness Week is so important!”
If you would like to join this unique opportunity to blog for awareness about invisible illnesses, see www.invisibleillness.wordpress.com . You can also receive updates, participate in surveys, win prizes, and find out more about the telephone workshops at the Invisible Illness Week web site: www.invisibleillness.com .Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Here are some articles that may be of interest:
Being a Mom and Parenting When Living with a Chronic Illness (lots of resources)
And don’t forget to visit the groups in our Sunroom for more parenting
I am also working on a book for chronically ill moms. If you would like to be involved by giving your two-cents when I send out a questionnaire about being a chronically ill parents, please send me an e-mail (choose “other” from the dropdown menu) and just let me know a little bit about your illness, the number of children you have, their ages, etc. I will be contacting you after Invisible Illness Week sometime.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
By Trish Robichaud
Finding ways to “beat the heat” can be about far more than just comfort, especially for those of us who have a chronic health condition. When you have multiple sclerosis for example, staying cool (or as cool as possible) over the summer can mean the difference between maintaining energy, equilibrium and perhaps even mobility and spending the season in what I call “horizontal mode”.
Having an invisible chronic illness presents additional challenges that include giving ourselves permission to take self-care seriously when the people around us think we “look just fine”. If you live with depression as I do (another invisible illness), staying comfortable can mean that life goes on as normal instead of melting into a pile of lethargy and total lack of motivation.
Here are ten tips to help you stay cool when the temperature soars. Try as many as you can to lower your internal thermometer.
1. Air conditioning
Whether that means central air or a window unit, air conditioning is going to be your best friend. I have a window unit in my bedroom for maximum benefit while sleeping. If air conditioning isn’t possible, a dehumidifier and a couple of fans can help. By removing some of the humidity from the air and creating a current, the temperature will feel cooler. When all else fails, go to the mall, the library or any place that has air conditioning.
2. Keep the sun out
During the summer months, the mid-day sun is a killer. Be sure to keep the window shades drawn from around 11:00 am till at least 2:00 pm. The sun shining into the house during this period can leave the temperature much warmer in the afternoon and evening than it needs to be.
3. Sleep alone
I know, it sounds a little lonely but it’ll be much cooler than that abundance of body heat that comes with a spouse, a child, a dog or even the family cat sharing the bed with you.
4. Wear cotton
Cotton takes perspiration away from the skin leaving you drier and more comfortable. Go for light coloured cotton clothes, cotton nightwear and bedding. Cotton sheets will not only absorb night sweats, but will also permit your skin to breath, allowing you to be more comfortable and less restless. We all know that better sleep leads to more energy and a healthier attitude during the day.
5. Cool showers & baths
There’s nothing more satisfying than a cool bath or shower when your body temperature is elevated. I’ve even found that between showers running cold water over my wrists (or any other pulse point) for a few minutes at a time cools me down. When I can’t sleep at night because of the heat, I fill a pan with cold water and soak my feet. It really helps to lower the body temperature.
6.Keep exercise moderate
Exercise is so important for our general well being. I know that it’s temping to skip it entirely when it’s hot out but this can be detrimental at so many levels. The best rule of thumb would be to keep it moderate. Don’t push yourself to working up an all out sweat. Keep it at a moderate level and be sure to take a cool shower afterwards to bring your body temperature back down.
7. Try swimming
If at all possible, choose swimming as your form of exercise during the summer. Swimming is a wonderful activity because it works all the major muscle groups while maintaining a lower body temperature.
8. Seek shade
When you’re going to be outside, always sit in the shade. Even better, sit in the shade where there’s a breeze if possible.
9. Wear a hat
The sun beating down on your head has a great deal of impact on your overall body temperature. Always wear a hat when you’re out in the sun. And if you’re going to be in the sun for more than a minute or so, always wear sunscreen.
10. Try cooling clothing
There are a number of manufacturers now making the cooling vests, hats, etc. Last summer my husband even came home with some cooling bandanas. They have some form of gel crystals in them that retain cold when wet. You just run it under cold water and tie it around your head. As long as it stays wet, it stays cool – Neat!
The bottom line is this… Do whatever you can to make the summer season more enjoyable. God knows we all find it tough to endure the long winters. Here’s to your summer fun!
Be sure to check out www.invisibleillness.com to connect with others living with chronic illness and enjoy the many opportunities to get the most of Invisible Illness Week from September 8th to the 14th! I think it’s important to be involved in Invisible Illness Week because all of us need to know that we’re not alone. Together, we make raise awareness to break down barriers and foster an attitude of accommodation in our communities.
She teaches people living with chronic illness or disability how to find passion in their lives and maximize their quality of life while they optimize the state of their health. She also teaches entrepreneurs who have health challenges how to honour and accommodate their health while driving their business to astounding levels of sustainable success. If you’re ready to learn how to maximize your quality of life, be happier and have more energy while honouring and accommodating YOUR health, visit Trish on the web today. Be sure to download a free copy of her 30-minute motivational audio at www.ChangingPaces.comRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )