Uh Oh. Something’s Not Right Here.

Hello everyone,

Working hard to bring lots of insights and ways to find answers to living with chronic illness and the problems it brings.

I have been temporarily delayed because of my start of dialysis treatments. To be honest, they have knocked me out just a little bit more than I thought!

I won’t let this keep me down and I have several great posts coming up, so please let me apologize for the delay. I promise I will be back at it very soon.

Thanks for your patience, and be sure to scroll through the home page for lots of information and support. Also, check out some popular old posts.

As always, stay happy,



christmas santa

Ready or Not Christmas is Here!! A Little Elf Says…..

Didn't quite get everything done?

Don't fret! Use these suggestions to finish up in a flash!

We're in a hurry so I'll keep it short and sweet.



The Gift Problem 

Here are Some Great Solutions to Keep in Mind:

  1. You can still order from Amazon! In most cases up to the 23rd!
  2. Simplify by purchasing same category presents.
  3. Food presents are always awesome.

But First...

Buying for a person with Chronic Illness and/or pain? Or get these and treat yourself. You deserve it, 'cuz Hey, the holidays can be sooo stressful!

Booty Slippers

Can anyone say these aren't cozy? Even the guys have to admit they're pretty awesome.
JIAHG Unisex Booty Slippers

Find more styles below.

heating pad

Always helpful, sometimes they become your best friend!

MicroPlush Heating Pad

More selections below.

Facial Treats

Natural is the way to go! I love Burt's Bees Products. Treat someone.

Burt's Bees Holiday Face Essentials


See more kits below.

Super Gift Ideas

Tip #1.

Buying From the Same Category

  1. Buy presents from one category for anyone left on your list. Makes it easier and faster. Here's some examples:
  2. Books-you can find a book for anyone. Cooking, fiction, science, etc
  3. Towels-Everybody uses them! Beach, kitchen, bath sheets, flour sacs, etc
  4. Outerwear-Keep 'em warm! Hats, mittens. scarves etc. 



Delectable Edibles

  1. You just can't go wrong with food and goodies.
  2. Everybody eats!  
  3. You're really gonna want to try these. I promise.


Very few people don't like chocolate. Especially good chocolate!

Godiva Holiday Gift Box

See even more below.

jelly belly

Incredible flavors make these irresistible! Always a great gift!

Jelly Belly Classic Glass Jar

Yep there's more below.


Perk up someone's morning. And let them try something new!

Bean Box Gourmet Coffee Sampler

Check out different mixes below.

No Cookies? Let's fix that

happiness ways to find

You just can't fail. Really. 

Peanut Butter kisses

Are you ready?

  1. 1 cup of sugarpb cookies
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1 cup of peanut butter

Do this next...

  1. Combine.
  2. Roll into 1" balls.
  3. Bake at 325 for about 15 minutes.
  4. Smush a chocolate kiss on top while still warm.


Easiest. Cookie. Ever

Shortbread Rescue

Here we get...

  1. cups flour
  2. 1cup  confectioners sugar
  3. 1lb butter-must use butter

There they go...

  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add flour, mix well.
  3. Roll, cut to squares, place on parchment.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes until pale golden.


Practically Instant Cookies!!

almost there

Pulling everything together!!

When all else fails give gift cards

Ditto for wine or nice liquors

Skip wrapping and use gift bags

Buy, don't make a dish to pass

Relax! Have Fun!!!

Additional Finds

not miss christmas

How to Not Miss Christmas This Year and Truly Enjoy the Holiday.

Tomorrow is the 1st of December so I can officially start “Christmas-ing”! It’s our own little rule that we wait until December to start, so we’re on our way…chronic illness christmas

Getting through Christmas can be daunting when you have any chronic illness. And one of the biggest problems for me is that I love Christmas! I love the decorations, the shopping, the parties, the ballet, the tree, going to church….everything. Just everything Christmas. But now that has all changed. I cannot do all those wonderful things anymore. So for me it’s a little bittersweet.  I simply do not have the physical stamina to do all the activities and I get mentally bogged down and depressed because I miss Christmas. Sometimes literally. So far, I have spent two Christmases in the hospital, and I don’t intend to let that happen again.

I know that some of you aren’t that into it and this season is just another thing you have to get through. But others, like me,  are all about everything Christmas. Either way, I’ve put together the best tips that I’ve been using to not just get through Christmas, but to relish it.

chronic illness christmas

Slow Down. Plan it Out.

I’m sure you’ve never heard that one before. I hate it too. I used to be a mad woman…dashing out after work to shop, decorating everywhere, or baking late at night.  Lots of parties. Lots of wine. Lots of wrapping gifts last minute. It was total Chaotic Christmas Fun!

I can no longer do that. All the normal things now require rest before and after and because planning is the key for me, it means I have to decline some things too. I hate that but if I don’t I’ll miss Christmas altogether. Fair trade I guess. Here’s what I try to do:

The Parties

Aside from the planning and pacing we have to do, I do parties one of two ways:

First are the parties where you know people well; family or close friends.

  • My family Christmas is a huge all day event, lots of commotion and kids running everywhere. I have a big family and we tend to get a little crazy. Over the years it was getting increasingly difficult for me to go. And it finally reached the point where I started having so much anxiety over it, I could hardly get there. Then one year I didn’t go at all. I will never let that happen again.chronic illness christmas
  • So the next year I went for about half of it, but I didn’t like it…missed too much fun stuff. But there was such a simpler solution: the year after that, about half way through the party, I went into my brother’s bedroom and took a nap. It’s not like they don’t know I’m sick or anything so I don’t know why I didn’t do it before, but this way I only miss maybe 1/2 hour or so. It worked out perfectly. When you’re with this group you know you can take a break. They understand. And you don’t have to lose out.

Office/Cocktail Parties

  • I use the movie star approach. (I do not think I’m a movie star, just for the record). This is for people that don’t really know all the complexities of your illness. You make a stunning appearance. Mingle and talk and truly enjoy yourself and your friends.  Then leave.
  • A little short, I know,  but you get to see everyone, have a little fun and you still get to take part in Christmas. In an effort to be polite, I usually say that I had two parties on the same night, and I couldn’t say no to either one and that’s why you have to leave early. I know lying is bad but it would be impossible to explain to everyone that I don’t feel well and why, etc. So off I go.


  • I call it the “Fun, Funny and Happy Christmas Shopping Trip”. I like the busy stores and Santa at the mall, but rather than dragging myself through 40 stores and ending up exhausted, I go out twice  ( maybe three ) times. Once with my mom and sister and once with my son. We keep it light and funny, laughing and joking around but not really getting much shopping done. It’s more about enjoying the experience, spending time together, and admiring the beautiful shop windows.
  • So what about the real shopping? One word. Internet. For me , it’s a godsend. Everything delivered to my door. Of course it’s not much because I’m living on SSI now but that brings me to another good point about shopping.

Dollar store.chronic illness christmas

Sounds tacky, right? But honestly you can find some pretty cool stuff there if you really look. I managed to do it and was happy with what I found for everyone.

One More Shopping Idea

If you’re having a hard time figuring out what people want try shopping with one category for everyone. One year I chose books as the category. Every person on my list got a book that was tailored to their liking. It was easier for me and they were all pretty pleased. Other categories you might try could be sweaters, something for the car, kitchen gadgets and so on. Get creative.

Getting The House Festive

Here’s where I invite my son, his girlfriend and maybe one other to come over for pizza and spiffy up the house leaving it beautifully decorated.chronic illness christmas My husband has no choice; he lives here already. Lol. I know pizza might sound weird, but there is no way I can cook a meal for everyone and decorate. So pizza it is. The house is beautiful, and we have such a blast doing it. And of course, with the help, I’m not knocking myself out trying to do it on my own.

Playing Hostess?

I would not do this without a lot of help from friends and family. It can be done though, but I generally steer away from it. It’s one of the things I have to give up, but it’s ok because I have so many other things I get to do.


chronic illness christmasI cut a LOT out. I make simple cookies and scones. When I make cut-out cookies I take a knife and cut out diamond shapes so I don’t have to keep rolling and re-rolling. I also spread out the baking over two or three days instead of doing it all in one.

Important things not to forget

  • Set aside some special time for your spouse. I think this is so important. Everything gets busy and chaotic and sometimes we miss the beauty of Christmas with the one person we should be sharing it with.
  • Read the real story of Christmas.chronic illness christmas
  • Of course, if it’s for you… go to church! Faith is a powerful thing.

So, I cut down a little on the parties and the baking. I enlist help. I use the internet. And I manage to get some good presents at good prices and I really don’t feel like I’m missing out on that much. Getting just a taste of everything makes it feel like your completely wrapped up in the season but at the same time your not making yourself sick. It seems like a fair compromise to me.


Happy Christmasnot miss christmasnot miss christmas



chronic illness

Surprise Sunday

This is just too cool not to share. When I get a case of “sloth brain” there’s at least one thing in here that helps get me going. Try it out!
100 Ways to Kickstart Your Brain

Just reading this list might do the trick!


Stay Happy



This Thanksgiving Table Rocked

Not so long ago, back in the days when I wasn’t feeling quite as bad as now, I got to host Thanksgiving. Everyone else would get a turn but my up and down health situation kept me from hosting my fair share. But one year I was doing quite well and I jumped at the chance to have it. Needless to say I was ecstatic. I dove into a super duper clean up and went ridiculously overboard on decorations. And then, I got to plan the menu! I always felt like I wanted something a little different so now I had my chance!Thanksgiving

To start I skipped the cheese and crackers to serve figs with gorgonzola. I just had to begin with something different.


Of course, it’s not Thanksgiving without the standard turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and rolls. Squash and green beans too. And while I love all of that, it’s still regular food I eat all year long so I wanted to make something a bit more unexpected. When someone asked what they could bring I steered them toward a dessert or relish tray thing. LOL.

Over the years we had lost the green bean casserole, everybody was tired of it and only two of us liked squash. And while someone started bringing corn one year (which isn’t a vegetable anyway). The lack of vegetables became the whole problem.We had none!!

Well, I had always been the “almost vegetarian” in the family (I still eat only a very little meat if at all) so this was going to be fun, which of course put my family on edge for fear I might kill them with weird veggie concoctions.

So Off I Went

I know it’s bad to brag, but in my opinion it was just about the best dinner we ever had. Not much of a story here but I wanted to share with you just what it was and  why it was special.

I decided three things first:

  1. We had to have the traditional things. Turkey, homemade gravy, mashed (not whipped) potatoes in the crock pot, rolls and stuffing.
  2. I made two smaller turkeys so that one could be a beautiful centerpiece as we ate the carved one (thank you Rachel Ray).
  3. We needed at least one dish for each person that I knew they absolutely loved. No one left out.

So Here’s What We Had

Lima Beans for Dad. I just added a little corn, lots of butter and some fresh thyme, salt and pepper.

Green Bean Casserole. for me because I missed it.Thanksgiving

Sherry Yams for my mom…not overly sweet.

Harvard Beets for my brother, that’s his thing

Roasted Cauliflower for my other sister.

A Cabbage, Sprout and Cranberry Slaw for my brother-in-law.

Honey Ginger Carrots for my son.

Roasted Turnip, Carrot and Purple Potatoes for my other sister because she loves anything purple. LOL

And, so we all had to try something different:

  • Roasted Radishes
  • Baked Creamed Corn
  • Peas, Bacon and Onion



OK, I decided. That would be enough vegetable awesomeness. And it was. I’m not completely insane so I didn’t make enough of each dish for every single person. One person might try four or five of the dishes but not each and every one. At best maybe a taste just to see how they were. And guess what? It worked! We had leftovers, but not a crazy amount. Everyone was satisfied and really pretty happy with the wide variety. I was so proud.

What Happened Next

It took a while but we finally got to the desserts. And with all the pumpkin and apple pie I had to throw in a giant fruit salad with berries, melon, grapes and apples and walnuts spritzed with lemon. Just because I wanted to really wear myself out.

And I’m pretty sure they liked that one, as I was up in bed by that point. LOL  I had way overdone it, letting my niece take over serving dessert. But I made it back downstairs for some fruit at the very end with the biggest smile on my face.

So that’s my story.So there it was my best Thanksgiving of all. Thankful I was here for it and thankful for everyone with me.

I hope you have a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving.



PS While some dishes are straightforward a few have recipes you can find here…Kate’s Thanksgiving Recipes


i am a chronic illness-er

I am a Chronic Illness-er

Chronic Illness-er. I know that's not a word. But it describes me.

i am a chronic illness-er

"So, what do you do?" I just cringe when I hear that question. And I know no one means badly when they ask. It's just a normal thing to say.

Chronic illness-er

But how in the world do we answer that question?

Having a chronic illness is a full time job, we all know that, but how can we describe it so that people understand?Click To Tweet

I don't know what they think, but I'm always wondering if they picture us, lounging around in bed or on the couch, watching yet another DVD. Snacking on cupcakes. Snuggling in blankets. And while that is sometimes what I do, the reality is that my time is spent on all the frustrating tasks that come with being a chronic illness-er.

The Path to Pulling Your Hair Out Begins...

The phone calls to doctors offices can drive you insane. No one knows where your fax chronic illness-erwent. (How is that possible?) You have to track it down because they don't know how to call the other doctor to get the papers they need. Then when you make sure they get them the forget to call you with an appointment. They can't get you an appointment next week, but the doctor wants to see you next week. You wait on hold for eons just to get disconnected. No one seems to know what's going chronic illnes-eron so you have to spend hours on the phone untangling the mess of coordinating four different doctor's offices who can't and won't communicate with each other.

The doctor appointments themselves take up your whole day. You arrive fifteen chronic illness-erminutes early, and the receptionist tells you "we're running behind today". Great. An hour later, the doctor sees you, and because you have so much going on the appointment runs over the 15 minutes you were allowed, so now he's even further behind. It seems that the scheduling should be adjusted somehow. Very few people seem to fit into that 15 minute window.


Then there's the pharmacy. They didn't receive the electronic prescription so you have to call the doctor's office to fix it. The doctor's office is now annoyed because they already sent it and they're busy. They'll get to it if they can, or they'll be sure chronic illness-erto do it tomorrow. They forget when its tomorrow.

You have a small office in your house dedicated just for your medical health records.

Now the pharmacy guy is mad because you keep bothering him and all this bullshit just leaves you without your medicine. And for some reason it always seems to be the pain medicine that gets messed up and you have to go through hell to get it. While your in pain.

And then you're trying to keep your house clean when you can only work for 10 minutes at a time. Things get done s-l-o-w-l-y. Cleaning a room is a majorchronic illness-er accomplishment and you want to take a picture and post it on Facebook even though the normal people will think your nuts. But you're beaming with pride when you change the cat litter box. You dream about getting a Roomba and can't believe the awesomeness of this invention.

If you cooked dinner (from scratch, not frozen) four times this week you are a super hero. Regular people look at you and think you're bizarre when you bring that up in conversation because it's so magnificent in your eyes. Don't they know how hard it can be to cook?

When you sleep through the whole night you are filled with joy. Just like the first night your baby slept through the whole night.

Which Brings Us Back to ...

So, what do I do? I'm a bookkeeper, receptionist, pharmacist assistant, maid, professional negotiator, records archivist. And ten other thinks I can't think of. And yes I spend simply blissful days in bed and on the couch in between all the awesomeness that I do.

And I do all that with a chronic Illness and incredible chronic pain. So what is it that I do?

I am a chronic illness-er

Read more

Being Sick is no fun...how it affects our daily life.

i don't feel good

I Don’t Feel Good-All Day Long

i don't feel good

i don't feel good

I don’t feel good.

That’s pretty much my morning greeting to anyone. And that includes my husband who is also a chronic pain and chronic illness sufferer.

He greets me back with an “Oh-I really don’t feel good today”.

All morning during our routine we hurt. We feed the animals, we clean up stuff from last night. And everything hurts. “Oh god-my knees are so bad.” “Wow, I don’t know what I did, but my neck is killing!”. Chronic pain is everyday life here.i don't feel good

Today we have to run errands. A bank stop, the blood draw lab (I’m always there, it seems). The grocery store. The pharmacy.

In and out of the truck. We make jokes and laugh at things but somewhere in there, always, there are many “I feel so tired today”, or a “I don’t feel good today”, something like that all day long. We are both in rough shape and caring for our animals and living in a house with only a wood stove for heat makes every day a sort of  “work day”.  Bringing in firewood, or just starting the fire is work, and for us it always involves pain. We rely heavily on help from friends and family. We are sooo lucky to have them.

But somehow we are laughing throughout  all of this. That’s the good part. But there is always a bad current underlying the day. Because even though we have help with all the heavy pushing and puling, fixing the tractor, setting up the plow for the coming snow, wrestling with the very, very heavy firewood- we can’t do that stuff on our own. And we feel guilty when our friends and family come over to do the heavy stuff. Still, we just don’t feel good pretty much all the time. And we say it all day long.

How depressing.i don't feel good

So I decided to be very conscious of how and what we say just for one day. There were 27 references to felling sick or being in pain. And the day isn’t over. My husband will be home soon, he has to take check in on his mother everyday, and gets home at about 8. And there will be more “I don’t feel goods” or “I don’t know why it’s so bad today.” But there will be telling jokes and laughing too.

So what’s my dilemma? We’re so good about keeping things light and trying to make jokes out of all the really serious stuff that is happening, so what might be the problem here?

Underneath it all is that what is really happening is that he is living in constant pain, I mean non-stop pain. And I am dying. (Long story for another post).  Our running joke is that I already have a second wife picked out for him. And we laugh. And we cajole. But the underlying current of sadness and pain is still there.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going anywhere soon. They have this magnificent machine that will keep me alive indefinitely. It all depends on how my body adjusts. But that’s a whole other story too.

So back to today, all day long we are complaining and therefore thinking negatively. Since we’re so good at laughing at things, why don’t I just try for one day to be really careful and not say the “I don’t feel goods”? All that we gained in a day of our making fun of things is getting ruined by the pessimistic talk that creeps in without us knowing.

And I’m one of those people who is always preaching to look at the good side of things without ever realizing how much negativity I am putting into the day with those little comments. I’m betting we would both feel better without them. It has become a habit without us even realizing it was there.


i don't feel goodSo tomorrow I will make a conscious decision to not include the gloomy “I don’t feel goods.” Remember being told that if you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say anything at all? I’m gonna take the bad stuff out, keep the stupid little puns and goofing around, and see what that feels like in a day.

And tomorrow I'm going to wake up, turn to my husband and say 'I love you.'Click To Tweet

I’m going to keep my mouth closed for the “I’m so tireds,” and the “I hurt so bads”.

All the bad stuff will still be there. Bad news from doctors. More pain in my husbands back. But I have a sneaking suspicion that we’ll both feel better in this little experiment. And I will let you know if it worked.

I can’t wait for tomorrow so I can wake up and say “I love you.”

i don't feel good

Schedule with Chronic Illness A Workable Solution!!

Scheduling and Chronic Illness. A Workable Solution!!!

Scheduling and chronic illness don't go well together.

Chronic illness schedule

scheduling and chronic illness

We all have our tasks each month like paying bills, doing laundry,etc. It's just the business of life. And most people iron out some sort of schedule that suits their lifestyle. In my former life I did laundry most Thursdays and got groceries after putting my son on the bus each Tuesday. And then.....well it didn't last long.

Now, with chronic illness, it's nearly impossible to just plug in a series of tasks on one particular day. Living with chronic illness depends so much on how we are feeling that scheduling became a nightmare. What little got done was always haphazard ,rushed and somewhat half-assed. Clearly, I needed a better way of doing things.

As always, it started with my basic list.

  • Dr. Appointments
  • Housekeeping
  • Prescriptions to pick up
  • Meal prep
  • Bills
  • Groceries
  • Laundry
  • Household products
  • I had to come up with a system capable enough to get stuff done on, but flexible enough to work within and around  my chronic illness. And here's what I came up with.

The Big Secretchronic illness schedule

The big secret  is to group together a clump of errands...not too much because I can't do a lot at one time. Then for each group of tasks, I give myself a 3-4 day window to finish them. If I feel bad on days 1 and 2, but better on 3, I'll do them then.
I realize that you can do the same thing by just"winging" it day by day but I like my system better for two reasons:

  1. Some things would slip through the cracks or forgotten about til the last minute,
  2. More importantly, I feel like I have some control over my life. Being sick has so many ups and downs that having just a loose grip on things is a great comfort. I'm confident that things will be taken care of for the most part.  And even if I really can't do the work,  I can just hand over the calendar to (husband, sister, friend/etc) And they can handle a few well thought out plans for me.

So here's a peek at my calendar. Let's just make it simple and say I get paid on the first.
Next, I listed some solutions for potential problems and conflicts.

chronic illness schedule

chronic illness schedule

Paying the Bills.

  • If you get paid weekly or biweekly:
    It may take a bit of juggling at first but pick one day to pay.chronic illness schedule
    List out all the bills and their amount per month.
    Divide in half or in quarters depending on how you are paid (biweekly or weekly respectively.) Take out the amount you need for the bills each pay period then you will have the correct amount after four weeks.
  • If your bill is not always a set amount (ie. Utilities) estimate or ask to be put on a set budget plan.
  • Some companies will agree to change your payment due date if you ask.

Laundry 2x a Month

  •  Your gonna need 14 pairs of socks and 14 pair of underwear. I'm OK with that but if you don't like it or if you have a big family a better option is to:chronic illness schedule
  • do one load per day. In the wash after breakfast, drying by afternoon, put away at night. Do whichever is easier for you.
  • If you cannot do a day or even 3 just keep going one load per day. Eventually you will feel better and can sneak in some extra on those days.


There is no way I can do one big shopping trip once a month. I figure I'm good for about a half hour tops! It is just too exhausting for me to try to go for longer. So I set up 3 shopping trips:

  1. one for all non grocery items (lightbulbs, batteries, tape, etc)chronic illness schedule
  2. another for the staple foods for the month plus some fresh
  3. and a third for more fresh food on the second grocery trip.

Dr. Appointments

Here's the thing that I can't work a whole lot of magic on, but I try my best. I ask for appointments on the same day whenever possible. However, I learned to schedule just one for morning and one for the afternoon. Too many times I had them scheduled closer together and...what else?! The doctor was running behind making me miss or be seriously late to the next appointment. There is hope though, I actually have been able to do this on several occasions. And it worked!!!


It can be such a hassle to run to the pharmacy every few days. To make it easier I:

  • Worked with my pharmacist with the call-in refill dates to get them all due around the same day. Some will even work with the doctor's office to make this possible.
  • Receive your prescriptions by mail. Sure, they may come on different days, but its not another headache of an errand to run.


Clean as you go is really the best advice I ever received. Swishing out the toilet bowl, rinsing and soaking dishes right after using and that sort of thing goes a long way. In general I try to get at least these things done every day:

Check out extra ideas here.https://www.mie.c

Keep the counters clear and wipe them off

Sweep the kitchen if you can (or vacuum if its easier for you)

Keep a basket with a lid in each and every room for quick pick up

Always put whatever you can in the dishwasher (if you're like me and don't have one, just pray. 🙂 In the meantime (while I'm waiting) I make sure the dishes are at least scraped and soaked.

Kid Stuff

Hands down this is the hardest part. But, at the same time, they are the part of life that is most worth it. I found the very best thing to do is simple:

Ask For Help.

Kids' schedules can be frazzling for a healthy family. When one or both parents are sick its mind boggling. Siblings, neighbors, other kid moms, anyone you can think of you can ask for help. Sometimes they are very uncaring and useless. Others can't do enough for you. Seek them out, be appreciative and see what can be worked out.

And that's about it for my very basic schedule. I realize there are many more things to fit in and we will all have different ones. Here at least we can keep a grip on things a little better. Plus, on days in between things can get done, and if you're week is going well and you feel healthy, you really won't need 3 days to pay the bills. Yay!

Don't forget to use little minutes to tidy up a small spot or hang up a jacket, etc. While you're standing there waiting for the microwave doing tiny tasks in those "little minute" goes a very long way.

I know this doesn't solve everything. Sometimes being sick means we have to soldier through some of these things, illness and all. But I have found this type of scheduling a little more realistic for me and I hope it will at least give you some ideas on how to create one designed around you.

Do you have a workable schedule that you'd like to share? If so, contact me and I'll be happy to share it here for others.  Thanks!

Stay Happy


better life chronic illness

We Know the Rules, Here’s 8 Lesser Known Ideas for a Better Life with Chronic Illness

We Know the Rules, Here’s 8 Lesser Known Ideas for a Better Life with Chronic IllnessClick To Tweetliving with chronic illness



  1. Eat for optimal nutritionlotus flower
  2. Get good quality sleep plus extra rest
  3. Take frequent breaks
  4. Get appropriate exercise
  5. Stretching to stay limber
  6. Reduce our stress level
  7. Stay organized
  8. Take our medical care seriously
  9. Practice gratitude
  10. Meditation/Prayer

These are all good rules to live by. But if you’re looking to further enhance your life having a chronic illness can make things kind of tricky. Here’s some suggestions that I think work well:

Art and Music Therapy.

There’s a reason people bounce around in their cars when their favorite song comes on. Or some are practically moved to tears at a beautiful ballet. Art and music are the direct lines to our souls. Use them to keep a good outlook in your life.


Learn Something Very New and Very Different.

Don’t know anything about cars? Learn how an engine works. Pick up a language that uses a different alphabet. Your brain needs exercise too. Use it or lose it!


Spend Time Outside.things to make you happy

Now my grandma used to call this “Getting out to get the stink off of ya!” It wasn’t to be taken literally, but even if you were just in a bad mood it did work. Being cooped up all the time is depressing.


Buy Everything You Can on the Internet.

You’ll have the things you need, even when you’re sick and when you’re feeling better you can take your time and shop for fun!


Give Back.

This can be hard because if your body isn’t reliable enough to even hold a job, how can you do volunteer work? Find something with no time requirement. For example, my mom and sister use uphostery fabric swatches to make crazy lap quilts. Then they donate the to cancer or dialysis centers so patients can use them while they’re being treated.


Acupuncture and Alternative Therapy.

This is one I can’t answer for you. If you’re willing to try first do solid research, second chat with your docs, and third NO ‘miracle cures’, ‘magic potions’ or ‘fake detox’. EVER

Add Dark Leafy Greens to Your Diet.

This is probably the most under rated vegetable that can be sneaked into lots of food. From salads to sandwiches, soups and spreads, Greens are super food. Here’s some of their goodness: 10 Incredible Effects on Your Body When You Eat Dark Leafy Greens


Learn to Make Good Decisions.

There really is a method to making better decisions. I believe it is essential when you have a chronic illness or disease because life for us is so unpredictable. Find some good tips here: Decision Making Skills and Techniques.


Go ahead and give some of these ideas a chance. Hopefully they will add some goodness to your life. I hope you enjoy them!!


rules chronic illness

15 healthy food changes

15 Food Changes You Can Make Now to Boost Your Health

foods to add


  1. Fruit.  Just add any piece of fruit to your breakfast or grab an apple for a snack.
  2. Vegetables in stews and casseroles. Add  some veggies like peas or lima beans. Stew doesn’t have to be just potatoes, meat and onions!
  3. Vegetables as a snack. Another easy one. Try something different from celery and carrots; have snow pea pods or jicama sticks.
  4. Dark leafy greens. A must for salad. Skip the iceberg. Also, add to eggs, on a sandwich or add to soup. See more benefits here.
  5. Flaxseed.  Heart smart Omega-3 and rick in fiber these need to be kept in fridge. Sprinkle on cereal, yogurt or even grind and mix into meatloaf! Check it out!



foods to omit


  1. Processed Anything.  Stick with real whole food. Here are 9 good reasons why you should banish processed food altogether.
  2. Margarine.  Six bad things they don’t tell you about margarine.
  3. Anything Fat Free.  To make up for the loss of flavor, fat free products usually add unhealthy amounts of sugar and chemicals.
  4. Artificial Sweeteners.  Check out these 5 Good Reasons.
  5. Flavored Yogurts.  Regular yogurt=good. Flavored yogurt is usually filled with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners or even candy! Check the labels.



food to swap


  1. Any Cooking Oil with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Olive oil won’t cling to arteries and contains powerful anti-oxidants.
  2. Soda for Tea.  Soda is all sugar and contains no nutritional value. While tea doesn’t have nutrients, it doesn’t add loads of sugar as empty calories.
  3. Cold Sugary Cereal for Oatmeal.  Oatmeal boasts a ton of benefits that cereal simply cannot match.
  4. White Bread for Whole Grain.  Whole grains have their bran intact and thus have more fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and other nutrients. Be sure to check the ingredients; “whole” or “whole grain” should be specified.
  5. Extra Salt for Fresh Herbs and Spices.  High blood pressure and water retention are just two reasons to pass on excessive salt. Plus adding and discovering new herbs and spices can really enhance the taste of your food.

Happy Eating…