What About Race and Chronic Illness?

Jan 21, 2020

I’m the only white kid in my family.  Understand, me saying that does not give me some kind of get-out-of-racism-free card, just a different lens on growing up white than the one you may have had.  Being the youngest in a family with two brown siblings made aware of my whiteness earlier than some.  It made my whiteness overt; which, for most white people, it isn’t.  That’s part of what privilege is – the invisibility of the advantages our skin color...

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What are my Intentions for the New Year?

Jan 07, 2020

So, part of being sick means that, for the most part I have let go of setting new year’s resolutions.  To be fair, resolutions were hit and miss in my world even before I got sick.  However, I love the opportunity we have as humans to turn the page – to see each new day, new month, new moon, new year, as an opportunity to reset.  The endless possibilities to make new choices and decide again that we are going to do something differently is one of the most optimistic...

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What Have I Learned in 2019?

Dec 31, 2019

Chronic illness means that I have different benchmarks for accomplishment in my life.  So, I don’t do the math in the same way I used to.  One thing that is different is that I don’t make resolutions in the new year.  Rather, I look back at the year that has passed and think about what I’ve learned, take stock of the ways in which I’ve grown and changed, notice the things I’ve come to see differently.  Some items on the list are related to...

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What Have I Learned in 2019?

Dec 31, 2019

Chronic illness means that I have different benchmarks for accomplishment in my life.  So, I don’t do the math in the same way I used to.  One thing that is different is that I don’t make resolutions in the new year.  Rather, I look back at the year that has passed and think about what I’ve learned, take stock of the ways in which I’ve grown and changed, notice the things I’ve come to see differently.  Some items on the list are related to...

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What Matters

Dec 03, 2019

I had the awesome privilege of getting to hear one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert, speak in Portland last month.  She inspires me in her writing.  She makes me think critically.  She makes me laugh.  Each time I’ve had a chance to listen to her in person or in recorded interviews, I appreciate her honest reflections and the way she shares deeply from her life to make observations about the world around us.  This recent lecture was no exception. ...

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How do You Survive the Holidays Intact?

Nov 26, 2019

There is one sweater in my collection that I knit (and unknit) three times.  Part of the downfall of knitting sweaters is that until they are fully knitted and washed, you aren’t able to try them on and see whether you like the style on you the way you thought you would and whether the one you made fits you well.  In truth, much of the reason the sweater didn’t fit is that I was using a different size yarn, didn’t do the calculations correctly, and the yarn...

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How do You Practice Self-Care?

Nov 19, 2019

Getting sick and never getting well again is like crucible, burning up any extra bit of energy, allowing the pace and demands of life to come into sharp enough focus that we might come to understand the critical importance of self-care.  Perhaps, you were raised as I was, with the belief that self-care was selfish.  Unlearning this belief has been key to my wellness, to my staying as healthy as I’m able – both physically and mentally, knowing that in order to provide any...

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Why am I Tired All the Time but Still Don’t Sleep Well?

Nov 12, 2019

This seems like one of the classic ironies of chronic illness.  Chronic fatigue, it seems, does not lead to being a champion sleeper.  There are many factors – known and unknown, that contribute to our sleep.  While some of the things that are not under my control have to do with my constellation of illnesses and autonomic dysregulation, there are things I have control over, namely my sleep hygiene and I work to sway those factors in my favor.  Are you familiar with...

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What about Sex and Chronic Illness? Part 2

Oct 29, 2019

So, if sex (as referenced in the Part 1 post on this subject), is the elephant in my living room.  I can either eat it, ride it, or keep it for a pet.  Either way I’ve got to get to know it intimately and not avoid it.  Okay, okay, my metaphor is breaking down on me.  But here’s what I mean: our sex lives, no matter how much they may be troubling or confounding us, are never going to improve without us getting up close and personal with as many of the issues,...

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What About Sex and Chronic Illness?

Oct 22, 2019

In the lineup of things in my life that are diminished by chronic illness – sex is in my top three.  I have waited so long to write about it because, honestly, it feels like the elephant in my room.  It’s taking up all the space, but I don’t know how to shift it.  It would be great if I were writing this with some expert tips and were going to “blow your mind” with ideas you were leaving off the table about how to improve your sex life with chronic...

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