• Category Archives Chronic illness
  • What People Are Saying about Through The Wilderness

    wilderness-cover-b

     

    “I’ve just started reading Through the Wilderness and I feel like you wrote it just for me! I cannot believe how much the first chapter impacted me. You may or may not know that I too was diagnosed with a chronic illness and everything you described, every emotion – I felt. I was going to read chapter two, but you packed so much into the first chapter I am now absorbing it. I have no doubt your book will bless many.

    And then some time later I received this:  “Are you sure you didn’t write this book for me? I got to your chapter on your vision of the swollen leg. You described my disease to a tee. My legs are swollen as you described and my lymphatic system is shutting down. So once again, your book spoke to me!”

    A second reader writes:

    “I LOVED your book!! There were several places in it where I thought you might be writing about me! More importantly, I could hear God’s voice speaking to me as I read. Thank you for writing the story of your journey. It is bringing Him glory. It is bringing fresh hope to the hurting.
    I’ve also experienced some extended incapacitating sickness, though in my case it was less physical, more emotional distress and depression, but equally hard to get out of bed in the morning and face seeing anyone outside my family for a season. The question you asked at the beginning of the book was one I struggled deeply with as well–what value do I have when I’m doing nothing?
    I love how you asked the Lord at many points what the physical might be pointing to in the spiritual realm–I believe in this too. The prophetic impressions and dialogues with God that you wrote about were also what I had to hold on to when my mind would yield to my out-of-balance emotions, especially of worry and fear.
    It took me about 4 years to really get regular victory over fear, and I’m still contending for a fear-free life. I could feel your solid belief in God’s goodness throughout your story, and I agree, God needed to expose the hidden fear in me so He could heal and deliver me from it because the next “assignment” He has for me will require a greater level of trust in Him.
    I saw in your story that same type of living out a parable that I lived through in coming out of my own wilderness.Similar to you, some things that resulted from my journey were a fresh satisfaction with playing a nurturing role as a small part of a larger thing God was doing, content to let Him orchestrate the rest, and a new love for intercession that is no longer carrying a burden, but a joy to talk about with God.
    I love how you continue to believe for your healing and allow people to pray for it, and how you didn’t grow bitter at “healers” or well-meaning Christians that I’m sure struggled to understand what you and God were experiencing together. I love your concept of a “mystery shelf.” That’s really beautiful.I felt the worship in your story, and it lifted my spirits.
    Your questions in each chapter are also so thorough and insightful! Even a bit scary, which alerts me what areas I need to have more work on with God. I prayed every one of the prayers out loud for myself too. Thanks for including those!”

    And then a third reader says,

    “I have walked with the Lord for many many years but this book/insight took me to a whole new level. It brought the way to peace and joy that I had been searching for so long.”

    You can get your copy here.

    My prayer is that the Lord meet you in your wilderness, of whatever kind, and that you are able to let Him walk you through it….that you would be able to lean into it to find every last nugget, every skill and character trait the Lord would help you build so that you are fully prepared for your next assignment!

    Shedding a little light…Carol Brown


  • Through the Wilderness

    IT’S FINALLY AVAILABLE!

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/194479803X/ref=sr_1_1ie=UTF8&qid=1477093436&sr=8-1&keywords=Through+the+Wilderness+by+Carol+A.+Brown

    Please share with friends, and as always, any reviews posted to Amazon and Goodreads are welcomed and appreciated!  Except below.

    Shining a little light in the darkness, Carol

    wilderness-cover-b

    Excerpt:  Chapter 1 — Different, Not Ruined

    I slid off the exam table with the doctor’s diagnosis ringing in my ears. “We will schedule an MRI, but it will only confirm my diagnosis. I am ninety-nine point nine percent sure that you have MS.” I can’t remember what I said at that moment, but by the end of the day my resolve was, “I am in no hurry to receive my healing. I want to learn everything the Lord can teach me through this disease. I do not want to have to do another lap around The Sinai, thank you very much.” I did not want to end up like the children of Israel and spend forty years in my wilderness.

    It was December of 1995, when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Back then, I tended to define myself to others by what I did. I believed, as many do, that my worth depended on my job, on how much money I made, or on how much I could produce each day. Like any propaganda, if you say it enough, you come to believe it. My culture lied to me.

    My job did not define me; my value did not depend on what I produced or contributed. This chronic disease brought me an identity crisis that was devastating. When my body no longer looked or functioned as it did, and I was unable to be what I was before—who then was I? What purpose did I have? What was my value to myself and others?

    MS tends to shrink life, lopping off huge chunks. It chips away and chips away. Insidious! Now life looked nothing like what I had worked so hard to attain. The attack affected my vision. My ability to read was limited —for a teacher that was the end of a career. The end of being productive. Even if the eye problems were to heal, my energies were so fickle I could not count on them being there on demand. My ability to walk was impaired. Forget about graceful, I was thankful to the Lord that I could walk at all! Should I insist that my body function after it told me to stop, it rewarded me with excruciating exhaustion. It tore at my insides and demanded that I become horizontal—now! Little things required huge outpourings of energy and quickly become too much.

    After my diagnosis, I quickly lost interest in trying to do much of anything. Sitting and watching others function normally wreaked havoc on how I saw myself. My name had been synonymous with responsibility and conscientiousness, and suddenly I was unable to be either of those.

    I felt I had no value.

    At my diagnosis, I did feel a sense of relief—of vindication. “See! I was right. Something was wrong!” But that relief I felt didn’t make up for the huge chunks of life that were now being stolen; opportunity after opportunity just out of reach. Would I ever be able to grasp that golden ring? Doubtful. Even if I could catch it, I could not hold onto it for long. Physically speaking, the best I had been was the best I would ever be. That was a very cold, harsh reality.

    But once I looked at that and acknowledged the truth of it, I began to see that the Lord saw me differently than I saw myself. I had value in His loving eyes. When I looked at myself with earthly perspective and wept, He looked with the eyes of heaven, and—although He grieved with me—He also rejoiced over my declaration when I committed that diagnosis to Him. I even went so far as to ask that He would work sanctification and holiness in my life because of it.

    In spite of this perspective that God could use even this devastating disease to work His nature into me, I continuously questioned God. Was there life after MS? Who was I now? Was there any purpose to my life? Did I have value? I could not contribute anything! I was a drain on my husband, my children . . . and so on.

    Choices! How could I choose to believe God, now, when He says, in Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the plans I have for you; to prosper you and not to harm you?” From where I stood, it no longer seemed there could be anything good left in my future.

    Yet, over time, I began to understand that I have an intrinsic value that has nothing to do with what I do, or don’t do. God—who loved me regardless of my performance—is who gave me that value. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). That was my true identity. When I accepted Him, I became a child of God whether I did anything else, or not. Just being His child gives me value. Jesus coming to earth to win our salvation is proof of the value God places on each of us.

    But it was a long time before I could realize that truth. I had already learned my value came from what I could produce. And since I had always been able to produce, I didn’t realize there was any problem with defining myself that way. Yet, those were merely social values, which came from my own interpretation of family values. From working hard and having something to show for all the hard work. They also came from the society in which I grew up, that reinforced those same values.

    My family had always worked hard. We had to. But we still managed to maintain a joy of life, so I never realized there was any disagreement or disconnect between the Lord’s value system and that segment of my own. However, these two value systems crashed head-on with my diagnosis. Clearly, they were not the same. I realized that determining my value by tying it to my job—and how much I produce—did not come from the Lord.

    Now, I was suddenly at a crossroad, and had to choose which way I would go. Believing there was value in me without doing anything was not easy. But I still had to choose. Of course, I wanted to choose to believe the Lord, except it seemed too impossible. I didn’t have the strength to choose, much less believe Him. But then, The Lord helped me make the choice to believe Him.

    He did it by sending me to a potter’s shop, to work with a lump of clay.

    That first day, I was a novice, and the lesson was how to cut the clay from the wheel. I adjusted the wire as instructed and pushed the accelerator. I had no idea of the speed required, nor how the machine and the pot would interact. The wheel went far too fast! My pot came free, spun out of control, careened off the wheel, and landed on its head. I let out a wail—my creation lay dashed on the floor! I reached to throw it into the scrap bin thinking it beyond repair.

    My instructor bounded off her stool, and scooped it up protectively. “No! No! It is not ruined. It will be beautiful! There is no such thing as a ruined pot! It is not ruined, just different. You’ll see.” Then she pushed, pulled, pinched, and tweaked it. It became a lovely pot—not the shape I had in mind originally—but nonetheless acceptable. I learned that I must not be firmly invested in anything I make until it comes out of the fire. Until a pot has gone through the fire, I cannot say what it is; not until it becomes what it is. I must wait and see.

    From there it was no big jump to realize that when I work myself free of The Lord, I go careening off His wheel in much the same way. When I am free and think I am in control that is precisely when life spins out of control and I land on my head. Thinking life is ruined, I wail and lament. Then the loving Father scoops me up, dusts me off, pushing here and there. Pinching and tweaking, He transforms and redeems my shattered life. At times, in my distress, I cannot hear His Words of comfort when He tells me, “You are not ruined; just different than you thought you were going to be.”

    I was not there to give God counsel when He formed me (Psalm 139:13-18), so I do not know how far from His original design I am (Job 40:1-5). I cannot know for sure what I will be, or how I will look until I come out of the fire! So, as I learned to control the potter’s wheel much better, I was also learning to stay where the Lord put me until He moved me. Also, to do whatever task He gave me to the best of my ability—even if it was just sitting on a shelf and being a pretty pot, nurturing all who see!

    My own little pots I have made grace my shelf and haven’t a clue the nurture they give me. I don’t have a clue the joy my company gives the Lord as I spend time sitting on His shelf, either. At times I feel banished, excluded from life, and of little value. But I am learning to recognize these as mere feelings. They are transient and have no absolute or eternal reality. Sometimes they are even the whisperings of the enemy! Then I remind myself that although I may feel banished, in reality, the Lord has scooped me up, pushed and pulled, tweaked and pinched. He has lovingly put me up out of harm’s way—where I’ll not be damaged—and He can enjoy His art.

    My early pots do not have the precision of my later ones, but they sit next to the latest creation, and I value them no less. I have not thrown even the lumpiest of pots away. Nor has the Lord thrown me aside when, to my eyes, I am lumpy and misshapen. The cup without the handle is a pencil holder of distinction. Misshapen is unique. “Oops” became a signature mark. Ruined has become beautiful. No, I am not ruined. I am loved by my Maker.

    Chronic disease can ruin me only if I take my eyes off my Maker. Chronic disease can also ruin me if I hold on too tightly to the world’s value system. Or, if I listen to and believe the lies of the enemy, linking value and purpose to production and dollar signs. Most importantly, I know none of those things can ruin me unless I steadfastly insist upon crawling off The Lord’s wheel, or His shelf, and climbing—all by myself—into the scrap bin.
True, I am different than I was; my life is different from what I thought He planned for me. But the Lord is a good potter, who takes what life throws into the clay mix and works it into a design of beauty that I couldn’t have even imagined before. 
And while it is a struggle to hold on to a sense of value and meaning, that struggle is part of the tension of creation. Because I learned that, in formation, every pot is under tension—both pushed from the outside and supported from the inside. So, removed from society’s hustle and bustle, I finally came to remember my original goal—the purpose behind all I have done—which was to bless the heart of my Father. Yes, what I do has changed, and even how I do it. But value and purpose? Never! Because that part came from the Lord, and not me.

    That lesson at the potter’s house contained several learnings for me. The first was that I must never become overly invested in what I do until it has been through the fire. Secondly, my value to God comes from being His child rather than from what I produce. Trials may change my life; they may constrain me in various ways. But they cannot define me unless I agree with the negative picture of my future, which is inherent in the trial. I must look past the trial to the hope and the future God promises in Jeremiah chapter 29, verse 11. And as I came to understand what God was teaching me, and embraced those learnings, God counted that as valuable!

     

    Ask the Holy Spirit

    To make this lesson your own, identify a time, person, project, work, or ministry in which you invested hugely but the outcome turned out to be something other than what you anticipated.

    ! Did it define you? Did it become “who you were?” Did it determine your value and worth?

    ! Did you wail and moan over your loss? Did it feel like God didn’t care?

    ! Did you feel as though life was ruined?
! Did you try to wiggle free from the Lord’s wheel by asking Him to “fix” your situation according to your guidelines?

    ! Ask the Holy Spirit to help you reframe that event so you can see the Master Potter’s hand in it. Ask to see with the eyes of heaven what God was trying to build into you. An attitude, character trait, a skill set?

    ! Ask the Holy Spirit how to change your responses to your circumstances so that they will align with God’s heart for you and His values.

    ! Ask the Holy Spirit why He wants you to make these changes.

    ! Ask the Holy Spirit how to implement the changes He has shown you to make.

    Prayer

    Thank you God for making me Your child, for giving me belonging, value and worth—help me to be able to feel it. Forgive me for believing lies about myself and my worth. Forgive me for thinking ill of You, Lord, for allowing this trial to be part of my life. I cannot see what You see, or fully know what You have in mind for me. Grant me strength and grace, Lord, to stay on Your wheel. Today I  choose to focus on what is, and can be. Help me keep that focus! I declare that You are my loving Father, and Your plans are to prosper me, to give me hope and a future!

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

    Amen


  • What does recovery look like?

     
    Photo courtesy of Edna San Miguel

    Recovery is a big part of life for people with chronic illness. To help you understand what recovery looks like, I thought I would re-post a blog I did a few years ago. It really catches up where I am at right now. 

     Photo courtsey of Microsoft
    The Lord dropped a business course in my lap–I knew it was from Him and I also KNEW that I was to apply to be part of it. Before receiving acceptance I was up to reason 25 that I would not be included in that select group. I have no business bones in my body–not one! At least not that I know about. My mind does not run in those directions. Business is a foreign language. I don’t really have a business anyway–I’m just trying to sell my book to spread the message…consider that some of the symptoms you deal with may be due to high sensitivity. Of course, I would also like to recoup my investment.



    Photo courtsey of Microsoft
    I am into the last week of this course and my ability to endure has remained so I know God is supporting me in this. I only had two meltdowns in the first module. It cost me incredibly to twist my brain around to think business-speak. The second module was not so demanding–more like how I normally think. Now I am into the last module and about to send in my homework. I am wasted tired. 


     
    So after I submit the homework, recovery is on the agenda and to express what recovery looks like, here is the re-post…
      
    On
    Monday Morning

     

    When I listen to
    Christian speakers, they will
    often build a concept, then to bring it from the abstract
    to where we live. They will say, “Now what does that look like on Monday
    morning?” Here is a word picture of what spiritual
    sensitivity can look like on a Monday morning. 

     

    If life were like the wind….

         
    Some days would be hurricane gale forces.
         
    Some days would be refreshing gentle      

          breezes.
         
    Some days would just plain blow . . .
         
    And some days would blow your skirt up!

    Today, Monday, this is what high sensitivity looks like at our house. I am
    sitting in my recliner looking out the window. The sky is blue; trees,
    lawns–everything else is vibrant green. Flowers are out in
    their glory; the breeze is making a lovely sound blowing through the trees.
    Birds are singing their little throats sore but rather than being out there
    soaking it all up, I am having a hard time moving. It is laundry day but
    it sits in its basket. I’ll have writers group tonight but I’m not preparing
    for that either.

    What is the matter? Why is it that my body does not respond to my passion
    for tidiness, for sharing what is on God’s heart, and for writing? And
    what does spiritual sensitivity have to do with it?

    This past week
    was a hurricane force wind. My husband had one of “those weeks… you know, where he gave
    120%. I brace myself to survive those kind of weeks! Because of the
    oneness of spirit, I quite literally share the week with him! I’ll find
    myself distracted or in intercession or distracted because of intercession–it’s
    hard to concentrate, stay focused or accomplish much. 

    I understand.
    God designed me to be able to carry some of David’s burden so that he
    can function with clarity. That’s part of what the marriage covenant is
    about–what it does–makes us one. Of course when I said “I do” I
    didn’t have a clue about what I was signing up for! You can find more about how
    burden bearing works in marriage in The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity (http://www.fromgodsheart.com/). Sheesh! Why don’t they tell us these things! 

    Anyhow, I was looking forward
    to the refreshing gentle breeze of the weekend only to find that he had
    scheduled himself for an entire weekend webinar! Due to the size of
    our little apartment, I attended as well. It requires a huge outlay of energy
    to follow concepts that challenge both mind and spirit, even more
    energy when they had problems with audio!  Now add to that unexpected
    company for the weekend to view the webinar with us! Oy! The gentle breeze I was
    looking forward to developed a quick gust–it blew my skirt up and I was too
    pooped to even squeal! Anyone relate?

     Photo courtesy of Thrive

    Being highly sensitive means I must now give myself grace, lots of grace. And…what does
    grace look like on Monday? Recharging
    batteries does not happen with a 15
    minute break, it’s more like a slow spring refilling with water after being drained. You just have to leave it alone and let it fill. Each day over the next few days my schedule will have several two
    or three hour blocks of time for watching my fern grow, listening to good
    worship music, and/or long conversations with my bf (Jesus) and long pauses where neither He nor I have anything to say. Oh, I might
    squeeze laundry in sometime this week. But I figure, as long as there is a
    clean set of undies in my hubby’s drawer, we are golden!

    How do you recharge your batteries? Is it okay for you to be kind to
    yourself? Or, does your list drive you?

    Blessings, Carol…making it plain

    www.fromgodsheart.com

    www.joystarters.com



  • Interview with Amazon Bestselling Author Kimberly Rae

    Sick & Tired,  if you are chronically ill, or know someone who is, you know what we are talking about when we say we are “sick and tired of being sick and tired!” Her launch is June 26–mark that date on your calendar. June 26 is her birthday so she is giving away goodies as well as launching her book.
    Check  out her freebies at www.kimberlyrae.com after you read the interview!
     
     
    Author Photo More Square (3) 
    Author Kimberly Rae has Addison’s disease, hypoglycemia, asthma and a cyst on her brain. She knows what it is like to live tired of dependence on medication, guilty over needing help, and frustrated over fielding the frequent comment, “But you don’t look sick!”
     

    Her new book, Sick & Tired: Empathy, Encouragement, and Practical Help for those Suffering with Chronic Health Problems, along with its companion, Laughter for the Sick & Tired, are for the nearly 1 out of every 2 people in America who live with chronic illness.


    Let’s find out more:   Welcome, Kimberly. Tell us why you wrote Sick & Tired. After having health problems for over 15 years, I wanted a book that was funny, empathetic, encouraging, and a reminder that God loved me and had a purpose for me despite my limitations and pain. I couldn’t find that book, so I wrote it! I want others to read my book as a safe place where they feel believed, understood, and where they find a few reasons to smile! 

     Why do you believe this book is needed? People with chronic illness struggle with feeling alone in a healthy world, trying to pretend they can keep up, worried others think they are lazy or making their condition up. They are frustrated over doctors who chalk up their symptoms to depression, as well as the very real emotions of discouragement that naturally accompany lingering pain or an illness they always have to fight but can never defeat.  People who suffer chronically need encouragement, help, and reasons to laugh! That’s what this book is for.  

    What are some of the book topics?


    • How to explain your condition with confidence.

    • The real and important process of grieving your loss.

    • What to do when you’re ready to snap.

    • Freedom from the weight of what other people think.

    • When the smallest activities become a major hassle.

    • The loss of your old identity and the presence of this new person you may not like yet.

    Moving forward.  

    Who is Sick & Tired for?


    1. Women who struggle feeling “less” due to chronic health problems and need to know they are not alone and there is help.

    2. Anyone with chronic health problems (over 100 million people in our country).

    3. Anyone who loves someone with chronic health problems (pretty much everybody else!)

    For those who love someone with health problems, would this make a good gift for them?  I definitely think so! Here’s why: No one understands a health sufferer like a fellow sufferer, and a short gift book from a person with a health condition to people with health conditions is the perfect gift because:


    • though many would like to go to a conference or seminar on chronic health conditions, most of us would end up being sick on that particular day.

    • though sometimes it helps to talk about our feelings and struggles, at the time we are feeling them, often we just want to be alone rather than talking, so it’s good to have a book on hand

    • it feels so good to know someone out there understands, and a book can remind us of that fact over and over again.

    • it gives helpful advice that is always accessible. Lastly, sick people don’t get out much; they need to get their encouragement in ways that do not require personal interaction, like from books.”

    When is your book due for release? It’s up for launch June 26, 2013, on my birthday!! I’m doing some giveaways for the event, so sign up for the newsletter at www.kimberlyrae.com if you want the exclusive offer! Check out Kimberly’s new release, Sick & Tired: Empathy, Encouragement, and Practical Help for those Suffering with Chronic Health Problems

    Thank you Kimberly for sharing with us. If you would like to comment on Kimberly’s posts feel free to do so below. I hope you have been encouraged by her courage and willingness to share. Kimberly also writes about human trafficing. She gets rather passionate about it, even! You can find out more about that on her website:  www.kimberlyrae.com

    And for the highly sensitive these emotional and psychological issues cut deeply and profoundly mess with your mind, self-image and sense of worth. And yet God made you highly sensitive knowing that you would also become chronically ill. Let this be the place you air your thoughts and feelings about God, yourself and others. I’d love to hear from you. See you next week.

    Blessings, Carol
    Amazon Best Selling Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive
    www.fromgodsheart.com
    www.joystarters.com


    P.S. You should also put your email address in that “follow” box up at the top, if you would please? Then my little blogger guy will notify you when there is a new posting. Thank you! : )

























  • Excerpt from Sick &; Tired–Guest Post

    sicktiredcoverGlad you are back!
     
    I have characterized living with MS as like wrestling with an octopus. Just when you manage to subdue one tentacle, seven more appear!
     
    If you live with a chronic illness you will resonate with what Kimberly has to say in this little excerpt from her book which launches June 26. It is available now through Amazon, but on June 26 you will be able to get the kindle edition free! I will publish the link for the freebie as soon as it is available.
     
     Now, more from Kimberly!

     

    Sick & Tired: Empathy, Encouragement, and Practical Help for those Suffering with Chronic Health Problems

    Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. Mark Twain

    Sometimes I want to slap a sticky note on my forehead that says, “I am sick. No, I don’t look sick at this moment. But I am not faking having a disease just because I’m not in a wheelchair, and I am not a freak.”

    Now, I am aware walking around with a note like that on my head would actually put me in the freak category. Not to mention all those words would only fit on a Post-It note if I wrote it very, very small, and then people would have to get really close to me to read it, and that might just put me over the edge. I’m really into my personal space.

    The thing is, I don’t like talking about having chronic health problems that interfere with my life. I don’t like the way people look down, over, and around me when they realize I have a chronic illness. Or worse yet, the suspicious way their eyes narrow when they decide it’s all in my head, or I’m a hypochondriac.

    Why does it bother me to tell people I have health problems? Doesn’t everybody at some point? I suppose that’s the crux right there. For most people, the difference is in the “some point” part.

    They have a problem. They go to the doctor. Doctor fixes it. Life moves on. It was a small, annoying inconvenience.

    For me, and likely for you since you’re reading this, your problem is not so temporary. You’ve got it for life, or until science finds a cure, which for some diseases is as likely as winning the lottery when you haven’t even bought a ticket. So we make people nervous.

    Instead, Americans spend billions trying to avoid anything that even smells like sickness. Our country has enough pills, vitamins, and herbal remedies to make you sick even if you started out healthy, or at least to make your urine turn neon yellow—which is an interesting phenomenon—though likely not worth all the money it took to make it happen.

    I would like to trade in my health problems and be well again. I sometimes think that would be getting my life back. But the truth is, this is my life, and as I have come to (almost) accept that fact and make the best of it, I think there’s hope for me.

    Maybe not to cease being a freak to some, but to cease seeing myself as a victim, as a traumatic case, or even as a lesser being because of my illness. That being the goal, maybe I’ll remove the hypothetical Post-It note from my forehead and put it in my back pocket, to be removed periodically and waved in people’s faces only when I’m having a tough day. It’s a start anyway.

    clip_image002[7]
     
    Check out Sick & Tired today at Amazon.com! Also look for its companion book, Laughter for the Sick & Tired, on Amazon or on www.Kimberly Rae.com  
     
    Blessings, Carol
    Amazon Best Selling Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive
     
    P.S. Would you please fill in your email address in the “follow” box up at the top of the blog? Thank you! Hope to see you here again next week.


  • What Sick People Wish Healthy People Knew

     
    I’ve been blogging about difficulties of living with MS but these are not problems unique to MS. Anyone with a chronic illness must cope with the same sorts of issues.
     
    Author Photo More Square (2) 
    Today I want to introduce you to a friend, and fellow afflicted author, Kimberly Rae. She has been diagnosed with Addison’s disease. At this point doctors think it is relatively rare, but they used to think that of a lot of things. She is also diagnosed with several other ailments you will find listed at the end of this post. She is well acquainted with the full gamut of emotional/spiritual battles that chronic illness brings.
     
    One of the things that is hard to deal with when you are chronically ill is well meaning advice on one hand and ignorance of chronic illness  on the other. I particularly liked Kimberly’s list!

     
    Things Sick People Wish Healthy People Knew

    With nearly one out of every two people having some kind of chronic condition, it is very likely that you either have a chronic illness or you love someone who does. Today’s post has tips from people with chronic illness, things they wish healthy people would understand, compiled by Amazon bestselling author and Addison’s disease sufferer, Kimberly Rae.
    Here’s what real people with chronic illness have to say about what they wish healthy people knew…
    Disclaimer: Each of these will not necessarily fit every chronically ill person, they are just to give an idea of what many may feel.

    1. I don’t want to be sick. If I could make it go away, I would.
     
    2. I feel guilty for my limitations and need reassurance that I am still valuable.

    3. I wish they would know how hard it is for me to plan ahead to do things. Also, just because I’m able to do things one day doesn’t mean I can do them the next. The inconsistency and uncertainty…is the worst part, because I never know how I will feel from day to day.  
     
    4. I wish the well friends realized that I cannot keep up the same level of activity when I am under the weather. My house is a mess; the spiders won’t pay rent and the kitchen floor is adhesive. I’ve been MIA over the last 2 months or so–the only people who have contacted me (to see how I’m doing) are ones who have health issues of their own.
     
    5. I wish they knew that we are not lazy. We want to participate in all the things they do, but sometimes our bodies just won’t let us. Also, just because we don’t look sick doesn’t mean we aren’t struggling with pain or fatigue.
     
    6. If it weren’t for facebook, I would have no friends at all. No one offers to help. No one comes around just to talk. I have lived in this place 3 years, not one person has visited me here. I can’t clean by myself, I have trouble cooking every day (and hubby is so good about not insisting), grocery shopping takes all of my strength since I have to also carry it inside and put it away. I sometimes pray for an OCD friend who will be so aghast at the condition of my house that she will volunteer to help me. 🙂
     
    7. If I say no to an activity or event, it is not personal. It’s not that I don’t want to go (I do!), and not that I’m avoiding those people; it’s just that even fun things can be more than my body can handle sometimes.
     
    8. I wish healthy people could accept that my condition is not going to go away. If you ask, “Are you feeling better?” I don’t know how to answer. Better as is not sick anymore? As in better than the last flare up? Better than this morning? Instead, I’d love to have you smile and say, “How are you feeling today?” Thanks.
     
    If you have a chronic illness, what would you add to this list? A little understanding goes a long way, so don’t be shy! (But with gentleness and respect, please.)
     
    Kimberly Rae has Addison’s disease, hypoglycemia, asthma, scoliosis, and a cyst on her brain. She loves helping others live joyfully despite chronic illness. She could never find the kind of book she wanted when she was recovering from a bout of whatever so she wrote it. Get your copy.

    Check out her newest book, Sick & Tired, on Amazon, to be launched June 26h, 2013! http://tinyurl.com/mj8utum and you can find her website here.

    Book Trailer: www.kimberlyrae.com

    Blessings, Carol                                                                                                                                  Best selling author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive www.fromgodsheart.com                                                                                              www.joystarters.com