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Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Chronic Illness: When You Really Accomplish Something

posted by mpratt
Image Courtesy of Janes Barker/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of Janes Barker/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Oh, what a great feeling it is when you really accomplish something – despite all the challenges and setbacks that chronic illness can bring! It’s a remarkable boost, even if you’re really spent afterward, to be able to look back at the pitfalls and say, “In spite of all that, I made it!”

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I suppose marathoners feel much the same way – pushing through the “wall” of fatigue to get to the finish line, triumphant.

Right now, I feel really happy that I’ve finished the manuscript to a new book! Oh, my, I’m very tired. But meeting the challenge despite illnesses, infections, and “life intervening” gives me good heart.

Serious chronic illnesses usually don’t allow us to jump from one thing to another, finishing this and that project and rocketing ahead to the next. I know that I’m going to need lots of time to recover before diving into something else, too.

But that moment of accomplishment is a very valid moment of joy. One to be cherished and appreciated. For it’s these types of moments that help us power through the other, more difficult times, when the end is unknowable and perhaps elusive. Or when, as with chronic illness, when there is no end, but rather an ongoing battle.

Yes, the times when we can really accomplish something help us through all the rest of life with lupus or any serious illness or pain. Sort of like intangible trophies, shining light upon us when much else is very dark.

Peace,

Maureen

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In Prayer You Are Safe

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicIf you’ve ever cringed before revealing to someone a very deep, serious emotion, then you understand that stomach-churning sensation of danger just before divulging something profoundly personal. Sometimes, we might not feel we can trust the other person in whom we’re about to confide. Sometimes, we might be afraid we’ll be judged harshly and punished severely – without a care for our vulnerability or feelings.

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But in prayer, no matter what we have to say, we are safe. This is so very important to remember – and to take to good heart.

The Father in Heaven, the loving Creator of each of us, is delighted that we come to Him in prayer. He wants us to be closer to Him.

We can tell God anything. We are safe.

Consider you prayers going forward as a way to open yourself up even more to God. Do not be afraid.

You are safe.

Peace,

Maureen

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Chronic Illness: Cleaning House

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicLife with a chronic illness can be cluttered quickly. There are all of those unused or partially used prescription bottles that litter our medicine drawers – oh, the ridiculousness of having to fill a whole prescription only to discover you’re allergic to it on the first dose! And, too, there are the objects with which to use the medications – inhaler extensions, spoons, droppers, vials, etc.

Medical paraphernalia – shoe inserts, braces, canes, wig brushes – oh, my! And, if your weight has yoyoed with your illness and/or meds, you might have two or three whole wardrobes – small, medium, and large.

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I realize that my illness can bring physical changes and different meds and other things, but fairly regularly, I clean house. I take any unused or expired meds to a recycling center that accepts such things (if there isn’t one near you, you can probably ask your pharmacist what to do). This way, I’m not polluting our water system or a landfill.

I take any and all items in good shape, including clothing and wigs, to a charity that will give them to someone who can really need them, but wouldn’t be able to afford them.

Aging with lupus has shown me that I exercise differently now than I did when I was in my 30s. I’ve donated much of my earlier-life exercise equipment already, and will do more of that, no doubt, as I continue to age.

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I also regularly go through my medical files and purge it of duplicates, which seem to find their way into the files seemingly without my having anything to do with it! This way, I free up space and keep a coherent narrative of my health flowing.

There’s no perfect time to clean house, but once done, I do get a great sense of achievement, and I’m happy that I’ve been able to help someone else, too!

A lean, mean, lupie machine – or, at least one that isn’t tripping over unnecessary “stuff” – what a way to clean house and move ahead!

Joys,

Maureen

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Chronic Illness and Lupus: The War Inside

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author Pic‘Tis the season for doctors’ appointments. Tests. Treadmills. And, oh, the dreaded “fasting bloodwork.” It’s generally fairly exhausting, and I try not to schedule more than one appointment per day (though sometimes, life doesn’t work out this way).

Health news aside, my “season” has kicked of in an unexpectedly nice way. The first doctor on the line-up (Batter up!) opened up about his thoughts on lupus – and they are so wonderful, I have to spread the word. This doctor gets life with lupus. And his words of wisdom just might, I think, help us all help others get it, too.

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Toward the end of the appointment, after my doc walked me through the frightfully complex, serious labrynth of science and patient-hood as it pertains to the problems with my retinas, I commented that it would be so much easier to be able to say to someone who doesn’t live with lupus and these other complicated autoimmune illnesses, “I broke my leg.” or, “I had a heart attack.”

Lupus and related problems are just so very intricate that it’s hard to make non-lupies understand.

Here’s how my doctor responded: “Watching someone live with lupus is like watching someone fight a war that’s going on inside of them. The lupus, or any serious autoimmune condition, is a war against yourself – an autoimmune process – and you fight that war every day. You try to look good and keep active, but it’s exhausting because you’re fighting that war all the time. I’ve seen people fight that war, and I’ve seen people with lupus die. I know just how hard, how serious it is.”

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Oh, my, I could have hugged him!

It isn’t every day that you find a doctor or other healthcare professional who will get lupus and what it means to live the life of a lupie. I am blessed that this doctor and my other tremendously talented medical team members do get it. And I tell them how much I appreciate them every time I get the chance.

Thank you doctors, too, especially those who get what your life is like. And if you feel one or more of them, or anyone in your important inner circle doesn’t quite understand, I hope this post will help communicate the idea, at least in part.

Joy and peace,

Maureen

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