Advertisement

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days...Bad Days With Maureen Pratt Archives

Chronic Pain: The Void in Your Life

posted by mpratt

Sometimes, pain becomes so overwhelming that it closes out every ounce of strength and light that we might once have felt. And, into their place, there is a void. A void of light. A void of will. A void of […]

Advertisement

Food for Thought: Finding Faith in Fiction

posted by mpratt

Earlier this year, I wrote an article for Saint Anthony Messenger that coincided with the 50th anniversary of the death of American author and devout Catholic Flannery O’Connor. It was a very personal piece, especially because Flannery had died from […]

Advertisement

Chronic Illness: Does Ebola Scare You?

posted by mpratt

It seemed so far away. Until now. As I type this, a second person in Dallas has been diagnosed with ebola, and more are being monitored.  People are talking about it on the news and elsewhere, and asking the question, […]

Advertisement

Chronic Illness: Is It Easier to Open up to Strangers?

posted by mpratt

I overheard a conversation a few days ago. It was very revealing, but it wasn’t between two family members or friends. No, it was between two men waiting for prescriptions at the pharmacy. I was waiting, too, and couldn’t help […]

Chronic Pain: Lost and Found

posted by mpratt

Somewhere, amid the pain and the frustration we feel over lost health and today’s health trials, there are bright, uplifting memories we’ve lost track of, times when life was easier or days when we heard and enjoyed laughter, did good […]

Chronic Pain: Are you a camel?

posted by mpratt

Some days, I just hurt. I hurt so badly that it’s difficult to tell where the pain is coming from, let alone what to do to make it better. Some days, there’s no easy way around or through it. We […]

Chronic Illness: Faith and the Future

posted by mpratt

Fifty years ago, or perhaps even less, someone with a diagnosis of lupus could not expect a “normal”  lifespan. There was so little understanding of the disease, and few ways to treat the symptoms and flares, proctively or otherwise. Today […]

Happy Independence Day!

posted by mpratt

Happy Independence Day – and Independence Day Weekend! I hope you enjoy your celebration, however you manage to commemorate the day. This year, I have been reflecting on the concept of “independence” day, both for this country and for life […]

Sabotaging Your Health?

posted by mpratt

You’re upset over a new diagnosis, and you reach for the package of cookies. You know you shouldn’t eat them; your blood sugar’s been like a roller coaster lately. But it’s as if you’re on auto-pilot. Upset + availability of cookies […]

Under the eyes of a watchful, loving God

posted by mpratt

So often I hear one or more people living with illness or pain say, “Why did God let this happen?” As many of you probably already know, I tend to take an “illness is neither bad nor good, it just […]

Chronic illness and gardening: Learning to Grow

posted by mpratt

I’ve heard it said that, “as we grow, we learn.” Well, I’m finding out things a bit differently: “As I learn, I grow.” Lupus requires that I don’t spend a great deal of time outdoors, especially during the sunniest times […]

Chronic Pain: Many ways to say, “Hallelujah!”

posted by mpratt

Sometimes, praising God is tough. Physical pain can make it impossible to lift a limb, let alone raise hands to heaven. Emotions might be anything other than joy-filled. And spirits can sag, especially as life with chronic pain goes on […]

Lupus: One thing after another

posted by mpratt

It’s hard for many people to understand the “whack-a-mole”-like life that is life with lupus. There are some lupies among us with relatively mild disease and for whom some treatment provides longer-term relief. But there are some of us…Well, it’s […]

Chronic Illness: Developing a Fighting Spirit

posted by mpratt

Oh, my word, another diagnosis. Just when I thought I’d “collected the whole set” of lupus-related, autoimmune illnesses, I’ve been given another. And with it is another medication, monitoring by another specialist, and all the other things that go with […]

Why Centering Prayer Is So Important

posted by mpratt

If you’re like me, you find that your prayer list gets longer each day. World problems, individual petitions, personal prayers – we skip around this globe quite a lot when we sit down to have our quiet time with God. […]

Easter Monday: What Next?

posted by mpratt

A hoarse voice from all that praiseful singing, a stray foil wrapper without the chocolate egg, hosiery with the beginning of a run, achy joints from wearing Sunday-best shoes a little too long… It’s Easter Monday, and we’ve celebrated the […]

The Jewel within You

posted by mpratt

  Those beautiful baubles don’t start out as faceted jewels. Wrenched or blasted out of the ground, gem material (as it’s called) usually has a crust of other mineral material on it, often unattractive ore or dirt. Material that is […]

Peace in the Storm

posted by mpratt

Nine years has gone by in a flash! April 19, 2005, my book, “Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain & Illness,” first appeared in bookstores. I remember holding my first copy, looking at the cover, and wondering, “What […]

Building up Strength

posted by mpratt

A friend about to undergo chemotherapy. An aging parent who is wobbly. You, terrified of the next doctor’s visit and what news you might get. Right now, there are many of us who are anticipating something that will require much […]

It doesn’t matter when you bloom!

posted by mpratt

Feeling like life is passing you by because you’re limited by illness and pain? Do you believe you’re too old to try something new, achieve a dream, or simply shine brightly as a beloved child of God because your health […]

Happiness from the Outside, In

posted by mpratt

“Happiness is a by-product. You cannot pursue it by itself.”  Samuel Levenson, American humorist (1911-80) My page-a-day Old Farmer’s Almanac calendar often has pithy quotes that stir my thinking. The one above, on Thursday’s page, struck me as tremendously appropriate […]

Spring will come

posted by mpratt

A dear friend of mine who also suffers from severe lupus is not a believer. Nevertheless, we share a very profound sense of faith that’s summed up by saying, “Spring will come.” Of course, from my perspective, the phrase relates […]

Never Enough

posted by mpratt

If you’re sick, in pain, and low, you might have heard yourself say, “I don’t have enough support.” or, “I don’t have enough money to get the care that I need.” or, even, “I don’t have enough energy/mobility/resources/hope to feel […]

One, Brief Window?

posted by mpratt

The weight of pain and illness, and the limitations these bring to daily life, can become excruciating, oppressive. But beneath the heavy burden of physical challenges is, often, a glimmer of light. Even if the door to wholeness and health […]

Hearing and Listening

posted by mpratt

“He just didn’t listen to the doctor,” she said to the paramedic as he opened the ambulance door. “He went out there and shoveled that snow anyway.” “I heard the doctor,” he said, lifting his head from the stretcher. “But […]

The Daring Life We Lead

posted by mpratt

Driving home one afternoon, I stopped at a stop sign to wait for traffic to clear before proceeding. Across the street and to my left, a woman with a sight dog (seeing eye dog) waited, too. The dog stood by […]

How do you react?

posted by mpratt

People can be so cruel. Recently, I was driving home and saw a person in a car nearly hit a pedestrian who was “of a certain age,” and moving more slowly than the impatient driver wanted her to. True, the […]

Advent of a New Year

posted by mpratt

The period between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day is short, but we do spend a lot of time thinking and wondering about it. For many, there is relief at seeing the “old” year go, and for some, anxiety […]

How do you grow a good life?

posted by mpratt

So often, I hear people who have chronic illness say, “I want a life!” or “I don’t even have a life!” I understand what they mean. All of us experience that wrenching away from what we have enjoyed or found […]

Science, Frogs, and Faith

posted by mpratt

I had such a good time on my interview on Relevant Radio’s “Morning Air with Sean Herriott” yesterday that I thought you might enjoy hearing the interview, too. What’s it about? Science, Frogs, and Faith! Click on the link and […]

Chronic Illness: The Next Generation

posted by mpratt

One of the most significant ways that our life with illness affects others is in providing guidance and influence over the next generation of patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. When I was first diagnosed with lupus, I didn’t consider this […]

What Season Are You In?

posted by mpratt

After nearly 15 years with lupus, I’ve come to realize that the journey with the disease moves along much like the seasons of the year. Spring, full of energy and promise and new things, is much like the early days […]

What I Am Learning from Pope Francis

posted by mpratt

As I type this, I am watching the coverage from Rio, where Pope Francis is participating in the 28th World Youth Day. With amazing stamina and overt joy, the Holy Father seems to be throwing himself into all of his […]

Too Soon? Too Late?

posted by mpratt

In the aftermath of life crises, loss, or a new diagnosis, people often tell us “take your time.” Indeed, we need time to digest what has happened and how it will affect our lives going forward. But we might also […]

“Have a great day!”

posted by mpratt

So, with three major life crises occurring within days of each other, and these having followed on the heels of a major lupus flare and significant medicine changes, I have a totally new perspective on that familiar throw-away line, “Have […]

Living the Life of Job?

posted by mpratt

Perhaps one of the reasons so many of us with chronic illnes identify with the biblical tale of Job is that we have (or are) lived it (living it). Recent time has certainly been like that for me, not just […]

Lupus: Relationships and Us

posted by mpratt

Last week, some friends of mine participated in a lupus event, and they invited me to come with them. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to see their caring in action. Truly, the benefit of being enveloped by […]

Chronic Illness: Find Your Spark Again!

posted by mpratt

Inside each of us, there is a light. But somedays, it seems as if that light has burnt out. When that happens in our homes or offices, we buy another and replace the old with the new. It’s not quite the […]

Chronic Illness: Taking Charge

posted by mpratt

The first book about chronic illness that I wrote, with rheumatologist David Hallegua, MD, was called “Taking Charge of Lupus: How to Manage the Disease and Make the Most of Your Life.” This was not the book’s original title; I’d […]

Chronic Illness: When the Future Is Unclear

posted by mpratt

When you’ve lived through the sharp flares and relative calms of chronic illness, you begin to understand that nothing is guaranteed. As I’ve experienced recently, sometimes the medications we take to keep some symptoms under control suddenly stop working or […]

Chronic Pain, Depression, and the Suicide of Pastor Rick Warren’s Son, Matthew

posted by mpratt

I am not an expert on depression. Lupus can cause it, or a lupus patient can certainly become depressed. But depression is not one of the conditions from which I have suffered throughout my life with serious illness. However, I […]

Chronic Pain: Easter Bunnies and Everyday Rabbits

posted by mpratt

I still enjoy the glow from a very good Easter. Good liturgies, good lessons, good weather, good fellowship, good food. Yup, it was all good. And it has truly put a smile in my heart, even two days removed from […]

Chronic Illness and Pain: What Does It Take for You to Bloom?

posted by mpratt

Today, the African violet leaves that I planted back in June of 2012 are bearing beautiful blooms! Not just ones and twos, but many of the plantlets have grown and are putting forth colorful flowers. The splashes of magenta, purple, […]

Chronic Illness: Worried?

posted by mpratt

I’m embarking on a new leg of my journey with lupus, after learning that one of the medications I’ve been taking for a long while is causing damage to my retinas. The next year will be, to say the least, […]

Chronic Illness: When We Don’t Know What’s to Come

posted by mpratt

Yesterday was a tough doctor day for me. I had to have retests of my retinas for a problem that may or may not be related to one of the medications I take to treat lupus and keep it (moderately) […]

Chronic Pain: Why Isn’t Everyone Cured?

posted by mpratt

When I heard the news story today about the Mississippi child who was born with HIV and now, 2 1/2 years later, seems to be cured, I was very happy for researchers and others who have been working in the […]

Chronic Illness: How to Handle the Snowball

posted by mpratt

Whenever someone visits or lives in a place where snow has recently fallen, I ask them to “throw a snowball for me.” It was one of my favorite things to do, when I lived in blizzard-prone places, and I still […]

Chronic Illness: Retiring the Blame Game

posted by mpratt

“I got this from my father’s side.” “She couldn’t have gotten it from my side of the family.” “I shouldn’t have smoked three packs a day. “If only I’d exercised more, this would have never happened.” The blame game abounds […]

Chronic Illness: Steering the ‘Type A’ in All of Us

posted by mpratt

I’ve heard many lupus patients say, over the course of time in which I’ve spoken with patient groups, that many of us were and still are “Type A” personalities. The ones who did it all. The ones who would take […]

Inspiration All Around

posted by mpratt

Beginning the first week of the new year with going to a friend’s funeral might not be one of the easiest ways to start 2013, but it brought to mind something tremendously important to me: For inspiration in life, we […]

A Bumpy Start Doesn’t Have to Mean a Bad New Year Is Ahead

posted by mpratt

This new year, like many before, stretches ahead with promise and, I’m sure, lots of good days ahead. But it has begun a bit on the bumpy side. Holiday travel stirred up more than the usual aches and pains, some […]

Advent 2012: What Do You Love Most about These Days?

posted by mpratt

Advent Day 13: What do you love most about these days? The colors, smells, sounds, and sights of the Christmas season are varied and awesome. Each of us has at least one favorite thing, whether it is a treasured ornament, […]

Advent 2012: Have You Found Your Voice?

posted by mpratt

Advent Day 11:  Have you found your voice? John the Baptist cried out in the wilderness to “Prepare the way of the Lord.” Christmas songs spill one after the other from radios, televisions, and loudspeakers all around us. Have you […]

Advent 2012: What about You?

posted by mpratt

Advent Day 10: What about you? Rise early. Hurry up. Juggle.  Add one, two, three more things to your list. Retire late. Repeat tomorrow. And tomorrow. And tomorrow. Still two weeks away from Christmas, and you might already be feeling […]

Advent 2012: Do You Hear What I Hear?

posted by mpratt

Advent Day 4: Do you hear what I hear? Yes, there’s a Christmas song with those lyrics (one of my favorites, actually). And there’s also a potent and pertinent sentiment behind them. As we rush through these Advent days, do we take […]

Advent 2012: Are You on Hold?

posted by mpratt

ADVENT DAY 3:  Are you on hold? Waiting on the telephone is often one of the most aggravating things that can happen in a day, especially because nothing much happens! Oh, we might hear a loop with the same music […]

Alzheimer’s Disease: You, an Advocate?

posted by mpratt

Before this year, I have to admit that being an advocate for Alzheimer’s disease was not on my list of things to do. I was aware of the disease, had written a few columns about it, and had known people […]

Even with Alzheimer’s Disease, the Soul Still Sings

posted by mpratt

When Laura Young, Jewish Chaplain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, presented her spiritual reflection on Alzheimer’s disease to the other Pastoral Care chaplains at Cedars, she did not know that I had requested an interview only a day […]

Light a Candle for Alzheimer’s

posted by mpratt

Often, when I bring up the subject of spirituality, inspiration, or faith  with patient advocacy groups, the response I receive is lukewarm or even negative.  As important as these elements are to sucessfully coping with any physical challenge, some people […]

Job’s Friends

posted by mpratt

In my book, “Beyond Pain: Job, Jesus, and Joy,” much of the section on Job involves Job himself – his life, his suffering and, eventually, his finding immense joy. But integral to telling Job’s story is also the subject of […]

WHAT’S SO IMPORTANT ABOUT FAITH WHEN WE LIVE WITH ILLNESS AND PAIN?

posted by mpratt

As I’ve lived with serious illnesses for many years, people often ask me what helps keep me positive and determined to make the most of life. I always answer: Faith. Keeping faith foremost is not always the easiest thing to […]

Previous Posts

It Doesn't Take Much to Care
Martyrs and missionaries make astounding sacrifices each day to bring the Gospel and God's love to others. They commit themselves to monumental tasks, knowing that they are giving their lives over to serving and, sometimes, dying for others and ...

posted 7:34:08pm Jun. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Illness and Pain: Discerning Who to Tell What
As we journey through our lives with chronic pain and illness, we undoubtedly will come across people who ask us "How are you?" Some are truly caring and want to be empathetic and/or reach out with help. Others are being polite, but might not be ...

posted 7:21:50pm Jun. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Pain: Freshening up the Daily Routine
Like many of you, my days begin with much of the same routine, mostly involving health activity. Stretching, medications, setting up for the day ahead (sun protective clothing or not?) - it can feel as if each day begins with the same old thing. ...

posted 1:16:47am Jun. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Happy Father's Day!
A very happy Father's Day to all fathers - those who are related through blood and those who act as fathers to all of us! Your strength, patience, creativity, and care are truly appreciated - and I hope that this day brings you much joy and ...

posted 7:21:21pm Jun. 21, 2015 | read full post »

TLC Tuesday: A Little Attention
When we consider all of the things we must do each day, we might quickly become overwhelmed. Large tasks - doctor's appointments, job interviews, school finals, for example - and smaller ones - grocery shopping, laundry, feeding the pets - can ...

posted 10:06:01pm Jun. 15, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.