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Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days...Bad Days With Maureen Pratt Archives

Chronic Illness: Being Competitive

posted by mpratt

When I was first diagnosed with lupus, I asked my rheumatologist if she recommended I attend a patient support group. Her answer surprised me; she said ‘no,’ and explained that the experience might frighten me or make me depressed. Eventually, […]

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Chronic Illness and Pain: All Tied Up in Ribbons?

posted by mpratt

I noticed that the cashier at a store where I shop was wearing a red dress ribbon, for heart health. I commented on it, and she said, “Oh, yes, we had a promotion for cancer awhile ago. I like the […]

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Chronic Illness: Compose Yourself!

posted by mpratt

Wait! Wait! I’ve got it…uh…it’s…I’ve got it…Oh, no I don’t! If you have an illness where there is a component of brain fog (as with lupus and many other autoimmune illnesses), you’ve probably had the experience of trying to remember […]

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The Power of the Nap

posted by mpratt

When I was first diagnosed with lupus, one of the things I learned was that the fatigue of a flare can be overwhelming. “Bone-numbing” is a description I’ve used a lot to try to help others understand how beyond-tired I […]

Chronic Illness: How Can You Have Hope When They Say, ‘There’s Nothing More We Can Do’?

posted by mpratt

Toward the end of last year, I received an email from one of the patient advocacy groups I keep informed of. It said that a lupus drug had failed in trials and was being scrapped – but not to lose […]

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 […]

A Beautiful Flag Day to You!

posted by mpratt

I’m not much for awareness ribbons. There are so many of them, now, and of so many different colors, that I’m at sea as to which is which. I am, however, very appreciative of the flag, particularly the flag of […]

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 […]

Stress buster: Tips for those long waits in doctors’ offices

posted by mpratt

Oooh, they’re getting longer, not shorter, those waits in doctors’ offices. And, if you’ve exhausted all those rat-eared magazines and examined drab artwork long enough, you’re probably feeling impatient, patient. Edgy, perhaps. Or, even angry. But, wait! (as if you […]

Living Lupus: Summer in the Sun (Not!)

posted by mpratt

One of the things that can be very damaging to lupus patients is something that many people are already enjoying to the hilt in the early summertime: Basking in the glow and warmth of the sun. Unfortunately for many of […]

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 […]

Lupus: Is Celebrating the Survivors Unrealistic?

posted by mpratt

I was once told by a person in a responsible position in a patient advocacy organization to “be positive, let them know that lupus isn’t all that bad. Don’t be negative.” The message this well-meaning person seemed to want was […]

Lupus Awareness Day – Putting on the Purple

posted by mpratt

Lent is over. Advent is a long while away. But, today, I’m going to wear purposeful purple! May is Lupus Awareness Month, and today is Lupus Awareness Day, and the color is purple. Purple is a deep color, sometimes mysteriously […]

Fatigue and Friends

posted by mpratt

May is Lupus Awareness Month. For those of us with lupus, it might seem beside-the-point; it’s almost impossible to have lupus and not be aware of it each day, not only in May! I’m not going to go into “what […]

Living with Heredity

posted by mpratt

Well, I’m nearly 15 years into my diagnosis of lupus, and “they” still don’t know what causes it, really. Sunlight can trigger it in some people, and certain medications can bring on drug-induced lupus. But beyond that, well, it’s pretty […]

At the Whim of the Weather…Or Not

posted by mpratt

Periodically, I’ve delved into research about whether the weather affects people’s health. Some arthritis sufferers, for example, insist that their condition worsens as rain approaches, and some who suffer from depression often report that their mood is darker when the […]

Lupus: Coping Skills 4 and 5

posted by mpratt

How quickly May went by! Lupus Awareness Month is nearly over. Not so, unfortunately, the disease itself. No, it’ll be with us for quite some time, and thus my fourth and fifth “Lupus Coping Skills”: Adaptability and Creativity. These might […]

Chronic Illness: What Do You Do with the Fatigue?

posted by mpratt

Premission to sleep! Chronic illness, whether lupus, fibromyalgia, MS, or another culprit, can bring on fatigue. Not just the “normal” kind brought on by a busy night or day, or strenuous exercise. No, our fatigue is usually called “unrestorative,” that […]

Lupus: Coping Skill # 3

posted by mpratt

The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear it if the spirit is crushed?                  Proverbs 18:14, New Living Translation These few words from Proverbs say it all about the importance of a strong spirit when […]

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 […]

Lupus: Coping Skill # 2

posted by mpratt

When I was diagnosed with lupus, I found it extremely helpful to immediately organize all the information, appointments, and other things pertaining to life with the diagnosis. That, then, was my “Coping Skill # 1.” Next, I set about finding […]

Lupus: Getting Involved in Awareness Month

posted by mpratt

Before this Lupus Awareness Month gets too far underway, I wanted to highlight a few activities that will be taking place to educate, encourage, and raise funds for research. I realize that budgets can get stretched and energy sapped easily […]

Lupus Coping Skill: Number 1

posted by mpratt

When you are diagnosed with lupus, you have to absorb a lot of information in a brief period of time. Lupus is a very complex disease; even if your case is mild and you do not have to take any […]

Lupus: First Symptoms

posted by mpratt

The first significant symptom that I had that indicated something was seriously wrong was that my hair began coming out of my scalp in thick, cylindrical clumps, leaving behind smooth, round bald patches from which no further hair would grow. […]

Lupus: Why Is It Called “Lupus?”

posted by mpratt

One of the most confounding things for many people when they first hear the term lupus is, “Why is it called ‘lupus?’” The name doesn’t resonate with people today; it doesn’t seem to describe any kind of body part or […]

Lupus Awareness Month: For Starters

posted by mpratt

May is Lupus Awareness Month, and during this time, I’ll be blogging frequently about aspects of the disease, living with it, and coping with it. I realize my personal experience is unique; each person with lupus has his or her […]

Chronic Illness: Determined Adaptation

posted by mpratt

Never say “give up!” That’s one of my mottos for life with lupus. The flare that was stirred up after I had to go off one of my lupus meds has also made me extremely sun- and fluorescent light sensitive, […]

Chronic Illness: One Size (Often) Does Not Fit All

posted by mpratt

Have you ever had someone tell you you “must” do something for your illness, but your doctor has advised against it? Or, had someone say, “I know someone with [your illness], and he/she is really healthy.” [implying, “what’s wrong with […]

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: Bathing Suit Season and Us

posted by mpratt

I saw it the other day. Had to blink and clear my eyes to make sure I’d seen correctly. Yup. It was there. Plain as these springtime-lengthened days. What was it? An advertisement for bathing suits. What is a lupus […]

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 Illness: You Do Not Have to Do It All

posted by mpratt

Calling all multi-tasking, over-stressed, well-intentioned people with chronic illness! (and I mean myself, too): You do not have to do it all. Not even if the nicest person from church calls you to ask you a “favor” because he/she knows […]

Chronic Illness: Taking Our Time

posted by mpratt

In one of my first blogs, I shared a picture of an African violet that I grew from a single leaf. It had just bloomed for the first time, only a few months after the leaf cutting was taken. That […]

Chronic Illness: Not Impolite, Just Prudent

posted by mpratt

Sometimes, moving about in public resembles running a gauntlet of things unhealthful. Smokers. Angry drivers. Sick people sneezing and coughing freely. Dodging these perils can be nearly impossible – but imperative, if we with chronic illness want to keep our […]

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 […]

Permission to Sleep

posted by mpratt

Want to make your good day even better? Give yourself permission to sleep! Before my lupus diagnosis, I overslept my alarm, steeled myself from taking naps that I craved, and felt guilty because I was so very, very fatigued. When […]

As Flu Season Accelerates

posted by mpratt

This year’s flu season is already shaping up to be scary. It’s early, virulent, and rapidly overwhelming many U.S. hospitals and doctors’ offices. One of the things that makes this time of year very worrisome is the thought of adding […]

A Good Bad Hair Day – For All Those Sisters Living with Hair Loss

posted by mpratt

Bible passages about the beauty and symbolic strength of human hair abound – and became rather difficult for me to read around the time that I began to develop full-blown lupus. One of the first symptoms indicating something was seriously wrong […]

WORDPLAY: HOW DO YOU SAY, “FATIGUE?”

posted by mpratt

When I was newly diagnosed with lupus, people would often ask me, “What symptoms do you have?’ When I’d say, “Well, I get fatigued,” they might reply, “Oh, but, you take naps, so you must feel better after that,” or, […]

Previous Posts

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
Pope Francis has announced today, September 1, as the "World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation," and by doing so ...

posted 1:10:39am Sep. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Stranger Intrusion - the Good and the Bad
During these very hot days of August, I decided to try something different to keep myself sun-protected, but a bit cooler than when I wear wigs under my broad-brimmed hats. I purchased a long and sheer scarf, folded it into a triangle, tied the ...

posted 8:38:11pm Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Illness and Pain: Sisters, Please Read This!
f you have just been diagnosed with a serious chronic illness, or if you have been living with one for a long time, I just want to take time out to just say something, sister-to-sister:  Please do not be angry with yourself if you find that you ...

posted 8:32:25pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Do You Wonder? And, Why It Matters
The clouds in the sky. A flash of lightning. A baby's giggle. A "common" cold. When you see or hear these things, do you disect them scientifically? Or, do you wonder? What are the things in your life that you try to analyze? What are ...

posted 7:23:11pm Aug. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Pain: Feeling the Heat?
Searing. Exhausting. Oppressive. These and other words are often used to describe the high heat of the summertime. ...

posted 7:06:47pm Aug. 24, 2015 | read full post »

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