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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

TLC Tuesday: Celebrate!

posted by mpratt

When was the last time you celebrated living? Oh, not another birthday or anniversary. Not even milestones such as so many months after ending treatment or physical therapy. No, when was the last time you celebrated your God-given, blessedly wonderful […]

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Chronic Pain: The Oasis in Our Hearts

posted by mpratt

One of the most difficult things about living with chronic pain can be finding relief. Oh, yes, we work with our doctors, physical therapists, and other medical professionals to do this. But in the day-to-day, when that sharp jab makes […]

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Chronic Illness and Pain: Discerning Who to Tell What

posted by mpratt

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 […]

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Chronic Pain: Going into the Wilderness

posted by mpratt

Ah! Wilderness! I’ve always like that title for a book or a play. Not so fond of it as a description of what it’s like to live with chronic pain. But, so often,that is what it is like. Wilderness. Stark. Deserted. […]

Chronic Illness: When You Really Accomplish Something

posted by mpratt

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 […]

Chronic Pain: When It Seems As If You’re Playing A Losing Game

posted by mpratt

Lately, my pain experience has been much like playing that arcade game where you hold a hammer and wait for a thing – sometimes an artificial mole, sometimes something else – to pop up from one of the many holes […]

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 […]

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 […]

Chronic Pain and Illness: Priorities, Priorities

posted by mpratt

If you find it difficult to prioritize responsibilities and activities while juggling the effects of life with chronic pain and illness, you’re not alone. I do, too, and sometimes I feel akin to a circus act – wondering if I’ll […]

Chronic Pain: Catching Your Breath on the Roller Coaster Ride

posted by mpratt

It isn’t often that we get a lull in the “medical” action during our lives with chronic pain. In fact, such moments, brief or long, might take us by complete suprise – and we don’t fully realize them until they’re […]

Chronic Pain and Illness: How We Do It All

posted by mpratt

When I talk with people about what I do, their response is frequently, “How do you fit it all into a day?” My response, generally, is, “I don’t.” The concept of “a day” is very different for those of us […]

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 […]

TLC Tuesday: Picking up the Pieces

posted by mpratt

Pine needles are scattered down the hallway, a stray ornament has rolled under a living room table. The manger scene will remain on my piano through Epiphany and then it, too, will be stowed away until next/this Christmas. The time […]

A Praying Spirit: Praying through Pain

posted by mpratt

You want to pray, you want to feel God’s comfort and love. But you’re in too much pain to sit, stand, or lie down without feeling consumed with hurt. When you think the pain is subsiding, you try again, but […]

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 […]

New Podcast Chat with Sean Herriott

posted by mpratt

Sean Herriott is the former host of Relevant Radio (Catholic Radio)’s morning program, “Morning Air.” Over the past several years, I was a regular guest on Sean’s program, talking about health and faith an all sorts of topics. He now […]

Chronic Pain: A Goodness within You

posted by mpratt

Pain is like a very nasty weed. Its roots run deep, its leaves spread wide and block out light. It can take over and make all things good seem distant, unreachable. But just as pain is within, so, too, is […]

TLC Tuesday: Slow down!

posted by mpratt

It’s TLC Tuesday, again. But it’s also probably the heart of “Back to…” season. Back to school, back to work, back to lots and lots of activities. Yes, activities, and, probably, a lot more stress, a lot more “Hurry up!” […]

Chronic illness: Forming our destinies

posted by mpratt

One of my favorite subjects was and still is history. I think we can learn a lot about our todays and our futures by learning from the past. For example – think about how hard life was in the 18th […]

Chronic illness: Sweating it out

posted by mpratt

During long days at high school band practice, baking under the blazing August sun and sweating buckets, I learned the importance of hydration – replacing the fluid our bodies lose under such circumstances.  Water, sports’ drinks, whatever our doctors tell […]

TLC Tuesday: Gently, Gently

posted by mpratt

A harsh word, a sudden move, an angry outburst – we’ve all made them and felt them from others. Not uplifting or comforting, these brusk and sometimes brutal actions. For today’s TLC Tuesday, the word and action is “gently.” Gently […]

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: A Full-time Job

posted by mpratt

I get a little tongue-tied sometimes when people ask me what I do. Not that writing isn’t the first thing that pops into my head. But, I have to think too, of the other job, the other full-time job: managing life with […]

This is the day

posted by mpratt

Imagine if you gave a good friend a present, all wrapped up and shining in the light. What if that friend, instead of opening the package, set it aside. He or she tells you, “Oh, thanks. But I’ll get to […]

Chronic Illness: How do you describe it, exactly?

posted by mpratt

Time often flies by when you’re living, and when you have a chronic illness, time passes sometimes in odd ways. Slowly, in some measure, because living with pain is especially, well, painful, and the more pain you feel, the slower […]

Let’s Hear It for Christmas in July!

posted by mpratt

I used to think that “Christmas in July” events were only commercial enterprises, destined to convince people to “shop now!” or “buy now!” But, this year, I’m embracing “Christmas in July” for what it truly can be – a reminder […]

Chronic illness: If you think you cannot believe

posted by mpratt

I’ve said many times that I cannot imagine facing my health challenges without faith. Many other people I know feel the same way; they rely on God throughout every trial, and every praiseful moment, too. But, what if you cannot […]

To Be Encouraged, Encourage Someone Else

posted by mpratt

Time and again, I’ve seen the amazing transformation in someone who is deeply suffering (whether with pain, illness, or other pressures), when they receive a kind, uplifting, or unexpectedly positive remark from someone else. Part of this is, I think, […]

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 […]

Chronic illness: Wading into unknown territory

posted by mpratt

It’s never just a “common cold,” is it? Well, for some people, it is. But for many of us lupies and people with other orphan or rare illnesses, the “always sometime new” often turns out to be something so very […]

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 […]

Coping with chronic illlness: Sorting it all out

posted by mpratt

Living with chronic illness is hard, but sorting through all the symptoms to communicate with our doctors can be even tougher, sometimes. For example, perhaps you feel tired. Is it the same kind of tired as when your illness flares? […]

Living with chronic illness: How do you respond to the world?

posted by mpratt

No doubt about it, there are lots of problems in our world. Close to home and far away, the news of the day is full of strife, violence, awful issues, and injustices. But even closer to home is your and […]

Stress buster: A thankful spirit

posted by mpratt

How often do you give thanks each day? I try to sprinkle liberal doses of thanks throughout mine. And, besides the obvious – that thanks is a prayer to God that I am grateful for even the smallest thing in my […]

Chronic Pain Coping: Naming Your Pain

posted by mpratt

Okay, I confess to a bit of juvenile fun. Plants, fish, even the hummingbird that visits each year – I have a name for them all. Even if it is “Silly” or “Birdie,” each flitting, swimming, and growing thing gets […]

Wisdom from Romans

posted by mpratt

Do not conform yourself to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect. —Romans 12:2 Sometimes, don’t you just feel […]

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 […]

The Miracle and Mystery of It All

posted by mpratt

It’s so easy to dwell on the pain, illness, and constraints that a chronic health condition imposes on us. So very easy, too, to think of what’s falling apart, what abilities are becoming (or have become) disabilities. But, here I […]

Is It Christian to Take Care of Yourself before Others?

posted by mpratt

We are fast approaching the most profoundly Christian time of the year, Holy Week and Easter, during which we will hear again about Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice, death on the cross, which redeemed us, washing away our sin and opening up […]

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 […]

Can You Be a Peacemaker When You’re at War with Yourself?

posted by mpratt

  We all have heard the Beatitudes, and especially (no doubt) remember, “Blessed are the peacemakers…” In a world of trouble, violence, and anti-faith, this is a tall order!But there’s another thing that makes being a peacemaker in our world […]

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 […]

Done Something Foolish?

posted by mpratt

In honor of April Fool’s Day, some thoughts about those foolish moments – better known as “Ooops!” We’ve all had them. Those moments (or days, or months…) when we’ve known better, but still… We knew it would be better not to attend a social […]

The myth of closure

posted by mpratt

My heart goes out to all those touched by the loss of the Malaysian jetliner, which is said to have crashed into the Indian Ocean with all lives aboard lost. What agony the families and friends must be feeling, collectively […]

Blooming Time!

posted by mpratt

Not long ago, I posted a picture of my season-challenged Christmas cactus. It had bloomed at, when else, Christmas, but for some reason a few weeks ago began producing buds again! Just in time for…Lent?! As sometimes happens with plants, […]

A Prayer for the Restless Spirit

posted by mpratt

For all of you whose spirit is restless and waiting…   Lord, I’ve prayed for a cure, but none has come. I’ve prayed for understanding of “why,” and haven’t received that, either. I sit, stand, and wait, Lord, for your […]

Add a Little Spring!

posted by mpratt

Hallelujah! Today is the first day of Spring! Even if your neighborhood is still digging out from snow, or you have to wear heavy clothing just to go out to get the mail, rest assured, the calendar has spoken – […]

Clearing the air

posted by mpratt

A recent rain brought crisp, clean air to Southern California. What a blessing! Before the deluge, it seemed as if there was a pall of dust over and around. Now, it’s a joy to breathe deeply and enjoy the outdoor […]

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 […]

Up to the test

posted by mpratt

The crucible for silver, and the furnace for gold, but the tester of hearts is the Lord Proverbs 17: 3   Living with illness and pain can seem like one, long, test. And, in many ways, it is. These challenges […]

Reminder: No Two Snowflakes Are Alike!

posted by mpratt

This was one of the first things I heard when I was diagnosed with lupus. “Lupies are like snowflakes – no two are alike.” It’s turned out to be a truly wise statement, in myriad ways. And it’s good to […]

Having a bad day? Cue the music

posted by mpratt

What is the soundtrack of your life? What songs lift you up? Make you want to move? Make you laugh? Make you cry? What songs do you take with you when you’re going to the doctor’s office? Or, having surgery? […]

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 […]

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 Heart to Go On

posted by mpratt

One of the things that helps me most to move forward is to look back, to see where I’ve been. Many times haven’t been easy, and many situations have not had clear answers or resolutions. But I “in the now” […]

Dress for success

posted by mpratt

When those skimpy hospital gowns make you shudder, and the only “social” appointments you have entail going to a doctor’s office or pharmacy, there’s nothing like a little “dress for success” action to help motivate you and inspire others! It […]

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 […]

Just for fun

posted by mpratt

Today is the perfect day to do something just for fun. Actually, every day is perfect, but why not start today? Just because you have a chronic illness or just because my knees buckle doesn’t mean we are unworthy of […]

When you think you’ve had enough

posted by mpratt

There’s a curious thing that happens to many writers when they reach the middle of a particular project: They want to turn back, start a new project, or otherwise abandon their current work-in-progress because it seems to be completely fogged […]

Lazarus and us

posted by mpratt

What a powerful story of love and God’s power is the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead! And what a blessing that, in Scripture, we have more than just a paragraph of the account. In John, for example, […]

A tip for rising above procrastination

posted by mpratt

Putting off something important? Waiting for the perfect moment before you take action on a step toward a goal? We all do it, of course. But what separates failures from successes? The ability to throw aside the tendency to procrastinate […]

How can you set goals when they keep moving?

posted by mpratt

It’s slippery, skittish, and speedy – chronic illness can lie relatively quiet for a time and then pounce on you from seemingly nowhere. One day, one moment, you might be forging ahead on steps toward a goal: Tapering medication, finishing […]

Your Olympic season

posted by mpratt

If you read the title of this blog post and laughed, you’re not alone. Many people simply do not think of themselves as athletic, let alone Olympic caliber. But if you’ve lived awhile with the challenges of chronic illness and […]

That spark of something

posted by mpratt

Living with chronic illness often entails suffering tremendous losses. These blows to a fragile spirit can quickly lead to a dull, deep down feeling of hopelessness. You might ask, “Will my life ever mean anything, again?” or, “What’s the point […]

Winter Wonder-land

posted by mpratt

Didn’t it begin earlier? Winter, I mean. Snow has already blanketed much of the Northern Hemisphere, and cold temps have thrown many areas into a deep freeze. Yet, calendar-wise, winter has only begun on December 21. Makes me wonder if […]

Happiness in a Box?

posted by mpratt

I’ve had more doctor appointments than usual, lately, because of the episode with my eye. So, I’ve tried to “lighten” things up by finding bits of humor. I recommend this for any heart that is heavy with the burdens of […]

Chronic Illness: Teetering on Your Pedestal?

posted by mpratt

During holiday season, we come in contact with many more people than we usually do. In the course of our conversations, we probably talk about the health challenges we’ve endured throughout the year-almost-past (or, at least some of them).  And, […]

Active Peace

posted by mpratt

We’re almost halfway through Advent, nearly two weeks away from once again welcoming the Prince of Peace. How is your peace? Are you frazzled from all the activity of the Season, yet? Feeling buffeted by family squabbles that have a […]

Bringing Glad Tidings

posted by mpratt

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,     because the Lord has anointed me; He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly,     to heal the brokenhearted To proclaim liberty to the captives […]

Important to Remember

posted by mpratt

If my experience last week is any example, I was strongly reminded that illness does not go on a holiday during the holidays – and when things go awry, it’s important to seek the right help, even if it interferes […]

Chronic Illness and Pain: Holiday Budget Blues

posted by mpratt

A harsh reality of life with chronic illness and pain is that it is expensive both in terms of what it costs medically (doc visits, medications, etc.) and productively (perhaps you cannot work as much anymore, or at all and […]

The greater the cheer, the greater the pain?

posted by mpratt

If you have felt great loss this year, or if your health challenges are weighing heavily upon your spirit and life, the “cheer” that accompanies this season can be particularly difficult to be around.  In fact, the great the cheer […]

Chronic Illness and Pain: Camera Shy?

posted by mpratt

With apologies to the beloved Christmas tune, “It’s the most photographed time of the year!” From now until the New Year, millions, if not billions of pictures will be snapped. Hours and hours of video will be shot. And you, […]

Where Does It Hurt?

posted by mpratt

A couple of weeks ago, I gave a talk about “Spiritual Suffering” at a large medical center in Los Angeles. The topic came at the end of a difficult, yet grace-filled year – a great way for God to help […]

Your Journey, Your Gift

posted by mpratt

Often, I hear people with serious chronic illness tell me that they feel so alone, so lost, and they don’t feel as if they have anything to give others. Illness has stripped them of their past careers, relationships, and even […]

Chronic Illness: Less Balance, Less Stress?

posted by mpratt

I wish I could remember where I heard it (lupus brain fog kicking in here), and if I ever do, I’ll be sure to give credit where it’s due…(and if you know where you heard, it please let me know!), […]

Chronic Illness: Dare to Be You!

posted by mpratt

Most of us who live with chronic illness become very creative when it comes to coping. Perhaps we have an “alter ego,” in the shape of a stuffed teddy bear or other inanimate object, and vent our frustrations on it […]

On the Inside Looking Out

posted by mpratt

Just as churches seem to be placing even greater emphasis on “community,” I and many of my fellow chronic illness and pain sufferers are gearing up and going inside before colder weather and cold and flu season. Indeed, for some […]

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 […]

Chronic Illness: Sometimes It’s the Little Things…

posted by mpratt

Paper cuts, ear wax build up, a common cold, a brief bump against a table that bruises a leg. For many people, these things are inconveniences that pass quickly. Oh, but we who have chronic illness most probably know differently. […]

The Value of Being Put on Hold

posted by mpratt

If we took all of the minutes and hours that we’ve spent on hold, waiting to talk to someone on the telephone, waiting for test results, waiting for appointments in the doctor’s office…and we received even $.25 per minute, imagine […]

Inspiration for the Underdog

posted by mpratt

So often, when we’re battling symptoms or snags in our healthcare, or just having a bad day, we feel as if life is stacked up against us. Yes, we feel like the underdog, not favored to win or even, perhaps, […]

Chronic Illness: What Is Your Vocation?

posted by mpratt

)n this Labor Day weekend, as we relax and unwind, we might inevitably think about the work that we do and wonder what in the world it has to do with our overall, spiritual purpose in life. This might be […]

Rest for the Weary

posted by mpratt

I met up with a neighbor recently. I hardly ever see her because she’s always working. But on this day, she was dressed casually, carrying a department store shopping bag, and wearing a cautiously cheery smile. “Off today?’ I asked […]

Say What?

posted by mpratt

A kind mouth multiplies friends, and gracious lips prompt friendly greetings. Sirach 6:5 Some days, nothing seems to go right. More symptoms. More pain. Insurance snags. Money troubles. The roof leaks. The dog runs away.  No one answers your calls. […]

Chronic Illness: A Special Home

posted by mpratt

With all the talk swirling around today about the housing and real estate market, I’ve been thinking a lot about what “home” means. For some, of course, it is considered an investment to be flipped at the swiftest and greatest […]

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 […]

Don’t Let Anyone Ruin Your Good Day!

posted by mpratt

We have all encountered the wet blanket. The person who seems to revel in stopping our good mood, or our good day, in its tracks. Perhaps the conversation goes something like this: “The sky is blue! Isn’t it lovely?” “See […]

Tempering Temper

posted by mpratt

When we’re angry, do we automatically feel we’re justified simply because we feel the anger? Or, could there be other reasons about which we might have some control? As summer heat matures, pressing down more harshly on certain parts of the […]

What Do You Let Go Of?

posted by mpratt

Chronic illness can lead to major changes in our lives, especially in our bodies. Weight gain or loss, skin tone alterations, hair loss or over-furry growth – these and other things can occur along the way and we have to […]

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 […]

Controlling the Uncontrollable

posted by mpratt

Ah! If only we could control our illness and pain! At least then we might be able to pick and choose the times and days when these awful challenges could stay in the background, corralled, quieted. But, unfortunately, much like […]

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: Setting Boundaries or Building a Wall?

posted by mpratt

Fatigue is one of the most difficult things to cope with when living with chronic illness or pain. It can make even the most mundane activities seem impossible, and sometimes it can come on so suddenly that it stops you […]

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 […]

Struggling to Have a Good Day?

posted by mpratt

Everybody’s happy! Everybody’s active! Everybody’s…NOT! When you don’t feel well, the struggle to make something, anything, good of a day can be exhausting and frustrating and, well, quite frankly, impossible. And yet, between those who say, “You have to have […]

Chronic Illness and Pain: Are You Prepared?

posted by mpratt

I’m behind on my blog postings, again! Not because I didn’t want to put fingers to keyboard. Oh, no. Yesterday, the power in my neighborhood went out. Four times! My exercise consisted of walking around to reset my clocks – […]

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 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 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 Illness: Finding “Peace in the Storm”

posted by mpratt

My book, “Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain & Illness” will celebrate 8 years in print this month! It’s been wonderful to see the book still find its audience: those who live with chronic pain and illness and […]

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 […]

Even with Pain, Even with Illness, Alleluia!

posted by mpratt

Holiday celebrations can sometimes be forced affairs. A date on a calendar is hardly reason of itself to raise spirits and feel emotions that the holiday evokes. Living with a serious illness or debilitating pain can certainly overshadow any “happy” […]

Chronic Pain: Good Friday and The Longest Walk

posted by mpratt

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Equ0RIiulOA There is a gospel song that resonates through my spirit on Good Friday. Simply named, “Calvary,” (I’ve linked one version of it that I found on YouTube, sung by Jami Jackson at the First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn)  a traditional, […]

Palm Sunday for Us

posted by mpratt

In the Catholic Church, Palm Sunday is also Passion Sunday, and the gospel reading is about the Lord’s arrest, crucifixion and death on the cross. It is hard to hear about how Jesus suffered, and even harder to imagine someone […]

Chronic Illness: We May Be Suffering, We May Be Down, But We Are Strong!

posted by mpratt

Throughout history, the suffering patient has had an uneasy role in society. In biblical times, lepers, the blind, the lame, and other ill or physically challenged people were often ostracized and thought to be or inhabited by evil. Moving toward […]

Chronic Pain: Bad Day, Bad Mood, Better Response

posted by mpratt

We’ve all done it – and probably felt even worse afterward. Done what? Taken out our frustration and anger about our pain on ourselves or someone else. The physical weight of the pain coupled with the ever-growing sense of being […]

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: 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 […]

Lent 2013: The Grace in Pain

posted by mpratt

So far, this has been a more painful Lent than usual. Lung inflammation, joint pain – ah, lupus! The twinges, aches, and stabs sure make pain immediately present. And one of the things I’m trying to do when they occur […]

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 […]

Prejudice – To Those Who Are Annoyed or Put Off

posted by mpratt

As a companion blog to “Prejudice – How We Cope,” I thought this might respond to those on the other side of chronic pain and illness: “To those who may be annoyed, put off, or otherwise inconvenienced by people with chronic […]

Prejudice – and How We Cope

posted by mpratt

A recent news story about a waiter who refused to serve customers who made derogatory comments about a special needs child in a restaurant really hit home for me. How unusual – and refreshing – that an able-bodied person unrelated […]

Word Play: How Do You Say ‘Comfort?’

posted by mpratt

Cold weather and pain are seldom a pleasant combination. For me, even when the temps dip below 50, I struggle (I also have Raynaud’s, which causes me to react to the cold in a finger-numbing way). Just thinking about it…Brrr! […]

Feel Like You’re Failing Because of Your Pain or Illness?

posted by mpratt

Today’s the “day after” my iron infusion and I’m at a very low ebb. Achy, headachy, slow…and wouldn’t you know that, when I got back from the long day yesterday, I had numerous emails and voicemails awaiting me. Things to […]

On Pain and Purposeful Laughter

posted by mpratt

 Don’t like pain? Don’t like needles? I’m right there with you. But today, I’ll be up close and personal with both. One of the illness I suffer from is iron deficient anemia, and periodically I have to get iron infusions. […]

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 […]

After Christmas Time- Now I Feel It!

posted by mpratt

Busy days, these have been, and well spent. But, if you, too, live with a chronic illness, you’ll understand:  With the joy and cheer come extra fatigue and pain. I’m not complaining. Christmas is one of my favorite holy-days (Easter […]

Advent 2012: Afraid of Getting Sick for the Holidays?

posted by mpratt

  Advent Day 17:  Afraid of Getting Sick for the Holidays? I’ve heard that the flu season has arrived early this year, and with is comes the “stop-you-in-your-tracks” possibility of being ill during this festive season. If you do not have […]

Advent 2012: Are You in a Drought?

posted by mpratt

Advent Day 9: Are you in a drought? The readings for today’s mass in the Roman Catholic liturgy begin with a wonderful, action-packed reading from Isaiah, Isaiah 35:1-10. It says, in part: The desert and the parched land will exult; […]

Advent 2012: What Is Your Light?

posted by mpratt

Advent Day 8: What is your light? What a beautiful time of year this is! Decorations in bright reds and greens, silver and gold adorn homes and shops and schools and streets. And, the lights! Those beautiful lights! For Advent, […]

Advent 2012: Are You Afraid to Say “Yes”?

posted by mpratt

Advent Day 7: Are you afraid to say “Yes”? Receiving a diagnosis of an illness is never easy. In fact, it might be nearly impossible to understand. Each of us has our own way of dealing with it. For some, […]

Advent 2012: Word Play: How Do You Say, “Merry?”

posted by mpratt

Advent: Day 5 Word Play: How do you say, “Merry?” “Merry Christmas!” “Merry Merry!” Meeerrrrrry Christmas!” We say it so often this month that we find ourselves saying it differently, whether just for variety or for emphasis. But, what does […]

Word Play: How Do You Say, “Pain?”

posted by mpratt

“Ouch!” “Eeeee!!!”  “Ow!”  “Oooh…” You may or may not find these words in your favorite dictionnary, but if you live with chronic pain, you’ll probably have used them or others to describe how a particular pang, ache, or jab feels. […]

A Little Bit of Whimsey, a Whole Lot of Love

posted by mpratt

What makes you smile? Oh, not a toothy grin, and not a sad melancholy expression. And, not life’s laugh tracks, the times we’re supposed to laugh just because everyone else is (and usually because of embarrassment, not joy). Rather, what […]

Setting Ourselves Up to Succeed

posted by mpratt

How often have you wanted to accomplish something, yet pain or illness prevented you from reaching your goal? How did you feel about that? Not good? Discouraged? Frustrated? Hopeless? Success means something different to each of us, but to many […]

Feeling Very Alone?

posted by mpratt

  “I don’t need anyone to help me with my illness. I don’t need other people, and I don’t need God. I can do it all by  myself.” The woman speaking had come to one of my booksignings. She sat […]

When We’re Down, Sometimes It Helps to Look Up

posted by mpratt

Chronic pain can often have us looking down for days. Looking down at life, other people who don’t seem to understand, doctors, even our dearest friends. Pain can get us down, too, to someplace that seems heavy, burdensome, and without […]

A HEARTY “THANK YOU!” TO THE PERSON WHO INVENTED THE ELASTICIZED WAISTBAND!

posted by mpratt

    If you can perform everydays tasks without pain, you might not fully understand the deep emotion that accompanies the title of this blog post. To you, I say, please read on. And to those who “get it,” well, you are […]

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