Maintaining Balance (Or Something's Gotta Give)

Life can get out of balance pretty quickly.  When you have a chronic illness, that balance can be even more difficult to maintain.  It is one more demand upon our limited time and energy.  I know from personal experience, my life is often just a form of controlled chaos.  It doesn't help that I'm a recovering Type-A personality!  Maintaining balance in life is like driving a car.  If you aren't regularly checking your tire pressure, you may end up with a flat tire in the middle of nowhere.

Getting Sick When You're Sick

Not much about chronic illness surprises me anymore.  After 17 years, I've come to know all the familiar ups and downs, flares and remissions.  Don't get me wrong, it's still not easy and I struggle as much as anyone else.  It's just that there are few symptoms I haven't seen before.  I know my symptoms and what they indicate better than most doctors do.  But there is one thing that happens that always seems to catch me off guard. Getting sick.

Guest Post: Supporting A Spouse With Chronic Illness

In February of 2008, my husband, David, was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis. We'd never heard of Psoriatic Arthritis until that day. I didn't even know how to pronounce it. David had suffered from back pain since high school, but doctors had always attributed it to sports injuries and given him muscle relaxers. When the pain started spreading to other joints, he demanded an x-ray of his spine during a physical. Our family doctor, after looking at the x-ray and blood work, referred David to a rheumatologist.

Why Support From Family and Friends Can Make A Difference

How much support do you receive from the people that matter most in your life?  I have been blessed with a very supportive wife, loving parents, great kids, and family and friends that may not always understand all aspects to being chronically ill, but accept me and love me for who I am.  Unfortunately, that kind of support is missing from the lives of many people.

Growing Through Adversity

Adversity.  To be honest, I don't like that word very much.  I've had my portion, thank you very much, and I don't want another helping.  To me adversity often feels like an unwanted yet familiar companion.  So much so that when it's absent, I feel like something is actually wrong!  It's strange how we get used to living with challenges.  We have to expect adversity in our lives.  Especially if you have a chronic illness.  But we can choose how we respond to it and can grow from it.

Too Young for Chronic Illness: An Interview With Laurie Edwards

Peter's Note:  I've been a fan of Laurie's blog, A Chronic Dose, for several years.  She is a gifted writer and has a unique take on living with chronic illness.  Her recent book, Life Disrupted: Getting Real About Chronic Illness in Your Twenties and Thirties, has had a great impact on the lives of people diagnosed at a young age.  Thanks Laurie!  Now, onto the interview...

Becoming More Resilient In The Face Of Chronic Illness

Ever since I was diagnosed with chronic illness in the mid 1990's, I've been fascinated with how we can become more resilient in coping with and overcoming the challenges that chronic illness inevitably presents.  I've always wondered why some people seem to be able to bounce back more quickly from personal challenges, illnesses, disappointments, tragedies, etc. better than others.  On the surface it seems that some people are just born with extraordinary resilience.  You know the people that seem to weather life's storms without skipping a beat!  But when you dig a little deeper, that's often not the case.  It's something they've developed over time.  They've become masters of resilience.  You see, resilience isn't a natural characteristic, it's a learned one.