Helping women with chronic illnesses
ChronicHealing.com

Category — Acupuncture

The Opportunities Presented By Adversity (VIDEO)

Powerful. Inspirational. Moving. Enlightening. Wow.

Watch:

Aimee Mullins


This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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April 1, 2010   16 Comments

Teen With Suspected Endometriosis

Recently, I published a post regarding a 13 year old with suspected endometriosis. There was a warm outpouring of support from readers to her. Since it is Endometriosis Awareness Month and since so very many endometriosis patients’ symptoms start at young ages, I thought it would be well worth republishing the post and the many thoughtful, detailed, supportive comments that readers posted to the teen in the following post.

Please be sure to read the comments. Even if you saw the post when it was originally published, you may not have seen all of the follow-up comments that followed.

Post on teen with suspected endometriosis:

Article on teen with suspected endometriosis and the numerous thoughtful comments posted to it by readers

It is wonderful to see an outpouring of support in a situation like this. Together, chronic illness patients (regardless of their specific diagnosis) can band together and support each other. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their supportive and thoughtful words with this 13 year old who is in so much pain.

There is hope and there is support. There are many people who care. You are not alone.


This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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March 5, 2010   21 Comments

Awesome Acupuncture!

This weekend I had one of my regular acupuncture sessions. Acupuncture has helped me so much with so many different illnesses. It’s hard to capture in words how much it has helped me.

I JUST LOVE ACUPUNCTURE!!

Japanese style acupuncture needles that are used by my acupuncturist (with a penny for size perspective)

If you missed my previous posts on acupuncture, here are a couple of links (including one to a video where I talked about acupuncture). I hope you’ll find them helpful!

See prior posts: HERE, HERE, and HERE.


This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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January 17, 2010   12 Comments

Scam Busters

This post is a partial reprint of an article I read on The Canary Report.

While the full post there was more detailed and got into specifics involving claims made by companies targeting multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) patients, for the purposes of this post I have decided to focus on the ten warning signs of a scam, as compiled by Lourdes Salvador and Linda Sepp, and as previously published HERE.

This list, in my opinion, is applicable to nearly any chronic illness patient because the tips for spotting scams listed here are so universally used. This fantastic list is far more concise than I could have written. Yet it captured something I have been wanting to blog about for some time. Longtime readers know that I have blogged about scams and false cures before. However, this list nicely sums up what you, as a chronically ill patient, can be on the lookout for.

Reprinted with permission from:

Lourdes Salvador of MCS America
AND
Linda Sepp, a contributor for The Canary Report

CAUTION_IMAGE_by_ilco_985260_high_voltage_7

Ten Warning Signs of a Scam:

1. The Promise Of A Quick And Easy Cure

2. Presence Unproven Patient Testimonials & Emotional Appeals Instead Of Science

3. Claims To Cure Many Ailments Which Have No Cure In Medical Science

4. It’s Not Sold In Stores

5. It Has Undisclosed Ingredients Or Content

6. You Have To Keep At It To Get Results

7. It Doesn’t Work Because You Did It Wrong

8. Science Hasn’t Even Bothered To Discredit It (No Threat To Pharmaceutical Sales)

9. The Seller Lacks A Medical Degree Or Similar Qualification

10. It’s Too Good To Be True

Copyrighted © 2009 MCS America

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am very grateful to Susie Collins for posting about this topic and to Linda Sepp and Lourdes Salvador for writing about this very important topic!


This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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December 5, 2009   11 Comments

Sore But Almost Rosey

I should have posted about Tori sooner. Longtime readers know it is very overdue. Today is the day. Let the healing begin.

Video clip – a song that helps me when I’m hurting:

The last few weeks have been challenging. My body is smart enough to know this. My body remembers things and sometimes seems to “store them up” and then spring them on me. Today was one of those days when it was truly a struggle to get out of bed. I am not talking about not feeling like getting out of bed or being too tired to do so. No, I am talking about waking up and wondering to myself, “HOW am I going to get out of bed?” My husband left for work before I got up because he knew I needed the sleep and that I didn’t have any doctor’s appointments today. So there wasn’t anyone home to physically get me out of bed and I started the day wondering how I was going to do it without help.

My muscles hurt. My skin hurts. I hurt everywhere from head to toe. My teeth hurt (some of which is cavity-related – but not all – because this still happens when I’m cavity-free). My hair even hurts. I feel like I got hit by a truck, then a train, and then a bus. Every molecule of my body hurts. Every cell. I am sore. None of this is new to me. I’ve hurt this much before. I am just incredibly frustrated because I have so much I want to do and have to do but I am so sore that I am barely functional right now.

Rather than focus on the pain (a trap into which I could easily fall on a day like today), I am going to practice what I preach and fall back on self-care and coping mechanisms.

I have decided to have an Almost Rosey day.

Rose_by_duchesssa_1215919_rose

One coping mechanism is gratitude. I am thankful that the acupuncture I had the other day has definitely lessened the nerve pain in my “surgery that didn’t go as expected back in January 2008″ leg. The pain was out of control because I had missed two acupuncture appointments… resulting in the longest gap between appointments that I’ve ever had. I am thankful that the bladder instillation has calmed down my interstitial cystitis, which really got flaring badly a few days ago. I am thankful to have a roof over my head and that it is nice and warm in here.

Next, I am going to find some Tori Amos music. As longtime readers will recall, Tori’s music helps me at the toughest times, helps me cope with pain, and calms me down when I’m agitated. Her seasonal album was released recently and it’s just beautiful. So, I’ll be putting that on in just a minute.

As far as self-care, I got enough sleep last night (despite horrible insomnia that kept me up too late). My next focus is on making myself eat whether I feel like it or not. Who knows? I might even fit in some meditation time.

All I know is the pain I’m in right now is the kind that makes it hard to think straight, makes everything a massive effort, and makes me appreciate the times when simple functioning isn’t such a struggle.

I posted the preceding video (which I have posted previously) because I needed some “Almost Rosey” today. Now, I’m off to pop in my new Tori CD (Midwinter Graces, a beautiful seasonal album I highly recommend) to try to chill out and relax my muscles in the hope of getting the edge off of some of this pain because it has reached the overwhelming stage. I’m right on that edge right now of wondering whether to try my hardest to stay calm and relax myself before the tears start to spill… or purposely having a good cry to get the release that may come from that. I’m not sure which will happen yet. Maybe both. Maybe a good cry will enable me to lie down and really appreciate my Tori Amos music so I can try to relax my muscles. Time will tell. I am just going to try my best to listen to my body’s signals and do what my body wants and needs.

Finally, I will close with some links to previous Tori Amos posts… because her music is honestly one of my biggest coping mechanisms.

See previous posts HERE, HERE, and HERE.


This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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December 1, 2009   10 Comments

Inspiration

Meet Emily:

Emily

When I began blogging in June 2008, I found a powerful video and contacted Emily (who had posted it). Those of you who read my previous blog, “Jeanne’s Endo Blog”, may recall seeing the video posted in its sidebar. Emily created it and graciously agreed to guest blog here about it. With 2,727 views on YouTube, this video is obviously resonating with many people. Emily has fibromyalgia and ME/CFS but I believe that just about anyone dealing with chronic illness/chronic pain can relate to this video. I appreciate her taking the time to write about how this video came to be.

Emily’s “project”… Behind the video:

Hi. Some of you may know me as caiquecrazy from Jeanne’s Endo Blog. Others may know me as the user booknhorsefreak, from YouTube. Two years ago, I published a slideshow on YouTube titled Don’t Judge – The Saga of Chronic Pain. It was a little pet project I put together one day as I was sitting home, reading a fibromyalgia/chronic pain support group site, and feeling increasingly sorry for myself. I was at a low point in my life – I was feeling desperate, like my life was slipping away and I was being held captive by something I had no control over – chronic, debilitating pain.

I had found some letters that were titled ‘Letters to Normals’ that outlined the rage, the pain, the rejection, and the frustration that people who suffered from chronic pain had written in an effort to explain their situations to the ‘normals’ – the healthy ones. I sat for hours sifting through notes and letters, crying in relief that someone else got it. That the person who had put pen to paper actually understood my point of view. This is what brought around the idea of the video.

KellyFick_sxc.hu_photo_1198619

I have a background working with horses. Before the pain came to be a constant part of my life, horses were my home. I worked on a ranch in exchange for riding lessons, and took refuge in their strength. I am small in stature, and being able to work in unison with an animal that could easily overpower me taught me lessons in strength, emotion, steadfastness, and partnership. When at first I began to experience pain, I pushed through and continued to ride my beloved equines.

However, I began to lose my ability to ride safely – my balance became off, my pain threshold lowered, and I no longer had the strength to boost myself into the saddle. After a while, I simply stepped away from horses – not being able to ride was like tearing my heart out. I learned to watch on the sidelines and observe the body language of horses – it thrilled me to watch them in action, and I learned to pick up on the small things that riders generally don’t pay attention to. I was able to float into a dreamland of watching and waiting, fueled by my desire to one day incorporate horses into my life, whatever the price.

SADDLE_scotsxc_sxc.hu_photo_941483

As I made this video, I was using an electric scooter to get around my school campus, because my manual wheelchair was too hard to maneuver with my failing rotator cuffs. I was going to the doctors religiously, and they had me hooked up to a constant tens unit in an effort to help relax my muscles and relieve some of the pain. I isolated myself quite effectively from the normal crowd, and withdrew into my world that was full of books, daydreams, and computers. I became increasingly depressed and frustrated with my situation as I silently celebrated my 6th year of constant chronic pain. At the time, I was only 18 years old.

electric_scooter_picture

Despite not having worked with horses for about 3 years, they still galloped across my dreams and stamped their way into my heart. They were a sort of muse for me, every creative piece I wrote or dreamed was centered around something equine. I often wished they could gallop away with my fears, and replace my emotions with joy and peace. When I sat down to create this video, I wasn’t trying to be creative or even symbolic – I was trying to put into words the thoughts that were going around my head.

HORSE_duchesssa_sxc.hu_photo_953485

I made a list of words that I use on a regular basis to describe my condition. Suffering, pain, sadness, despair, loneliness, anger, hopelessness, defeat, broken, lost, anguish. I melded these words into silent riders, situated on horses – words to be taken away and carried into the atmosphere, never to be absorbed by me again. Through my tears while making this video, I derived a mission statement. I boldly stated that ‘I will not be defined by my pain’. From there – the video took flight.

I made a rider crafted out of the word freedom, and placed on that on a cantering horse. Following that rider are images of wild herds running free – the best site in the world, the site that never ceases to soothe my soul. The rest of the images are riderless – they need no riders to saddle them with the weight of the world. They are free.

HORSE_sue_r_b_sxc.hu_photo_674978

I set this all to a song called “Wild Horses” by Natasha Bedingfield.

The lyrics are well suited to the video, saying:

“I see the girl I wanna be
Riding bare back, care free along the shore
If only that someone was me
Jumping head first headlong without a thought
To act and damn the consequence
How I wish it could be that easy
But fear surrounds me like a fence
I wanna break free”

[Editor's Note: See this link for complete lyrics to Wild Horses by Natasha Bedingfield].

I hastily submitted the video to YouTube before I lost my cool and backed out. It’s been up ever since, and for the past 2 years I have been receiving thank you notes from various viewers, thanking me for putting into words and pictures what they could not begin to explain.

A silly little imaginative whim in my mind formed into an outlet that helped me bridge some ties to the chronic pain community.

EMILY_Nicaragua
Emily recently traveled to Nicaragua

Since that video, much has changed. Yes, I do still suffer from pain. Yes, I do have restrictions and limitations on my abilities. But I don’t let it stop me. I’ve stopped using my wheelchair and scooter – they branded me more then I could ever want. Instead of staying home to bury myself in another book, I got involved in the community. I push myself to my limits on a regular basis, and surprise myself when I sometimes surpass what I believe even I was capable of. Recently I got back from a 10 day mission trip in the heart of Nicaragua. I hiked miles around a volcanic crater; something that if you had told me I would do 2 years ago, I would have laughed. Sometimes, I go and re-visit the pictures, because I can’t believe it actually happened. I paid dearly for that hike – but I refused to miss out on a once in a lifetime experience. I chose to live life, and happily take the consequences that came with it. As a result, I have memories that even on the most pain filled day, I can look back on and remind myself of what I accomplished.

EMILY_MOUNTAIN
Emily literally climbed this mountain…………

I hope you enjoyed the video. I honestly can’t say I enjoy it – it reminds me too much of what I once was, and how low that time of my life was. However, it also brings me comfort – whenever I receive a ‘thank you’ letter from an anonymous reader, letting me know that my silly little pet project helped them, it brings a smile to my face.

I’m glad I can provide words to others, the same words that for so long I attempted to elude. Now I embrace those words with open arms, and I set them free.


This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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November 21, 2009   13 Comments

Twitter Impostor

As many of you have concluded by now, my twitter account has been impersonated.

Before I proceed, let me mention that the single easiest, simplest way to reach my authentic twitter page is to click on the twitter icon (small blue heart) in the right sidebar of this blog. This will route you straight to my account. If you are following any accounts that look very similar but have a differently spelled twitter name, please block them!

Please read this post carefully as the twitter account that is posing as me has caused confusion and I want to help you know which account is which so that you will not accidentally follow the hacker’s account.

Here is a picture of my twitter page:

Twitter_Blog

Please note the spelling of my twitter name:

@jeanneendo

Please be aware that the impostor’s account uses a very similar twitter name spelling, uses my exact same avatar picture, uses the same twitter page background I use, etc. In other words, visually these two accounts look extremely alike!

I am not going to mention the impostor’s account name here because I don’t want to give that account any more “free publicity” than it has already gotten. If you think you may be listed as a follower to the impostor’s account and want to block it, simply skim through the list of who you’re following. If you see an account that looks like me, please look closely at the spelling of the twitter account name. If it is anything other than my account listed above, PLEASE block it.

Some of my twitter followers have already accidentally followed the hacker account thinking it was me. If you have followed any twitter account other than what I list above, thinking that you were following me… please block that account. Obviously, it’s important that my twitter followers not also be following the account of the impostor posing as me.

The impostor has sent out messages aimed at hurting not just me but my twitter friends. I ask that anyone who is accidentally following the impostor’s account as well as mine or in place of mine (you see, the impostor is doing an impostor’s job and confusing people as to which account is which and there have been people who have followed me for years and stopped following me/started following the impostor, thinking that my real account is the impostor)… simply block the impostor’s account.

If you are unsure of whether you are following the impostor, I ask you to please check who you are following to make sure that you are not following the “look-alike” account.

I have one and only one twitter account. It is the same one I have been using since 2007.

Again it’s:

@jeanneendo

As of the writing of this post, I have 8,514 tweets listed on my authentic account. However, the important part to pay attention to for differentiating my twitter account from any impostor is to pay close attention to the spelling of my twitter name:

@jeanneendo

Again, the screen shot above shows my REAL account. Again, the impostor’s twitter page looks very similar.

Unlike the impostor, I do not use profanity in tweets. I have seen tweets sent by the impostor which contain profanity and hurtful attacks on individuals.

For anyone reading this who is confused about who @jeanneendo is, I would encourage you to look through this blog and get a better understanding of what I write about and do. With the confusion caused by the impostor, the best way to get a handle on what @jeanneendo is about might be to take a bit of time to read this blog… and see what I have written in my own words, see what topics I write about, etc.

Last but not least, I would obviously like to get this message out to as many people as possible. Therefore, I would greatly appreciate and Stumbles you could do. I would also be grateful for any “Tweet Me” updates you can do. There are many people confused about what’s happening. I am only one person and answering everyone’s questions in a timely fashion is quite impossible with the number of questions I’m getting. My hope is that this post covers the #1 question people have been asking me… Which account is real and which account is the impostor?

Thank you for your patience and understanding in getting through the challenges posed by this unfortunate incident!


This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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October 13, 2009   20 Comments

Overwhelmed!

I have a notion some of you are going to be able to relate to the topic of being overwhelmed

One word sums up this week for me… overwhelmed! I’ll just focus on my overwhelmed state online. I won’t take the space or energy to delve into the “in real life” aspects. Here goes…

I had grand plans for all of the posts I was going to do about various chronic conditions this week in honor of Invisible Illness Awareness Week. There are so many invisible illnesses that I have myself and have written about in the past (endometriosis, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity, and interstitial cystitis… just to name a few) and that I was planning on focusing on this week.

IIWeek2009_09_blogging-badge2

However, whatever the date on the calendar may be and whatever I may try to plan, I have learned that I have to listen to my body. This was a tiring week. I did the best I could. I managed to do an Invisible Illness Awareness Week post on kickoff day and since then I have written posts about chronically ill blogger friends of mine who were in need of support:

… for Allison HERE and for Melissa HERE

Most of my time online this week was on twitter. I promoted Invisible Illness Week there and I did my best to rally support for my friends. With twitter I can use short bursts of energy. Even when I spend a more extended period on twitter, I don’t have as much trouble concentrating on what I’m writing as I do for a post. So sometimes when I’m really struggling (like this week), I’m actually on twitter more.

Is there a 50% complete post sitting in my draft folder on Invisible Illness Week? Yes. Do I have enough energy to finish it? No. It’s not getting finished, unfortunately. This post I am writing right now and some brief time on twitter will probably be about all I can handle today, especially considering I just got back from seeing my primary care physician (almost an hour drive each way) and I saw my dentist earlier in the week (also an hour each way).

Bottom line… I am exhausted. My email is the most backed up it’s ever been (which is saying a lot!), my comments moderation is currently backlogged (which I try not to let happen), I feel guilty because there are so many blogs I’m long overdue to visit and/or comment on, and right now I just can’t stress about it.

So, if you’d like to read about the topics I mentioned or other chronic conditions I have blogged about, please check out the “categories” section or search box in my blog’s right sidebar.

SLOW_1088027_go_slow

If I had the energy I’d finish that post where I was going to generate all the hyperlinks and sort them by illness. However, I have to listen to my body and right now it is telling me to SLOW DOWN.

Oh, I should make note that I also have blogged extensively about infertility. There are so many women with endometriosis who have infertility and this is a topic near and dear to my heart. So I just wanted to be sure to point that out too!

I wish I could write more but I’m about to drop. This has been an emotional, tiring, busy, draining, stressful, exhausting week. It did not help one bit that my period came early again and that it is zapping my energy like there’s no tomorrow. Endometriosis has a tendency to sometimes do such lovely things. (At least in my 27 years living with it I have found that to be true).

So, if you are chronically ill and/or in chronic pain and you feel tired or guilty for what you didn’t get done today… cut yourself some slack and get some rest. We can only do our best (i.e. our best without pushing ourselves TOO hard in unhealthy ways). After that, we just need to step back and accept that “it is what it is”. So, take a deep breath and go engage in some form of self care.

Whether it’s a cup of tea or popping in your favorite CD, do something to make yourself feel good and try to distract yourself from your symptoms and just relax your muscles. Your body will thank you.

How about you? Are you overwhelmed? How do you calm down or cope when you get overwhelmed? Please leave comments on this topic. When we share our coping skills, we help ourselves and help others simultaneously.

OVERWHELMED_692405_holding_hands_across_the_world

Let’s help each other. Please share your ideas.


This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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September 18, 2009   10 Comments

Health Care Reform

President Obama’s health care reform speech to a joint session of Congress on September 9, 2009, in its entirety…

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy


This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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September 10, 2009   2 Comments

Foxy Friday

Meet Foxy. Foxy lives in my yard and the surrounding farmland. Pretty cool, huh?

Foxy

My husband snagged this shot of Foxy the very same day he took the skunk pictures from an earlier post. Our yard has been a regular Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom lately. (I know some of you are too young to know what I’m talking about. It was a nature show that aired when I was growing up).

Today’s post is 10 tips for being clever as a fox when interacting with healthcare professionals. The tips are general and may apply to a number of conditions. Some are more specific than others but most are pretty universal.

Top 10 list for being a clever fox in the healthcare world:

1- Get educated about your condition(s) in order to be a strong partner with your doctor(s). Ask questions when you don’t understand!

2- Bend over backwards to network with fellow patients who “get it”. This is a very important step that will reap rewards you never dreamed imaginable. This is huge.

3- Make treatment decisions carefully. Whether it is a decision involving prescriptions, surgery, acupuncture, physical therapy, alternative medicine, etc… take it seriously. You only get one body!

4- Just as you would shop around for a car to purchase, you may need to invest time “shopping” for the right doctor for you. Spend at least as much time and energy taking care of your body as you would your car.

5- Never, ever be afraid to seek a second opinion (or more).

6- Consider taking notes during appointments, taking a loved one with you to help you absorb everything, or even tape recording the office visit (with your doctor’s permission). This can be invaluable.

7- For surgeries, I highly recommend getting a copy of your operative report for your own records at your post-op appointment. You have a legal right to your own medical records. This should be as simple as signing a release form. Some states allow providers to charge for copies. New York State has a cap of 75 cents/page. Most operative reports aren’t that many pages as they are dictated and typed.

8- If you are fortunate enough to have a local (in-person) support group, take advantage of it! This is an incredible resource you don’t want to overlook.

9- Establish a strong partnership with your doctor. Working as a team to manage symptoms is far more effective than working against each other. If you have trouble working with a doctor, maybe it’s time to seek another opinion. There may be a better fit for you out there.

10- If, despite all efforts on your part to listen and take notes, you are haunted with an important question right after an appointment, don’t be afraid to call the office and explain that you know the doctor is very busy but would greatly appreciate if you could either speak to a nurse or leave a message for the doctor regarding your question. Whether they respond as quickly as you’d like, you will have done everything in your power to get your message across. At least you’ll have the peace of mind to know you tried your best.

~

You are your own best advocate with healthcare (assuming you don’t have a health care proxy making decisions on your behalf). So it’s important for you to speak up for yourself.

Be clever as a fox and make the most out of your doctor’s appointments. Go prepared (list of meds, list of recent symptoms/changes, list of questions)…

These are just a few tips that may help you feel more comfortable and in control in healthcare situations. [Read more →]


This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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July 10, 2009   14 Comments