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Category — Dysautonomia

Endometriosis And Sunscreen

Spring is in the air! It’s that time of year (in my part of the world, anyway) where people tend to spend more time outdoors.


Since it’s Endometriosis Awareness Month, I wanted to highlight some new research that I think is worth noting. Today I received an email that referred to a study about sunscreen and endometriosis:

Chemical & Engineering News: Sunscreen Compound Linked To Endometriosis

Here is a link with more information:

Urinary Concentrations of Benzophenone-type UV Filters in US Women and Their Association with Endometriosis

The link above is for the abstract only. I don’t have the ability to access the full article. However, the abstract says:

“exposure to elevated 2,4OH-BP levels may be associated with endometriosis”

Given that this chemical affects estrogenic activity, it’s helpful to know about this new research (and the fact that the researchers speculate that 2,4OH-BP may be associated with endometriosis).

For those who are not aware, endometriosis has been associated with an increased risk for developing melanoma:

Personal history of endometriosis and risk of cutaneous melanoma in a large prospective cohort of French women

If you’re looking for a place to learn about sunscreens, you may want to try this site:

Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

To be clear, I’m not here to provide anyone with sunscreen advice. I myself have very fair skin that burns very easily (no matter how carefully I dress or try to avoid mid-day sun) and I’m not really thrilled with the limited options available. (See “Sunscreens Exposed: 9 surprising truths”). It’s interesting to me that Europe apparently has superior options available for sunscreen due to FDA delays in approving ingredients already used there.

Since I have multiple chemical sensitivity, I sometimes have reactions to other people’s sunscreen – especially since the spray sunscreens came onto the market. Some of those sprays make me so sick! Last summer, we were at the beach and someone about 40 feet away from me sprayed it. The wind carried it right over to me and I didn’t need the sunscreen database to tell me that there were some nasty chemicals in it!

Hopefully, this sunscreen guide will help people make informed decisions.


It’s always helpful to be able to make informed purchasing decisions… especially with regard to products that can impact one’s health.


When I’m going to be outside for any length of time in the sun, I try to wear long sleeves if possible. (I’m famous for stealing my husband’s old dress shirts for this purpose). I make sure to wear a hat and sunglasses too. There are definitely times I feel the need to wear sunscreen. For those times, I use the sunscreen database to find a mineral-type product and I avoid sunscreens that have endocrine-disrupting chemicals in them. I seek out shade when at all possible. (This is helpful for dealing with the heat intolerance and syncope issues I struggle with in warmer weather as well).


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


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March 22, 2012   2 Comments

Today Is Awareness Day… May 12, 2011


Wouldn’t it be nice if we could fill billboards with the messages we hold dear?


While I had many ideas for what I was going to write about today, several circumstances that were out of my control (including losing Internet access at my house and currently linking a smart-phone to my computer in order to finish this post) prevented me from spending the time I was hoping on today’s post. Therefore, this year’s May 12th post will be a short one. It is no less heartfelt. Hopefully a short post is better than none at all for the purpose of raising awareness about several chronic conditions that are recognized either in the month of May and/or on May 12th itself. I hope that you’ll check out the links below for more information on these conditions:




Last but not least, I haven’t had the opportunity to see the film Under Our Skin, about Lyme Disease, but the trailers look compelling. According to the film’s website, it is currently airing on PBS stations. See the listings on the site for dates and times: here.

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. For information about a Lyme Disease protest on May 21, 2011 in Washington D.C., click:


Please help spread awareness about these and other chronic conditions. Thank you!


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


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May 13, 2011   6 Comments

Voices On Endometriosis

As we kick off Endometriosis Awareness Month, two of my friends who have endometriosis have graciously agreed to write about their experiences here. I would like to thank them for speaking out about it. When we unite our voices together, they are stronger.




Dr. Diane Neal, is chronically healing from multiple illnesses including Stage IV endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), hypothyroidism and lipo-lymphedema. She has never been pregnant. Her inability to conceive naturally was confirmed when she was forced to have both fallopian tubes removed due to endometriosis-related complications. A professor, she loves both research and teaching.


I’ve been ill with Stage IV endometriosis since age 12, but I wasn’t diagnosed until age 21 (that’s typical; the average time for receiving a diagnosis of endometriosis is 10 years from the onset of symptoms.) Ever since I was very sick every month starting with my very first period, I had a sense that I would never get pregnant. Maybe that is why I claimed for years that I didn’t want children; I’m not sure. My intuition was confirmed in 2008, when I had an emergency surgery to remove a very large ovarian cyst filled with endometriosis (this is called an endometrioma). During the surgery, the surgeon found that ovarian cysts had destroyed my Fallopian tubes. She had to remove one at the time of the surgery because it was so badly damaged, which was traumatic because I didn’t know there was a chance of that happening, and I learned about it – from my mother, not my doctor – after the surgery. My other Fallopian tube was cut apart a few months later, because the surgeon couldn’t access it for removal due to extensive endometriosis-related adhesions. With no functioning Fallopian tubes, a woman has no chance of getting pregnant, because the sperm can’t get to the egg.

I have multiple university degrees, a successful career that I love, a wonderful husband, a cuddly Chihuahua, and amazing friends and family. For those reasons and more, I can’t say I feel like my life is worthless in the slightest. However, as I enter my late 30s, I frequently wonder whether the experience of raising children is a not-to-be-missed life experience. Soon, my husband and I need to decide whether we want to attempt in vitro fertilization (IVF), consider adoption, or remain childless. IVF has unpleasant attendant side effects, and there is no guarantee it will work. As an adoptee myself, I believe that adoption can be wonderful. At the same time, adopted children are not replacements for biological children, and the bureaucratic process of adoption is daunting. (Honestly, how many natural parents have to be subjected to a “home study?”) The third option, remaining childless forever, sounds so permanent. (I’m an only child, so who would get the family photographs?) There is a difference between remaining childless and being childfree by choice.

At times, I fight feeling jealous of people who have natural children, especially those who have them effortlessly. We all know those people: “We got pregnant the first month we tried!” When I hear people complain about their kids inconveniencing them, I truly wonder if they know how blessed they are to have those problems. When I see photo after photo of my friends’ kids on Facebook, I wonder if my friends have heard of endometriosis or any other diseases that can cause infertility… or did they have similar problems, and beat the odds?

As I’ve learned, endometriosis won’t kill you, but it can cause indescribable physical pain, create powerful feelings of grief and loss, and alter the course of your life in unexplainably profound ways.



Endochick is a chronically healing endometriosis patient who also has diabetes insipidus, migraines, Sheehan’s syndrome, and dysautonomia. She is currently a graduate student. Her decision to pursue a Master’s Degree in Patient Safety was heavily influenced by her own firsthand experience as a patient. She is passionate about endometriosis awareness.


September 2006, the day my life changed.

There had been years of pain, years of massive monthly bleeds, years of self-medicating with Extra Strength Midol and Tylenol with Codeine. Years that blurred into a cohesive unit of agony and uncertainty. Years filled with “you’ll never have children” turning into “this pregnancy will be difficult” and then “this pregnancy could kill you”.

These were the wonder years. From the age of 14 to 26, I wondered. Was this normal? I would see my friends brush off the mention of their monthly “visitor”. “Visitor,” I wondered. “Mine doesn’t ‘visit,’ mine charges in, gun fire lighting the night sky, and seizes my life.” Mine was a third world dictator, and there was no United Nations to turn to, no respite for aching body.

At 18, endometriosis was “suspected”. Get married now, the doctors suggested. Whatever you do, one told me, have a child NOW. Two doctors refused to “confirm” my condition with a laparoscopy. Hormone treatments failed. I gained massive amounts of weight, suffered headaches, nausea, rashes, anxiety, and even panic attacks. Years passed and still doctors denied surgery to “confirm”.

It was not until I was 26 that I found a doctor to confirm I had endometriosis. It was stage IV. Adhesions covered everything – my ovaries, my tubes, my uterus, the cul de sac and even the intestines.

That year I began to blog. I was alone. No one around me could say those comforting words, “I know how you feel.” No one.

Isolation brought me to blogging about endometriosis. Through the blogging, I found solidarity. Women just like me commenting and e-mailing, “I thought I was alone”.

March 2011 – the journey has not always been smooth, but now I know I do not walk the road alone.

89 million women in the world with endometriosis. 89 million women who may feel lost and alone, but who are not.

We are truly stronger together.


Editor’s Note:

Despite what Endochick’s doctors implied, pregnancy is not a cure for endometriosis. (There is no cure for endometriosis).

A surgical procedure called laparoscopy is considered the definitive method for diagnosing endometriosis.

If you haven’t already, please sign the petition below. If you are a blogger and wish to display this petition link on your blog, please leave a blog comment to let me know and I will get the code to you so that you can display it. Facebook users can ‘like’ the petition (on the petition screen). Also, there is an optional comment field for each person signing the endometriosis awareness petition.

Interested in sharing the link for the petition on Facebook and/or Twitter? Here is a shortened link that can be posted:


GoPetition



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


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March 1, 2011   4 Comments

Down The Drain…

While I generally strive to focus my energy on things like gratitude, positive energy, and moving forward… there are times when I fill like my energy has just gone down the drain.


My blog post titles are generally a bit cheerier than today’s but the fact is that I am exhausted right now. Some days are like that. For several days now, I have wanted to write a blog post. However, I haven’t been able to summon up the energy until now.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day in bed. After having woken up with a migraine, I went back to bed shortly after I got up. My body was telling me in no uncertain terms to rest. So, I listened to my body.

This time of year saps my energy because the cold weather exacerbates my fibromyalgia. So, that is a factor in my drained energy too.

The altered schedule and additional responsibilities associated with the holidays are certainly a factor in how drained I am also.

How about you? Do you feel drained? Is your energy level lower than you would like it to be?



When your energy is drained, how do you rejuvenate?

Do you get extra sleep?


Do you listen to music? (Regular readers here know that the music that helps me the most when I need healing is that of Tori Amos). Whatever type of music you like, is it as powerful for you as it is for me?


Do you take a hot bath?


What do you do when you are feeling drained? What lifts your energy? Are you like me where a hot bath can help or make matters worse depending on just how low your energy level is? Are there times where you feel too dizzy or exhausted to take a hot bath? Are there other times where a hot bath makes you feel much better?

Other than getting additional rest, listening to music, and taking a hot bath… what activities are helpful to you? I would love to hear your feedback. What works for one person may not work best for another. However, I think it can be helpful to share coping strategies. Please share some of your coping skills.

What is in your bag of tricks?


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


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January 5, 2011   18 Comments

Have A Happy, Healthier New Year And Thanks!

As 2010 draws to a close, I would like to thank everyone who took the time out of their busy lives to support Chronic Healing (here, by ‘liking’ the relatively new Facebook page, by “following” Chronic Healing on Facebook’s NetworkedBlogs, etc.)


From talking with many fellow chronic illness patients throughout the year, I know that some of you have suffered losses, setbacks, and escalation of symptoms. Some of you have suffered stress associated with physical pain, the financial burdens associated with chronic illness, and/or the emotional toll that illness or life circumstances have exacted.

Others have experienced progress in dealing with symptoms, in learning about previously unknown/poorly understood treatment options (i.e alternative medicine options that typical MDs don’t exactly dole out referrals to, generally speaking), or simply have learned better ways of managing the illness(es) in question.


Some of you have a complex combination of the above (i.e. 1 step forward and 2 steps back).

Some of you are fortunate to have a remission of symptoms but want to stay in the loop about the chronic illness(es) you have because you are fully aware that the illness(es) are incurable and you want to stay informed and linked to fellow patients.

Others of you aren’t chronically ill at all. Perhaps you are supporting a chronically ill loved one or friend by learning more about his/her condition. Or perhaps you are trying to learn more about chronic conditions for other reasons altogether!

Whatever it is that brings you to Chronic Healing, please know that your support is appreciated very much!!


Whatever category (or cross-section of categories) applies to you, I hope that you find Chronic Healing a safe place to turn to when you feel the need for support, information, and connection with others from the chronic illness community.

Sometimes the validation of knowing that there are others (many others!) who share the same chronic illnesses is helpful. The validation can provide major relief for patients who need to feel like someone “gets it”.

The degree of caring and compassion in the online chronic illness community is strong, powerful, and incredibly helpful to so many!


For those of you who have discovered Chronic Healing recently through the relatively new Facebook page, please be aware that there are over 400 posts on this blog itself. It may well be that there is a post (or many) that you can relate to. So, don’t be shy taking a peek through this blog. Some of those older posts might be helpful to you now even if it’s been awhile since they were written.


I cannot thank everyone enough for the blog comments, support, feedback, link-sharing, etc. It is a joy to interact with so many caring, kind, thoughtful individuals (ill or healthy!) in the course of my journey writing Chronic Healing and interacting with people on many other sites besides my blog, such as Facebook, as well.

The amount that I have learned from fellow patients since I started blogging in 2008 is mind-boggling. The 16 years I spent attending endometriosis support group meetings every month prior to starting my blog laid a foundation for me to be able to learn how to help connect patients with each other (once it had first been so wonderfully modeled for me, of course)! I am inspired every single day by fellow patients, activists (health or not), and all sorts of people who focus their PASSION on helping others and, basically, making the world a better place to live in!


I have laughed and cried with many of you. Some of you, I am just getting to know. All of you are appreciated! When I started my blog in 2008, I was nervous and unsure of what to expect. Obviously, I was excited too. However, there was plenty of uncertainty starting out… and starting a blog was something I thought about for a few months before diving in.

Now, 2.5 years later… I have a hard time remembering what life was like before I started writing my blog. It truly has been a life-altering experience.

I wish a HAPPY and HEALTHIER New Year to you all!!

Thank you!!

Peace,

Jeanne



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


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December 31, 2010   9 Comments

Love Beats Hate: Blogging Event – Please Join Us!

The first two quotes below may seem like an unusual way to begin a piece on the topic of LOVE. However, I feel the need to provide some context. While my intention with my Love Beats Hate post is to focus 97% of my energy on writing about LOVE, I feel that before I can do that justice I need to very briefly address the topic of hate. The fact is that while this campaign was inspired by many things, the factor that is probably most responsible for its inception was something incredibly negative that appeared on a social media site.


“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but cannot be taken away unless it is surrendered”.
~~ Michael J. Fox

This quote perfectly sums up my feelings in regard to the situation mentioned above. While the content that the individual in question posted was despicable and aimed at people belonging to various marginalized groups, the people he was attacking can choose how they respond. He does not have the power to take away anyone’s dignity. While the social media situation I just mentioned is one of the biggest factors that inspired this Love Beats Hate campaign, I wish to point out that individuals who spread such hatred online are the exception rather than the rule. There are far, far more people on the Internet (on social media sites, blogs, forums, etc.) who are caring for one another, supporting each other, and… yes… LOVING one another.


“Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated”.
~~ Coretta Scott King

The quote above really captures the notion that the person disseminating hate is actually harmed more by doing so than are any of his/her targets. While the primary targets in the very unfortunate situation I recently witnessed were people who have a disability or serious illness, other people from various marginalized groups were cruelly attacked there as well. It is empowering to know that we can choose how to react to such hatred and bullying. It is reassuring to know that for every one individual who spreads hatred online, there are far more people who conduct themselves in loving, positive, helpful ways!

Love Beats Hate

With so many people (both bloggers and non-bloggers) joining together to shine the spotlight on LOVE rather than on hate, it is easy to see how a negative situation can be turned into a positive one by speaking out on our own terms about the prevalence of countless examples of loving kindness found online… rather than surrendering to those who engage in spreading hate.

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members, … a heart of grace and a soul generated by love”.
~~ Coretta Scott King

If the greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members, then I have been fortunate enough to discover an enormous number of locations on the Internet that are fairly brimming with love!


“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival”.
~~ Dalai Lama

I believe it is important to share a determination to shine a spotlight on the positive end of the spectrum of online behavior. My goal here is to focus on the massive, seemingly endless supply of opportunities to interact online with people who exhibit loving kindness, compassion, support, caring, concern and so much more. Too often, our gaze may become focused on the extreme examples of negativity online (cyber-bullying, hate speech targeting marginalized groups, and general mean-spiritedness). To be clear, such negative spaces are real and I find them very troubling.


“Bullies are always cowards at heart and may be credited with a pretty safe instinct in scenting their prey.”
~~ Dr. Anna Julia Cooper

Let’s stop and think for a moment. How often do we hear news stories about positive uses of the Internet such as harnessing the power of social media for good causes that help people? How often do we hear about the benefits of people interacting with others online? Chronic illness patients can benefit even more than most, I believe, due to the nature of their situations. I believe the Internet is a PARTICULARLY valuable asset for people with chronic illness, chronic pain, and/or for persons with disabilities. People in these groups that can, at times, become isolated by their situations. For example, people with chronic conditions and/or people with disabilities sometimes find it more difficult to be out and about due to access issues or simply being too sick to leave the house. I have met many patients online, for example, who are housebound or bed-bound but are able to interact with people online thanks to the technology available today. This access to support is enormously helpful.


“Cruelty might be very human, and it might be cultural, but it’s not acceptable”.
~~ Jodie Foster

Again, bear with me while I touch on the negative to highlight the positive. How often have you flipped on the evening news to hear about subjects such as the unbelievable power of online support groups? (I’m guessing you haven’t seen such a story on the news lately… or maybe ever). How many times have you seen a story in the media about a community of patients (formed online and active entirely online) that rallies around all sorts of patients… including people who are housebound or confined to their beds… with their online friends as an important component of their ability to socialize with others and obtain support and information regarding their conditions? (Here I should point out that it is not appropriate for one patient to give another medical advice. I am referring to patients sharing information which can assist them in advocating for themselves when seeing their own physician/s).

Since I started a blog in June 2008, I have encountered a very diverse group of people online. Just as with life offline, there will always be bullies. However, my experience has been that the caring, thoughtful, considerate people far, far outweigh the bullies.

Whether it is on blogs, social media sites (like Facebook and Twitter), forums, etc., I have encountered some of the kindest, most empathetic, caring people online.


“Shower the people you love with love. Show them the way that you feel”.
~~ James Taylor

I have witnessed patients checking in on each other when one knows another is feeling particularly ill or has recently been hospitalized; I have seen people join forces to support causes they believe in that help people and literally make the world a better place; I have watched people transition from more “traditional” roles as patients to roles as passionate activists who fight for their cause(s) and advocate for themselves (in their own health care and on behalf of the patient population/s they belong to). All of the above are actions executed with love – both love for others and self-love…


“Compassionate action involves working with ourselves as much as working with others”.
~~ Pema Chodron

There is no shortage of love on the Internet. It’s everywhere. Are you skeptical of this notion? If this has not been your experience, maybe you just need to know where to look. For all of the negative stories about incidents that happen online, there are so many more that are positive!

This Love Beats Hate campaign was just started on November 10, 2010! Within only a week, a significant number of bloggers have registered to blog today about Love Beats Hate. Even more people have “liked” the Facebook page Love Beats Hate and/or marked the Love Beats Hate Blogging Event page to indicate that they will be participating in the event. Many others have sent messages on Twitter using the hashtag #LoveBeatsHate.

Please do continue to share information about today’s campaign on Facebook and Twitter. It would be wonderful if we can work cooperatively to share the blog posts of those who are blogging today on Love Beats Hate!

One does NOT need to have a blog (or the ability/time to blog today) to be a part of this event.

Here are some ways you can be a part of the Love Beats Hate event even if you don’t have a blog (or the ability/time to blog today):

  • Share links pertaining to this event on Facebook, Twitter, or via email. (Please use the hashtag #LoveBeatsHate for messages sent on Twitter about this event).
  • You can check the list of bloggers who have registered and simply read their blog posts about “Love Beats Hate” on 11/17.
  • If you wish, you can leave comments on one or more of these participating blogs to show your support for the “Love Beats Hate” campaign and to let the blog authors know what you think of what they have written.
  • On November 17th, you can visit the Love Beats Hate Blogging Event page. You never know who you might run into there. Chances are good that you will encounter a like-minded individual who cares about the event like you do.

In closing, I would like to encourage everyone to generously share the links to the pieces written by the bloggers who are writing for this event. I believe it can make a positive difference.


“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history”.
~~ Mahatma Gandhi

I wish everyone reading this peace and happiness. I absolutely love blogging and one of the biggest reasons is the sense of love, support, and community I have experienced online. My only hope is that I can give back a fraction of the benefits I gain from interacting with people online.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”.
~~ Mahatma Gandhi

Let’s take care of each other out there. Let’s not let hatred get the attention. Let’s work to make LOVE so abundant that it cannot be ignored or overlooked. I believe we have the power to change the narrative. Let’s focus on fostering and recognizing the loving, caring, helpful actions and words online. This doesn’t mean burying our heads in the sand about the hatred that does exist online. However, let’s not get sucked in to a situation where we are feeding the energy of those who spew hatred. Instead, let’s join together to encourage and acknowledge the love around us each day online. Look around you. It’s everywhere! Let’s work to help each other. It makes us all stronger in the process.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
~~ Mahatma Gandhi

It’s not too late to join this event. Please join us right here for blogging:

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER. IT’S NOT TOO LATE!

Again, there are many things you can do to support this event if you do not have a blog or are unable to publish a post today.

Looking for more information?

Love Beats Hate Facebook Page

Love Beats Hate Facebook Blogging Event Page

Or, just follow (and use!) the Twitter hashtag: #LoveBeatsHate.

Love Beats Hate!

Peace…


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


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November 17, 2010   40 Comments

Frozen

Everything seems to be frozen now. No, I’m most definitely not talking temperature. Quite the contrary. My heat intolerance has been very challenging lately. (Cue the dysautonomia series re-post). No, I mean I’m frozen as far as writing blog posts right now.

No, I do not have a writer’s block. Quite the contrary. I have ideas about what to write fairly bursting out of my head. However, illness and time constraints have kept me from writing about even a fraction of what I’d like to be writing about. So, bear with me. I’ll try to catch up as soon as I am able.

Those of you connected with me on Facebook heard bits and pieces about why I narrowly averted a trip to the emergency room on Saturday (long story requiring a future post). I’m grateful to be doing better than I was Saturday but I’m still having considerable pain. So, bear with me. I’m sure with this hot weather I won’t stay frozen for long! Stay tuned!


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


If you’re like me, you find online shopping a helpful alternative. Thank you for supporting my blog by using my Amazon ads. I appreciate your support! ;)

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June 14, 2010   3 Comments

Two Years: Reflecting

On June 1, 2008 I set off on an adventure. I had no idea where it would lead. That was exactly two years ago today. It has been a labor of love to be sure and I am extremely grateful for the opportunities and joy it has brought. It has been a wonderful journey and learning experience. I have met some of the kindest, funniest, sweetest, most compassionate people from around the world the past two years!

On that day, I began writing a blog called Jeanne’s Endo Blog. It was never really a blog about just endometriosis at all.

However, when I started writing a blog I knew endometriosis would be one of the illnesses on which I would focus my writing. After all, my journey with chronic conditions began 28 years ago with endometriosis. I was then just thirteen years old when my symptoms started in 1982. Ten years after that, I had a laparoscopic surgery that finally gave me a name for the illness that had turned my life upside down at age 13: endometriosis. It has been said that the average diagnosis of endometriosis occurs 9.9 years after the onset of symptoms. So, the time lag for my diagnosis was a textbook case. This type of delay is absolutely unacceptable. (There are many previous posts about why such a delay occurs – in the 373 posts that preceded this. I encourage readers to check my blog’s archives and/or search box in the right sidebar to locate such posts).

Regular readers here know that I have by no means confined my writing to endometriosis. At the same time, my passion for the endometriosis cause has made it a focal point amongst the posts about other illnesses and causes.

My husband commented a few days ago that my keyboard (new as of about a year ago) has been used so much that many of the letters no longer have their markings. That’s right. I have worn the letters off my keyboard. It has been a busy two years!

As the years have gone on since I became chronically ill in 1982, quite an array of additional illnesses have been added to my list of diagnoses. This link mentions a few of them. I have so much that I wish to say about each of my chronic conditions that I often have an internal struggle regarding how to spend my time and focus my energy.

So many of these conditions need more awareness! So many are poorly understood and under-researched/under-funded. So many involve patients whose experiences are not validated by our society or even their own loved ones (especially true for the “invisible illnesses”). Many patients are accused of exaggerating or of having “psychosomatic” illnesses. I struggle with how to give fair time to each of these illnesses. Which way should I turn? Which illness is facing the most pressing issues? Which illness is having an awareness day/week/month? How can I best help the causes that are dear to me? What is the most efficient use of my time?

Where should I go next when there is so much to do?

The reality is that I can’t do justice to all of the topics that I wish I could write about as frequently as I would like to write about them. I try to but the risk of burnout or escalating symptoms forces me to prioritize as best I can and try to pace myself. Sometimes I am better at this than others. Sometimes I don’t practice what I preach about the importance of self-care. To attempt to do justice to every issue I’m passionate about with my writing tends to throw the self-care I preach out the window. The reality is that I need to practice what I preach and take care of myself so I don’t get sicker and/or burned out from pushing myself too hard. This is probably the most challenging part of blogging for me. If I wrote 24/7, I could never do justice to each illness the way I’d like to in a perfect world. There are just 24 hours in a day. I have some serious health problems that place limitations on me. I may not like it but it’s the reality. Even if I were healthy, what I wish I could write about is beyond what one person can do. I have been trying my best to make peace with this fact.

In addition to writing about illnesses I have, I also advocate for causes I believe in (such as illnesses that do not affect me firsthand but do impact large numbers of my friends – online and off). Also, I spend an enormous about of time in “off the blog” conversations with fellow patients: giving/receiving support, sharing resources and information, working as a team to research issues we care about, etc.

When I converted my blog from Jeanne’s Endo Blog to Chronic Healing, I wanted a blog name that captured my desire to keep writing about many chronic conditions. I wanted the name to expand beyond endometriosis alone. Finally, I wanted it to be positive and reflect healing.

In the course of a conversation with Cassie Germsheid (who re-designed my blog and migrated my data from Blogger to WordPress) about what to name this blog, I decided on the name Chronic Healing. With Cassie’s outstanding help and a great deal of hard work, I was able to realize my goal of launching Chronic Healing on June 1, 2009… the one year anniversary of when I began blogging initially. There was an enormous amount of data migrated. Cassie helped me make Chronic Healing what it is today.

Now, here we are a year later. I cannot express how much I have learned, how touched I have been by the kindness and compassion of so many people that I have had the privilege to “meet” online, how many intense/strong connections I have made with fellow patients around the world, how much support and information I have received, etc. My only hope is that I have been able to touch the lives of those I have met on this awesome journey even a fraction of how much they have touched me. It has been an honor and a joy to interact with so many people who practice compassion and loving kindness each day.

The LOVE expressed to me by my online friends warms my heart and amazes me every day. It truly is amazing and heartwarming. The acts of compassion I have witnessed these last two years are beyond anything I could have imagined.

It would be impossible for me to thank everyone publicly but please accept this post as my blanket thank you to everyone. If you are reading this, the thank you applies to you!

Moving on, there is exciting news ahead that is related to a venture that my friend Amanda recently embarked on. Like me, Amanda has endometriosis. She has a new site that is up and running now and you can check it out by clicking below. I encourage you to do so!

Amanda’s Patch

So what is the exciting news? Well, I had contemplated last week whether to do something to celebrate this two year anniversary but had not decided upon anything. It was just a fleeting thought and I hadn’t decided whether I would or would not have some sort of blog giveaway. The very next day, my dear friend Amanda contacted me volunteering to donate something very special for a blog giveaway.

She had absolutely no idea of my blog’s anniversary date and was simply offering to donate a handmade item because, frankly, it is in her nature to do thoughtful, caring, supportive things like that.

I was very pleased with the timing of Amanda’s generous offer to donate an item for a blog giveaway. For it to be a handmade, beautiful giveaway item from someone I respect so much and for it to unfold at the perfect time for an anniversary giveaway is just wonderful.

It gets even better… The handmade item she is donating for a blog giveaway for this very post fits perfectly with the healing theme of this blog! You see, Amanda uses healing crystals in her handmade jewelry. What a perfect way to honor healing… the very theme of this blog.

Before I share a description of the item or the photograph of the prize that someone reading this will win, I would like to urge readers to check out Amanda’s new online shop. She recently launched her own business and I am beyond thrilled for her! Click below to check out her site:

Please note that the above link will take you to two places (her online shop and her blog). On the Amanda’s Patch blog, she has a section that talks about endometriosis. As Amanda puts it on her blog’s endometriosis section, here is why she included some information about endometriosis on the blog:

“You see, my endometriosis was a massive part of the decision to start Amanda’s Patch and so it had to be involved somewhere”.

I love the way Amanda increases endometriosis awareness through her new business and lets those visiting her shop’s blog know why the endometriosis cause is important to her! She is integrating her personal experience into her new venture in such a wonderful way that can educate people about endometriosis. (Among Amanda’s past blogs is “Me and You at 22″, which many regular readers here will recognize).

Well, I have reminisced enough. I do believe it’s time to get on to the details about the blog giveaway!

Here is a photograph of the beautiful necklace handmade by Amanda:

Prize description of necklace:

Amanda says, “the necklace is made from amethyst and aventurine beads crocheted onto silver-plated copper wire and has a lily-shaped toggle clasp. Amethyst and aventurine are both part of the quartz family, which means they complement each other beautifully and will go with pretty much any other crystals the winner may wear”. Amanda adds that as far as energy is concerned, “all crystals have energy properties”. She also notes that, “all types of quartz have different properties but the family are, quite simply, great for healing negative energies!”

Amanda notes: “amethyst works with the ‘higher’ chakras, particularly the third eye and crown chakras which will help on a physical level for the head and sinus areas as well as spiritually by helping to clear the thoughts and emotionally by helping to clear the blocked emotions” and that “aventurine works on the heart chakra, helping to ease heartache, particularly caused by factors out of our control. Green is a particularly healing color (colors are so important). It helps ground us, find the best in our environments (think of connections with nature) and is great for emotional pain”.

Finally, here is some random trivia about crystals. Amanda tells me that work is being done on using crystals as massive data storage devices. I did a search online and I found a link about this topic here:

Tiny Crystals Could Hold Key To Massive Computer Memory

Interesting, huh?

As with past blog giveaways, the winner will be chosen randomly based on comment number and you may leave as many comments as you wish. (Obviously, multiple comments increase your odds of winning this beautiful crystal necklace). Amanda has generously offered to ship the prize to the winner regardless of their location. So, this contest has no geographical requirements. If you’re interested in a chance to win this lovely necklace, be sure to leave a comment! I’ll pick a winner in a few days. I haven’t decided when I’ll be picking the winner. So, get your comments in now to enter.

Thank you!


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


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June 1, 2010   26 Comments

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

House Sends Health Care Bill To President Obama

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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March 22, 2010   2 Comments