Living with Chronic Illness in the Midst of a Pandemic

Having chronic illness presents unique daily challenges. One day I can feel great and the next week it can be hard to want to do anything. The unpredictable nature makes it tough to truly make plans because I just never know exactly how I am going to feel. Like many others in my situation I usually just push through and do the best I can each and every day and rest on my days off.

When the pandemic began I have to admit I was afraid. Being an immunocompromised healthcare worker that worked in a walk in clinic was terrifying. The media was not helping things at all-every channel I turned too seemed to be announcing doomsday.

Not only was I afraid , many around me were either scared or angry. Emotions have definitely been on edge and being a provider people were sharing  those concerns with me daily.

I have always considered myself overly compassionate and empathetic. So experiencing my own concerns along with those I came in contact with was definitely tough. 

Stress is a trigger for my own illnesses and during this time I have had a worsening of symptoms. Self-care had to be a priority. 

I would like to share some things I have found helpful to my healing during this time in hopes it may help you as well.


Turn OFF the news- I do not think I have to explain why I recommend you just turn off the news at this time. I will just leave you with the thought if it doesn’t promote joy or peace or calm then change the channel.

Speaking of TV-lately I have chosen shows and movies that promote calm. I say this as a person that usually chooses crime shows or action films-but during this time I have watched shows you would find on the Hallmark Channel. You know shows that would give you the ‘warm and fuzzies”.

Rest- before the pandemic life was so rushed. The one thing this pandemic as allowed me to do is appreciate the ability to slow down and rest when I need to. Listening to your body is so important

Express your cares and concerns- I know for me it was very hurtful to hear from people I knew statements like “ Well the virus is really only deadly to those that are old or that have some underlying condition” totally forgetting that they are speaking about me when they are so nonchalantly stating that. 

Find your Joy-During this time I discovered just how much I love my puppy, Luna. She has been such a JOY to me and so therapeutic. I have also enjoyed gardening at a local community garden. Music has always been a love- I discovered a new artist during this time that I just love love love! 
Find your joy.

Grounding- I love to diffuse oils and listen to music to quiet my mind. Other times I love to kick of my shoes and walk around in my barefoot in my backyard while looking at the beautiful trees. Yet other times I like to listen to others using their singing bowls ( I have one and am still learning how to use it) It’s important to take time and quiet your mind from those racing thoughts.
These are just a few tips of things I have done to manage during this crazy and beautiful and chaotic time. Just know that this too shall pass!

Highs and Lows

This week’s song is “Highs and Lows” By Hillsong Young and Free.

Sometimes life is not going to go as planned- we are going to have times of great joys and great sorrow. I love that no matter what- we can stand on the promise that our Abba father will be with us.  May this song bless you no matter what you are facing today.



Highs and Lows by Hillsong Young and Free

When it feels like the dark

Lingers longer than the night

When the shadows feel like giants

Are You chasing me down?

Tell me where could I run

From Your light, where could I hide

Hemmed within Your precious thoughts

There's no hiding from Your love

Highs and lows

Lord, You're with me either way it goes

Should I rise or should I fall?

Even so

Lord, Your mercy is an even flow

You're too good to let me go

Should I dance on the heights

Or make my bed among the depths

Your mercy waits at every end

Like You planned it from the start

Should the dawn come with wings

Or find me far-side of the sea

There Your hand still fastens me

Ever closer to Your heart, oh

Highs and lows

Lord, You're with me either way it goes

Should I rise or should I fall?

Even so

Lord, Your mercy is an even flow

Should I rise or should I fall?

You are faithful through it all

You're too good to let me go

Highs and lows

You surround me either way it goes

Should I rise or should I fall?

Lord, You're with me through it all, oh

Highs and lows

In the rhythms of Your grace I know

Should I rise or should I fall?

You are faithful through it all

And You're too good to let me go

You are not Sick you are Thirsty

You are not Sick you are Thirsty

When I ask my patients if they are drinking enough water- the answer from all of them is almost always yes. They say things like “I drink all day” when in reality most of us do not get enough water at all.    

    

The general consensus is that most healthy adults need to drink half of their weight in ounces every day or at least 64 ounces.     

    

Now I myself struggle BIG TIME with this!  I have to literally remind myself daily to drink which sounds so silly right?     

    

I was like everyone else who thought drinking coffee and beverages other than water was acceptable- what I didn’t realize is a lot of these beverages were having the exact opposite effect- instead of hydrating my body they were dehydrating my body and giving me a false sense of accomplishment in what I’ve drunk for the day.    


Chronic dehydration can have a devastating and cumulative affect on the body. I love how Dr. Tim O'Shea breaks it down in this article and usually have my own patients read it. Hydration and Dehydration this article really does a great job explaining how the body absorbs water and why it takes so long to notice a difference.


Another important point I want to mention is I think it is imperative that you pay attention to the type of water and quality of water that you are drinking. It defeats the purpose if you are hydrating your body with water full of the yuck! Most of us are drinking water that violates U.S health standards. I recommend using a water filter- I love the Berkey Water filters!



Let Go



The song this week is the acoustic version of “Let Go” by Hillsong Young and Free.  

Surrender is such a hard thing to do. I know I , myself am a type A personality and like to be in control. I just like things to go how I planned. Learned early in life that- that is not always going to happen. I love how this song is just another wonderful reminder that we having a loving Father that hears our cries- we just need to let go. May it Bless you today.



Let Go by Hillsong Young and Free


I close my eyes and colors fly

There's no hiding from Your grace

I can't deny Your heart for mine

And its unrelenting chase

I was on the edge of deception

Caught up in my own hesitation

Until Your love took over me

So I let go and I let love

Show me life like it's supposed to be

An oasis here awaits us

All the freedom I'll ever need

Now I'm alive

Oh-la-la, oh-la-la

When I let go then I found life

Oh-la-la, oh-la-la

When I let go then I found life

When I let go then I found life

The higher way is calling me

To a life unlike before

The Father's heart is beckoning

And I can't resist no more

Lead me in the ways of devotion

I don't wanna get caught in the motions

My heart is only for You, Lord

So I let go and I let love

Show me life like it's supposed to be

An oasis here awaits us

All the freedom I'll ever need

Now I'm alive

Oh-la-la, oh-la-la

When I let go then I found life

Oh-la-la, oh-la-la

When I let go then I found life

When I let go then I found life

So I let go and I let love

Show me life like it's supposed to be

An oasis here awaits us

All the freedom I'll ever need

Now I'm alive

When I let go then I found life

When I let go, then I found life

When I let go then I found life

When I let go then I found life

Oh-la-la, oh-la-la

When I let go then I found life

Rescue


The song for this week’s worship Wednesday is “Rescue” by Lauren Daigle. I always have loved Lauren’s back story and what she overcame to get to where she is today. I don’t think there is a song of hers I do not love-it just depends on the day which one I love more. In “Rescue” it reminds us we are never alone, no matter the odds stacked against us. May it bless you today.



Rescue by Lauren Daigle

You are not hidden

There's never been a moment

You were forgotten

You are not hopeless

Though you have been broken

Your innocence stolen

I hear you whisper underneath your breath

I hear your SOS, your SOS

I will send out an army to find you

In the middle of the darkest night

It's true, I will rescue you

There is no distance

That cannot be covered

Over and over

You're not defenseless

I'll be your shelter

I'll be your armor

I hear you whisper underneath your breath

I hear your SOS, your SOS

I will send out an army to find you

In the middle of the darkest night

It's true, I will rescue you

I will never stop marching to reach you

In the middle of the hardest fight

It's true, I will rescue you

I hear the whisper underneath your breath

I hear you whisper, you have nothing left

I will send out an army to find you

In the middle of the darkest night

It's true, I will rescue you

I will never stop marching to reach you

In the middle of the hardest fight

It's true, I will rescue you

Oh, I will rescue you

 
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