Archive for ‘February’

February 6th, 2012

This week’s #HAchat: Relationships and…

by Amanda

As we delve into February’s theme of “Health Activist Matchmaking” – our first Health Activist Tweetchat of the month will focus on something that is discussed by (and important to) just about everyone: relationships.

 

Relationships are hard work – but when you add a health condition, a diagnosis, treatment, symptoms, or …Read More

February 3rd, 2012

Give Kids – and Yourself – a Smile

by Susan

For those of you who don’t know, my past life was spent working for an oral care company that focused on natural products – so I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know that February was National Children’s Dental Health Month and that February 3rdmarks the ADA’s Give Kids a Smile Program – but …Read More

February 25th, 2011

February Poll Results: How You Feel About Your Condition & Relationships

by Amanda

Earlier this month, we asked you to think about how your condition influences your relationships and how you really feel about that. We received a lot of responses – making me realize just how important this topic is to Health Activists. The challenge of relationships is, go figure, not made any easier by adding the challenge …Read More

February 16th, 2011

February Slide Show: Chronic Illness and Relationships

by Amanda

Relationships can be tough, but adding the management of a chronic illness to the mix can create a whole new challenge.

Last February we hosted a webinar about Chronic Illness and Relationships (sound familiar? maybe you attended!). The webinar was a big hit, sparking some great conversation on a tough topic that hit home with lots of our community members and Health Activists. In fact, it’s the perfect sort of content to bring back! In …Read More

February 10th, 2011

Guest Post: February, Family, and Friends

by Amanda

Today’s post is a wonderful Guest Post (and must-read!) by Health Activist Julia Olenik blogger at the awesome blog Reasonably Well. In her guest post she shares her experience with that third relationship conflict mentioned in our theme: your condition vs. your family (and friends). Julia offers real, honest advice and I know you’re going to enjoy reading this as much as I did. –Amanda


February, Family, and Friends

The month of February brings with it several interesting events; one being Groundhog day, when it’s so gratifying to anticipate the end of winter. Another is Super Bowl Sunday and the best excuse ever to gather in large boisterous crowds in front of huge televisions while consuming large quantities of really-bad-for-you snacks.

But my favorite day by far in February is Valentine’s Day. Why? Well, gifts of chocolate in heart shaped boxes from a wonderful hubby for many years are very, very good things. But aside from chowing down on a serious amount of high quality candy, Valentine’s day also is a great time to for me to take time to appreciate not only my marriage, but all the relationships with others around me.

When I think about my relationships, mostly I think about how fortunate I am to have these special folks around me, especially since autoimmune disease entered my life. My ties with my family and friends were certainly tested during the early days of my diagnosis. I am incredibly thankful that these vital bonds survived, and eventually flourished. But it wasn’t an easy process.

Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, and my life changed in ways that I would never have imagined. I wish that I could say that I accepted these changes with grace, but I didn’t. No, I became crabby and very self-centered. Not that I didn’t deserve to be a bit cranky: Sjogren’s brought with it bone-crunching fatigue, joint pain, the classic dry eyes and dry mouth. It also took away my job and several of my hobbies.

I was not a happy camper.

As I struggled to adjust to the enormous changes that my body was making, I became aware that my social circle was changing, too. Several friends that I had considered close began to just……fade away. My family and closest friends often looked at me with puzzlement and concern. They didn’t know what to make of me, and I didn’t know what to make of me, either. It was a difficult time, and I knew that if my ties with my loved ones were to survive, I needed to look to the wisdom and experiences of others who had successfully made this journey before me.

I found a helpful perspective from another woman dealing with chronic illness in the book A Delicate Balance: Living Successfully With Chronic Illness, (Perseus Publishing, 2000, pg. 191) In it, author Susan Milstrey Wells dove headlong into these same issues. She discussed the many ways that chronic illness may impact all of our relationships – those as a spouse, a child, a sibling, a parent, a co-worker, and as a friend. She summed up her experiences by saying:

Continue reading after the jump… …Read More

February 7th, 2011

Vote Now! How do you feel about your chronic conditions and relationships?

by Amanda

Having fulfilling, deep relationships something everyone thinks about. Actually going about achieving great relationships, though, is tough – especially when other things are on your mind. Having a chronic condition means managing your health constantly – when this is occupying your mind, body, and …Read More

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February 2nd, 2011

February HABC: A letter to your condition

by Amanda

In honor of this month’s theme Chronic Conditions and Relationships – our February HABC is: Write a Letter to Your Condition. Sounds a little strange?  It is, because you’re penning these words not to a real person, but to your disease, personified.  Inspired by the old-fashion correspondence of snail mail (or, …Read More

February 1st, 2011

Chronic Conditions and Relationships

by Amanda

photo credit tunnelarmr on flickr

February is here so that means we have a new theme to announce! This month we will be aligning with many retailers’ second-favorite holiday – except that we promise to spare you the saccharine jewelry commercials and obligatory heart-shaped gifting. Our theme is Chronic Conditions and Relationships …Read More