How you can avoid the dangers of loneliness

Having a chronic illness can be very isolating.Many times people who have lived an extremely active, social lifestyle find themselves turning down invitations, because going out requires too much. It uses too many spoons, or is too painful, or sometimes they just don’t want to hear, “you’re still sick??” This can lead to some serious feelings of loneliness.I totally ge...

How can I prevent sunburn naturally?

We hear reminders all the time about using sunscreen. Good or Bad Advice?Recently the middle and youngest dear daughter took off on an adventure day to the beach. I love that we live close enough to the beach that spur of the moment trips are possible. Well, they just grabbed some sunscreen at the store and hit the road. Great idea? Sounds like it, but in reality, not so much. Hana ended up with some sunburn AND a crazy rash from the lotion. We used some lavender and melaleuca to soothe the rash, but it left me wondering – there must be ways to prevent sunburn naturally. If you’re dealing with chronic illness this is especially important because many meds make us more sensitive to sun exposure.What is in sunscre...

How can essential oils help with fatigue?

I’ve often talk about how essentials oils can help with energy. And there’s a good reason for that. It’s something that is a constant battle for me. No matter what chronic illness you deal with, you understand what I’m talking about. My days have been super full lately, so when I sit down to work in the evening my brain is ready to shut down. There are definitely some nights when nothing helps, when it’s just been one of those overflowing days (like when the grands are here) However-- I do have a few tricks up my sleeves. Essential oils are amazing for boosting energy.Something that I’ve found extremely beneficial for energy and focus is utilizing my diffuser. Aromatic use of essential oils is ...

Living your Best Life

What does it mean to live your best life -even with a chronic illness?Is it something only the rich or beautiful or smart get to experience? Or is it something all together different? I woke up last night about 3am and couldn’t get back to sleep. I’ve been dealing with a bit of respiratory mess again thanks to my good ol’ RA med. Having a chronic illness is a blast. I wandered in to the bathroom and this random thought hit me. Like a ton of bricks.“Is this my best life??”At first my ...

Does stubbornness help or hurt chronic illness?

Being both stubborn and chronically ill - when does it help and when does it hurt?I am one of the most stubborn people on the planet. And I hate being wrong. A LOT. And when I do end up giving up on something, I beat myself up over it. When Dave and I were first married (like 2 days married) we both realized t...

Three Tips for Better Time Management

I feel like lately I’ve lost control of managing my time. Days are speeding by, the things on my to-do list are growing and I’m not really enjoying life so much. STRESS is becoming my middle name. Time to stop, take a breath, and refocus for sure.I got stuck in a bit of a flare earlier in the year, which happens sometimes. As much as I have my disease under control, it feels the need to rear its ugly head now and again. After a long discussion with my rheumy we upped the one medication I take, and it kicked off a round of respiratory crud and fatigue.So I’m feeling healthier, joints are mostly better, but now it’s time to get my schedule under control. I would really love to feel on top of things again. How many ...

Out Like a Light - Sleep Help for Chronic Illness

Sometimes we all need a little help getting some rest. I know that I go through periods of time where sleep is very difficult. If I’m in a flare, or I just have too much on my mind, it can be rough to get good rest. And that sets me up for a bad day and the cycle continues. I’ve written several posts on sleep – it’s that important for us.Recent research agrees: “…even a modest loss of sleep for asingle night increases inflammation, ...

Weekend Yard Work - muscle and joint recovery with essential oils

Some of you have been following along with our many home repairs and renovations lately. I’m still trying to finish things up inside, but I have to parcel out my spoons carefully so I still have a BUTT-ton of trim to prime and paint.In the meantime, we had our driveway repoured and in the process, all the old sh...

Respiratory support with Douglas Fir and a whole lot more

So as you all know I’ve been struggling with some respiratory muckity-much for the past few weeks. And what I tend to when I’m dealing with something is research the heck out of it. I know not everyone is like that, but I really enjoy finding new ways to deal with stuff – and then y’all can benefit from it ‘cause I’ll share what I learn with you.So I haven’t been able to co...

Medication Side Effects and Pie

Good gravy it’s been a little rough lately. My immune system is on vacation or something. Actually I think it has to do with the recent change in my meds, which is the motivation for this post.Thankfully I only take one medication these days, Actemra. At first I took it every two weeks, but that wasn’t quite enough – even with diet, exercise, and oils, I need a little help with my joints. So last rheumy appointment we increased the dose to weekly. Joint wise, it was exactly what I needed, but I’ve been sick twice in the past month. I can’t tell you the last time I was in bed sick all day, for multiple days – it’s been a WHILE.I haven’t missed it.It&r...

The Reality of Exhaustion & Fatigue

I'd like to welcome Caz from InsvisiblyMe.com with a great post that gives you insight into what people with chronic illnesses struggle with. Make sure you check out her blog and Facebook page and give her some love!What exhaustion and fatigue are not …1.Laziness ...

A Spring Restart: Getting my life back on track 

How many of you made a New Year’s Resolution and fell flat? Great intentions, but winter blahs, sickness, short days—lots of things set us up for failure. Yet every year we do it all over again.I have a new proposition. How about a Spring Restart? The days are longer, flowers are blooming, weather is warmer so it’s easier to get out and be active….there is generally an air of renewal around. I know m...

How to survive life when everything bottlenecks

Life has been over the top crazy the past few weeks.I'm exhausted and overwhelmed and oiling like crazy. Yes, I am thankful since not too long ago there would have been no way I could have kept up with a fraction of what has been going on in my life. Even so, there are only 24 hours in a day and some things have to give. So what gets put aside?First, let me give you a glimpse into my world:See little Wes? The expression on his face matches mine about now. Hubby was away for 3 we...

Road Trips with RA

Road Trips with RA don’t have to be miserableThis week I had the privilege to travel 8 plus hours to Orlando for the doTERRA Leadership Conference. It was an incredible experience, and oh-so-valuable for my business and personal growth. But road trips with RA i...

Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Saves the World

Apple Cider Vinegar – miracle or a bunch of hype?I have noticed in the past year, after hitting 50, my metabolism is grinding to a halt. I gained a bit of weight that I’d like to ditch before it gets any worse. Not sure if it’s age, the one med I take, or what (yes, I did get a little lazy with my diet for a bit, but not toooo lazy)...

Finding Spoons – Energy for Autoimmune Peeps

Finding spoons in unexpected placesI think one of the toughest parts of managing RA is the ever changing number of spoons you have each day. Wonder what the heck I’m talking about? Read The Spoon Theory. Christine Miserandino does a fantastic job of explaining what it’s like to live with a chronic illness. Finding spoons wherever I can has helped me tremendously.Some days I have a whole fistful of spoons, and other days they must all be in the dishwasher or something. So I’m always mindful of how I spend my energy and on the look out for areas that I can conserve. What’s worth using a few spoons for? The main thing I am always willing to spend my spoons on is exercise. Even when I’m hurting, I find a way to do something. Mo...

Chronic Stress and Autoimmune Issues

Is there a connection between chronic stress and autoimmune issues?When I was diagnosed with RA, I read and researched and read and researched about what caused it. Genetics maybe, trauma maybe, diet maybe…….not a lot of definitive info out there. In fact, at least 50% of autoimmune disorders have been attributed to “unknown ...

Simple ways to have a healthy diet

Having a healthy diet doesn’t have to be difficultI go through spurts where I’m on a menu-planning roll and feeding my family healthy, RA friendly foods is simple. And then there’s life. Things get busy, and I get lazy in this department. Dave’s been gone on business for a few weeks and Hana & I had high hopes of cooking lots of those delicious foods that he doesn’t like (squash, eggplant, asparagus, etc.) It did not happen nearly...

Oh My! Ostrich Balm

Ostrich Balm for the winI recently wrote about Ostrich Oil and have been really amazed with the results I’m getting with it. Many of you have heard of using Emu oil, so this really isn’t much of a stretch from there. It has some great properties to it that make it the perfect addition to this salve to soothe my joints and muscles. If you’ve been following me lately, you know I’ve been dealing with some issues with my hands. Lemongrass & Birch have been helpful, but not with everything. I made this ostrich balm ...

The Benefits of Probiotics for RA Warriors

The benefits of probiotics are certainly a hot topic right nowWhat are probiotics anyway?? They are living organisms – bacteria- that can be added to one’s diet in order to restore or maintain a healthy balance of gut microbes. It’s the good bacteri...