Soul Sisters

Dear Friends,
Chronic illness can bring enormous loneliness, but imagine if you had a support system that became something more than family? I am eternally grateful to know the closeness of sisters who aren’t blood. Yet, we are bound by something more. I suppose it is difficult to understand, especially for those who do not know, yet my core group, my soul sisters are irreplaceable. I hope that you enjoyed this blog entry as much as I did.
Love,
Rie

A "Dummies" Guide To Learning To Live As A Patient Instead Of A Nurse

Chronic illness changes a person. It changes us in ways that only fellow patients know. We grieve for the life we once had and also grieve for our new life. There are so many unknown factors as we move forward.

Naturally we begin to gravitate toward others in similar situations. In my case, an amazing group of women have become a second family. We can say it like it is, find humor in the darkest moments, and give each other the strength and courage to get through the hour or day or week.

Call it intuition, heart strings, gut feelings or twinges; we know when somebody needs us. We keep track of each other, day and night. There are many times that I get a call just as I am picking up the phone to call the same person. We just know.

While this is going to be a shorter…

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It’s a Small World, After All (But Does it Have to Be?)

Dear Friends,
I wanted to share this post from Beth Morton, another one of my favorite friends from the Twittersphere. In it, she so eloquently explores the isolation and loneliness often associated with chronic illness. If you enjoy it, which I know you will, I really recommend following her blog, The Counterfactual Brain. You can also connect with her on Twitter @beth_morton, where she is absolutely brilliant when it comes to research and sharing cutting-edge advances for migraine. She also makes a great friend!
XOXO
Rie

The Counterfactual Brain

I have been trying for a while to write about loneliness and chronic illness, but everything comes off as depressing and that’s not my intent. I’ve considered just not writing on this topic, but loneliness seems like an important one. Studies have shown it is related to an increase in heart disease and even premature death. Loneliness isn’t exclusive to those of us with chronic illness, but I suspect it is something that we face disproportionately. This struck me most vividly as backlash mounted over Facebook’s recent privacy issue. People calling on others to delete their Facebook accounts don’t understand what it is like when social media is your main source of social contact. When I look back on the last five years, dealing with two chronic illnesses has taken a lot from me, but the loss of social connections is what has been hardest.

It started in 2013…

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Phase 2 Migraine Surgery

Hi Friends!
This Friday, I am doing something a little different. I am sharing this blog entry from one of my favorite people ever. One of our most recent bonding experiences has been over the discussion of occipital neuralgia. This is another diagnosis we have in common, although my diagnosis is more recent. Recent, as in only three days in. I am a proud recipient of my first nerve block, which has made a world of difference in the quality of my life. At the same time, I am so afraid of getting my hopes up, just to have them dashed. As I was told recently, the road to recovery is not linear. There will be times where I make progress and times where I experience a setback. It is not exactly how I want things to go, but it is better than not experiencing progress at all.
I am going to wrap this up, so I can return to icing my head. I hope you enjoy this post and give Autonomic RN a follow.
XOXO!
Rie

A "Dummies" Guide To Learning To Live As A Patient Instead Of A Nurse

At the end of February, I wrote about my upcoming nerve decompression surgery. Within that post, there was a promise that I would keep everyone updated. Here it is.

Yesterday was exactly five weeks post-op! The time has gone by so fast, and at the same time has crept by while dealing with pain and the recovery period. After the initial shock had faded away about having two stunning black eyes, I had to keep pinching myself. There was no way that this could be reality. When I went in for surgery, I had a whopping migraine and when I came out; nothing! Of course, the surgical pain was not an enjoyable experience but none of it was migraines.

I have been 100% migraine free for five entire weeks. My hope for the surgery was that the migraines would be less frequent and severe. That would have been a win…

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Source Evaluation Series Week 6: Realism of Claims

In my last Source Evaluation Series post, we covered sources and accuracy of information appearing on the American Lung Association website*. Today, we will look at the realism of claims. While somewhat related to source accuracy and validity of data, it does require a slightly different approach. If someone were to offer a diet pill … Continue reading Source Evaluation Series Week 6: Realism of Claims

Source Evaluation Series Week 5: Sources and Accuracy of Information Provided

Last Monday, we focused on funding sources and their function as a possible conflict of interest. The American Lung Association has a reputation as a credible source of information on lung health and contains many references to their own research and findings. However, it is possible to conduct research of peer-reviewed journal articles and see … Continue reading Source Evaluation Series Week 5: Sources and Accuracy of Information Provided

Source Evaluation Series Week 4: Who is Paying for the Site?

Last Monday, we examined how to decide if an organization wants anything from the visitors to their site. This week’s post focuses on funding sources and their function as a possible conflict of interest. All websites receive funding from somewhere, whether this is from an individual running the site, donations, a corporate entity, or a … Continue reading Source Evaluation Series Week 4: Who is Paying for the Site?

Source Evaluation Series Week 3: What Do They Want from You?

In last Monday's post, we explored the American Lung Association's background. In today's post, we will examine if the organization wants anything from the visitors to their site. While most websites are relatively benign, it is essential to realize that some seemingly well-researched websites have an agenda. Upon further examination of the site, you may … Continue reading Source Evaluation Series Week 3: What Do They Want from You?

Source Evaluation Series Week 2: Who Runs the Site & What is the Purpose

Last Monday, we discussed a list of questions one should answer when evaluating a source. Today's post answers the following questions: • Who runs the site? • Why have they created the site? These questions should be easy to determine. Look at the home page for an organization/individual name. Most sites contain an “About” or … Continue reading Source Evaluation Series Week 2: Who Runs the Site & What is the Purpose