What began as a way to spend time with my family evolved into a singular exploration. It became a chance to spend a few hours outdoors amid the pines and crags ornamented by the chatter of ground squirrels. This solitary journey is the perfect way for me to let go of the overwhelm that comes with being an entrepreneur who lives with chronic illness and pain. It’s the perfect reminder of the many blessings in my life. It is a time to slow down, to engage in quiet reflection, and to reawaken my spirit as one year comes to an end and another one lies before me.
“Just” Another Gastroparesis Flare
I gripped the kitchen counter, my arms straight as a board trying to brace myself against the extreme pain that had begun shortly after eating last night’s small, plain meal. My stomach was as hard as a rock and bloated like I was four months pregnant. It felt like it was being tightly twisted and rung out like an old dish towel.
Finding the Light in Darkness
Each one of us has challenges we must learn to cope with throughout our lives. But no matter what we have to face, having each other to turn to for support, sharing, and love in our moments of defeat and success is vital to our capacity to cope with these challenges. Trying to take on life alone — along with not searching for peace and purpose despite the challenges - can become too overwhelming and for some, a reason to lose hope.
How Pacing Can Stop the Boom-Bust Cycle of Pain
On the good days when our pain level is low, we try to catch up on doing all the things we couldn’t do when the pain was bad the previous day. But this can cause a flare-up and the natural response is to rest or take a pain medication. Once the pain eases, we might try again, only to repeat the pattern of overactivity, flare-up, rest, easing of pain, then overactivity.
Why Self-Care is Not Selfish
What I've learned over the past 15 years of being chronically ill is that when turning inward to fight for yourself seems like the last thing you can do, it is, in fact, the most essential thing.
When Food is the Enemy
Eating is a delicate balancing act; something that requires a great deal of thought and planning, especially if it involves being in public. Putting any kind of food in my mouth is like a game of Russian roulette, never knowing if the next bite is the one that will cause the pain to spiral out of control.