Five Chronic Illness Resolutions to Help You Move Forward into the New Year

How to sharpen your focus and find a brighter future.

Five Chronic Illness Resolutions to Help You Move Forward into the New Year

Setting resolutions for the new year poses a problem for people living with chronic illnesses. While we hope and strive for good health, we continue to struggle with our illnesses 365 days a year. We often miss out on the blessings of the future because we dwell on a past that involved good health. But, being chronically ill should not keep you from moving forward and making healthy resolutions.

Keep your focus in 2016

Setting New Year’s resolutions when you are chronically ill requires a willingness to move forward to reach sensible and realistic goals. Here are five attainable resolutions people with chronic illness can focus on in 2015.

Read more at http://www.arthritisconnect.com/arthritis-articles/365-five-chronic-illness-resolutions-to-help-you-move-forward-into-the-new-year#YZ4EM4WjFXP6GxFb.99

3 New Year’s Resolutions for People With Chronic Illness

3 New Year’s Resolutions for People With Arthritis

Lana Barhum is a legal assistant, patient advocate, freelance writer, blogger, and single parent. She has lived with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia since 2008 and uses her experiences to share expert advice on living successfully with chronic illness.

Many chronically ill people dread setting New Year’s resolutions, because we can’t predict what our illness battles will be, but we can still live a full life despite compromised health. Millions of people living with chronic diseases are caring for themselves and enhancing their relationships.

One of the biggest fears people with chronic illness face is the unknown future. How do you learn to cope successfully with your limitations and lessen your fears as we start a new year? You can start by setting resolutions that help you manage pain and illness successfully.

Here are three resolutions people with chronic illness should set for the new year.

1. Improve sleep

Pain and fatigue experienced by people with chronic illness has a huge impact on daily life, including sleep. Because of their diseases, chronically ill people often have trouble sleeping at night and experience fatigue during the day. Sleep issues can make a person’s quality of life worse.

In the new year, resolve to get better sleep. Start by working with your doctor to control pain and symptoms. If your pain and symptoms are managed and you are still experiencing sleep problems, make sure you are practicing good sleep habits. Good habits include things such as: sleeping in a dark room, keeping noise out of your bedroom, maintaining a comfortable bedroom temperature, having a sleep schedule, avoiding naps during the day, staying away from caffeine close to bedtime, and drinking liquids that induce sleep, such as warm milk or chamomile tea.

You could also try approaches to sleep such as relaxation training, biofeedback, and cognitive behavior therapy. As a last option, consider asking your doctor about a prescription sleep aid to help you fall asleep at night and stay asleep until morning. It is best, however, to try non-drug methods before turning to sleeping pills. Sleeping pills should only be used for short periods, as long-term use may cause tolerance and dependence.

Remember, you doctor is the best person help you to find the best sleep solution.

Read more at http://www.arthritisconnect.com/arthritis-articles/722-3-new-year-s-resolutions-for-people-with-arthritis?category=healthy+lifestyle#4hQMvjJc7jPigd1H.97

Taming the Emotional Rollercoaster of Chronic Illness

 Taming the Emotional Rollercoaster of Chronic Illness

Lana Barhum is a legal assistant, patient advocate, freelance writer, blogger, and single parent. She has lived with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia since 2008 and uses her experiences to share expert advice on living successfully with chronic illness.

Living with chronic illness is an emotional rollercoaster with a variety of emotions, ranging from disbelief, anger, fear, hope, depression, acceptance, and finally moving forward. Research shows that people who have experienced higher rates of psychological distress have an increased chance of being diagnosed with a chronic condition.

But even people who have experienced little stress in their lives can find themselves shaken by a chronic illness. In fact, newer research has shown that chronic psychological stress is associated with inflammation and increased disease risk.

A whirlwind of emotions

Before chronic illness, most of us understood that strong emotions happen from time to time. But nothing fully prepares you for the feelings associated with chronic disease. The whirlwind of emotions and grief is characterized by ups and downs that are not necessarily experienced by everyone and don’t come in a preset fashion. The journey is different for each person, but it’s a normal reaction to chronic illness grief.

Your thoughts and feelings can change minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day, and week-by-week. Each feeling has impact, affects mental health or physical health, and determines your overall attitude—regardless of whether the feeling is negative or positive. And chronic illness can keep you on an indefinite cycle, if you let it, due to the many triggers that keep the emotional rollercoaster in motion.

Read more at http://www.fibromyalgiaconnect.com/fibromyalgia-articles/507-taming-the-emotional-rollercoaster-of-chronic-illness#GSwa2tRk2Ut3KZqx.99

Who Has Your Medical Records?

Exercise your rights under HIPAA and learn to be diligent in tracking your medical records.

Who Has Your Medical Records?

Lana Barhum is a legal assistant, patient advocate, freelance writer, blogger, and single parent. She has lived with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia since 2008 and uses her experiences to share expert advice on living successfully with chronic illness.

It is 7:00 a.m. on a Monday morning, and you are getting ready for an appointment with a new medical provider. Do you know where your medical records are? If they are not in your possession, you might have a problem.

It is important to keep an accurate record of your medical records in your possession and in a place you can locate at a moment’s notice. This is the only way to have true proof of your health and every doctor who treats you. Take charge to keep this information up-to-date and make sure it includes all health conditions, imaging studies, lab results, and information regarding procedures, doctor notes, and any surgeries.

Read more at http://www.fibromyalgiaconnect.com/fibromyalgia-articles/509-who-has-your-medical-records#4UAYjTZoO6jkludP.99