Category Archives: Blog – Living with Lupus

Carrie Sherman writes about her experiences living with lupus.

Three Books That Helped Me Feel Better

By Carie Sherman The last few weeks have been stressful. Good stress, which included much needed social time and fun new work projects, but I fear my body is on the brink of a shutdown. Thank goodness for the weekend. My plan is to hang close to bed and exercise my DVR. And finally give some attention to the stack of magazines and books piled on my nightstand. Which got me thinking about three books that I enjoyed recently. And thought you might like too. (Bonus–each is available on Kindle!) 1) Despite Lupus: How to Live Well with a Chronic Illness by Sara Gorman. This book has it all–from dealing with the emotional impact to talking with your doc to...
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Lupus Life Lesson: Say Yes to Help. Say No to Toilet Water.

By Carie Sherman I was at the store yesterday and noticed a woman struggling. She was literally strapped to one child and had two others dangling precariously from the red plastic car that doubles as a grocery cart and weapon of mass destruction. One child yanked packages of Oreos from a cardboard display while the other two howled. The woman, clad in three-inch heels from what I can only assume was a long and arduous day at work, balanced on one foot while trying to juggle large containers of juice. I offered to help. She looked at me and smiled. Then she thanked me, refused, and kindly told me “she’s got it.” And she totally did have it. Of that,...
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Health Insurance for the Chronically Ill

By Carie Sherman If you’re like me and can’t buy health insurance because of your medical conditions, take note: Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, we cannot be denied coverage. Here is what we chronically ill sorts need to know about purchasing individual and family coverage through our state’s marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado. What’s Connect for Health Colorado? Connect for Health Colorado’s website serves two purposes: selling and teaching. On Selling: As of Oct. 1, 2013, you can apply for health insurance from this site. You won’t actually have coverage until Jan. 1, 2014, but you can see what’s available and learn how to purchase it. Two things I liked: 1) You will be able to compare plans side-by-side, including how...
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Seven Life Hacks for the Chronically Ill

By Carie Sherman In my last post, I confessed that my tendency to avoid chores stressed me out. First, thank you for the suggestions! And for commiserating. It doesn’t matter if you’re sick or not–it’s overwhelming to stay on top of everything. So I did me a lil’ search on Pinterest, and found a few fun tips that even organizationally-challenged folks like me can handle. Enjoy! 1) Need to motivate? I tried this last night. Took a shower. Went to McDonalds. Back in bed. Which after a hot fudge sundae and fries with sweet and sour sauce makes for odd dreams. (If you need to motivate for McDonalds, you’re better off staying in bed.) 2) Grocery shopping. Forgot to make...
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Can Knowing Your Personality Type Help Improve Your Health?

I love, love, love anything that helps me understand why I do what I do. Now that my husband is an educator, he’s introducing me to all kinds of good stuff. Last night it was this website: www.25quiz.com. It’s a slightly different take on the Myers-Briggs test. I took it twice. I’m an ENFP. Without a doubt. On the good side, we ENFPs love people. We have a tendency toward warmness, openness, and are endlessly enthusiastic and value-driven. We’re searchers. We need to feel like we’re being true to our authentic selves. On the not-so-good side (which anyone who has shared an address with me can attest): ENFPs dislike the mundane. Particularly everyday tasks, like putting our shoes away, using...
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Attention Future Self: You’re Welcome

Do you ever wonder about the type of person who might be taken over by a cult? Me too. And I bet it’s someone like me. I’m a searcher. I’m always looking for mechanisms for improvement. When the Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglars and Deepak Chopras of the world sleep, they dream of my face, emerging from beneath a halo of dollar signs. I hide my addiction in a bookcase that rivals any self-help section in a big box bookstore. Even my followers on Pinterest–a treasure trove of inspirational gold–remain unaware since the advent of the “secret” board. So what got my attention this morning? A little nugget that shined brighter than all the rest: I love it. It’s quick....
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Grumpy cat kind of day

It’s been awhile since I last wrote. My whatever-the-&*%^-this-is has been flaring, and I’m not a huge fan of my Grumpy Cat alter-ego. So I’ll keep this short. Next week is National Invisible Chronic Illness Week. Have you heard of this? There seem to be some great resources for promoting understanding and awareness of invisible illnesses like lupus. Check it out when you have time and let’s discuss. My health insurance will be cancelled in December after 18 months of coverage through COBRA. I’m self-employed and have been denied individual coverage. My husband is in school for another year, so no group coverage for this girl. Lucky for me, the Affordable Care Act marketplace goes into effect Oct. 1. In...
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Pain Isn’t Optional. But Suffering Is.

Yoga has been a constant in my life since I was 25 when I wanted nothing more than a yogi’s body. It protected my runner’s knees, calmed my spinning mind, and grounded me when I was pregnant. And since I got sick, yoga has helped change me on the inside. It’s taught me about inhabiting–and loving–the body I’m in. Even in perceived moments of failure. Today I received a gift from Bernie Clark, a yoga instructor based in Vancouver, through a 60 minute online yin yoga class called Happy Hips where he spoke about happiness and joy. It’s true, my hips feel yippy skippy. But I most benefited from his words on suffering. I think you might too.   Bernie...
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Progress?

I’m making progress. Not because I’m “realizing” how unhealthy I am physically, but because I published this statement in a recent post:  “I maintain a healthy weight.” The statement is true. Sort of. There were a few months during The College Years when I consumed nothing but fried cheese and beer, and post-baby when those last 10 pounds didn’t instantly melt like it did for some of my friends (“just breastfeed…” they said…”It’ll melt off…” they said. Ha!). Yet, my weight is typically near the top of the BMI “normal” range. And the perfectionist in me hates it. Of course, my brain decided to process this progress at 3 a.m. I woke to obsess whether people who know me would...
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Fatigue! Questions to Ask Your Primary Care Physician

By Carie Sherman When your adventures include autoimmune disease, fatigue is your constant companion. And by “fatigue,” I’m not just talking sleepy. You know the commercial for COPD where the elephant sits on the woman’s chest? That’s what fatigue feels like for the lupus patient. Only the weight of the elephant isn’t just restricting movement and breathing–it’s also restricting your ability to think. Every step you take become scripted events: You literally must think through each action you take once your eyes open. I must have sounded like Rain Man to my many docs, chirping “fatigue, fatigue!” at each appointment. My persistence paid off: Eventually, they helped me discover other issues impacting my health. And I’m thrilled to report it’s...
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