Learn How To Be A Chronic Optimist When You’re Feeling Sick


Dealing with drama, stress and strain is often par with the coarse throughout motherhood… but when you’re truly sick, feeling like a “bad mother” is hard to shake. Here is how I’m fighting back from chronic yuckiness by attempting to stay on track (even if I’d rather just eat a pint of ice cream and call it a day)…

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Although I was raised in a hearing family and came to ASL rather late in life, there was nothing better than finding the deaf community (and the accessibility of sign!) Since then, I’ve been a big advocate for “communal support” and finding outreach opportunities… but what if your sickness doesn’t permit you to meet other sickos like yourself? Since the rarer the disease, the harder it is to meet-up… I am often left feeling chronically weird about my chronic problems. Fortunately, Instagram has become a positive vehicle to connect with others. For example, any time I’m feeling down about my lengthy Darth Vader mask treatment regimen, I find imagery of others doing the exact same thing at the exact same time (boom! Pavlov would be proud of the positive incentive). Check out my Insta page if you need support of your own… I’m telling you- it works!

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“Take it easy”. Every time a doctor tells me this post-pneumonia diagnosis or during my latest bout of chronic bronchitis, I literally want to laugh in their face. The concept of “resting” as a mother of two girls under the age of 7 is completely impossible. Yep, I said it: impossible. If you think otherwise… well, then you probably don’t have kids. The days of curling up on the couch and “calling in” during a bad day are long gone, and the moments of my Momma baking me weird squash soups and tea to help me feel better are in the past… done and done.

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Getting involved in a charity that’s close to home seems cliche… but a soap box serves a valid purpose, friends! I’m super excited to be helping with a 31 mile hike to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in a couple of weeks (don’t worry, I’m only actually hiking a couple of miles, myself), and am truly pumped. Although you can follow my imagery via Instagram in the weeks to come (or learn more with my lengthy article on AllVoices)… why not try to jump in to your own cause? Let me know what it is, and I promise to support you via tweets! You in?

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Sometimes when I am super sick, I convince myself that exercise and healthy eating aren’t all that important. Instead, I tell myself that “resting” (thanks doc) takes precedence, and thus a week… or two… or a few months off is totally warranted. But then I go for a walk again, or a light jog, or a dance class, and I remember that staying active is literally the only thing keeping me sane. Better yet, it actually helps me cough up more gunk, or for the rest of you- prevent illness, work out kinked muscles, reduce stress and so forth. No matter the reason, finding time to keep yourself healthy should take utmost precedence, and even though we mommas know the idea of “something for yourself” is as assinine as “resting” with children… we need to make it happen. Lately I’ve been popping a walking video on my DVD player at home, and pumping out a couple of semi-static miles while the children run around lighting small bonfires and gathering ammo. Still, I am fitting it in… and no one can see how gross my sports bra is in the comforts of my own home! (Just kidding, I don’t wear a sports bra) Sometimes my girls join in and sometimes it’s just me, but either way, a little bit is always better than a whole lotta nothing… got it?

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Health Sound Off: How are you handling hardship in YOUR life?

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