Working as an RN with a Chronic Illness

Working as a nurse is HARD. While TV shows and movies make it look very glamorous and fun, it may not always be that way. It’s often very physically and mentally demanding. Especially to those with chronic illness. You have to be running on all cylinders at all times in order to keep the patients safety and well-being above all else. So what can you do to make working as an RN and having a chronic illness a little easier?

The following are 6 tips to make working while chronically ill more of an option

1. Find alternative ways to deal with the pain- There are just going to be days when you have to work and your pain is unbearable, and when you are on shift taking narcotics is not an option. So you will need to learn alternative ways to deal with the pain. Like deep breathing, meditation, or stretching.

2. Dealing with “The Fog” – The Fog is real and can make your workday longer and more frustrating. So you will need to learn to write everything down, even the things you think you would never forget. The truth is when The Fog sets in, you don’t know what you will forget. So to cover yourself make it a habit to just write everything down.

3. Take periodic breaks- It is essential when you are working that you take moments throughout the day for you!! Even if you don’t feel like you have the time you will have to take some time to sit periodically! So try to schedule in breaks off your feet throughout the day. Even if that’s just to sit while you chart, or make a call to the physician. Those breaks will make your day much more doable!!

4. Make time to eat and hydrate!- It is imperative that even when it seems like there is absolutely no time in the day to eat or drink that you make time to do so. So take your snacks and bottle(s) of water with you to work. This will ensure that you at least have food and drink on hand in case you don’t have time to run to get anything.

5. Take time to rest on your days off- Even though it might not be the most ideal way to spend your time off, you need to rest. If you want to make it through your long shifts, you have to take time on your days off to rest and recoup!

6. Ask for help – You may not want to share your illness with your coworkers and that’s okay. But when you are struggling or getting behind, ask for help!! There is no reason you have to drown when others can help! This applies to work and home.

These tips will not guarantee that you will be able to keep working. However, they will make your days at work a little easier. Healthcare professionals are known for putting their own needs behind those who they are caring for. However, if you want to continue working you will need to take time and focus on you! Even if the things you do are small it will make your shifts easier in the long run. And your career longer lasting.

With Love,

Amber

The Power of Perpetual Thanksgiving

It is always an interesting thing to me when November rolls around and I start seeing the inevitable “no-shave November”, National Adoption month,  and Lung Cancer Awareness month memes all over my social media. Did you also happen to know that November holds the illustrious marker as Adopt a Senior Pet Awareness Month, National Pepper Month, and (definitely not in order of importance…) Sweet Potato Awareness month? Who knew?

Among all these awareness titles, most often I come across the proverbial “30 days of thanks” in honor of Thanksgiving; and while I am thankful (pun intended) that this is a ‘thing’, I am also sad that it’s a thing seemingly only when we have a holiday to celebrate it. Because the truth of the matter is, thanksgiving is much more potent when we celebrate it every month, every day, even yes… hourly. In fact, I would argue that thanksgiving is perhaps one of the most important things we can do to keep ourselves happy and healthy- emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically!

Thanksgiving (not the holiday) is not something to celebrate just once a year- it is a mindset… no, better yet… a HEARTset that we should celebrate and exercise all the time.

Study after study, from the medical world down to spiritual gurus, holy books, and psychiatrists alike show that an attitude of thanks is hugely beneficial to one’s health. As a Jesus-lovin’ Christian I wholeheartedly agree!

It is easy to give thanks when life is good and pleasant. Things are going well. The proverbial “Attitude of Gratitude” is easy when the going is smooth. But what about when the goin’ gets tough?

The truly tough get to celebrating thanksgiving.

There is NEVER nothing to be thankful for… never. Often some of the most harrowing stories of martyrs or trials and tribulations have the brightest examples of people choosing thanksgiving over desperation or worry.

Yes, we have a choice. We can choose fear, anxiety, worry, frustration, sadness, etc over so very many things. Bills are coming due, a child is having trouble in school, our personal life is fraught with turmoil, our bodies are not cooperating or working the way we’d like. Yes… all these things are real. They are here, they affect us greatly. And yet, there is always something to be grateful for. Always.

One of my favorite Bible verses right now is in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I love that God’s WILL for me is to simply rejoice and give thanks in ALL circumstances. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Today I want to challenge you to take a minute and take a look around. Are you in a low place or a high point? Make note of it.

Now take this verse to heart. In ALL circumstances choose an attitude of thanksgiving… seek out and find reasons to be thankful. Look for opportunities, however small, to show and tell and express thanks. It may be as simple as being able to take a breath without pain, or being alive for the day, listening to birds outside, or watching the snow fall- after all, not many of us are winning the lottery everyday! But I promise you’ll be surprised at how much your heart is lightened by the change in perspective with the attitude alteration. There is power in the habit of perpetual thanksgiving! I encourage you to get into the habit today and everyday!

Living Intentionally Fearlessly Truthfully

I pray blessing over you and encourage you to LIFT today!

~Bethany

Bethany L. Douglas

Christian, Wife, Mom, Nurse, Author, Speaker

Find me at www.bethanyldouglas.com

I pray you are blessed and able to LIFT today!

My Favorite Black Friday Deals!!

Black Friday Shopping has been a favorite thing of mine for many years. This year however it was done all on the computer. Being sick this year really put a damper on my Thanksgiving dinner with my family and my shopping. But that is just part of living the life I live. I do have to share some of the deals that I found that I am super excited about.

I did a little shopping for myself as well as my family. I wont be posting the gifts I found for my family because they do read this blog and I do not want to ruin their surprises. I think my favorite things I got I actually found on Jane.com. I had never really shopped there but they had some amazing deals. Are you familiar with Jane.com? I was not until i recently saw it mentioned on someones instastory.  Basically Jane.com is a website for all sorts of companies to post their items. Its kind of like renting a both in retail space only online. So you can literally find anything at this one stop shop website. I found electronics like headphones and charges for my electronics. I found clothes of course, and I found all sorts of fun things. The only downfall is that if you buy multiple items from different vendors you do have to pay shipping to each different vendor.

Now that I have explained Jane.com I will post some of thbe deals that I found. I will start with the items I found on Jane.com

First I got a 10Ft bungee changer for my Iphone, for $3.99. They are available for Iphones and Samsung phones.

I also found some great deals on t-shirts. Not that exciting however necessary.

First is the Long Boyfriend Pocket Tee, in sizes S-2XL. I got one for $12.99

And I also got two Hi-Low Oversized Tees. They are available in size S- 2XL. I got them for $9.99 each.

This next one I am super excited about. It is a 22 piece makeup brush set from Coastal Scents .I read the reviews and they were Fantastic!!! Normally a brush set of this size would cost $40 or more. I got this one for $14.99!!! They are still on sale and their whole website is 50-80% off through 11/28/17 at 11:59pm. So definitely go check them out!!

22 Piece Brush Set

The next item I got that I am super super excited about is from A shop on ETSY called BOSSBOOK!! They make business planners, workbooks and notepads!! They can customize them for your business. Right now they are offering FREE SHIPPING on any order over $50! The planner I got is specialized for makeup and beauty consultants. If you have a a team and want planners for all of them they do offer group discounts. And Kaitlyn is great to work with and her customer service is amazing!!! So go check them out!

These are my favorite items that I got on Black Friday and I just wanted to share with you all so you can also go check out these awesome websites.

Hope you all have had a great Thanksgiving and found some amazing Black Friday deals.

Amber

Product Review- Jennifer Lynn Naturals

UPDATE: Jennifer has graciously given me a coupon Code for all of you!! Enter Amber20 and receive 20% off your purchase!!

This past week I was given the awesome opportunity to receive some amazing beauty products to review. It’s no hidden truth that I’m a Senegence girl through and through. But sometimes I like to try other makeup. And I’ll be real honest sometimes I just want to grab a tube of lipstick just to wear around the house or throw on to go to the store and not have to remember to remove it in 10 hours.

Jennifer was kind enough to send me a lipstick, a lipgloss and face/lip scrub from Jennifer Lynn Naturals. Her makeup is ALL natural. No parabeans, vegan friendly, no gluten etc. per her website Jennifer states that her “lipsticks are highly pigmented and that their all natural lipstick blends organic oils and butters.”

I found that it had a very creamy consistency once on my lips and seemed to be very moisturizing to my lips. My lips didn’t feel dry at all while using the product. Right now the lipstick comes in three colors: 1. Brownie beige which is a nude shimmer, 2. Nude Mauve, and 3. True Red. Her fourth color Pinky Promise is currently not available. I felt like the lipstick stayed on a fair amount of time. I have discovered I am lip licker personally, so that cuts down on how long lipstick will stay on. I feel that her products are well priced considering how pigmented they are, and how well it stays in place. I would give this a 5 🌟 review. I also found her packaging to be very cute!!

Below at the bottom of this post you will find a picture of me wearing the Lipstick. In my package I also received some Apricot Lip Gloss. Per her website “The Lip Glosses are infused with organic butters, botanical extracts and natural mineral pigments. She says that every shade provides rich, Super shiny gloss that lasts!”

Just like the lipstick the Lip Gloss is highly pigmented! It goes on VERY VERY smooth. it also left my lips feeling very soft and smooth. I feel like it lasted just as long as any other Lip Gloss I have tried!! Her gloss comes in Racy Rose & Juicy Apricot. Bronze Goddess is not currently available. Just like the Lipstick, I would also give the Lip a Gloss a 5 🌟 review. Jennifer Lynn Naturals also has BB Cream, shadows, & blushes that like all her product has great reviews. But as of yet I have not tried them so i can not provide an accurate review. She is currently in the testing process of a facial scrub that you can also use on your lips. I’ll be honest I was a little nervous to try it out on my lips, if it also was going to work on my face. However, I did go ahead and apply it to my face and lips. And scrubbed it in, let it sit, washed it off and was THRILLED at the results. It was a gentle scrub but left my face and lips feeling like freshly washed baby skin. And had a soft but lovely and not overwhelming smell!!

You can find Jennifer Lynn Naturals on Etsy, Instagram or you can find and purchase her amazing products on her website: Jennifer Lynn Naturals Jennifer Lynn Naturals Discount code! She is currently offering FREE SHIPPING on any purchase over $50!! So go check out this amazing NATURAL BEAUTY PRODUCT!!

Below are pictures of her other products.

10 Home Remedies for Beating the Cold and Flu

So it’s that time of year where people are dropping like flies to the seasons colds and flu!! And those with lowered immune systems are even more at risk of catching something. In this day and time it seems like doctors just want to through antibiotics or antihistamines at you. So what can we do more Naturally to help reduce our chances of getting sick. And also reduce our symptoms should we catch something.

1. Lets start with the easiest and probably most well known way to combat illness. SOAP!! I’ve talked about the importance of hand washing in a previous blog on how to wash your hands so I won’t go into great details. I will say that over the last few years there has been a discussion about the benefit and safety of using anti-bacterial soap. It is thought that it could cause resistance. So until they prove otherwise its best to use just plain soap. I’ve gone in-depth on when you should wash your hands in a previous post “5 Quick Tips to Avoid Illness,” so I won’t do that here. Just know the more you wash your hands the healthier you will most likely be

Handmade soap can be made easily by mixing one-quarter Castile soap with three-quarters parts water and 5 drops of peppermint or your favorite essential oils.

2. HERBAL TEA- Black and Green teas are said to be high in antioxidants, which will help reduce free radical toxins in the body to decrease frequency and degree of cold symptoms.

This is all new to me as I’m not a tea drinker. That being said Herbal Tea is ideal for rehydrating your body, due to the fact that they don’t contain caffeine. And due to the fact that they are high in anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Mullein Teas are an excellent if you are dealing with a lot of nasal or chest congestion. As Mullein teas act as an expectorant and may help suppress cough!

To make, steep Mullein leaves for 10minutes. Drain the leaves, and sip on warm tea!

3. HOMEMADE CHICKEN SOUP- Homemade Chicken soup when it is made with organic chicken and vegetables is chalked full of antioxidants, protein, fiber and carbohydrates. I know your saying what?!? All we hear is how bad carbs are for us. But when you are sick carbohydrates gives your body the energy it needs to fight of a cold or flu.

4. This next one is also something I would have never thought of. However, BLACK PEPPER contains Capsaicin as an active ingredient. This ingredient works by thinning mucous and provides congestion relief. This is also new to me. But, Black Pepper is also needed for the absorption of the natural potent reliever or spice Tumereic. This can also be taken for the cold and flu! Also, adding pepper to food may help clear congestion. Some even claim that just smelling pepper w couple times a day can’t help to reduce congestion. (Or just make you sneeze, which I supposed would make you less congestion.)

5. Using Red Onion is another tactic that I wasn’t familiar with. Red Onion is a prebiotic, which is the fuel that probiotics need in order to do their job at their maximum capacity! Probiotics help along the growth and development of what’s called a healthy ‘Microbiome.’ Which is where the approximately SEVENTH percent of our immune system lives.

When we have a healthy gut, the immune system is better equipped to handle any cold or flu we might contract.

To use red onion add to the chicken soup I mentioned above, or make a “soup” out of them by soaking the onion in raw honey overnight. On could treat a sore throat by drinking a spoonful of this syrup mixture daily.

6. Another option from your kitchen that can help you fight a cold is BAKING SODA! Using baking soda has been a treatment for the common find for centuries. It is used because it balances the pH levels in a person’s body.

The thought process behind using baking soda for the common cold, is that the cold and its germs will cause the bodies pH to move and become more acidified. While the backing powder pushes the blood in said person’s body to go back to a more alkaline level. Thus balancing the person’s pH level!

How would I use this?? To use, dissolves one-half teaspoon baking soda in a glass of cool water and drink the mixture 6 times a day! As the symptoms of the cold start to subside you can gradually reduce the frequency of baking soda.

7. RAW HONEY- Who knew?!?!?! Raw honey is very useful for soothing a sore throat. It also has been found to have antibacterial properties that works well to wipe out germs and enzymes that help to keep our energy levels up!! During a coughing fit raw honey should add a dew tablespoons of raw honey to hit tea or eat it by the spoonful.

NOTE-** Always make sure that the honey you purchase is organic and unfiltered. This is so it’s vital nutrients stay intact. Any processes goney has been heated to such high temps that’s all the vital healing nutrients have been stripped!

8. GINGER- Natural Ginger has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant that may be helpful in getting over a cold quick!

It also works very well for settling an upset stomachs that could be accompanied by nausea &/or diarrhea! It can be taken raw, in supplements found at most health food stores. You can also drink ginger tea with honey and lemon. Or you could even prepare a paste made with ginger and cloves.

9. GARLIC- Most wouldn’t think of using Garlic, that being said garlic contains a vital and antibacterial properties that can be useful for getting rid of the common cold. Research has shown that Gariic boosts the immune system, opening up the respiratory passages, and help glue toxins from the body.

How do I use it? Garlic can be eating raw or added into stir-fry. In order to make the flavor more palatable, combine one crushed garlic, two teaspoons of lemon juice, with some raw money and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Some also prefer to boil water and drink along with a teaspoon of raw honey, may make the taste more bearable.

10. LEMON- Research has shown that Lemon has many antibacterial properties that make it so amazing at killing germs. Also, proven by research has been shown to weaken the common cold and reduce congestion!! The lemon also works as a potent blood purifier ans is very high in Vitamin C. In case you aren’t familiar Vit C is needed to combat free radicals and restores the immune system! A person can also benefit when they have the cold by sucking in a slice of lemon in order to get rid of a sore throat. The same thing can be done but adding fresh squeezed lemon juice to water or hot tea as well!!

I know I learned a trick or two I will start using to combat the colds I always get. I hope that you as well find some of this information and can implement and head the common cold off before it gets to bad.

If you do use any of these please leave me comment and tell me which one you chose.

Feel free to share this post with others or in your groups by using the share buttons on the left side of the screen.

-Amber

Unrest – Movie Review

This week I was contacted by Jennifer Brea about a movie she has done about living with ME/CFS. She asked if I would be willing to Screen the movie she had produced and then review it here. After looking into the Project I decided that I would be glad to preview the movie and provide a review of the project for all to read.

Unrest is centered around Jennifer Brea and her fight against Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), most commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She discusses how the condition has affected her life, about diagnosis and did many interviews. She interviewed others who also have the same diagnosis, Doctors who have worked with patients and the condition. As well as talking to her spouse about how she felt she wasn’t the spouse he deserves. This movie is SO relatable, there were so many times I caught myself say “Yes!” or nodding my head in agreement to what was being said. Its the most real and true Production I have ever seen. She shared more of her bad days, unlike other films who only talk about said BAD days. You became very invested in Jennifer and her friends also with CE/MFS. I cried with them when things didn’t go their way and cheered when they had good days. I recommend this movie to all with chronic illness, and their families. I also feel like it should be shown in nursing schools and Med School so those who will be providing care will actually know what this condition is and not treat those who have it like a person with a mental illness. I feel like everyone could learn something from this movies.

I am waiting to hear from Jennifer Brea as to when this will be out for all to see and also as to if I can do a little interview of her for you all. I will let you know when I know more. But be on the lookout for this in a theater near you. Below are some of the reviews that have been done of the movie. As well as the synopsis of the film written by Jennifer Brea or her team. And Below that is the link to YouTube so you can watch the trailer.

• “Astonishing”– BBC
• “Brilliant” – The Daily Telegraph
• “Riveting…equal parts medical mystery, science lesson, political advocacy primer and even a love story.” — San Francisco Chronicle
• “Remarkably intimate, deeply edifying and a stirring call to action…an existential exploration of the meaning of life.” — LA Times
• ★★★★★ “A sensitive, powerful documentary” that’s “compulsive viewing.” — BritFlicks
• “An intimate essay” that even feels like “a suspenseful thriller” and “packs a significant emotional punch.” — The Spectator
Synopsis:

Jennifer Brea is an active Harvard PhD student about to marry the love of her life when suddenly her body starts failing her. Hoping to shed light on her strange symptoms, Jennifer grabs a camera and films the darkest moments unfolding before her eyes as she is derailed by M.E. (commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), a mysterious illness some still believe is “all in your head.”

In this story of love and loss, newlyweds Jennifer and Omar search for answers as they face unexpected obstacles with great heart. Often confined by her illness to the private space of her bed, Jen is moved to connect with others around the globe. Utilizing Skype and social media, she unlocks a forgotten community with intimate portraits of four other families suffering similarly. Jennifer Brea’s wonderfully honest portrayal asks us to rethink the stigma around an illness that affects millions of people. Unrest is a vulnerable and eloquent personal documentary that is sure to hit closer to home than many could imagine.

Until you are able to watch the movie in full here is the trailer that has been released: 

I hope that if you are able to watch this movie that you gain as much from it as I did!!

Amber

5 Quick Tips to Avoid Illness During Cold and Flu Season

Yes, it may be fall and almost the holiday season. But with those wonderful things also come the bad! Bad for immunocompromised individuals that is. What am I talking about you might ask?!? Cold and Flu season!! For those of us with little to no immune system this can be the worst time of year. As all the germs running rampant make it hard for us to leave the house!! But there are steps we can take to try to prevent getting sick. They may not all be pleasant but if it keeps me out of the hospital I’ll do just about anything.

1. GET A FLU SHOT – The first thing we need to do to prevent the Flu is to get the Flu shot. Now I know not all of us can take the flu shot due to allergies or sensitivities, but those who can should. Some say that the flu shot makes them sick and while that may be true in a few cases, it will not give you the flu. We should also encourage those who we are in close contact with to also get the flu shot. If those we live with and work with don’t get the shot we can still be at risk for getting the Flu.

2. WASH YOUR HANDS- The next best thing we can do to prevent the nasty cold and flu bugs from getting us down is to wash your hands. Wash, wash, wash!!! When should we wash you ask? Well, we should wash our hands after using the bathroom, especially public bathrooms! (Also while I’m on the topic of public bathrooms, you should do your best not to touch the sink knobs or door handle after washing and should use a paper towel to do so!) We should also wash after sneezing or coughing on our hands. As well as after contact with surfaces that others may touch like door knobs, shopping carts etc. If you are unable to use good ole soap and water, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer until you can get to a sink.

3. AVOID CROWDED PUBLIC PLACES- We can also try to avoid going out into public at the peak times. The more people confined into a small space the more likely you will be to get sick. So try to go out first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening!

4. AVOID SICK CONTACTS- We should ask that our friends and family stay away when they are ill. If they know they are sick they should limit contact with those who are immunocompromised! And if they have to be near it is okay to ask them to wear a mask.

5. WEAR A MASK – We can also wear a mask when we go in public. It may not be pleasant or comfortable but it’s another way that we can prevent illness and hospitalization!

Prevention is important for those with low immune systems as well as those who don’t! When it comes down to it sometimes there is no way to prevent illness this time of year. But these five basic tips are quick and easy ways that we can implement to try to prevent contracting an illness. We have to do all that we can to prevent illness because no one else is going to do it for us!! We have to take prevention into our own hands and do all we can to keep ourselves healthy. We all need to do our part to stay healthy!

Gift Guide For The Chronically Ill

Christmas time is upon us and gift buying is always a struggle. Not just for us, but also for those who are buying for us. So I took some time and put together a gift guide for those struggling with chronic illness!!

I’ve chosen everything that is under $75.00, and can all be found either on Amazon or online. I will let you know where each item can be found.

First let’s start with one of my (and my fellow spoonie friends) favorites.

1. The Throw Blanket – Not only is it gorgeous, but it keeps us warm. This specific blanket comes in 24 different colors and is available in Twin and Throw size!

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: $23.99 – $29.99

One of a Spoonies biggest problem at night is not being able to get comfortable. So the next item helps with just that.

2. The U-Shaped Body Pillow – this pillow will provide comfort and support for all parts of your body. (Yes, it also works during pregnancy)

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: $42.95

3. The Heated Throw

Along that same line here is a great option for a heated blanket that does more than keep us warm. It will help tremendously with pain.

This specific Throw is a best seller and Sunbeam is the best selling manufacturer. This model is comes in multiple colors and has a lighted control

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: $34.99

This is another option for a heated blanket. This one pictured is twin sized (however you can find them in queen and king size as well) and is perfect not just for you. This option (in twin size) will also be a hit with your spouse if they don’t want to sleep with a heated blanket. It features a foot control and an automatic 10 hour shut off.

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: $52- $62

While we are on the topic of heat. Let’s take a look at a heating pad.

4. The heating pad- these are good when you have an area that needs heat but you don’t want to lay under a full sized heated throw.

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: $16.37

There is nothing better than a soft and comfy robe to wear around the house. Which brings us to our next gift idea

5. Robe – This is a microfiber fleece hotel spa robe with pockets. This particular robe is One Size Fits All and comes in 10 different colors.

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: $34.89

Another great idea for Spoonies is the perfect pair of lounge/ sweat pants/leggings. It’s important that nothing is too tight, because depending on the condition tight clothes can make things worse.

Leggings are a big hit among most Spoonies bc they are soft and feel good on the skin.

6. Leggings – these come in 10 color options and have a 4.5 start rating.

Where can I find it: Kohl’s/Kohl’s.com

Price: $14.99 (currently on sale from original price of $20.00)

Women’s Plus Size Leggings also at Kohl’s on sale for $17.99, regular Price $24.00

Spoonies in general deal with being cold and having cold extremities. So the next item is perfect for that

7. Warm Socks- This specific item is a 5 pack of thick knit wool. They come in 6 different color options.

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: $12.99

8. Maybe my most favorite item on the list. Bath bombs!! These particular Bath bombs come in packages of six, are Vegan and made with essential oils.

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: $17.95

9. Foot Spa – This vibrating foot spa comes with foot controls, so there is no bending over to turn it on and off. And comes with one attachment. And it’s just what your feet nee after a long day!! These are also great to use if you are doing home pedicures with the kids or young adult in your life.

Where can I find it: Amazon.com, Walmart

Price: $17.69

The next item goes right along with the previous two. But this not only feels good but it helps to ease sore muscles.

10. It may not be a fun gift but it’s practical. Epsom Salt makes taking a bath when you are in pain so much more pleasant. Always a good gift for a spoonie.

Where can i find it: Amazon.com, Walmart it most pharmacies.

Price: $15.99 (However, prices will vary depending on kind, size of bag and where it is purchased.)

Now that we’ve covered the big items, let’s talk about a few stocking stuffers.

11. Adult Coloring Book- Who doesn’t love to color and it’s been proven that it’s a good way to relieve stress!!

Where can I find it: Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Amazon, most book stores

Price: $8.99

If you are buying an Adult Coloring Book then the next item is a MUST HAVE!!

12. Markers!! You have to have a way to color your book and these dual tip brush pens are AMAZING!!

Where can I find them: Amazon, Walmart, Art Stores, any where markers are sold.

Price: $12.99

**the set pictured is found on Amazon**

13. Mani Moo Hair Ties- These hair ties are no crease and no pain. So if you have someone in your Life with headaches these are a MUST have!!

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: 10.00/6 Hair Ties

14. Gift Cards: Gift cards are always a good stocking stuffer. Whether they are to A store or a restaurant, they will give your friend or family a good reason to get out of the house!!

Where can I find it: Any store, restaurant or online shop!

Price: Varies

When you have a lot of pain in your hands and use your phone a lot this next item is a MUST!

15. Popsockets- Not only do these make it easier to hold your phone when your hands hurt. They also make great stocking stuffer ideas. They come in all kinds of designs and you even have the option to create your own!!

Where can I find it: Popsocket.com, Amazon, and many other retailers.

Price: $10-20

16. The Eye/Sleep mask- This will be a great gift for anyone with migraines or who just have problems sleeping. I provided two price options for this gift.

1. The Spa Collection Mask is a great gift bc it allows for heat or cold to be an option. It also comes in two colors.

Where can I find it: Bed Bath and Beyond

Price: 24.99

1. This option is just the plain basic option but completes the same task of keeping the light out of ones eyes. I find it helpful to keep one like this in my hospital bag in case I lose it.

Where can i Find it: Bed Bath and Beyond

Price: $6.99

I hope this gift guide provides you with some ideas for your Chronically Ill friends or family. May you all have a Merry Christmas and happy shopping!!

Amber

10 Ways to Survive The Holidays With Lupus

We’ve made it through Halloween and it’s almost the holiday season again. For most it’s a joyful time, but for those with chronic illnesses it can be quite the opposite. It can become a time of worry and planning. Planning how to make it through all the parties, the cooking, the crowds etc. A time of worry about the germs we will be exposed to, if we will get sick, when we can squeeze in naps, and how far in advance we can prepare dishes so we don’t have to do marathon cooking! The holidays are just plain exhausting, and for many don’t carry the excitement that they once did.
So what can the chronically ill do to make it through the holiday? It depends on the person and what illness they deal with. That being said the following is a general list of things we can do to get through this season.
1. PLAN AHEAD- One of the best things we can do to get through this season is plan ahead. Know what you have when and plan accordingly. If you know you have events several days in a row or an event that is long you can plan the remainder of your week so you can rest. You can move your schedule around so you have plenty of down time so you have the energy to get through your events.
2. TRY TO STAY AWAY FROM THOSE WHO ARE ILL- I know this is much easier said than done. But it is essential to getting through the holidays without getting sick. It never fails We go out shopping or to a party and come home sick. So don’t be afraid to wear a mask when leaving the house. I know you feel like you stand out and you get stared out. But really it’s for Your Health!!
3. REST, REST, REST- I touched on this above but to make it through the holidays rest is going to be essential. Between the cooking and the shopping and the parties if we don’t rest we won’t make it through the season unscathed and somewhat healthy!!
4. DONT FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO ATTEND EVERY EVENT YOU ARE INVITED TO- It never fails that during the Holidays there will be tons of events and people who want to get together. And that’s great and grand. But not at all plausible. So pick and chose the most important ones and decline the others. People will understand!
5. IF YOU ARE HOSTING A PARTY OR DINNER, DELEGATE! – There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking others to bring side dishes or dessert. Ask someone to come over before to help you, and start the party early!! Also try and plan dishes that can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or placed in the freezer till right before the event! Don’t be afraid to ask others for help to clean up!!! You don’t have to be the Lone Ranger! It’s okay to ask for help!
6. DO SOME OR ALL OF YOUR SHOPPING ONLINE- In order to conserve energy and preserve your Health do your shopping online. There really aren’t many things you can’t buy online. And most places will even do your gift wrapping for you!! Online shopping is the perfect way to shop for those of us chronically ill. If you are worried about additional costs, the prices are the same as in store, and with a few Google searches you can normally find an additional online coupon code to take a percentage off.
7. PLAN THE BEST TIMES IN THE STORES!- If you are a person that prefers to shop in the store or have an item that is only found in stores, that’s totally understandable. That being said try to pick the best times to be in the stores. Meaning when the crowds aren’t as heavy and the parking lots aren’t full. These times are generally first thing in the morning when the stores open or right before they close. If you have to be in the stores try to get to it before the huge crowds appear in the weeks immediately leading up to the holiday. Don’t be that person fighting the crowd on Christmas Eve.
8. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF/DONT FEEL BULLIED- Plain and simple you just can’t do it all. There is no way that you will be able to attend every party or gathering, do the cooking, the shopping etc. so stand up for you and what’s right for your body. And don’t let anyone bully you into changing your mind when you know it’s wrong. They don’t have to live with the consequences of pushing yourself too far.  So do what you know is right and feels right for you!!
9. BE WISE IN YOUR CHOICES OF FOOD AND DRINK! The holidays are known for being a time in indulge, or over indulge for many on all the great foods we don’t have all year. It is also time to be merry and have an adult beverage to celebrate. That being said if you know eating certain foods or drinks are going to make you sick be careful. No matter how good it may look and smell it’s not worth the result they may cause.
10. Last but definitely not least. FIND TIME TO TREAT AND PAMPER YOURSELF- I know the Holidays are meant to be a time of giving to others, but you need a treat now and then too. The stress of the Holidays and others attitudes can really bring a person down. So take sometime in the coming weeks to do something for you once a week. Whether that’s soaking in a hot bath, or getting a massage, or something a simple as curling up for the evening to watch a favorite Holiday movie. DO IT!! You’ll thank me later.
These are just 10 simple ways to make this time of year a little easier on the Chronically Ill. These are things we all may struggle with but we need to really focus on during the Holidays to help us make it through as healthy as possible. No one wants to be down and out while everyone else is celebrating. Personally I love a good hot bath with a good bath bomb. Or reading a good book or watching a movie and just relaxing with my heated blanket!!
May you all have a Happy Holiday Season and hopefully you will find these tips helpful.
Happy Holidays!
Amber

PRODUCT REVIEW!!!!

Makeup is much fun and I love trying products and seeing what options are out there!!!! I decided to try some Tarte products just to see how they compared to the Senegence products I sell!!! I caught the highlighter and bronzer on sale and can I just say WOW!!! I got both the Highlighter and Bronzer both for $10.  I am in love with this highlighter (Its called exposed highlight)!!! It’s so beautiful and so pigmented.  I’ll be honest I got a little too much, if that is possible, because a little bit goes a LONG way!  The bronzer is great too, and it’s called Hotel Heiress!  It’s just a little too dark for me. Being so pale I need a bronzer that isn’t real dark. This would be a great color for someone with a darker complexion for sure. However, for me it’s a little much.  I’ll be honest it could very well also be that I’m just not that great at blending. Since I haven’t been contouring and using bronzer for very long.  This countouring business is rather new to me. And part of the reason I like to try out other products!!  Will I continue to use the Tarte products? Yes, the Highlighter for sure and I’m still on the fence as to whether I’ll use the Bronzer very often! If and when I do I’ll just have to keep in mind how pigmented this product is and make sure to really blend it in.  I definitely don’t want to walk around looking like have a dirty face.   But I will definitely continue to use the highlighter. It so pretty and was such a great deal for the price. I would highly recommend both products for anyone looking for a great deal on a great highlighter!!

Below you find pictures of the products and of my face the day I used these products to do my makeup.

h Tarte Highlighter
Tarte Highlighter – Exposed Highlight
Tarte Bronzer- called hotel heiress
Tarte Bronzer- called hotel heiress
Picture showing my face after using tarte products
Picture showing my face after using tarte products