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Chronic Illness and Recovering from Loss

September 10th, 2011

Chronic Illness and Recovering from Loss By Mary J. Yerkes NABBW’s Living with Chronic Illness Expert “I have your MRI results,” said Dr. Price, my rheumatologist. I was in the midst of a strategic planning meeting at the office, but I quickly stepped out into the hall to take the call in private. Although I had been having back pain for the last three weeks, I wasn’t concerned. A recent bone density scan revealed I had the spine of a 20-year-old, which left me completely unprepared for what followed. “You have not one but three compression fractures to your thoracic spine.”... Read More

Living Well with Chronic Illness: Small Choices Make a Big Difference

June 29th, 2011

Living Well with Chronic Illness: Small Choices Make a Big Difference By Mary J. Yerkes NABBW’s Living with Chronic Illness Expert Healthy lifestyle choices can reduce your risk of most common chronic diseases by 80 percent, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. By eating nutritionally balanced meals, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly, you can significantly reduce your risk of many chronic illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. “Proper diet, exercise, and drinking enough water,” are foundational to good... Read More

How Being “Tolerant” Can Ruin Your Health: Eliminate These Common Energy-Drainers

June 28th, 2011

How Being “Tolerant” Can Ruin Your Health: Eliminate These Common Energy-Drainers By Mary J. Yerkes NABBW’s Living with Chronic Illness Expert Life coaches agree that people zap their energy and increase their stress by putting up with a multitude of things that bug them, what life coaches call “tolerations.” And for the chronically ill, lingering stress can translate into increased pain. Enhance your quality of life by identifying—and then eliminating—those things that deplete your energy and dampen your spirit. Here are four common tolerations, along with practical... Read More

Chronic Illness: A Four-Phase Journey to a New Life: Move from Surviving to Thriving in the New Year

January 9th, 2011

Chronic Illness: A Four-Phase Journey to a New Life: Move from Surviving to Thriving in the New Year By Mary J. Yerkes NABBW’s Living With Chronic Illness Expert This year, instead of promising to lose weight again, resolve to discover your new, authentic self. One of the most difficult challenges facing the chronically ill is the loss of identity they often feel. Things they once did with ease, they can no longer do. Over time, the reality settles in —the person they once were is gone. There is no going back. Now what? It’s true that your chronic illness severely affects every area of... Read More

How to Navigate Difficult Family Relationships During the Holidays When You\’re Living with Chronic Illness

December 15th, 2010

Tis’ the Season for Family Stress and Drama: How to Navigate Difficult Family Relationships During the Holidays When You\’re Living with Chronic Illness By Mary J. Yerkes NABBW’s Living with Chronic Illness Expert The holiday season is once again upon us and with it comes the family drama. No matter how close you and your family might be, it is inevitable that conflict will arise. For the chronically ill, that can create significant problems. Relational stress worsens most conditions and can even trigger a flare requiring medication and hospitalization. How can the chronically ill... Read More

A Brand New You: Rebuilding a Meaningful Life with Chronic Illness

November 30th, 2010

A Brand New You: Rebuilding a Meaningful Life with Chronic Illness By Mary J. Yerkes, NABBW’s Living With Chronic Illness Expert A diagnosis of chronic illness can bring with it feelings of denial, anger and grief. But, at some point, the emotions subside and you are faced with a harsh reality—you are no longer the person you once were. Chronic illness has robbed you from your sense of identity and purpose. Do you even stand a chance of rebuilding a meaningful life? According to Judy Gann—a breast cancer survivor who suffers from fibromyalgia and other autoimmune disorders—you can.... Read More