Colorado’s Anti “Puffing” Law Impacts People Living with Chronic Pain (And Other Thoughts I Should Be Forgiven For)

Carie ShermanBy Carie Sherman

Holy change in weather, batman!

I’ve been hurting so badly and had no idea why, until my mom reminded me that Grandpa Harold always said he knew when the weather was changing because he felt it in his bones.

And then there’s my BFF, who doesn’t have an autoimmune condition yet complains of pain and weakness in her bum knee. Poor girl. Her bum knee is the result of having an airhead for a “spotter” who let her fall and tear her ACL during cheerleading practice. In my defense, I had a Tootsie Pop in my hand. Who knows what might have happened if I’d been a good spotter? Maybe she’d have had to cut a lollipop out of her hair? Or suffered a puncture wound from that cardboard-stick thingy?

Another friend posted on Facebook about her Raynaud’s and not being able to feel her toes. And yesterday I met a woman I just met who was having trouble picking something up.

“My hands aren’t working,” she said. Mine weren’t either.
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Three Books That Helped Me Feel Better

By Carie ShermanCarie 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 building your new “normal” life–all in practical terms. This was the first book I read after my DX, and it helped open my eyes to the impact my lifestyle had on my body. It was a good lesson in balance taught by someone who also struggles to keep her feet on the beam.

2)  Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga in Stressful Times by Judith Hanson Lasater. Stress is my default setting. Even over something as trivial as which book to read next, I’ll clench my jaw, furrow my brow, and hold my breath. Which is why I need to do everything I can to stay mindful. This book helps you to recognize your body’s responses to stress and provides a mechanism for releasing said stress. No familiarity with yoga required.

3) Gutbliss by Robynne Chutkan, MD. How many of you have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, GERD, and other such digestive woes? I’ve long been convinced that the root of all my health problems come from my overly-sensitive gut. This is the first MD that I’ve read who seems sensitive to how our bodies respond systemically to poor nutrition, stress, over-prescribing, etc. I’m so tired to feeling awful. So I’m going to follow her 10-day plan. I’ll keep you posted.

Have you read these? Or are there other books you would recommend?


Lupus Life Lesson: Say Yes to Help. Say No to Toilet Water.

Carie ShermanBy 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, I have no doubt. But in my mind, she didn’t need to “have it” alone.

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Health Insurance for the Chronically Ill

By Carie ShermanCarie 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 much each costs; and 2) They represent a ton of insurance companies so there should be many options. They even are including “CYA” plans to attract the under 30 set. And if you’re like me and want to keep your same doctors, the site should let us confirm which doctors take what plans.

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