Reality check quiz: 5 questions to honestly assess your sleep

Carie ShermanBy Carie Sherman

Lupus presents differently in every person, but one symptom seems to be part of every Lupie’s nightmares: Fatigue.

I met with my rheumy yesterday and said—as usual: ”I’m tired.” To which he replied sympathetically: “I know.”

But then he did the unthinkable: He suggested a reality check.

He said I might never fully understand the whys and whats of the fatigue that seems inherent with autoimmune disorders, even when they’re not actively flaring. Also, my own physical factors (sleep apnea, GERD, arthritis) can all contribute to poor sleep.

Dr. M suggested I think about that which I can control. In essence, how my sleep habits impact the quality of rest I receive.

So I did some research. And according to the sleep disorder clinic at the University of Maryland Medical Center, there just might be a few things I could improve upon.
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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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Can Knowing Your Personality Type Help Improve Your Health?

Carie ShermanI 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: 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 a trash can, paying bills before “last notice,” placing the toilet paper on the roll–in the “right” direction, putting all underwear in one drawer, having clean underwear…you get the point.
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Attention Future Self: You’re Welcome

Carie ShermanDo 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:
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