Living with Chronic Illness
After experiencing some of the most trying years of my life, I have finally realized that what I thought was most important in my life has become less important. And those seemingly lesser things, or things taken for granted, have become more precious to me than ever.
On November 4, 1995, I was diagnosed as a "probable" Multiple Sclerosis patient. In 1997, I was the "lucky" recipient of 2 more diagnoses for yet other chronic, incurable illnesses: Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome. 2003 was another tough year. I've added Type II Diabetes and a heart condition to my "grocery list" of diseases! And we have not discovered all there is to know about me even yet! Talk about frustration!
And then I had the experience of having
to file for SSDI just to
halfway survive financially!
Read my story that includes tips on filing for SSDI.
I got approved on my first try within 60 days of my first application!
When I lost my health, it was easy to
lose sight of any beauty in the world. I could choose to
remain bitter and angry over my loss, or I could realize that
God had given me a "time out" from my frenzied
lifestyle for a period of peace. I could choose to remain
in denial and try to force my body to respond to life the way it
used to, but in the end...the result was the same.
The disease is really in charge here. Not a very pleasant realization....
Death is not the
greatest loss in life,
the greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
So, an attitude adjustment was in order if I was to have any kind of life at all. Having very little physical energy gave me plenty of time for reflection. I know now that I was hearing and not listening; seeing but not imagining; tasting but not savoring; touching but not really feeling; inhaling but not breathing; and only surviving, not really thriving. It took a major attention grabber for me to wake up and slow down. And boy! did I get one!
Never does a man know
the force that is in him
till some mighty affection or grief has humanized the soul.
---Frederick W. Robertson
Please don't wait until you have a chronic illness or major trauma to acknowledge the beauty around you. And if you have been unfortunate enough to have to deal with either issue, you can still learn to live each day fully. A therapist once told me that by blowing today, I am screwing up tomorrow's memories. How true! Rejoice in who you are and in those around you!
When the heart weeps
for what it has lost,
the Soul rejoices for what it has found.
Join a "Catholics with Chronic Illnesses Support Group": Share with others your experiences, talk about the frustrations you are feeling, chat about some treatments you have tried that worked/didn't work, and add your own prayer requests. Discuss how your faith sustains you in your suffering.
We Need a Little Extra Help
--- Try These Links
Medic Assist Home Page:
provides a variety of emergency alert products.
Personal MD Benefits:
Store and maintain Personal Medical Information online, securely and confidentially
News and A-Z Medical Information
Webster Medical Dictionary
Free Email Newsletter
FREE Downloadable Government Publications:
A Guide to Disability Rights Laws (pdf format)
A Guide for People with Disabilities Seeking Employment (pdf format)
Americans with Disabilities Act FAQ's (doc format)
Public Law 101-336. (doc format) Text of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Public Law 336 of the 101st Congress, enacted July 26, 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. It also mandates the establishment of TDD/telephone relay services.
ADA Regulation for Title II, (doc format) as printed in the Federal Register (7/26/91). The Department of Justice's regulation implementing title II, subtitle A, of the ADA which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all services, programs, and activities provided to the public by State and local governments, except public transportation services.
Family and Medical Leave Act Advisor
Read a short description of your rights under the FMLA (pdf format)
Food and Drug
Administration Home Page: This page includes info on food,
Want to know what the USDA has to say about the
food we eat?
Check out their website to get the latest.
with Chronic Illness ---
You need not feel alone
This page is dedicated to those persons who are confused, lost, or searching. Hopefully you will find some insight or hope here. You might want to try the different support groups or chat groups available online.
Have a prayer request?
If you would like us to pray for your special intentions, or
you are a prayer warrior who would like to pray for others,
Submit them to our Prayer Chain!
God gave us burdens, also shoulders. ---Yiddish Proverb
Not an Option!
Even though this is being advertized as having "mercy" and "compassion" for suffering people, it is not merciful. It is sin against the 5th Commandment. The Catholic Church stands ready to defend all human life, regardless of what judgment is made on the "quality" of any human life by the suffering person or the people who love them.
|Catholic Encyclopedia on Euthanasia||Direct from the Vatican|
|U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops||Priests for Life|
|Catholic Educator's Resource||Catholic Culture|
to Support Groups
and Information on the Internet
Secular Resources for Specific Illnesses
|Brain Disorders||Breast Cancer||CFIDS/CFS|
|Epilepsy||Epilepsy: Fit and Well||Fibromyalgia|
|Glaucoma||Headaches - Migraines||Hepatitis|
|Kidney Disorders||Lupus||Lyme Disease|
|Mitochondrial Disorders||Multiple Chemical Sensitivity||Multiple Sclerosis|
|Face of MS||Restless Leg Syndrome||Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy|
|Sleep Apnea||Thyroid Disease|
If you have other chronic illness support group links that you would like to see posted here, please feel free to email me with the information! I am always glad to help others find assistance!
Catholic Healthcare Links
|Catholic Health Association of Canada||Catholic Medical Association|
|Catholic Health Association of the U S||Mission Doctors Association|
|Linacre Centre for Health Care Ethics||National Association of Catholic Chaplains|
|Papers on Catholic bioethics||National
Catholic Bioethics Center:
Notes and News on issues
|National Catholic Bioethics Center||Pontifical Council for Pastoral
to Health Care Workers
Check out the Patron Saints for specific ailments.
with Personal Webpages
About Healing & Coping with Illness
|Recovery Issues||Our Online A.A. Group|
|Come Back to the Church!||Cancer Support Page|
|Grief Support||Bishop's Letter on HIV-AIDS|
|Clergy Abuse Crisis||Resentments|
|Stand up for Life||Project Rachel: Post Abortion|
|Crisis Support||Start Over|
If you have a personal website that you would like listed here, please email me!
Let me leave you with a final thought....
You are not your illness!
Acceptance is not the same thing as giving up!
and other Recommended Books
Read Inspirational Stories and Writings from others who suffer with chronic illness!
This website may contain graphics or written material that may be copyrighted without my knowledge. I assure you that no infringements are intentional. If you are aware that this website is using copyrighted material without permission or without giving proper credit, please email the webmaster immediately so that the situation can be remedied as soon as possible. Most of the material on this site has been compiled from other websites and online resources.