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Mixed Emotions

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You know, I am SO GRATEFUL for immunosuppressant medications. Truly, I am… but at the same time, I kind of hate them. I know, I know, it is an odd thing. I find myself feeling hypocritical for needing and loving my medications, while simultaneously despising and resenting them. Before I had effective medications for my autoimmune disease, I dreamed of finding a way to manage my pain. To be fair, an untreated autoimmune disease is […]

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Autoimmune Diseases & Guilt

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What is it about having an autoimmune disease and having excessive feelings of guilt? Really, think about it for a second. For some reason, when a person is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease they often express feelings of guilt along with all of their physical symptoms. It is incredibly strange and sad that having an invisible illness not only fools our peers, but sometimes it fools us too. Some days we wake up, look in the […]

Learn to use creative therapy while coping with your autoimmune disease! Share your experiences at Autoimmune Disease Living!

Creative Therapy for Autoimmune Diseases

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I recently found an old, crumpled piece of paper that I had written on. As I skimmed over it I remembered jotting the start of a story down one day as I was dealing with chronic pain. Creativity is one of the way that we can both escape, and acknowledge our circumstances. It is a very useful form of therapy.   The snow flurried down all around me, floating more than falling, and occasionally catching […]

Do you have a process for filling out a 0 to 10 pain scale? Learn a simple strategy for being consistent with pain documentation. Get a free Symptom Tracker when you join the Autoimmune Disease Living community!

The 0 to 10 Pain Scale Demystified

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“How would you rank your pain on a scale from 1 to 10?” “Ummm…. It definitely hurts… But it has been worse, so not a 10. I feel better than I have lately, so maybe a 4? Then again 4 sounds so unassuming and it REALLY does hurt….” For the longest time I hated filling out the forms at my doctor’s office asking, on a scale from 1 to 10, just how bad my pain […]

Do your autoimmune symptoms build up without you realizing it? "I didn't know how bad it was." Join the ADL Community!

“I didn’t know how bad it was.”

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I didn’t know how bad it was. I knew that I wasn’t feeling well, but I didn’t know how far from healthy I had gone. Thinking back to the time before I was diagnosed with my autoimmune disease, I have found that hindsight has clarified how bleak my situation was. In the moment I was confused (thank you brain fog) by my symptoms, but I was too tired to understand that my pain was more […]

Autoimmune Diseases: 7 Things We All Say & What They Hear | Get a FREE Symptom Tracker when you join the ADL Community!

7 Things We All Say & What Other People Hear

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When you get an autoimmune disease or other chronic illness, it changes the way that you communicate with others. Things are not simple like they used to be. Layers of context apply to almost everything. Unfortunately that context is missing when we talk to people who do not have illness in their lives. This means that although we are speaking and they are hearing, there is a very real and very frustrating gap of understanding. […]

Chronic Pain: "This is not what it is supposed to be like." Share your experiences with chronic pain. Get a free symptom tracker when you join the ADL community!

Chronic Pian: Patience and Endurance

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I woke up yesterday once more to intense pain. After writhing half awake for who knows how long, my first coherent thought was, “This is not how it is supposed to be.” As a child no one ever imagines a life with chronic pain. I anticipated a picturesque and pain free life. As I got older I knew that pain would come with life, but I assumed it would be periodic. I did not anticipate pain […]

How do you deal with the pain involved in stretching stiff joints? Share your insight and join a supportive community at Autoimmune Disease Living!

Stiff Joints & Autoimmune Diseases

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When you have stiff joints, it helps to do stretches and to move them. Every time that I rediscover this concept I am surprised. It seems like because I have already learned this lesson I would have it figured out. The truth is that in spite of experience, it is still the opposite of what I expect. People are constantly telling those of us in the autoimmune community that exercise helps. Of course it does. Exercise is healthy. […]

How do you cope with disjointed symptoms and reminders of your autoimmune disease? Join the ADL community and get a free symptom tracker!

The Autoimmune Disconnect

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Having an autoimmune disease affects mind and body in a variety of ways. Among other things, it can bring physical pain, exhaustion, brain fog, and depression. Sometimes all of our autoimmune symptoms act up at the same time. Those are the days when it is almost more than we can handle to lie crumpled up in bed, waiting through and enduring it. Every day, however, is not like that. We do not always experience a full scale […]