Monday, November 27, 2017

Chronic Illness Gift Ideas | Tips for Buying Gifts for People with Chronic Illness and Chronic Pain

Giving a gift to someone doesn't have to stick to a birthday or holiday, but as it is Cyber Monday, I want to share with you a video I created on gift ideas (for any time of year and any occasion) and buying tips for people who are chronically ill and/or who have chronic pain. You'll find it on my YouTube Channel,  Chronic Illness Reality which has the focus of helping those who are chronically ill live a fulfilling life with chronic illness.

This video is not just a list of ideas! Nope! I have been chronically ill  and have had chronic pain for more than 12 years and I share with you the insider scoop on how you can get a great gift for someone who has chronic illness  or chronic pain. I share with you some gift ideas I have and how you can level them up. I talk about the 5 needs that people with chronic illness have and how you can target those needs through your gift! Even if my gift ideas don't cut it for the person you have in mind, after you've watched the video you will feel confident going out and buying a gift for someone with chronic illness on your own! 

And as a bonus, people with chronic illness and chronic pain are sharing in the comment section what THEY think is are great gift ideas, so if you are looking for a gift idea, those ideas go way past what I could come up with.

Here are the links that I refer to in the video in case you are interested in checking these products out! Click on the product to go to the link!



Kelley's Cuddle Cottage (Find the The Mary Blanket there!)











QUESTION OF THE DAY:  What do you think is a great gift idea for someone with chronic illness/chronic pain? Please share in the comments of this blog or on the YouTube Video!

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Chronic Illness Reality HERE
Wahle Warriors HERE

Hold onto Hope, Love this Day & Remember YOU are NOT alone!

Instagram: KellyFlyWithHope

DISCLAIMER: This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, it's possible that I will receive a small commission. This helps support this blog and allows me to continue to make blogs and videos like the one above. Thank you for the support!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Birthdays With Chronic Illness + Chronic Pain | "Feel Better on Your Special Day!"

When people wish me a "Happy Birthday," it never fails that many people will say "I hope you feel better on your special day" or something like that. I don't fault them at all for wishing me well on my birthday in fact, I'm glad they do! My conundrum comes when I need to reply.

Should I be I honest and reply to the poor unsuspecting person who said "I hope you are feeling better!" with saying "Actually, it was a horrible day. I celebrated by tossing my cookies and ate nothing -not even regular food- the whole day.  I fell because I'm still relearning how to walk balance-wise and it hurt! And I was crawling out of my skin because my pain level was so high. I was actually writhing. George and I scratched even the lowest key celebration ideas and it resembled more of a really hellish regular day than anything like a birthday."

In reality I say, "Thank you! I hope you are doing well!" or maybe something specific to what they said. Why don't I respond to what they say about hoping I have a good day? I mean, they mentioned it, not me! Why do I have this need to protect THEM instead of being heard for what I suffered through?

I don't really have the answer. I actually do this quite a lot. I didn't really tell anyone except my family that I would be completely alone for Thanksgiving this year which was a heart wrenching decision. George went out of town to be with family and I stayed behind because of my health. And my health prevented me from telling people I know locally who probably would've invited me to their Turkey Day tables. And because my diet is more restrictive than ever, I wouldn't have been able to accept left-overs.

The best answer I have as to why I sometimes hide reality of my life with others is because experience has told me that it is easier if I don't mention it. I'm painfully honest on my vlog, but my explanation for that is that you have to choose to watch my vlog, you can't help but see your feed on social media. Make sense?

Early on in my chronic illness journey, I was always torn when people would ask me how I was. As I'm an open book. I would always answer by talking about my health and I'd notice people were often uncomfortable. My counselor at the time recommended that I think of the question, "How are you?" as being more superficial and if they wanted to ask deeper, they would. So, I adhere to that as it is a good rule of thumb. But again, I can't do that on social media.

Vlogging changed the game for me because those who are interested in my health have had their eyes peeled WIDE open to what has been my reality for a while. And I am so glad for the change. And now, if anyone who asked me about my birthday also watches my Wahle Warrior Vlog, they will now know that my birthday was pretty hellish this year.

Thanksgiving Travel Plans | Belated Birthday Celebration With Chronic Illness {11-19-2017}

On this Wahle Warriors Vlog, George and I discussed our upcoming travel plans for Thanksgiving and we based the decision for me not going on my health but also on how much stress it would put on George. As my caregiver, he does SO MANY THINGS. And if you watch my vlog regularly, you see that. It was clear to me that his need to have respite from me and all things disabling chronic illnesses was GREATER than my need to go to see his family. (I was ready to go no matter what the consequences to my health.)

And by the way, it is okay and good to be honest about this. I don't take George's need for a break personally. He is greatly affected by my health physically and emotionally and sometimes respite it is what he needs. I don't take it personally because my health affects me too and I get it. My health is not me, it is my health - a separate entity. I wish I could have a break from it too! (It also helps that I was a respite care worker, taking kids with behavioral challenges on outings to give their parents a break. The kids weren't bad - they just had challenges that they couldn't control.) In truth, I wanted to go to Thanksgiving with George. But more than going, I wanted  George to be able to relax and be fully present on the trip.

Additionally, last Christmas we missed going to George's family for Christmas because I was going through the worst of my recovery of re-learning how to walk balance-wise. Christmas day was actually the worst day vertigo and disequilibrium-wise. And as I was hypersensitive, I couldn't even tolerate George being in the room. His entire Christmas vacation that he had taken off of work intending to be with his family, he stayed to take care of me (bringing me food + walking me to the toilet) but the rest of the time he was painfully alone. It broke both of our hearts.

So many reasons for him to go this year. We didn't actually talk that much about our Thanksgiving decision on camera, which is why I thought I'd share more about it here. In the video above, you can see our fun make-up celebration for my birthday! It was SO much fun!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How has chronic illness or chronic pain affected or not affected your birthday? Answer below or on the video's comments!

If you are new, consider Subscribing to this blog + my YouTube Channels + click the bell to get notified when I upload videos!
Chronic Illness Reality HERE
Wahle Warriors HERE

Hold onto Hope, Love this Day & Remember YOU are NOT alone!

Instagram: KellyFlyWithHope

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

I Feel Better When I'm Dancing!

Martin Luther King, Jr. said,
If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward."
With chronic illness, and in my case with chronic illnesses that are disabling, staying moving both physically and emotionally are extremely important. Moving forward, no matter how fast or how slow is vital to living a fulfilled life with chronic illness.

My movement of choice is dancing. I feel better when I'm dancing. Although George and I grew up dancing and know how to ballroom dance, I have the most fun when we are dancing with abandon.  If you want to laugh at some crazy nerds dancing with abandon, check out the Wahle Warriors' Vlog below. You might just find your toe tapping. Or *gasp* you may even get up and dance with us!

I promised to share bonus information here about the videos that I don't share anywhere else. Here you go!

Fly With Hope SCOOP:

This video combines dancing from April, August and September 2017. April 2017 was the first time I had felt good enough to dance in a long time which made it extra-sweet.

 In August, I was really not feeling well physically or emotionally and dancing can change my mood. You can see how much my body language changes from the beginning to the end.

In September, I talk about the "Stand" notification on my Apple watch that happens 10 minutes before every hour.  I use this reminder to physically move whenever possible. If I cant' stand up, I move my arms, if I can't move my arms, I do some diaphragmatic breathing which slows down my heart rate and makes me feel better on the whole. If I CAN stand, I do and it is even better when I dance.

Although I take life one tiny step at a time, I focus on moving no matter how challenging it is. Dance is my preferred method. I also stretch, do physical therapy exercises and on rare occasions Tai Chi or Pilates. How about you?

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What do you do to keep moving with chronic illness?

If you are new, consider Subscribing to this blog + my YouTube Channels + click the bell to get notified when I upload videos!
Chronic Illness Reality HERE
Wahle Warriors HERE

Hold onto Hope, Love this Day & Remember YOU are NOT alone!

Instagram: KellyFlyWithHope

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A New Chapter For Kelly | Chronic Illness Reality + Wahle Warriors

Writing and this blog is my first love and I have a fun announcement! Chronic health challenges have made writing difficult for me the last few years. Did you know that I am getting a service dog to help me with my balance and mobility disabilities?  I have painfully neglected Fly With Hope but NOT anymore!

Drumroll.... I've decided to incorporate my YouTube videos into this blog! (Scroll down to see two of my videos below!)  I had jumped over to YouTube and started creating video content as I found it easier to talk to a camera than to write. But I will be using this blog to expand on what I am sharing on YouTube as well as give some bonus details about the videos. YouTube has become a place where I update my loved ones and friends on how I am doing as well as share with others who have chronic illness and chronic pain.

My vlog, Wahle Warriors, is a channel where I share with you all what is happening in my life on a day to day basis! This channel is geared toward my loved ones, friends and anyone who has to warrior through anything, especially chronic illness & chronic pain, and looking to live a fulfilled life. I share about how my chronic illness and chronic pain affect my life while still having a good life!

Intratympanic Gentamicin Injection - Meniere's Disease Treatment | See Footage! {10-06-2017} shows when Kelly just recently got a procedure for her Meniere's disease.Watch me get get her 4th intratympanic gentamicin injection, with actual footage of the treatment in the video! I have been having a rough recovery from it as I relearn to walk as my balance system was completely thrown out of whack. The purpose of this procedure is to kill or at least harm my diseased vestibular system chemically in order to reduce the out of control vertigo that affects my quality of life so severely. This is the 4th time I've had this procedure and the length of time it has helped has increased with each treatment.

Chronic Illness Reality is a YouTube channel that has many videos already but the upcoming videos are going to have an more focused vision.  My videos are intended to help people with chronic illness to live a fulfilled life with chronic illness through tips and tricks videos, talking about chronic illness hot topics, as well as answering viewer questions about specific chronic health conditions. So far people have been asking a lot about Meniere's disease as well as IBS because I have a video showing when I experienced attacks.

Chronic Illness Has Taken Over My Life | I Need Help is a video where I share about living through chronic illness when it feels too challenging. You can hear about the tools I use to maintain a sense of control even when my chronically ill life feels out of control.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What do you do to regain control of your life when chronic illness has taken over? Answer in the comments here or on the video!

If you are new, consider Subscribing to Kelly's YouTube Channels + click the bell to get notified when Kelly posts!
Chronic Illness Reality HERE
Wahle Warriors HERE

Hold onto Hope, Love this Day & Remember YOU are NOT alone!