Below are some practical sleep tips and ideas which are within our control, and hopefully can offer us chronic illness sufferers at least some degree of sleep improvement:
*You can NOW READ the INTRODUCTION of Finding Joy with an Invisible Chronic Illness by going to the About the "Invisible Illness" Book link above!
*Finding Joy with an Invisible Chronic Illness is now available as an AUDIOBOOK! The experienced, professional narrator Gary J. Chambers did a superb job.
*NEW: CHECK OUT MY BOOK LIST RECOMMENDATIONS HERE!! My recommendations of the five best chronic illness books for Christians who seek wisdom and joy. Note: While Finding Joy with an Invisible Chronic Illness is written for anyone with a chronic illness, the spiritual content underscores the value of faith and offers several Bible verses.
AN INVISIBLE CHRONIC ILLNESS LIFE
I am a school psychologist, husband, father, and - pertinent to this website - an author who has multiple invisible chronic illnesses.
And an invisible chronic illness is a beast. On top of draining you physically, a chronic illness can impact all aspects of your life ranging from causing financial hardship to harming your relationships to dampening your spirits. Try to be cheerful when you have this unremitting “monkey on your back” known as an invisible chronic illness that constantly demands your attention 24-7. Needless to say, it’s easy to let yourself and others down.
Plus, your family or friends can't see your illness, as it's invisible, and they may not understand. Most with an invisible illness are familiar with “advice” ranging from “stay positive” to “you look good” to “Have you tried ___ for your condition?” Yup, you probably have, and it didn’t work.
On top of that, best wishes in accessing (and maintaining) high quality medical care when you are too tired to even take care of yourself.
Welcome to the world of an invisible chronic illness. I should know. I suffer from multiple invisible chronic illnesses, including a primary immune deficiency disorder and bronchiectasis.
But it doesn’t have to be this way - for you or for me. While I am far from cured of my illness, I still maintain a fulfilling life and experience ongoing joy, peace, and happiness. Because of good medical care, extensive self-educating and self-care, and a supportive family, I effectively manage my chronic illnesses. But I didn't want to be the only one to benefit. It was my goal, in turn, to give back to others by doing what I love to do: authoring books on these conditions.
Thank you for stopping by. I hope that by visiting this website and blog, and/or by reading my books, you will find yourself encouraged and your day just a little brighter.
WHY WAS FINDING JOY WRITTEN?
Finding Joy with an Invisible Chronic Illness has been written in part to address the following problems chronic illness patients confront:
1) the emotional challenges that stem from living with an invisible chronic illness and the subsequent high rates of depression;
2) the loneliness many with chronic illness experience, misunderstanding from others, and ensuing relationship difficulties;
3) the diagnostic and prognostic confusion, and difficulty accessing and maintaining high quality healthcare;
QUESTIONS FINDING JOY ANSWERS
- How can you experience those good thoughts and feelings, enjoy life at its fullest, and de-stress when faced with constant, unremitting physical suffering?
- How can you enhance your relationships, find support, respond to the naysayers, and possibly even help them understand you and your illness?
- When seeking medical care, how can you get the answers you deserve, and access and maintain quality healthcare?
As a school psychologist and patient, Finding Joy integrates my professional and personal insights to advocate a holistic approach to managing chronic illness.
WHAT FINDING JOY OFFERS
Finding Joy is an A-to-Z guide that critiques the literature and empowers the reader with:
- Positive psychology techniques. These range from self-compassion, positive reappraisal, positive self-talk, and pacing to positive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors such as optimism, humor, and volunteer work.
- Stress-reduction methods. These include tools such as mindfulness, breathing exercises, simplification, and (therapeutic) journaling.
- Proven therapies. Examples include cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).
- Effective communication strategies and their impact on relationships and even the ability to access quality healthcare.
- Numerous tips to both access and maximize your access to high quality healthcare.
- Important considerations for the loved ones of the chronically ill, so they too can know how to best support their loved one and take care of themselves in the process.
- Finding Joy with an Invisible Chronic Illness: Proven Strategies for Discovering Happiness, Meaning, and Fulfillment (2021)
Having Nasal Surgery? Don't You Become An Empty Nose Victim! (2007) (Independent Publisher Book Award)
- ¿Cirugía nasal? ¡No caiga en las garras del síndrome de la nariz vacía! (2015) (Spanish Translation)
Various breathing techniques can be useful for chronic illness as a quick, no-cost means to temporarily manage breathing symptoms. I would like to discuss alternate nostril breathing. Alternate nasal breathing is a breathing technique, in which you alternate exhaling and inhaling between one nostril and the other. It has a long history in Ayurvedic medicine and yoga as a means to harmonize both hemispheres of the brain resulting in a balanced physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Some purported benefits of alternate breathing include:
As mentioned on a previous blog post, sweating can effectively release toxins through our largest organ, the skin. One effective means to induce sweating is through use of a sauna.
To be alive is to have stress. The late Hans Selye, an Austrian-Canadian endocrinologist, proposed that we respond to stress – good stress (eustress), bad stress (distress), too little stress (hypostress), or too much stress (hyperstress) – either by adapting via the “general adaptation syndrome” or by developing a pathological state from ongoing, unrelieved stress. I believe ENS patients tend to have ongoing, unrelieved stress because of the chronic physical symptoms. Yet we have tools which can reduce stress, and I believe the way we respond to stress is critical.
Chronic mucosal inflammation and bacterial infection of the sinuses are common problems among those with chronic sinusitis. As a chronic sinusitis sufferer myself, I am extra aware of how pharmaceutical antibiotics kill off not only the bad bacteria, but the good bacteria as well. These antibiotics reduce the microbiome of the sinuses, leading to more opportunities for the bad bacteria to take hold.
As you probably know by now, I am a big fan of simple, inexpensive remedies by which you have little to lose and something to gain. One palliative treatment I have enjoyed is called earthing (aka grounding), which in simplest explanation, involves having skin contact with the earth, such as walking barefoot on the grass. Earthing is based on the premise that connecting to the earth’s natural energy is the foundation for optimal health.
I think those who battle invisible chronic illnesses, such as empty nose syndrome, are WARRIORS.