5 Ways to Handle Challenges With Your Health - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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5 Ways to Handle Challenges With Your Health


Happy Friday friends!

I wrote this post today, in part, to strengthen my thoughts about the challenges we can face with our health.  Presently, I am trying to titrate down and off a medication, I wasn’t sure was helping me.  This is challenging as I am experiencing many withdrawal symptoms and am questioning if it is something I should continue to do.

What helps me during these times? Do I want to give up immediately because the pain is too great? Well, yes! That is the honest truth, sometimes! But having this condition, EDS, has taught me ways to handle some of the challenges I am facing. One being this very disease.

I would love to open the soft blue curtains in the morning and just start singing-“Oh What a Beautiful Morning, Oh What a Beautiful Day!” and perhaps this is what I need to do to get me in the right frame of mind for the day.

Instead, my internal voice is saying, ” Every part of my body aches…. What will I feel like when I am 80? ” Why does it feel like someone took a hammer to my arm? Yes, my hubby loves the visuals I create!

When I start this way, it does begin to set the tone and lead to more anxiety. So, instead, I will replace negative thinking with something more positive. “Ah, the sun is shining and it’s going to be a good day! ”

So, this post was written as I have my health on the brain lately.

5 Ways to Handle Challenges with Our Health

Think positively- One way I do this is to see how far I have come.  I have kept old journals ( i now have a ton of them) and reread what I have written from 8-10 yrs ago when I was first diagnosed. It is easy to forget where you came from and what progress you have made. I also make “positivity a choice”, as I believe your state of mind has much to do with your health. I used to have to wear a sacroiliac belt for hypermobility, and because my pelvis would dislocate. I also had to bring a cushion to restaurants as I could barely sit for 30 minutes. I have kept a health journal for the past 10 years and it helps to write down how I am feeling on a given day.

Have Support- This is key! My husband has been with me throughout this journey and I would have gone berserk if I couldn’t have expressed myself and how I was feeling, the frustration, the difficulty dealing with pain, the disappointment in my life-changing in this way. Early on, I joined on-line message/support boards to get information and vent about how I was doing. This helped me to find others going through similar problems.

Distract Yourself- Find a hobby or something that can take you away from pain and some of the distress that comes from having a health condition. I began this blog as a distraction and hobby and it gives me purpose and also a way to keep my mind off the pain I may be experiencing.

Be Proactive-This is so important! I have learned over the years that no one is going to help your health or challenges with your health except you. If you feel something is wrong, make appointments. I had to see many specialists before I found out what was wrong. Speak up about medication. I have titrated off medications that I felt weren’t helping me, but I discussed it with my doctor. I always go in with a notebook of points I want to discuss. Work together with your doctor.

Say Prayers- faith/be grateful- It is easy to get depressed about health issues and challenges, but saying prayers and having faith is important as well. I know it is like mourning your “old life” and what you are able to do but do be grateful for what you can do and what strides you make. 10 years ago, I was only able to walk to the corner of my street with the pups and back home. I had to use a cushion to sit for short lengths of time. At the airport, I would use a wheelchair as walking and standing were too difficult. I think about what I am able to do, with proper pain management, and am grateful for those positive changes. Have faith that there will be better days. It isn’t easy but it can help.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”  ~Helen Keller

and if nothing else shop online! It will make you feel better! 🙂 See, having humour will also help you get by on tough days!

Id love to hear how you handle or deal with your health challenges? Let me know in the comments.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Jess xx


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  • Kinga K.
    Posted at 04:38h, 11 August Reply

    Very good entry ♥

  • Wendy
    Posted at 01:38h, 10 August Reply

    Jess, I’m sorry to hear that you have EDS. I have EDS type 3 ( hyper flexible with fragile cartilage and joint injuries and aches and pains). You are very brave and positive-minded. This is an inspiration for other people. Oddly enough, I discovered that being on a low oxalate diet has gotten rid of a lot of my pain and stiffness. Low oxalate just means avoiding foods that contain a high level of oxalate and eating foods lower in oxalate. (Spinach is very high in oxalate, lettuce is not. Strawberries are high in oxalate, blueberries are low. As a couple of examples.)

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:07h, 10 August Reply

      Hi Wendy, seems we are hypermobile sisters! I also have type 3. Thank you for reading, I do try each day to be positive ( some days harder than others). Thank you for the info on the low oxalate foods. I will try and look that up, as I do eat alot of fruits and veggies, it would be something to try as it has worked for you. Thats great!

  • thisblondesshoppingbag
    Posted at 12:29h, 09 August Reply

    So well written my friend and right on point! I believe in the power of positivity and really try hard to stay in that mindset,makes such a difference. And humor? Oh heck yes! It is absolutely vital!
    Have the best weekend beautiful!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:07h, 10 August Reply

      Thank you Kellyann! It does help and yes you have to laugh! THanks for reading and enjoy your weekend! xx

  • shelbeeontheedge1
    Posted at 10:39h, 09 August Reply

    Jess, this post is so inspiring! And your points are right on the money. I am a firm believer that we find our purpose in our pain whether it be physical, mental, or emotional pain. When we find ways to overcome the struggles that life has dealt us, we need to share that knowledge and experience with the world in order to help others who may be traveling a similar path. I am amazed at well you do get on being in chronic pain. You inspire me all the time! Keep sharing your story, my friend, for there is much power in it! Love ya!


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:45h, 09 August Reply

      Thank you Shelbee, you do the same, inspire me! I agree and think it is important to try and help other people who might be experiencing a tough time coping. Love ya too friend! xx

  • Jodie
    Posted at 09:37h, 09 August Reply

    You’re so smart to be proactive, and it’s so inspirational that you continue even with this crazy disease.
    Sending huge hugs, Jess,

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:04h, 09 August Reply

      Thank you Jodie. Honestly, if I wasn’t proactive, I feel I might not have had the pain control that I have, or even know what my condition is. You have to be these days. I appreciate the hugs! xx

  • Anna Marcus
    Posted at 08:52h, 09 August Reply

    It pains to read what you are going through each day, Jess and how you found the ways to deal with your condition. I admire your resilience and great spirit.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:03h, 09 August Reply

      Hi Anna, thank you, it means a lot. It certainly can be trying, but I do my best! Enjoy your weekend Anna.

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