Friday, October 7, 2016

Facing Forward: Kristine

Facing Forward is a series that shares the lives of people living with arthritis and other invisible chronic illnesses. The goal of the series is to see how we are similar and how we are different - and to remind us to keep moving forward because we aren't alone!

Name: Kristine
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Diagnoses: Fibromyalgia / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Age at Diagnosis: 47

How are you currently treating your condition?
I try my best to eat a whole foods diet (little to no processed food, as natural to the source as possible.) I also pursue my passions (writing/baking/photography) whenever I feel physically and mentally capable. This keeps me mentally and emotionally fulfilled, which in turn improves my physical condition, or at least distracts me from my symptoms! LOL!
What are the biggest challenges you have faced since your diagnosis?
Trying to find the balance in my personal relationships between communicating honestly about my condition (how I feel symptomatically, my limitations, my anxieties regarding the future of my conditions, etc.) and knowing when it may be best to keep my experience to myself. I have found that most people have a fairly limited capacity to sympathize or empathize for any great length of time. Due to the nature of FMS and CFS being a "look good, feel bad" disease, many people have a difficult time understanding how you never seem to "get better" or "get over it." So, I would say the biggest challenge I have faced since my diagnosis is maintaining the "health" of my personal relationships.

What are your favorite tips and tricks for managing everyday tasks?
Prioritizing and organizing! There may be five things that need to be done that day, but my energy stores will only allow for two or three. At that point, I will have to mentally assess what is a priority, and what can either be postponed or eliminated. I may also have to organize the tasks in a way that will allow me "rest time" in between.

How do you manage to keep facing forward every day?
With the knowledge that things can ALWAYS be worse! I truly believe myself to be fortunate that my condition is not as debilitating as it could be, and IS in so many people.

If you could go back to diagnosis day and tell your past self one thing, what would it be?
The tagline of my website says it all: "Chronic Illness is Not an 'End,' Just Another Unexpected ' Beginning.'"

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1 comment:

Kristine said...

Thanks so much Mariah! Appreciate the opportunity for the interview :) Have a truly wonderful week! ♥