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Reflecting on How I See Things

Reflecting on How I See Things 1

Reflecting on How I See Things

Hello everyone and welcome back to Join The ME Project. Also, let me extend my welcome to the first day of December. I mentioned it on my Instagram, but I really feel like this year went by fast. And you know, something about this month gets me in a mood of reflection. That’s what I’m going to be talking about in this post.

Tomorrow, I have my 12-week check-up with the surgeon that did my hip. And it’s made me reflect on what’s happened since that initial day in September. I’m still really happy with my decision to have surgery because it got rid of a lot of my pain.

See Also: Blogger Recognition Award

I just feel a bit bittersweet. I know I’m not physically where I need to be 12 weeks out. Although some aspects of this have been simply out of my hands. This wasn’t my first surgery by any means, but it was the one I had the most issues with. 

My family and I have dealt with the insurance, the surgeon, and physical therapy because there have been issues. And then these issues cause delays. It seems like an exhausting wheel of rotation without progress.

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Rather than focusing on what was only frustrating, I decided to turn my attention outwards. And I realized that I had so much to be grateful for. My mom and sister have been so helpful and loving. Our friends have shown that they care as much as possible.

I’ve discussed it a bit in, The Illusion Of Social Media. After turning my attention outwards, I had to focus back on myself. I didn’t have a negative attitude, I was grateful for who I had in my life, but there was a disconnect within me.

How I viewed myself and how I viewed my health was separate from each other. And I know what the catalyst was. Prior to my surgery, we discussed with the doctor about how everything would go. And he was pretty optimistic that I would have little to no issue.

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Through most of my healing process, I used crutches. And I thought they were a temporary solution. Then my doctor prescribed a cane and I realized my thinking was wrong. I was applying the word ”temporary” to not just the crutches but my health as a whole.

The way I viewed my whole situation was skewed. I was hiding my denial of the situation behind this wall of false acceptance. I had to take a step back and reevaluate it all. By combining those two sides of myself again, I could see that I put too much merit in this surgery.

See Also: The Visionary Friend

I can say now that I no longer have that issue but it took me a while. I had to really dig through layers of myself to get to the root of the issue. And I think that’s important for everyone to do when it comes to physical, emotional, and mental health.

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My problem was that I never buried the image that I had of myself. And where and who I am is not who I thought I would be. And in some ways, that is actually a really good thing.

So as I sit and finish writing this post, my cane is resting right beside me. Not long ago, it was the catalyst for a much-needed self-evaluation. How do I feel now? Motivated. Encouraged. And I hope that I can help someone else by simply reading this.

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As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow Join The ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

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Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition Award

Originally Posted: November 7th, 2017.
Recently Updated: November 11th, 2019.

Good evening everyone! I’m very excited and honored about today’s post. Jenn at Jennv.me nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award. Her blog is no longer active, but I truly appreciate her for the nomination.

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Info About the Blogger Recognition Award

Made by bloggers for bloggers. The Blogger Recognition Award is a way to let fellow bloggers know that you recognize and appreciate the hard work that they do.

If you accept the nomination, there are a few rules to follow:

  • Write a blog post to showcase your award
  • Thank the blogger that nominated you and include a link to their blog
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started
  • Share two general pieces of advice for others
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers
  • Let your 15 bloggers know that you have nominated them

Old & New

Because I’m refreshing an old post, I thought I would do something a little different. Some people know that my old blog, PAE Reviews turned into this one Join The ME Project. But they don’t know the story behind it.

Today I will be telling the full story. And in doing so, it will give me a chance to nominate a new set of bloggers for the Blogger Recognition Award. This will be a blog post of both old and new.

Why PAE Reviews Was Created

The short answer is, I didn’t like my life. You’re probably confused by this so I’ll give you the somewhat condensed version instead. December of 2015, I had ACL Reconstruction and Meniscus Repair. Then I started physical therapy to gain the muscle strength I lost.

June of 2016, I had a Knee Synovectomy and another Meniscus Repair with another round of physical therapy. In April, I had Carpal Tunnel, Cubital Tunnel, and Pronator Syndrome surgery on my right hand and forearm.

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I’ve discussed some of this before in Where Would We Be Without Support? if you want to check that out. During this rinse and repeat with surgery and physical therapy, I was getting diagnosed with other health conditions. I’ve mentioned in The Illusion Of Social Media that my outlook on life was wrong.

Prior to a year and few months ago, my health was an obstacle to overcome. I wasn’t viewing it as a part of me. Even though I was still going through the motions, my mind was still very much in the past on how I used to be when I was “healthy”.

One day, I took a good look at myself and I didn’t like what I saw. I knew that I needed to make changes in my life in order to be healthy and happy. I made PAE Reviews to document that process and promote things that I think help with that.

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From PAE Reviews to JTMP

Maybe a year into blogging under PR I started a side project, literally called The ME Project. The M & E in the name stood for motivation and encouragement. Initially, it was a way for me to write about topics that made me happy. And I could highlight and interview bloggers that I felt embodied those two elements.

I just didn’t expect the response I got back. I write about it in About Join The ME Project. Everyone really seemed to like the project. And after a while, I started thinking about the next step.

I felt the name PAE Reviews no longer fit with what I was doing. I wanted a name that could umbrella everything even my future projects. One day I took out a piece of paper and just started writing. And that’s how I came up with Join The ME Project.

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Advice To New Bloggers

  • Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. It sounds a bit generic but it’s true. Don’t wait for people or opportunities to come your way. Always take the first step.
  • Quality vs Quantity. Numbers are a big thing for everyone: followers, subscribers, etc. It can be very easy to get wrapped up in and stress yourself out. If you create great content, the numbers will follow.
  • If you support others then they will support you.
  • Don’t be afraid to write about a topic that has been written about before. Your experiences, point of view and life make you different from everyone else.

Nominations For the Blogger Recognition Award

First Round

  1. Jess
  2. Cami
  3. Denelia
  4. Sarah
  5. Emily
  6. Amy
  7. Winnie
  8. Holly
  9. Brianna
  10. Beth
  11. Rebecca
  12. Aimsy
  13. Daisy
  14. Michelle
  15. Huda

As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow Join The ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

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Where I’ve Been, Where I’m At

Where I’ve Been, Where I’m At 2

Where I’ve Been, Where I’m At

Hello, everyone and welcome back to Join The ME Project. I know it’s been a while for everyone, especially for me. In today’s post, I will be giving everyone an update of where I’ve been, and what will be happening in the future.

My Thoughts

This past week, I’ve been pondering over whether or not I wanted to continue my blogging journey. I knew my hiatus was four months. But it wasn’t until I started to log back into my social media that the time away really hit me. So many changes had occurred that I didn’t know about and I just felt out of my element.

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Additionally, during my blog hiatus, I had my hip surgery. And then I was placed on bed rest for six weeks. If you saw my latest Instagram and Twitter post, I discussed a little bit about my initial thought process. Right after my surgery, I kept thinking that I would be able to jump back into my regular routine. Reality basically hit me in the face and let me know that wasn’t going to happen.

See Also: Where Would We Be Without Support?

What’s Next for Me?

This week though, I had my six-week post-op appointment. I learned that I would have to go through three months of physical therapy. And during these next three months, I will have to learn how to walk and bear weight on my right leg again.

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It kind of hit me all at once, just how much work I would have to put in with regards to my physical health and my blog. My initial thought was, ”Could I do it?” Should I apply my attention to my physical health and just forget about my blog? As always, I turned to my inner circle. I talked to my mom about how I was feeling and it came up in conversation when I was talking to my sister on the phone. That definitely built me up and relieved me of my worries.

See Also: The Illusion Of Social Media

So at this point, you are probably wondering, ”What’s the verdict? What is Erika going to do?” Well, this blog post is the very answer to that. Quitting at this point just isn’t possible. And I feel like if I did, I would be right back at it, within a short time period. I do want to thank you all for being so patient with me, during my hiatus and surgery. That means so much to me.

Right now, I don’t have a schedule set up. I’m really just taking everything day by day. I have some ideas for things in the future. But I will make a blog post about that later on.

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As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow Join The ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

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Where Would We Be Without Support?

Where Would We Be Without Support? 3

Where Would We Be Without Support?

I’ve been contemplating a lot lately. The main focus of my thoughts has been on family, but since starting this blogging journey I realize the importance of friendship more, too. I mainly started blogging because I needed an outlet to express myself.

I’ve discussed a little bit of my health situation in a previous post before, but the majority of my time is spent at doctor’s appointments or at physical therapy. I got stuck in a rut of not feeling anything and just going through the motions.

See Also: The Illusion Of Social Media

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One day, I finally got sick of it and I decided that I wanted to change what I could. Now, my health situation is not going to change. But I could change the way I perceive my life and my outlook on it. I remember that when I was younger, writing helped me vent out all the raging emotions that I had inside. I’ve never been much of a talker but putting pen to paper seemed to be my way of communicating. There were some things that I wrote that I would share and others I wouldn’t.

My health situation is not going to change. But I could change the way I perceive my life and my outlook on it. Click To Tweet

See Also: The Visionary Friend

I decided that I wanted this time to be different. I thought, “why not make a blog? I have plenty of opinions. I’m always trying new products, this could work out.”

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Talking it over with my mother really helped me with my decision. She’s my soundboard for a lot of things, and I knew that if she thought it wasn’t a good decision, she would be frank about it and tell me. To my surprise, she was all for it.

See Also: Letting Go of Old

I made the decision to keep some things private and I still am. One of my biggest problems is that I’ve always been quite shy about my writing. At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to tell my other family members and friends about my blog.

Britt K/@AltSpeaking on Twitter helped me see that I was making a bigger fuss about it then I needed to. For some reason, I thought that I need to make my blog a topic of conversation or at least bring it up in conversation. In the end, all I did was follow a few of them from my blog Instagram account and word got out. It made me realize if my friends and family, know who I am, then what’s the point in hiding my name. I admit that my thinking is weird sometimes.

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Twitter alone has been a big support to me. In not only finding like-minded individuals, ones who love to write and share their opinions, but people that truly want to support each other in every aspect that they can. When I started my blog, I knew what my topics were going to be, but I didn’t know how to reach readers or interact with others. I’ve learned so much just being on Twitter than anywhere else. And I think with that you have to put yourself out there.

I don’t want to be known as someone who stepped on people to get anything in life. So I want my blogging life/side to be the same way. If I can read, share, RT, or follow, I will do that. And my thinking is, “If I don’t do it for others, then how can I expect someone to do it for me?” Once again, these are just my personal thoughts. But my question for today is: How have you been shown support recently? or, When was the last time that you gave support to someone that needed it?

If I can read, share, RT, or follow, I will do that. And my thinking is, If I don't do it for others, then how can I expect someone to do it for me? Click To Tweet

As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow Join The ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

Originally Posted October 5, 2017
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Knowing Your Limits

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Knowing Your Limits

Originally posted: December 18, 2017
Read the previous post here: Breaking Down My First Month of Blogging

You know what is really interesting about life? We are always learning and adapting the way we understand the events that happen around us.

So far, I’ve discussed becoming a healthier person and the positive ways to do that. But I don’t really think that we have dove into mental and emotional health as much.

Do You Know Your Limits?

To me, limits, are what we will allow ourselves to handle. Anything above a set limit is too much. After reaching your limit, it is good to take a break from the situation or the event.

Admitting that you have a set limit is not a weakness. It just means that you are aware of what your body needs. Click To Tweet

Personally, I have physical, emotional, and mental limits. And admitting that you have a set limit is not a weakness. It just means that you are aware of what your body needs. I’m going to go through and break these down a bit. I hope that this makes everyone think and come up with their own limits.

Know Your Physical Limit

With my mobility issues, I’ve become pretty aware of what my body can handle. There are still some days that I push myself and I don’t mean to, but I think I have found a pretty good balance. If I have a doctor’s appointment or physical therapy scheduled one day, I’ll make sure that the next day is open to rest. That way, I can relax and release the tension that’s built up over the previous day.

I also like to try and plan out my week ahead of time. This helps me know what I need to get done. If I can plan out a shopping list I know what stores I will need to go to. Instead of shopping when I run out of something.

Know Your Emotional Limit

Knowing your emotional limit is kind of a tricky one. It is based on your personal background and on what you can handle. When I’m close to my limit, I try to remove myself from the situation.

Improve by:

  • Say ”no” when you need to
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Start a journal
  • Detox from negativity

Know Your Mental Limit

Stress can be the biggest trigger to your mental limit. The best thing to do is find ways to combat the stress in your life. Change up your routine or limit your exposure to stressful situations.

If you are going through something, remember you are not alone. Don't be afraid to lean on others for help. Click To Tweet

Even with all of these, you know your body, listen to it. It will tell you when something is wrong.  Everyone is going through something whether you know it or not. It’s so important that we are kind and understanding of others. If you are going through something, remember you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to lean on others for help.

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As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. Don’t forget to follow me on Social Media. And check out The CoUnity page to see the various ways you can become a member.

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The Illusion Of Social Media

The Illusion of Social Media: Do you the influence social media can have on you? It's based on an illusion but it can affect your mental and emotional health as well.| jointhemeproject.com

The Illusion

of Social Media

Previously posted: October 23, 2017

Before the idea of creating a blog entered my mind, I had stopped posting as much on my personal social media. My level of interest in it had become very low. I deleted Snapchat off my phone and closed my personal Twitter account. And I had stopped using Facebook in high school. So in the process of elimination Instagram was my only social media, but I even got tired of that.

The Illusion

By tired, I’m not talking about Instagram as an application but the persona that I had created. When I made my account, I had just graduated high school, and I was healthy. On Instagram, I would always see perfect food, hair, makeup, and places to travel to. I thought that I needed to contribute to this.

At the time, I didn’t realize that I was just adding on to the illusion of social media. Because it wasn’t until around the year 2014, that my health started to change. I got sicker and my mobility was different. I no longer had opportunities to feature and showcase what I used to on my Instagram. Instead of being out in the middle of a field, my view was now a doctor’s office. And even though, I’ve tried there’s no way to get a pretty picture of that.

One day, I woke up and I realized that my whole life had changed. I needed to be honest with myself. Click To Tweet

The Lie

It got to the point that I would hide that part of me, the sick side. I would post the “best” or “pretty” parts of my life and hide the ugly. But I wasn’t acknowledging that the “best” or “pretty” parts were coming around less and less. One day, I woke up and I realized that my whole life had changed. I needed to be honest with myself.

Around this time, Lara Parker at BuzzFeed published, I Stopped Lying About How Happy I Was On Instagram And Started Telling The Truth About Chronic Pain, I ask that everyone go read this if you already haven’t. Reading this article helped me break out of this false reality that I had built for myself. For one, I was treating my illnesses as a thing or a problem and not as a part of me. Two, I thought by not letting people in, the problems would go away.

Reading this article helped me break out of this false reality that I had built for myself Click To Tweet

Social Media Honesty

So I started to post more on Instagram, but I went about it differently. This time around, I decided to be honest about whatever I’m going through. There are days that I don’t feel like or can’t get out of the bed depending on if it’s physical or mental. There’s only so much of a story, a picture can tell, so this is also one of the reasons I started my blog. I wanted to share my journey and tell my story.

Social media has grown so much in such a short amount of time. It’s used to connect people, reach out, and make friends. But it can also influence. The influence it has on some can leave a powerful effect. I think we all can use the occasional reminder that it’s just an illusion.

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Previous Post: Spoonie Tips for Surviving Winter

As always, let me know what you think in the comments below.

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Spoonie Tips for Surviving Winter

Spoonie Tips for Surviving Winter 5

Spoonie Tips

for Surviving Winter

Originally posted: November 3, 2017.
Post contains affiliate links.

Hello everyone, thank you for joining me again on Join The ME Project. I love this time of year, but as the weather starts to transition throughout the season it gets a little hard for me. The cold weather makes me ache and the lack of sun just about drains me. You may be thinking to yourself, “Why do you love it?” This time of year lets me create my own sunshine. I find ways to keep myself busy and most importantly healthy.

Now, this is not to say that I don’t still have bad days. I do, just like everyone else. But I try my best to work through them and remember that tomorrow is another day. So today I’ll be taking you through my top tips for surviving winter. I hope you all enjoy and let me know in the comments what helps you get through this time of year.

This time of year lets me create my own sunshine. I find ways to keep myself busy and most importantly healthy. Click To Tweet

Use a Weekly Pill Organizer

This may sound like a weird tip, but I’ve found that it’s helped me so much. If you deal with any sort of health condition like me, you probably take a lot of medication. I’d noticed that I’d gotten really lazy about taking my medicine at night. Periodically, I would forget to take my morning doses. Sometimes it can be a chore to huddle up all of the pill bottles and get the right dosage of medication.

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ir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B07H2GM46Y Spoonie Tips for Surviving Winter 2018 Chronic Illness December 2018 Tips & Tricks Weekly AM/PM Pill Organizer- $9.99

So each week I’ll set aside time to refill it and it makes my life so much easier. I really like this pill organizer because the capsules come out. If my day is going to be busy from morning on, I can pop the capsule in my purse and go about my day.

Stay Hydrated the Right Way

Dehydration is a serious issue and sometimes we may not be aware of it. If you’ve experienced dry skin, headaches, or dizziness in some cases these symptoms can be attributed to dehydration. Chronic health problems and the weather can affect the way we feel but we can take precautionary measures. There are a lot of benefits to drinking water and staying hydrated.

q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B01G5UUS6E&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL160_&tag=jointmp-20 Spoonie Tips for Surviving Winter 2018 Chronic Illness December 2018 Tips & Tricks ir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B01G5UUS6E Spoonie Tips for Surviving Winter 2018 Chronic Illness December 2018 Tips & Tricks Rehydrate Pro 25oz Insulated Water Bottle- $18.97

Drinking water throughout the day will increase energy, prevent muscle cramps, and detoxify the body. There are also fruits with high water content. My local grocery stores stock pre-cut watermelon and I’ve developed a habit of snacking on that.

Other fruits and veggies are:

  • Cantaloupe
  • Strawberry
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Lemons

Dress At Least Five Degrees Warmer Than the Temperature

My sister always says that being a meteorologist is the only profession where you get to lie constantly and keep your job. She was slightly joking when she said that but the point still counts. My fibromyalgia doesn’t act up in the warmer months as much as it is now. When I get cold it seems like it takes forever to get warm and I’ll spend the rest of the day huddled underneath a blanket.

So as an example, Friday it’s supposed to be 49 degrees. There’s 90% chance of rain and thunderstorms. Factoring all of this in, I’ll dress like it’s 55 degrees outside that way I know I’m warm. It may not seem like much, but a scarf or a hat can make a big difference against a wind chill.

Create Your Own Sunshine

My mom likes to do this by turning on a bunch of lamps in the apartment. She says if the sun isn’t outside than she’ll create it inside. Another way to do this is by making life fascinating. Just because we have ordinary responsibilities to take care of does not mean they have to feel that way.

Just because we have ordinary responsibilities to take care of does not mean they have to feel that way. Click To Tweet

As an example, say it’s time for your weekly grocery shopping. Each time you go to the grocery store, you take the same route. You’ve gotten so used to driving in this direction that you barely notice what you drive by. This next time, pay attention to your surroundings. You just may discover a new store or what could potentially be your favorite restaurant. Make time for adventure and discovery.


What tips do you have for winter? Let me know in the comments below. You can read the previous post, The Visionary Friend, by clicking the link.

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As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow Join The ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

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