Day 10 Chronic Illness Challenge

Sometimes they come more frequently than you would like:  the bad days.  A lot of things go wrong or not according to your plan.  During Day 10 of the Chronic Illness Challenge we ask the question:

What little things make your life easier?

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Higher Education Guide: Find Support

Find a Support Network

Why is this important?  Even if you do not have a chronic illness, attending a new college or university is a big deal.  There are lots of new things going on in your life, which is exciting.  However, there are many new stressors in your life that you may not have had to deal with before.  You will need someone to talk to when things get particularly difficult.  (Not listed in any particular order)

  1. Medical Support – Keep in touch with your care team to make sure your health is in good condition during this stressful time.  If you keep them well-informed, they can also give objective advice on whether you are pushing yourself too hard.
  2. Support Groups – Some universities have support groups to help students cope with a range of issues.   If your university of choice has these, you should take advantage of them.   There may also be support groups locally run by nonprofits such as the Epilepsy Foundation.  This is a great way to talk about your problems with people who have similar issues.
  3. Friends – Whether you met them online or in person, a good friend will know what to say when you are having a bad day.
  4. Family – Some people like to talk things through with family members when a particularly difficult issue comes up.

This is not meant to be a complete list.  If I missed any, please comment and let me know.


Back to the “Success Guide to Higher Education for the Chronically Ill

Feeling like the Grinch

I have felt a little like the grinch lately.  I am looking forward to flying home to see my family for Christmas.   The only reason why I am looking forward to Thanksgiving is a few days off from work.  Holiday parties are exhausting for me.  Braving packed shopping malls to buy gifts for relatives can be a nightmare.  I used to look forward to the holidays.  I don’t really know what happened to me, but I am definitely not in the holiday spirit.


Stress Meter Getting High

StressI have a lot on my plate now and the “stress meter” is getting near the high range.  First, I am graduating with a Master of Education this May.  It is an accomplishment that has been no small feat, and I am extremely proud of it.  Therefore I am planning on participating in many of the college’s graduation ceremonies.  Second, it is getting near the end of the semester at the college where I teach mathematics courses.  I am doing my best to make sure that I give them the attention that they deserve.  Finally, I am also starting to look for a full-time job.  Somehow, I am keeping it together!

Modified Atkins Diet Can Cut Epileptic Seizures in Adults – 01/28/2008

According to the Johns Hopkins study described in the link below, this low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet has been proven successful in helping adults cut the frequency of seizures.   I am trying to do this myself, but have found it almost impossible to cut down on the carbohydrates that I love.  If you want to try it, you should consult your doctor first.

Modified Atkins Diet Can Cut Epileptic Seizures in Adults – 01/28/2008.

Epilepsy & Classical Music

I wanted to do some online research to see if there was some connection between epilepsy and classical music.  Every time that I listen to it I instantly forget all of my worries and feel completely at ease.

According to

  • Raymond Barr, head of the Coronary Care unit at Baltimore’s St. Agnes Hospital says, “For adult patients, half an hour of music produces the same effect as ten milligrams of Valium.”
  • For best results, do not listen to music for more than three hours at one time. If you find that you’ve had music playing for more than three hours, turn it off and take a break. The brain responds to variety and too much of any one stimulus produces a kind of fatigue and even irritation.
  • You are unique. Experiment with different types of music, and be aware of the effects each style of music has upon your mental, emotional and physical well-being

If the website and the studies are correct, classical music can have many different neurological benefits.  Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon?  What music were you listening to at the time?

If you have not listened to classical music before, here is your chance.   Leave a reply and let me know if the music had an effect at all. You may need to listen to it more than once.  The music in the video below is Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major.  By the way, I did not create the video or the music.  At the very least, you will have the opportunity to listen to music written by a genius.



Illnesses Associations & Foundations

Here is an extensive list of Associations and Foundations that you can go to for help.  You should be able to find a website or group that can help you regardless of what chronic illness you have.  I have posted this link to help people with chronic illnesses find resources.

Disclaimer: I did not create this list and claim no rights towards it.