I went swimming in an indoor, chlorinated pool for the first time in 12 years! I love the water! I feel so much better and so much stronger in the water! Wish I could go every day! Heck! I wish I could LIVE in it! Wahoo!
People really don’t have any idea what battles I fight daily.
I don’t expect them all to fully understand.
Still, know that if you would like to be supportive, believe me and believe IN me.
I am fighting for my life with courage & perseverance. Believe in me and & join me on this quest or step aside!
Copyright 2014 Sherri Connell.
All rights reserved.
I have made a big decision today. I am quitting my 24 x 7 job of fighting for my life, which COSTS me money and getting a new job that’s just 40 hours a week that PAYS me money!
I am giving up spending all day every day doing therapies, doctor appointments, spending time in waiting rooms, time getting testing, filing insurance claims, paying doctor bills and preparing special diet foods for a job that pays $85,000 a year!
By next year, we should be able to pay off my bills, move to a new home and start going on some vacations! Wow! Why didn’t I do this many years ago?
April FOOLS! Don’t I wish I had that choice!!
The moment you all have been waiting for!! OK maybe not, but here it is! The video of me speaking at the 2013 Invisible Disabilities Association Awards Night. Special thanks to CBS4 Ed Greene for helping me out!
I guess the biggest things I miss about work are being healthy, being able to get up in the morning, shower and dress, getting a lot done, spending time with people, feeling accomplishment and getting a paycheck.
Instead, I am at home, in pain, feeling like I have the flu and my job is to do my physical therapy, try to get my food, make doctor appointments, go to doctor appointments, file insurance claims and try to wash my hair once in a while. Not only am I missing a paycheck, but I get lots of medical bills instead.
Many loved ones feel overwhelmed by the endeavor of going fragrance free. They don’t know where to start, where to buy products and often fear making someone ill by missing something. Thus, they often avoid the issue and in turn avoid the person living with chemical intolerance.
As I tell everyone I come in contact with, using fragrance free and natural products is health choice for everyone. In other words, it can be viewed as a positive change for all, rather than a sacrifice just for someone who has an issue.
For those who for whatever reason don’t want to change out all their soap, shampoo, deodorant, lotion and hair products, one suggestion I have for people is to keep a Fragrance Free Kit.
Of course, if they want their loved one to visit their home, it will probably need to not have any air fresheners, new carpet, paint, lots of candles, carpet shampoo, stains, harsh cleaners, smokers, regular perfume wearers, etc. On the other hand, if these are not an issues, often there can be some compromise.
First, if the loved one cannot tolerate fragranced laundry products, those will need to be changed long term. These do not wash out easily and linger for many months or longer even when washed multiple times.
Second, we can purchase fragrance free shampoo, soap and deodorant. We keep this under our cabinet and pull them out to use for several showers before visiting with our loved one. We can omit other hair products, lotions, sprays, etc or add fragrance free versions to our kit.
For more information on living with Environmental Illness, the Choose Friendships Over Fragrances Campaign, resources and more: Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign
Do you or a loved one live with debilitating illness or pain? Invisible Disabilities Association
Disclaimer: I am not an expert and this may or may not work for you and your loved one. Please ask your friend or family member what they can or cannot tolerate and what will work for them. Also note that most likely alternatives will not work if there are air fresheners, new carpets, paint, stains, carpet shampoo’s etc. in the home.
I am so thankful for my family who made it possible for me to spend the weekend in their home for Thanksgiving. The weekend was filled with being surrounded by my amazing nephews and I was loving it!!
I enjoyed every moment of the kids running around, playing, wrestling and most of all for their giving and caring hearts! It was incredible to be there with my sister, brother in law, their kids and Wayne’s mom (Karen). I have not been there for a long time, because they had some remodeling done and it took a while for all the new paints and carpets to out-gas.
What’s more, they came and stayed at our house for two days after Christmas. And, we were able to spend Christmas Eve Day with Wayne’s dad, mom (Eloise) and more family. Yay!
Holy Toledo! How cool is this! HuffPost LIVE by The Huffington Post, produced and broadcast a video segment about my story! The show was titled, “A Tick Bite Changed My Life Forever” which was hosted by Nancy Redd.
Immediately, my video segment got over 119,000 views and it continued to get thousands of view on their website and AOL!
Although I mention Lyme, the interview is really about ALL living with debilitating illness and pain, no matter what their diagnosis. Most of all, it is about helping friends and family better understand.
The Huffington Post wrote:
Sherri Connell, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis & Lyme Disease, and her husband Wayne Connell, the Founder & President of Invisible Disabilities Association, joined HuffPost Live to tell Nancy Redd Sherri’s story of contracting her illnesses through a tick bite and how they have turned it into a positive thing by founding an organization to help those with disabilities.
“When I was fourteen I was bit by a tick but at the time I didn’t know it,” Connell told Redd. “But, I started feeling chronic pain soon after.”
“I fell in love with her and we got married in ’94. And in ’96 she coined the phrase, “Invisible disabilities,” said her husband Connell.
HuffPost LIVE created this show from the original video interview and article on 12-12-12, with Wayne Connell (my hubby), the founder and president of the Invisible Disabilities Association, our friend, Karyn Buxman, RN, MSN, another guest, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and me. The show was titled, “Not Handicapped Enough.”