One of my work colleagues has a medical bracelet similar to the “Livestrong” wristbands. I really liked the idea, but my medical alert company did not carry them until recently. As soon as they had the option, I ordered a package with multiple bracelets (one by itself was $25, while with six bands it was only $30, so completely worth it).


To put it simply, these are the best medical bracelets I’ve ever worn. No fiddly little clasps that are hard to open, break, or snag my sweater cuff. Comfortable fit that can stretch on and off, and I can change color based on what I’m wearing. No ruining a leather band when I wash my hands, either! My old nylon bracelet with the sport buckle was wearing out (especially since I play with my bracelet during meetings- I’m a fidgeter), and the long end of the band hanging out annoyed me (I trimmed it and melted the end so it wouldn’t unravel, but it still looked messy and sometimes got in the way).

It is possible for the metal portion to be lost, but you’d have to work on it, and so far the plastic bands are holding up well. I can still wear one of my fancy beaded wristlets if I’m dressing up, but for something that is obviously a medical band but still has a low profile, it’s perfect for everyday wear.

I haven’t done a product review in a loooong time! (I take that as good thing, really).

The last few weeks my arthritis has been acting up, and it can be a challenge to determine which type of arthritis is kicking in (if not both). I recently attended an evening talk at the university medical center about arthritis, and while it was mostly information I already knew, it helped me identify what’s going on to address it better.

For the last two weeks or so my wrists have been painful. That’s rheumatoid. I always carry a wrist splint with me so I can immobilize the worst one. Unfortunately, it’s rare that I can splint both wrists at once, since I need to, oh, I don’t know, do things. Like drive. Or use a cane. Little stuff like that.

On the other hand (snicker), the base of my thumb on my right hand is incredibly painful and I can’t grip. That’s osteo. My wrist splint really doesn’t help much here. I picked up a Futuro Thumb Stabilizer and I’m really pleased. It is advertised as being especially good for arthritis and I have to agree.

This is not my hand!

Instead of the metal brace in my wrist splint, this has two plastic splints that sandwich the outside of your thumb. It’s comfortable and easy to adjust. I really like that I can take the braces out if I need to wash it. The only issue I had was that the plastic braces were not tucked into the bottom of the pocket where they are placed, so they started shifting and slipping out. Once I tucked them in properly I had no problems. One more tool in my toolbox- this will probably join my wrist splint in my every day carry bag.

There is also a deluxe version, which I might consider if I end up wearing this frequently, but I hope that won’t be necessary. (It’s always a sad day when you need to ask someone to get the cap off your deodorant for you, or have to beg one of the girls from work to put your hair in a ponytail since you can’t do it yourself).

Zombie hands. Grr.


It works in all kinds of crises — medical, legal, even existential. It’s the ‘Ring Theory’ of kvetching. The first rule is comfort in, dump out.

April 07, 2013|Susan Silk and Barry Goldman

…but Jenni’s ChronicBabe community has gotten me through some tough times over the years, so I’m thrilled to support this project! If you’d like to chip in, please read below:

hi friend! i hope you’re having a great day.

i hope you’re familiar with my passion project: chronicbabe.com. it grew out of my own experience of learning to craft an exceptional life in spite of illness. (it’s part of why i went into business for myself 13 years ago.)
this month, i’m running a kickstarter for my chronicbabe 101 book, a project that will put valuable lessons in the hands of thousands of folks. with 24 hours left, we are fully funded and made all our stretch goals, which means i will give a digital copy of the book to EVERY backer, regardless of their pledge amount – as low as $1. (a big portion of my audience is unable to work, so this is a big deal for them.) the book will be published in july.
here’s a quick link to the page – packed with details: http://kck.st/1MREwha (it ends friday, march 27 at 10:30am central time.)
in these final hours of the project, i’m hoping to create a big swell of support that ensures tons of people who could benefit get the chance to participate – and i could really use your help. i teach my chronicbabes to ask for help when they need it, so today i’m walking the talk once again: please consider spending five minutes in the next two days doing one of these things. it will make a meaningful impact:
– make a pledge to the project (even $1 helps!)
– post a link to the project on your facebook profile or page, with a sentence about why it’s important to you
– tweet a link to the project
– post a link to the project on your linkedin page
– email someone you think might be interested
– posting a link at a forum you frequent
– tell someone you know face-to-face (weird, i know!) about the project
thank you so much! your support means the world. and as always – if i can be of any assistance to you, please say the word.

Be AWAP (As Well As Possible) – Jenni

FINAL HOURS: Back my Kickstarter for a ChronicBabe book. It’s going to be a blast!
+ Join nearly 4,000 people with chronic illness who get our free weekly newsletter packed with tips, humor and inspiration.
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Whatever you celebrate, or even if you celebrate nothing at all, I hope the year ahead is full of health and happiness for you!

Checking Back In

It has been a long, long time since I posted. The last six months have been mostly focused on work at my job- we had a couple major projects back-to-back but we’re finally out from under those. My health has had some ups and downs along the way, but overall I’ve been doing relatively well. I started writing short fiction again, and that’s where most of my writing energy has gone; it’s a lot of fun, and more rewarding than I expected.

After a false start I finally transferred to the endocrinologist at the same practice that houses my rheumatologist. This is a huge relief; it’s much closer and more convenient to my job, I can take a shuttle on days when I can’t drive, and it is much easier to share labs and communication between my doctors. I have a round of bloodwork and a fresh sonogram of my thyroid scheduled, but since I’m stable she’s not inclined to change my dosage or brand, for which I am extremely grateful.

Interestingly enough she didn’t bring up my weight- I did. My last doctor was insistent that I lose weight but didn’t provide any guidance. I tried a few things but nothing stuck for long. My new doc suggested I count carbs for a while and see how that works for me. A good friend has done well with this approach and hubby has cut back on carbs as well with some success.

I’m not making any big changes right now- just watching my portions and tracking again, but after four days I feel less bloated and my energy is up, so I have hopes. I’ve decided to not weigh myself until my next doctor appointment in six weeks and just focus on eating better, especially over the holidays.

I still use the treadmill but we’ve been doing a lot of yardwork lately and I’m trying not to overdo things. We’ve started house-hunting again and have looked at a few promising places; we’d really like a house with a pool and that will give me more exercise options.

We’ve had a few cold days, but other than stiffness my joints aren’t doing too bad. What has been more of a problem is that my office is chilly (it’s poorly insulated) so I have to run my space heater and get up to walk around often and stretch so I don’t stiffen up too much; this helps minimize my pain at work.

I am hosting Christmas dinner this year and might order a cooked turkey; the end of the year happened in a rush and I just finished gift shopping last night. I have one item to make but otherwise all I need to do is wrap and mail. Hubby has tomorrow off and will assemble the tree so I can decorate it, and I need to start getting the house in order for guests. My cards will probably go out post-holiday this year, and it may just be close friends/family instead of my whole list, but I’ll make sure that anyone who sends a card gets one in return. It’s not what I’d prefer, but I’m trying to spend my spoons wisely.

I hope that you are all doing as well as possible and looking forward to holiday, and you have my best wishes for the new year and every year!

Promised Photos

Both not much and quite a bit going on last week. Lots of things going on with both our families. Still working out med changes with doc. Caught the random fever that was running around the office- went home Tuesday and was out Wednesday, so with the holiday it was a super-short week and I didn’t get much done. Hubby and I went to our favorite fondue joint Thursday night just because- I felt delightfully decadent. Weekend was relaxed and rain kept most of the fireworks to the 4th, which was a nice change (usually it’s a week-long noisefest in our neighborhood). I readjusted to my anxiety meds quickly, which is a relief. Some vivid dreams but no more nightmares since the first few days- yay! Was super-productive at work today, and since it was so quiet last week I’m already caught up.

This was my suite at the conference hotel. It was by far the nicest place I ever stayed. I won’t bore you with pictures of the foyer/hallway/bathroom (even if it *did* have TWO sinks!).

Past the bathroom on the right was the kitchen:

2014-06-16 13.51.12

Full fridge and a dishwasher! The most I used the stove for was heating water in the kettle. Very nice though. Past that was the living room area:

2014-06-16 13.51.03

(Not shown off to the right- one of two flat-screen televisions.) To the right of that…

2014-06-16 13.51.35

Yes, that’s a dining area for six. And then to the left of that was the bedroom area (with the second flat-screen tv):

2014-06-16 13.51.43

All of this was amazing enough, but what really got me was the view out the window:

2014-06-17 19.16.02

Yes, it was June, and yes, that’s snow.

2014-06-17 16.13.33


2014-06-17 17.54.10



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