Take charge and be in control! This blog aims to empower women living with autoimmune diseases or chronic illnesses to take charge and be in control of their well-being. You’ll find all the autoimmune disease support and resources for managing autoimmune disease, chronic illness, and invisible illness.
Well-being is an inside job. You are an insider!
I have learned that well-being is an inside job. Women who operate their lives from the inside out are in the driver’s seat, feel confident they are on the right path, and are in control of the quality of their lives. Certainly, being in the driver’s seat means that you are proactive rather than reactive. You know where you are going, how to get there, and what to expect along the way.
You don’t wait to get “there,” you move forward and continue to pursue your destination.
Above all, I’ve created these mind, body, and spirit health-related articles to help you navigate your daily tasks, manage your overall health, and encourage you to make wise decisions that will positively impact your life. As a result, you can live an abundant life, be confident you are on the right track and be in control of the quality of your life.
Come on! Let’s go!
Unfortunately, autoimmune disease and chronic illness may have knocked you off course, but my job is to lead you back to yourself and help you rethink limiting beliefs and patterns that keep you stuck and small. So, stop hiding behind the curtains. It’s time to live and grow.
Many women I have worked with are motivated and determined women who want the best for themselves and their families. Yes, they want to live their best life, free of pain and exhaustion. However, just like you or me, they experience daily struggles and limitations and are often frustrated with being misunderstood.
When these women find autoimmune disease support, the right tools, and resources to manage their condition, I see them flourish. Women who were once withdrawn and isolated, tired and drained of physical and mental energy are now empowered to navigate daily tasks, manage their health, and make wise decisions that will positively impact their lives.
As a result, they live an abundant life, confident they are on the right track and are in control of the quality of their life.
AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE SUPPORT MEANS YOU’RE NOT ALONE
We are a group of encouraging supportive women. You’re not in this alone. So, we’re here for you and so are many others. There is hope and autoimmune disease support that we can share to feel encouraged, better, and gain motivation. If you love to learn from others’ shared experiences, are looking for ways to help you feel better, and need encouragement and inspiration, you’ll feel right at home here.
yOU aRE tHE dRIVER
You are the one in the driver’s seat navigating the day-to-day aspects of your care and well-being. Unquestionably, when you wake up in the morning you know how you feel in the morning versus the late afternoon. You are the expert on how much energy you have at the present moment. You are the expert on how much pain or discomfort you are experiencing. Undoubtedly, you may not want to be an expert in this area, but in reality, you are THE EXPERT on what to do that will help you feel better.
Patient, Peer, and health coach
Hi, my name is Mary and I’m a patient at the Michigan Medicine Scleroderma Program. I’m a wife and a mom to one four-legged furry baby. I love all things technical and design websites and graphics for fun and for a living!
My journey to U of M began in January 2011. My fingers began swelling. Soon after, my ankles and feet swelled so much that I had to buy new shoes! Then my knees and elbows became stiff and painful.
I began going to my primary care physician who had no answers. Unfortunately, she gave me diuretics to help with water retention – what a waste. As my symptoms worsened, I returned and was told that I had Carpal Tunnel in my hands from working at the computer my entire career. Let me tell you the carpal tunnel test was no fund and either is wearing hand splints when your hands are swollen.
By the time July rolled around, I was referred to a rheumatologist who sent me through more tests, x-rays, and scans. Nothing. He told me there was nothing he could do for me and to come back in six months.
The funny and sad part of this story is the rheumatologist had a poster from the Scleroderma Foundation in his exam room. It featured a woman with scleroderma and said “Scleroderma Awareness and Support”. I had no idea what that was and thought “That can’t be me”.
In August, I found another rheumatologist who also sent me for more tests but couldn’t find anything wrong. I was experiencing severe symptoms and was having trouble with day-to-day activities. This doctor said that she wasn’t sure and I could just wait it out, or I could try the Michigan Medicine Scleroderma Program because my skin had a shiny appearance.
In September 2011, I was fortunate enough to see Dr. Khanna when I had my appointment at the Scleroderma Program. I had written down my account of symptoms and after reciting my list he said “Yes, you have scleroderma.” No tests were needed for an expert, he knew right off the bat.
Of course, the subsequent months and years have been full of tests, monitoring, and medication, but that day I walked away with an answer and a plan.
It hasn’t been an easy journey but the experts at the program have always taken great care of me. I trust them completely. They work tirelessly for a cure and to care for each and every patient. They saved my life. The type of autoimmune disease support that I have received is what I want to provide to you. Are you ready? Let’s go on this journey together.
Why All the Sweet Stuff?
I’ve always been fascinated by baking. Eventually, I even tried to go to school to become a Pastry Chef, but at the time, my life was full of my 7 am to 7 pm career that I had to give up the one that wasn’t paying.
Over the many many years, I’ve poured myself into learning how to create custom-decorated sugar cookies. It’s amazing what you can learn on YouTube! Designing treats with sugar on top of sugar is creative, challenging, and makes people smile.
You will see some of my favorite sets made for a few birthday parties and a local Oktoberfest.
A Baking Set for a fellow baker!
My favorite set that I ever made! How cute is the muffin tin? You’ll see my watermark “CM” in the photo. At one time, I was known as “Cookie Mary.”
My 2nd most favorite set that I ever made was for Oktoberfest for a local college and my Alma mater, Walsh College.
A 50th birthday party set
As you can see below, I really enjoyed making the shoes and purses, probably because I love to buy shoes and purses.