Chronic Illness, Myositis, and Depression

The following are the comments I gave to a support group about my book, The Marvelous Transformation: Living Well with Autoimmune Disease and how one can use the messages within it to deal with the mild, acute, hopelessness, sadness, and even depression that sometimes results from flares of chronic illnesses like myositis.

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Yet another thing stolen from me by dermatomyositis...my bicycle

A message for my friends with chronic illnesses

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Helping family members understand the merry-go-round of chronic illness from a spouse’s perspective

By Scott and Emily Filmore

A recurring topic of conversation in health support groups is the difficulty spouses, partners, parents, siblings, children, or friends of people with chronic illness show in understanding and accepting the realities of their loved ones’ health situations. This is often compounded for people with the so-called invisible diseases such as myositis, fibromyalgia, MS, chronic migraines, and other autoimmune diseases because no matter how bad patients feel on the inside, no matter how weak their muscles, no matter how much fatigue they struggle with, they often look normal to the outside world....
 

...Scott Filmore, Emily’s partner of thirteen years, weighs in on what he does to help create a successful marriage even as they face the daily struggles of her multiple health issues.

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Why I walked out of a restaurant and why you should too: advocating for safer food through your dollars

I've talked before about how becoming spiritually aware leads one to see things more clearly, both positive and negative, in the world. This dawning of awareness is not always easy to sustain without comment. This extends to the ways businesses conduct themselves, especially after you see how other business are able to handle the same situation. I recently had one such experience.


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The Presumptiveness of Health Privilege in Spirituality

I live a happy, spiritually fulfilled life. I am a spirituality and parenting author and speaker who teaches about gratitude, unconditional love, and open communication. I share ways to raise spiritually open and aware children who will know how to love themselves and others, envisioning themselves as part of the greater whole, all while having a strong sense of their boundaries, desires, and ability to protect themselves from outside manipulation. I believe in the inner goodness of all human beings, I love without reservation, and I send wishes and blessings of peace, harmony, and well-being to every creature I meet. I meditate, connect with the Universal energy that I believe is in all of us, and feel the harmony of all that Is. I also happen to have had an autoimmune disease for over twenty years that limits my energy and my physical activities; but I haven’t let it stop my happiness.

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The three parts of me: body, mind, and soul enjoy a little wake-up call

(How a celebrity body-shaming piece led me to write this article).

In "The Marvelous Transformation: Living Well With Autoimmune Disease," I write about taking back control of our body image even when chronic illness continues to damage it. I ran across one of these body shaming articles this morning, directed at celebrities and the "worst examples" of aging and I got angry.

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My disease is worse than your disease: Why comparing our struggles damages us all

 In conscious living, people work to move away from society’s penchant for competition and towards a more collaborative paradigm. One envisions the world as a place with enough necessities for all and all people being equal…in this model one tends to stop comparing, and striving to be more than, and/or feeling jealousy toward, others. This is the spiritual context in which I live (most days).

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What does fatigue feel like to you?​ The difficult job of describing fatigue

Fatigue is a difficult concept to explain. People repeatedly attempt to paint a picture and yet nothing seems to rise to the level of its severity and effect on life. Fatigue is a physical, mental, and emotional phenomenon. It robs you of your ability to move, think, talk, and act. It causes you to miss out on life with your family.

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Unexpected Benefits of Writing about My Autoimmune Disease

Benefits of authentic writing:

Can’t hide from your truth

A great outlet, Get your emotions out

Explore details you may have missed

Seeing the sum total of your experience, good and bad, puts it into perspective

Sharing and helping others gives you purpose

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PRESS RELEASE BY CENTRAL RECOVERY PRESS

Myositis Awareness Day

Creating awareness of a rare disease such as myositis is vital to not just informing the public of the disease but to also help myositis patients find resources they can call upon to help them cope with their disease. The Myositis Association (TMA) had the US Congress designate September 21 as Myositis Awareness Day, and Central Recovery Press encourages support groups to use this landmark day to draw attention to the disease and the help that is available for those living with myositis, as well as for the those who are the caregivers of a myositis patient.

The Marvelous Transformation by Emily Filmore

More than eighty health conditions are caused by autoimmune disease, the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) estimates that fifty million Americans have an autoimmune disease. However, myositis has much lower numbers and is classified as a “Rare Disease” by  National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD).

Myositis is the umbrella name for dermatomyositis, polymyositis, inclusion body myositis, and juvenile myositis. These chronic diseases are dangerously undiagnosed, under-treated, and misunderstood. Often the people suffering from them are dismissed and minimalized by the doctors in charge of their care because of a lack of knowledge due to the disease’s rarity. It is vitally important for patients to get prompt, appropriate, and competent medical testing and care. Patients must also learn to advocate for themselves and develop coping mechanisms to live well within their new normal.

The Marvelous Transformation is a great resource to share with medical practitioners and family members to show a real-world account of what it is like for patients living with myositis. It also provides patients with practical information and strategies to ease physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional discomfort. Emily Filmore discusses her twenty years of disease experiences, including the struggle to get diagnosed, the daily truths of living with myositis, importance of a strong support system, and lack of clear and effective treatment regimens. She recounts her voyage of heartache and triumph through therapeutic relationships with approximately twenty doctors, innumerable medical tests, surgeries, procedures, medications, and alternative health modalities.

Emily has shown that a chronic illness doesn’t have to lead to chronic unhappiness. She empowers her readers to take control of their own realities by advocating for themselves for proper care, practicing moments of gratitude, finding the gifts in a negative situation, and providing specific tips for how to transform their own lives.

Emily Filmore serves on the Board of Directors of Myositis Support and Understanding Association, Inc. a new nonprofit started by patients for patients. More information about Emily and her book can be found at emilyfilmore.com and centralrecoverypress.com.

http://centralrecovery.mailerlite.com/a8u7p8/9062386718/j3d5/

THE MOST SUCKIEST BUT BEST THINGS ABOUT MY MOMMY HAVING MYOSITIS

Hi, I’m Sage and I am nine years old. My mommy has dermatomyositis. I have a list about the best and suckiest things about having a mommy with Myositis.

1. What is the suckiest thing about my mommy’s disease?

Having her stay in bed all day because of her pain, migraines, and tiredness.

What is the best thing about her disease?

Being able to stay home, cuddle, and not be running around all the time...

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SHARING YOUR MYOSITIS JOURNEY: PRESENTED AT THE MYOSITIS ASSOCIATION'S ANNUAL PATIENT CONFERENCE

EMILY A. FILMORE WITH JERRY WILLIAMS AND PAT VITACCO

SEPTEMBER 11, 2015

Description:

They write books and articles, they write blogs, they manage web sites and Facebook pages. Some simply keep a journal. Several myositis patients who have found it helpful to write about their experience will explain why they do it and how you can find insight as well as direction by writing it all down. 

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