♥ Things everybody with chronic illness should have ♥

♥ What everyone with chronic illness should have! ♥

Links are at the bottom of the page!

Zebra plush!!

I love looking at zebras! It reminds me so much of the EDS/chronic illness community which I love and appreciate! We are zebra strong!!

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A Zebra notebook!

I always write my blog post down into a tablet to remember and to get ideas flowing. It sticks out enough i can just grab it and go, it’s also a good journal! I write a lot of questions for my doctors in it as well! I know you could use a regular notebook or journal but… these are cute !!

 

journal      zebraboook         znote

Inspiration and courage!

You all can do this!!! Were Zebra strong!

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Relaxation time!

Just sit back relax and give your self a little break from everything and get comfortable. Enjoy your self, put on a mask and make it fun! Like this Zebra cool pack, it can help for many things; Swollen eyes, Waking up, and even take the ice pack out and have a little nap! Zzzzz

mask       facemask   zebra

 

 

 

 

Plush Zebra 1: https://www.amazon.com/Aurora-World-Precious-Moments-Embroidered/dp/B01N134T7I/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1499796206&sr=8-4&keywords=zebra+plush

Plush Zebra 2: https://www.amazon.com/Aurora-Zany-Zebra-Flopsie-Plush/dp/B004JRO59M/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1499796206&sr=8-3&keywords=zebra+plush

Plush Zebra 3: https://www.amazon.com/Gund-Zeebs-Zebra-Stuffed-Animal/dp/B00YZ76FT4/ref=sr_1_8_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1499796206&sr=8-8&keywords=zebra+plush

Zebra notebook 1: https://www.amazon.com/Zebra-Journal-Diary-Notebook-Pauper/dp/144132030X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499798714&sr=8-1&keywords=zebra+notebook

Zebra notebook 2: https://www.amazon.com/Zebra-Notebook-Purple-Print-8-5/dp/1535208007/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1499799138&sr=8-5&keywords=zebra+notebook

Zebra notebook 3: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1548193070/ref=sr_1_27?ie=UTF8&qid=1499799286&sr=8-27&keywords=zebra+notebook

Zebra face cool eye mask: https://www.amazon.com/Maison-Maxx-Sleeping-Eyeshade-Meditation/dp/B01KPXWF4K/ref=sr_1_5_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1499801144&sr=8-5&keywords=zebra%2Bsleep%2Bmask&th=1

Zebra facial mask: https://www.thecremeshop.com/products/white-pearl-face-mask-zebra-value-pack

Zebra headband: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Spa-Sister-Ultra-Dry-Microfiber-Headband-Zebra/725324542?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&adid=22222222227069027086&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=175390270000&wl4=pla-281824369421&wl5=9006614&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=online&wl12=725324542&wl13=&veh=sem

Stay Beautiful!

-Cassie

♥ Chronic Illness – How to make a car ride more comfortable! ♥

♥ How to make a car ride more comfortable! ♥

( Links will be at the bottom of the page)

Back support!

I never realized how important back support in the car is for us with back problems. My back is always achy and full of pain, this back support fits to my back in all the right places! They have multiple different kinds but i’m using this “lumbar back support” Prices range on where you look. The ones on Walmart website is half the price of Amazons But Amazon has more choices. It just depends on what you would be comfortable with and what would help!

Go Lumbar Support for Car | Super Soft Comfortable Easy Posture Solution for Back Pain n Poor Posture | Properly Aligns Spine to Ease Lower Back Pain | Cool Breathable Mesh Mostly Fit Any Cars | 533.4

Head and Neck support!

On long road trips I always seem to fall asleep. Because of all my joints i just can’t get comfortable or wake up regretting laying in that position! By using this it will keep your neck more stable and comfortable! I personally believe one like below would be the best, or even with micro-beads! Sometimes the filling on others can be uncomfortable and hard. You can find these many places! Just giving you an idea!

 

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Compact Neck Pillow For Travel – Amazon.com

 

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Micro-bead shaped U neck pillow! – Amazon.com

Blanket!

On long car rides in the passenger seat or in the back I like covering myself with a blanket. It keeps me warm, relaxes, and comforts me! Just a tiny fleece or flannel throw blanket for those times when you need it, can come in handy for many things! Also! Us with chronic illness a lot of times our body temperature fluctuates from hot to cold! There is never a in between (lol). I personally would look on Amazon.com they have many different choices for good prices! They make ones for all ages!! (Hint) Possible DIY coming soon! Keep an eye out!! 🙂

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Plush!

Everyone loves push toys! Especially the younger ones! It’s always good for them to connect with something that they can carry around and take with them! A little bit of home in a soft plush and the bear pillow has hand warmers!

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Links

 

Back support: https://www.amazon.com/Go-Lumbar-Support-Comfortable-Breathable/dp/B01N6S4KBP/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499793420&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=car+back+support&psc=1

Neck support 1: https://www.amazon.com/Compact-Headrest-Comfortable-Breathable-Suitable/dp/B06X9T8JZ4/ref=sr_1_55?ie=UTF8&qid=1499793545&sr=8-55&keywords=compact+travel+pillow

Neck support 2: https://www.amazon.com/Fashion-Bedroom-Airplane-Multi-Color-Beautiful/dp/B0731KW5VP/ref=sr_1_34?ie=UTF8&qid=1499793913&sr=8-34&keywords=microbead+shaped+u+pillow

2 in 1 plush Hamster : https://www.amazon.com/KOSBON-Hamster-Stuffed-Animal-Blanket/dp/B06XFQ9RV3/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1499793182&sr=8-3&keywords=cute+throw+blanket

Elephant throw blanket: https://www.amazon.com/COSMOZ-Dreaming-Elephant-Background-Lightweight/dp/B01JUITWRO/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1499793319&sr=8-8&keywords=cute+throw+blanket

Zebra throw blanket: https://www.amazon.com/Flannel-Zebra-Print-Blanket-x60/dp/B016QMIEHG/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1499793360&sr=8-7&keywords=zebra+throw+blanket

Plush Penguin: https://www.amazon.com/PomPom-Penguin-Plush-Brown-Aurora/dp/B00LYSVQ5K/ref=sr_1_46?ie=UTF8&qid=1499795229&sr=8-46&keywords=cute+plush

Bear Plush: https://www.amazon.com/Plush-Toy-Stuffed-Animal-Cushion/dp/B013D4ZDFQ/ref=sr_1_76?ie=UTF8&qid=1499795042&sr=8-76&keywords=cute%2Bplush&th=1

Plush turtle: https://www.amazon.com/Vintoys-Turtle-Plush-Stuffed-Animals/dp/B01M4RYJNK/ref=sr_1_119?ie=UTF8&qid=1499795361&sr=8-119&keywords=cute+plush

Stay Beautiful!

-Cassie

♥ A Cause Worth Your Attention ♥

Hello everyone! Today I would like to talk about another Strong Zebra that needs our help!

Samantha Smith

Samantha Smith is a 30 year old single mother of two beautiful children. In December of last year, after years of pain and about 8 years of on going tests, misdiagnosis’s and ill health, Samantha was finally diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS). She was strong and independent up until January 2017, that’s when her world flipped upside down. She said “started to lose consciousness regularly, vomit blood, experience extreme head pain, multi organ involvement, chest pain and weakness in my limbs.” In March of 2017 Samantha had gotten bad news.. She was told she had Crainocervical Instability (CCI).

In her words “CCI means that the ligaments in the neck are too stretched and weakened to support my head. This is causing the top of my spine to squash my brain stem under the weight of my skull. My spine is compressing my spinal cord. My cervical discs are damaged and prolapsing. I feel the relentless agony of it every minute of the day in addition to the nerve damage.”

Now she faces many obstacles, her EDS makes her resistant to local anesthetics and many analgesics making pain relief not work.

She is trying to enjoy her life as everyday is getting tougher and tougher. She said “it’s incredible how my children’s laughter can relieve the pain for a fleeting moment.”

In this harsh reality, If she doesn’t raise money to get this surgery here in the States  it will cause organ failure, paralysis and then it will take her life. Savannah tells how it feels from her POV “I am in constant pain in my neck, head and spine and week in, week out my neurological damage is becoming harder to ignore. My body goes into shock if I stand for more than a few minutes and I have tachycardia, tremors, and visual/hearing disturbances.”

There are no surgeons qualified to operate on an EDS patient in the UK.

Savannah – “myself and my family have spent the last 8 years fighting and funding private care to get the answers I needed. Now, I find myself in the powerless situation where I can no longer work, run a business or pay for the lifesaving surgery I so desperately need.”

She only has a little while to raise £150,000 for the operation here in the US. A US surgeon who has developed a method to successfully complete this treatment on an EDS patient has a 95% success rate!

Please help Samantha to reach her goal so she can get this life saving surgery and continue to care and provide for her children.

She is almost there! We can do this!

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Samantha’s YouCaring fundraising for her surgery!  https://www.youcaring.com/samanthasmith-788861

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Stay Beautiful!

-Cassie

♥ Annabelle’s ♔ Challenge ♔ Charity ♥

♔ Annabelle’s Challenge Charity ♔

Hello everyone! Today I want to talk about something more serious. For my next couple posts i’m going to talk about people who are having great difficulties with EDS and could use some help!

As I was searching the internet trying to find out more about my illness I came across many wonderful and brave people going through tough times, one of them being Annabelle!

Annabelle has Vascular Ehlers- Danlos Syndrome (EDS). She was diagnosed at the young age of three after a series of three months in-depth testing.

Vascular EDS is one of the most serious of the illnesses, It weakens her collagen and puts her at risk for arterial or organ rupture. If she were to tear an artery she would face bigger obstacles such as – internal bleeding, stroke, shock, and in the seriousness of this disease, death. Vascular EDS is the leading cause of death within this serious illness.

Even going through such a serious problem, Annabelle and her family started a charity to help those With EDS vascular disorders! I’s amazing to see people coming together from all over the world to help and support one another.  If you want to know more abut Annabelle and her charity links are below! If we can come together and assist them to spread awareness that would be awesome!

Annabelle’s Website! – https://www.annabelleschallenge.org/

Annabelle’s Facebook! –  https://www.facebook.com/AnnabellesChallenge/

Feel free to donate and visit their shop on their website to help an amazing cause!

Click around their website to learn more about their amazing charity and to find out more about Annabelle!

 

-Stay Beautiful!

-Cassie

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*I do NOT own the images or links above*

♥ How I Sleep With Chronic Pain!

How I Sleep With Chronic Pain

Hello! Back again with a post on a topic that people were wondering!

The question…How do I sleep with Chronic Pain? It’s tough and not easy, but lets go!

Pillows !

I LOVE pillows! That’s the only way i can get comfortable! I even use them during the day to help support my back when i am sitting! At night their a lifesaver! Especially for women! Us women have more curves than men do, it’s easy at night to get uncomfortable and feel restless. It’s nice to have a pillow for your head, the curve in your waist, and in between your knees. It levels your body out that way you can relax and sleep more comfortably! There is a pillow out called “All Nighter Total Body Pillow” You can order it online, it will make sleep much more comfortable for your body and less pain! You can order it off the Walmart website for about $45.00-$50.00! There are other sites as well just search “All Nighter Total Body Pillow” and pick which ever you like best!

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Blankets !

I personally love blankets! I get cold a lot cause my skin is thin so I keep them near by, doesn’t matter if it’s Summer or Winter i have to sleep with multiple blankets! It gives me more of a comfort feeling being wrapped up in pillows and blankets! The image below shows the blanket i have and love! It’s called “Mainstays Plush Blanket”, You can order it from Walmart for around $10.00-$17.00. I’m sure you can find them elsewhere as well! I love it! Very soft and comfortable! Comes in a couple colors.

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Massage Chair !

I know this isn’t convenient for most people but let me tell you, it’s a great purchase! Different modes to fit your needs and also heats up! Coming from someone with chronic back pain this is a LIFESAVER!!! It really helps the places that hurt the most through out my entire back. It gets under my shoulder blades and all the places that I work the most! I love using this before bed, it really helps me relax my muscles and helps with the pain. It’s called “Triple Shiatsu Massage Cushion With Heat” there are many others like it at http://www.homedics.com. I know the bigger ones are quite pricey, so they have smaller hand held ones that does it’s job and is affordable!

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Braces !

I make sure i have all my braces on before bed so nothing dislocates and moves when i’m sleeping! Knees, ankles, wrist, fingers, etc. It’s a pain having to put them on constantly but you’ll be thankful you did it in the long run!

Now one thing !

Knowing that you guys are out there that could relate to my post or who are going and went through similar situations, that’s what makes me sleep. It warms my heart with all you visiting my blog! Even if i could help just one person with my post, that’s all I need! Were a family and were in this together! If any of you have questions or need someone PLEASE ask and message me! I would love to help you! Thank you all for your support and love! Zebra Strong!

 

-Stay Beautiful!

-Cassie

*I do NOT own any of the pictures above*

♥ Things I Take With Me Places For Chronic Pain and Health!

Hello everyone! I’m back! Hope you all are doing well!

*I do NOT own the images below*

Let’s start with the most simple things!

Hand sanitizer !

No matter where i am at like the hospital or shopping I always carry hand sanitizer with me! It’s nice to have a quick clean after touching thing’s many other people has also touched. A lot of our immune systems don’t work right which means we’re more likely to catch a bug! Better to be safe than sorry!

Lotion and Chapstick (Preferably SPF) !

Since i’m lacking collagen my skin is thin and it gets chapped easily. No matter what time of the year, hot and cold my skin starts to crack and gets sore. It’s nice to have with me so i can put it on as i need to! Personally if i’m inside i love using the chapstick brand “total hydration”- coconut 3 in 1 lip care! I got mine at a local supermarket for about $3.00 totally worth it!

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First Aid Kit !

I usually try to keep a little first aid kit with me because i’m so clumsy and it always seems to come in handy for something! I mainly pack bandages of all kinds and sizes, clean wipes, ointment (to help my injury disinfect and skin heal better), also some ibuprofen for when my pain gets to the max it helps ease it some!

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 Sweets/candy !

I usually carry around hard candies like mints and butterscotch candies (My fave!), my mouth seems to get really dry and what not. Also, my blood sugar drops suddenly on occasions, This can get sooo annoying! They have many different flavors but i have been loving “Mentos NOWmints Spearmint -Sugar free” At my local supermarket they are no more than $3.00!

 

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Water/something to keep hydrated !

I’m constantly having to get a drink and keep it near by. I get very dehydrated quickly especially now that it’s summer over here! It’s good to keep water around you all year no matter the condition! It’s recommended you drink half a gallon a day, i know it sounds like a lot but i look at it as 8 ounce drinks of water 8 times a day! You don’t have to drink it all right away, I like to space it out!

Braces !

Usually as soon as I wake up i’m able to tell whats going to give me problems that day. I have many different braces from dislocating, tearing, breaking – They always come in handy so I save them knowing i more than likely will have another occurrence. I keep them all in a safe place so I know where they are at and i’m able to reach it! The one below is the most recent one I got for my other knee. Where i got them it was roughly $20.00 but i recommend it. It’s soft, comfortable and has good flex on it so you can still bend a bit. The brand is Mueller, they seem to be very good quality and reliable from what I have tried of their products!

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Those are some of the things I carry with me for both my pain and health! I have many more so if you’d like to see more it should be up soon! 🙂 Also! If you have something i didn’t list that i should have let me know!! Thank you!

-Stay Beautiful! !

-Cassie

 

♥ True Friendship?

Hello everyone! I’m so sorry for not writing in a couple days, I had a lot on my mind. I would like to talk about one thing specific and that’s those who are really there for you.

As time has been going on I have learned a lot about who actually cares. There could be a friend who is going through some tough times that you extremely care about. I tried so hard to be the best friend i could be… I listened, helped, and cared more than anything. I was there day and night, listening to every word that was said and giving heart to heart advice. I always looked for ways to cheer them up and let them know they were loved. I cant stand seeing loved ones hurting and feeling down, it breaks my heart to pieces.

Slowly things started changing… I was going through hard times being both sick and in pain. Even when i was so sick i couldn’t move I still took the time to visit and check up and see how everything was. As time went on I noticed something… They weren’t there for me. I would go days and weeks, sometimes even months without hearing from them or checking in to see if i was okay. I felt hurt and forgotten thinking about it.. I still do feel hurt and forgotten. I was in a deep part of life where i was looking for my friends but i couldn’t see them. Most went their own ways with not a care in the world about me, almost like i was pushed to the side. As people started hearing and seeing how sick i was getting they would just walk away and not contact me anymore.

I try to reconnect with old friends who i knew from before, and that really showed me how fast people can change. They turn the story onto me as if everything was my fault.. I can’t help being in pain all the time! I never asked or wished for this, it’s something i had no say over. Why would i want to live everyday with constant pain? That’s right, I don’t. Everyday i wish i could be doing what people my age could do!

  • Playing Sports … Nope
  • Being able to eat normally  … Nope
  • Walking and running around … Nope
  • Going out with friends … Nope

Those are some of the small things that i wish i could do but physically can’t. I used to love playing and running around but as of now, I can’t even do a sit up. I may laugh about the things I can’t do, but inside it kills me. Will I ever be able to do something like that? Probably not. I feel like a young girl trapped in a body that can’t be my own for my age.

Everyday is hard thinking i’m not going to have the life i dreamed.. I’m going to have to change route. All I dreamed of as a little girl vanished before my eyes. But one thing i have that others don’t, is a way to connect and be there for people who are in similar situations and that can relate. I’m able to share my stories and help educate those who may have never dealt with some of these chronic issues. Through this journey of having a blog and sharing what i feel helps me so much. I have talked to some amazing people who get what i’m going through. I also want to thank my family and friends who were there and continue to support me! We can get through this together! Zebra Strong!

-Stay Beautiful

-Cassie

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♥ Chronic Illness Must Haves

Chronic Illness Must Haves

Ice packs and hot packs!

These are amazing to have for absolutely anything! Also, if you’re clumsy like me it’s good to have a couple on hand! (step by step on previous post!)

A nice big pillow!

I am constantly uncomfortable and in pain, it’s nice to have for back support and other areas like the knees, hips, neck etc.

Blankets!

In order for me to get comfortable and content with where i am at, blankets are a must for me! Doesn’t matter the weather i need a blanket handy!

Relaxing activities!

For me personally adult coloring books, some colored pens, and music is a must! I can take them anywhere with me! i can even take them in the car and to the doctors!

Comfort items!

I always carry comfort items of all kinds with me! I always have some books, tea, candies, pictures, etc in my bag! Sometimes it seems endless! Haha

Comfortable clothing!

Comfortable clothing is a must! Maybe you want to be comfortable on a long ride to the doctors or even around your house! It doesn’t help adding uncomfortable clothing to the mix of pain and discomfort were already in! I usually carry around a pair of fuzzy socks!

A journal/book to write in!

If you are like me and do better writing down what you are feeling more than talking, it helps! A lot of times i write down what i feel because i can’t always explain verbally. I then go and talk about and show my mom and the people i trust!

Those are some of the things that help me! I hope i was able to give some ideas that may make you a bit more comfortable! Feel free to share your ideas!

-Stay Beautiful!

-Cassie

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♥ 10 Things People Have Said About My Chronic Illness That I Hate!

⊗ 10 Things People Have Said About My Chronic Illness That I Hate!

  1. All of your problems will get better if you get up and move around and exercise more!! 
  2. You don’t look sick! You look fine, why make things up? 
  3. Quit trying to get attention by faking an illness, I dont believe you! 
  4. You’re too young to feel pain! Just wait until you get older. 
  5. There is nothing wrong with you, it’s all in your head.  
  6. You’re such a hypochondriac, quit being paranoid. 
  7. You’re too young for so many medical problems! 
  8. It will get better just be patient and wait. 
  9. If you were to sleep more you wouldn’t have to take naps. 
  10. Have you tried eating and being healthier? 

 

Stay Beautiful!

-Cassie