Community, Coping, Friends & Family, Resources

How to Respond to “How Are You?”

When someone asks how you are, how do you respond? It’s a tough question when you have a life-altering illness — should you shrug it off with an “OK” and deny your own experience or be truthful and risk scaring off the other person?

My response varies depending on the person, how I feel in that moment, how much energy I have, and if I really want to get into it. It’s usually along the lines of “I’m still here,” “I’m alive,” “I’ve been better,” or “OK right now, though it’s been a rough week.” If I don’t want to talk about it, I immediately follow my response by turning the question around. Most people love to talk about what’s going on in their lives and are thrilled to have someone who is ready to listen.

100 Ways to Answer the Question “How Are You?” (PDF) is an excellent new resource from ChronicBabe that’ll help you answer that difficult question. There’s bound to be a suggestion that will help you no matter how you’re feeling on a particular day and how much you want to talk about.

I particularly like the section on authenticity where she points out that answering the question honestly can establish intimacy and trust, leading to a deeper connection between you and the people in your life and, thus, greater support. Need more encouragement to open up? Check out The Power and Strength of Vulnerability.

Community, Coping

“Overcoming Self-Defeating Behaviors When You’re Chronically Ill”: Presentation by the ChronicBabe Editrix Today

Check out ChronicBabe Editrix Jenni Prokopy’s National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week presentation at 3 p.m. Eastern time this afternoon — and call with your questions. You can listen online or call in. The presentation will be archived in case you miss the live event.

The details from ChronicBabe:

national invisible illness awareness week Here’s the scoop: To hear my presentation tomorrow, starting at 2pm Central time, you can either use the Blog Talk Radio player to log in and listen (there’s nothing to download) or you can simply call (347) 202-0072 and hear me speak about “Overcoming Self-Defeating Behaviors When You Are Chronically Ill.”

Yea, I know, the title sounds kind of dull. But my presentation will be anything but. You’ll hear me talk about strategies I’ve used to kick my own rear end into gear when I’m feeling down, and you’ll leave with tons of advice you can start using immediately to boost your outlook, productivity and spirit! And at the end of the presentation, you can call in with questions and I will happily answer as many as we can cram in to the hour. (Use the same phone number listed above to call with questions.)

Before you listen in, start by reading these instructions for conference attendees which explain how Blog Talk Radio works. Then check out the speaker list to see who else you want to hear. (Please note: there are different phone numbers for each speaker!) There are more conference listening tips here and links to the live shows as they are presented.

Meds & Supplements, Resources, Treatment

Learn About Meds at DrugBank, a Massive Drug Database

Whatever you want to know about your medications, DrugBank can tell you. Seriously. Each of the nearly 4,100 drugs on the site has 80 data fields covering names and chemical structures to how and why the drug works to patient information and helpful websites.

The information on Topamax, ibuprofen and Imitrex, which are some common headache drugs, is impressive. DrugBank also links to popular drug sites, including and RX List, when readers want more information.

via ChronicBabe


Call for Nominations: American Pain Foundation’s Patient Advocate Award & the REAL Hot 100

The American Pain Foundation is seeking nominations for it’s first patient advocate award. The award will recognize a patient who has “risen above their personal pain experiences in order to help and advocate for others.” I can think of tons of people who qualify. If you have someone in mind, please nominate them. Submissions are due on September 20, 2007.

The REAL Hot 100 is also requesting nominations for its annual awards. The award recognizes women for successes well beyond looking good. It’s an excellent project to call attention to all the amazing women who make the world a better place. ChronicBabe editrix Jenni was one of last year’s winners. Nominations are due October 15, 2007.


Love to ChronicBabe Editrix Jenni

ChronicBabe Editrix Jenni and her husband Steve’s condo was destroyed in Chicago’s storms. The are displaced from their home for at least six months. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they rebuild their home and lives.

To send your love, please leave a comment on this post and I’ll make sure she sees it. That will make her overflowing inbox a little less daunting.