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Step Therapy Sucks, and I’m Tired of Being Quiet About it (AWAP Wednesday)

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in activism, Affordable Care Act, coping, depression, fears, featured, Health Care Reform, pain, ranting, resilience, suicide | 22 comments

This week’s video is different. I’m sharing a personal story about something I’ve been struggling with this year—Step Therapy—in hopes that you’ll relate… and that you’ll join me in fighting this awful practice: Step Therapy. So it’s a longer video, a more passionate stance, and a request. Please take some time to watch it all the way through… it comes from deep in my heart. *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: Have you gone through Step Therapy or something similar? How did you fight back? What worked, and what didn’t? I wanna know! Join the conversation in the comments below, share your experience and ask for advice from our community. Want to watch more videos like this? Check out our AWAP Wednesday video playlist, which has more than 10 hours of guidance, advice, and bloopers. Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email. Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches! Rough transcript: Hi! I’m Jenni Prokopy of and today is AWAP Wednesday (that stands for As Well As Possible). Each week, I offer you my personal favorite tips and techniques to help you craft an incredible life beyond illness. Yes! I know you can. Subscribe to the ChronicBabe YouTube channel today to make sure you never miss another video, OK? Today’s AWAP Wednesday is a little different, my friends. I have a personal story to tell you, and a request I hope you’ll honor. Here we go… [Bumper] The past four months have been absolutely hellish here at ChronicBabe HQ, and I want to tell you why. I’ve been pretty quiet about the details, but today I want to explain it all to you—because I bet many of you are going through the same challenges. If my story helps you feel like you’re not alone—and if my outrage helps motivate you or anyone you know to advocate for folks like us—then this video could possibly change lives. I’ve been taking an FDA-approved fibromyalgia medication for many, many years, with great success. The change it made in my life was enormous. You know me as someone who, despite fibromyalgia and a host of other chronic conditions, is able to run her own business; maintain an active social life; be part of a committed romantic relationship; volunteer for both local efforts like my community garden, and national efforts like patient advocacy; and much more. Right? That’s the Jenni you know: spunky, lively, upbeat, even in the face of deep struggle. [Transition] This year, my new insurer took away my fibromyalgia medication through a process called Step Therapy. (link to us pain doc) For those who don’t know, Step Therapy is cost-saving policy...

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AWAP Wednesday: Invisible Illness Week & Suicide Awareness

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in coping, depression, featured, suicide | 20 comments

We’re in the middle of Invisible Illness Week, an annual event that educates and inspires folks about our experience. It’s also National Suicide Prevention Day… and because those of us with chronic illness experience extremely high suicide rates, I thought I’d mix things up today. Check out today’s video, with a brief, silly and love-filled message from me to you: Now it’s your turn: Share this with someone you love. Share it with someone you know needs help. And if you care to, share your story in the comments below this video’s post. We have AWESOME conversations every day at the site and I would LOVE for you to be part of the community! Did you like this video? Please “like” it on YouTube or Facebook and share it with your friends through social media. Want to watch more videos like this? Check out our AWAP Wednesday video playlist, which has more than four hours of guidance, advice, and bloopers. Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email. Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches! *AWAP = As Well As...

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AWAP Wednesday: The Suicide Edition.

Posted by on Jul 23, 2014 in caregivers, depression, featured, friends and family, suicide | 59 comments

It’s been a rough couple days here at ChronicBabe HQ. I lost a family member to suicide this week, and it’s shaken me to the core. Why did she do it? Why didn’t she accept help long before this week? Why didn’t anyone take her previous attempts seriously? Why am I so mad and sad at the same time? Why do I empathize with her and also fear that feeling? I’m all mixed up. Unfortunately, suicide is quite common among those with chronic physical and mental illnesses, as well as chronic pain. Some research has claimed that 10% of suicides are committed by people with chronic illness or pain. A study published in JAMA agrees, citing back pain as an even stronger motivator of suicidal ideation. In light of this week’s experience and these statistics, I am foregoing my usual AWAP Wednesday video and instead posting a ton of resources on suicide. I hope you can understand why. Please join me in sending light and love to all who contemplate or commit suicide, and to their friends, families and other loved ones, who are left behind with so many questions. And please, please y’all – let’s leave judgment at the door. Last but not least: I’m sure I’ve left off some amazing resources. Please add any you wish in the comments below. Resources: For those who are considering suicide, and their loved ones To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) – a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. National Suicide Prevention Hotline – a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Suicide Hotlines organized by state – just what it sounds like. – created by United Way, this site provides free and confidential resources on health care, housing, counseling and more. Veterans Crisis Line – connects Veterans in crisis (and their friends and families) with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs employees through a confidential, toll-free hotline, online chat or text. I Am Alive – an online crisis network, 100% of whose volunteers are trained and certified in crisis intervention. Thinking…About Suicide – a Christian faith-based organization offering a platform for those contemplating suicide, as well as survivors, to talk about their feelings. Kevin Briggs, Golden Gate guardian, TED Talk – a message for families of those who are contemplating suicide, from someone who has helped many. Suicide: The warning signs Suicide Awareness Voices of Education – this site offers this concise list of things to watch out for, plus a ton of other resources. WebMD – this tried-and-true healthcare site has its own take on the signs to watch...

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