How to Start the Year Strong if you Are Living With a Chronic Illness

By Irene S. Roth
sunnyiroth@gmail.com
https://irenesroth.com/

Many of us live with some type of chronic illness which can make our lives feel like an uphill battle. It can also be hard to start a new year strong if we feel depleted of energy and in pain often.

Yet, chronic illness is prevalent in our society today, given our aging population. There doesn’t seem to be a lot we can do about it either, except manage our lives healthily. When we get diagnosed with a chronic illness, we will probably never be completely free from it. But there are ways to mitigate the pain, fatigue, and other debilitating features of the illness.

Many common diseases are chronic illnesses. Here is a short list: heart disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, liver disease, colitis, IBS, and many more. So, there are a lot of chronically ill individuals in need of advice on how to live a healthy life.

What makes these diseases chronic? One of the chief defining features of chronic illness, as opposed to acute illness, is that there is nothing that can be done to cure the chronic illness. The only thing we can do is to minimize the negative affects of the illness on our everyday lives through effective self-management strategies.

What makes chronic illness so hard to cope with is the continuous nature of the symptoms and challenges that result. With acute types of illnesses, we may need to have a surgical procedure or take a few medications, and our life returns to normal. But with chronic illness, we will never get back to normal.

However, the purpose of this article is not to dwell on the negative aspects of chronic illness. Instead, I will argue that we can all live well with chronic illness by changing our mindset and developing a few healthy habits. And there isn’t a better time to start a few new habits than in January, is there?

I’ll be the first to admit, living well with a chronic illness is difficult. It can take a lot of practice and effort. However, by effectively managing our pain levels and cultivating the right attitude, we can learn to cope with any chronic illness.

Here are a few things we can easily incorporate into our daily life that should make a big difference to how we are living with our chronic condition.

  1. Try to incorporate new ways of thinking. Instead of focusing on all the negative things in our life, try focusing on what’s working. We are all far too negative with ourselves and we don’t cut ourselves enough slack.
  2. We must learn to live differently. We shouldn’t fill our day with endless activity. Instead, we must take our time and make space to pace ourselves and listen to our body. If we’re feeling tired, we should take some time to rest and recuperate.
  3. Ask for help and delegate. Many of us continue to do things that may hurt us in the long run, such as lifting heavy groceries or doing hours of housework.
  4. Practice self-care. Take some time to just relax. Make a cup of warm coca, put on a warm robe and fluffy slippers, and sit in a favorite recliner and read. Or take a nap.

By incorporating these tips into our life, we will start the year off strong. We will also honor what our body and energy levels are asking of us.

It may seem honorable to keep on pushing past our pain levels and fatigue. However, this can be destructive, and it may set us up for even more pain and disability. Therefore, it’s essential that we listen to our body.

In the process, we will rise to our everyday challenges of living with a chronic illness by revising our attitude in favor of a more positive approach and managing our symptoms as they arise. Further, we will live in a way that is cohesive with our disabilities and pain levels on a particular day. These are certainly ways to start the year strong.

Nutrition Health Presentation – My Plate

Sponsors: The Hispanic Health Council and Stratford Health Department

Tuesday, January 24th from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Birdseye Municipal Complex
468 Birdseye Street, Room 1110

Join the Stratford Health Department and the Hispanic Health Council for a free 4-week session on Nutrition Health.

Sessions will also be held on:

  • Tuesday, February 28th: Food Safety
  • Tuesday, March 28th, Food Labels
  • Tuesday, April 25th, Diabetes Prevention

All sessions will be from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Birdseye Municipal Complex

To register or for more information contact:

Walter Owusu

wowusu@townofstratford.com

203-385-4090

VAX Facts

As of Friday, December 30th, Fairfield County has been identified by the Center for Disease Control as being in the “orange” zone with “high” COVID levels where masks are currently recommended indoors.

The Stratford Health Department has scheduled Covid 19/flu clinics for the new year at Birdseye School, 468 Birdseye Street, 3rd Floor.

Get free Covid tests. Every U.S. household is eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-⁠19 tests. Order Free At-Home Tests at: https://www.covid.gov/tests
Need help placing an order for your at-⁠home tests?
Call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).

CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19 IN STRATFORD January 9th
Number of Cases for the Past Seven Days: 76
Percent Positivity for the Past Seven Days: 19.2%
Total Cumulative Cases: 16,494
There have been 216 deaths to date.

STRATFORD VACCINE UPDATE
The state is releasing information about how many individuals are vaccinated in all Connecticut communities. As of January 4, 2023, 80.26% of Stratford residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. If you haven’t yet gotten boosted, consider now.

Stratford clinics have dispensed 16,866 vaccines to date. It’s important to keep in mind that we are part of a larger regional and statewide vaccination network and effort. Stratford does not vaccinate ONLY Stratford residents – many of residents and first responders have been vaccinated at locations outside Stratford, and conversely, many from outside of Stratford have been vaccinated here.

BIVALENT BOOSTER FACTS *UPDATE
The FDA expanded the age authorization for both Modern and Pfizer bivalent boosters. The CDC is now recommending that everyone aged 5 and older receive one dose of the updated bivalent booster.

Moderna bivalent:Individuals 6 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer bivalent:Individuals 5 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.

The FDA expanded the age authorization for both Modern and Pfizer bivalent boosters. The CDC is now recommending that everyone aged 5 and older receive one dose of the updated bivalent booster.

Pfizer bivalent: Individuals 5 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.

BIVALENT BOOSTER FACTS
The FDA authorized both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent boosters. The bivalent boosters combine the original vaccine with protection against the newest omicron versions to increase cross-protection against multiple COVID-19 variants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met and issued the below recommendation:

-Individuals 18 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least two months since they completed primary vaccination or received the most recent booster dose.

-Individuals 12 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech bivalent COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose.

Where to Go for Information
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Prevention includes hand washing, as well as covering up when coughing and sneezing. For more information visit: www.townofstratford.com/coronavirus.
Please email questions regarding COVID-19 to:health@townofstratford.com
The Stratford Health Department continues to host vaccination clinics for those seeking first, second and booster doses of the Moderna vaccine. Flyers included below highlight clinic details. Please call our office for more information – 203-385-4090

CDC Recommends Moderna for those Aged 6-17
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine be used as an option for children ages 6 through 17 years, in addition to its already recommended use in children 6 months through 5 years and adults 18 years and older. The ACIP recommendation comes after a thorough review of the scientific evidence demonstrating safety and efficacy and supports the use of the vaccine among those 6 through 17 years of age. CDC recommends that Moderna COVID-19 vaccine be used for individuals 6 through 17 years of age to better protect them from COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend children 6 months through 5 years of age receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC now recommends that all children 6 months through 5 years of age receive either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to better protect them from COVID-19.

All children, including those who have already had COVID-19, should get vaccinated. Although most children have only mild symptoms when infected, COVID-19 can cause some children to become very sick, even to the point of requiring hospitalization or even death.

The approval of COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6-months old is another major step forward in the overall COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. Parents have many options for where to get a COVID-19 vaccine for their child including:

Pediatricians’ offices: Hundreds of pediatricians will be administering COVID-19 vaccines across Connecticut.

Pharmacies: There will be hundreds of pharmacy locations that offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children. Pharmacies provide a safe, convenient, and easy location to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

DPH Yellow Van Clinics: The updated clinic schedule can be found at ct.gov/coronavirus

 

 

VAX Facts

As of Friday, December 30th, Fairfield County has been identified by the Center for Disease Control as being in the “orange” zone with “high” COVID levels where masks are currently recommended indoors.

The Stratford Health Department has scheduled Covid 19/flu clinics for the new year at Birdseye School, 468 Birdseye Street, 3rd Floor.

Get free Covid tests.  Every U.S. household is eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-⁠19 tests.  Order Free At-Home Tests at: https://www.covid.gov/tests

Need help placing an order for your at-⁠home tests?

Call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).

CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19 IN STRATFORD January 3rd

Number of Cases for the Past Seven Days: 56

Percent Positivity for the Past Seven Days: 17.2%

Total Cumulative Cases: 16,363

There have been 214 deaths to date

STRATFORD VACCINE UPDATE

The state is releasing information about how many individuals are vaccinated in all Connecticut communities. As of December 28, 2022, 80.28% of Stratford residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. If you haven’t yet gotten boosted, consider now.

BIVALENT BOOSTER FACTS *UPDATE

The FDA expanded the age authorization for both Modern and Pfizer bivalent boosters. The CDC is now recommending that everyone aged 5 and older receive one dose of the updated bivalent booster.

Moderna bivalent:Individuals 6 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer bivalent:Individuals 5 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.

The FDA expanded the age authorization for both Modern and Pfizer bivalent boosters. The CDC is now recommending that everyone aged 5 and older receive one dose of the updated bivalent booster.

Pfizer bivalent:  Individuals 5 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.

BIVALENT BOOSTER FACTS

The FDA authorized both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent boosters. The bivalent boosters combine the original vaccine with protection against the newest omicron versions to increase cross-protection against multiple COVID-19 variants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met and issued the below recommendation:

-Individuals 18 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least two months since they completed primary vaccination or received the most recent booster dose.

-Individuals 12 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech bivalent COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose.

Where to Go for Information

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Prevention includes hand washing, as well as covering up when coughing and sneezing. For more information visit: www.townofstratford.com/coronavirus.

Please email questions regarding COVID-19 to:health@townofstratford.com

The Stratford Health Department continues to host vaccination clinics for those seeking first, second and booster doses of the Moderna vaccine. Flyers included below highlight clinic details. Please call our office for more information – 203-385-4090

CDC Recommends Moderna for those Aged 6-17

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed  the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine be used as an option for children ages 6 through 17 years, in addition to its already recommended use in children 6 months through 5 years and adults 18 years and older. The ACIP recommendation comes after a thorough review of the scientific evidence demonstrating safety and efficacy and supports the use of the vaccine among those 6 through 17 years of age. CDC recommends that Moderna COVID-19 vaccine be used for individuals 6 through 17 years of age to better protect them from COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend children 6 months through 5 years of age receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC now recommends that all children 6 months through 5 years of age receive either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to better protect them from COVID-19.

All children, including those who have already had COVID-19, should get vaccinated. Although most children have only mild symptoms when infected, COVID-19 can cause some children to become very sick, even to the point of requiring hospitalization or even death.

The approval of COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6-months old is another major step forward in the overall COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. Parents have many options for where to get a COVID-19 vaccine for their child including:

Pediatricians’ offices: Hundreds of pediatricians will be administering COVID-19 vaccines across Connecticut.

Pharmacies: There will be hundreds of pharmacy locations that offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children. Pharmacies provide a safe, convenient, and easy location to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

DPH Yellow Van Clinics: The updated clinic schedule can be found at ct.gov/coronavirus