Elisabeth writes a blog, Redefining “Good“, about living with chronic illness gracefully. And Elisabeth has many health issues to deal with – Allergies, Anaemia, Asthma, Chronic Pain, High Cholesterol, Hypothyroidism, Insomnia, Lactose Intolerance, Migraine and Rheumatoid Arthritis. She began her journey with chronic illness in March of 2007, when she was being tested for high cholesterol levels. At that time hypothyroidism was found which took over 2 years to get her levels back to normal. The other heath problems started and she finds herself “having to redefine both my own expectations and the expectations of those around me.”
Elisabeth, also known as “Don’t Call Me Lizzy”, resides in Florida with her husband and her “two feline dependents” Lucas and Zachary. She works for a large university, where she trains faculty that teach online courses. She has strong views about how technology can assist students with special needs and enjoys working to find solutions for the faculty when the need arises. Her employer has been supportive of her as she may take longer to type and edit because of issues with her fine motor skills. She also sits when training and has changed her schedule a bit, but enjoys her work and wants to continue working as long as she is able.
Family support is also something that Elisabeth is grateful for. Other family members have chronic illnesses and other health problems, so they understand what she is going through. Going out and socializing with friends, being physically active (especially taking part in 5k walks) are some things that she has had to give up or change. She has adapted her work schedule and her daily routine so she can do all she is able to do.
Elisabeth attends Physical Therapy sessions and takes part in swimming to keep her moving and prevent further joint damage. For support, she belongs to But Don’t You Look Sick and Chronic Babe forums. She explains how she feels about these support groups,
I have found so much information and support on these sites, it has really been a huge help. Just to be exposed to the full range of experience that these diseases can bring has helped me be more proactive in my treatment and informed in my care. Not to mention the bright, inspiring, and often funny people I have come to bond with, no matter how scattered we may be geographically.
I enjoy Elisabeth’s humor. She states that she uses cuss words on her blog “Because I can.” She also describes herself as a geek with an odd sense of humor. Just read one part of her description of herself and see if you don’t smile,
I am a geek. A Mountain Dew chugging, Dungeons and Dragons tabletop playing, Renaissance faire dressing-up, Monty Python quoting, comic book reading, webcomic addicted geek. I love cats and crafting. I read science fiction and fantasy. Some of my favourite TV shows are Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The West Wing, House, The X-Files, and The Simpsons, and Star Trek:TNG. When I can, I attend fantasy/sci-fi conventions (and yes, I make my own costumes). I listen to a wide range of music, but mainly New Wave/Industrial/Synthpop. Thankfully, Hubby loves me just the way I am and is just as big of a geek, so at least we both speak the language of Nerd.
And for someone who has the list of chronic illnesses that Elisabeth does her humor comes through her blog, even if you aren’t a geek. One of my favorites is “Things I Really Hate… “
I’m inspired by Elisabeth because she finds a way to work, have fun and enjoy life in her own way.
This is an ongoing effort to spotlight people with chronic illness, health issues and disabilities who are making a contribution in some way despite their pain, sickness, etc.