Maureen Kaech {Mo} Advocate for Addison’s Disease

Posted by Connie on Thursday, March 29th, 2012 at 7:34 pm and is filed under Advocate, Chronic Illness, Spotlight.
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Sometimes the best way to cope with a chronic illness is to write about it warts and all, vent, complain and moan. Maureen Kaech, known as Mo, does on her blog, Day by Day with the Addison Girl. She also imparts health information and humor, and advocated for people with all types of health problems.

Maureen Kaech

Mo works to connect with others on her blog and in the forums she’s a member of.  She has found this is a two way street – she helps others and in turn they help her. Comments make her realize that she is reaching others and can “touch other people’s lives”.  In fact, Mo finds blogging to be a form of therapy. Partly it’s because of writing about her daily life with Secondary Addison’s Disease (Adrenal insufficiency), Crohn’s Disease, Hypothyroid, Hypo pituitary and Seizure Disorder.  And partly because of recognizing that there are other people like her, going through very similar health issues and life situations.

Mo’s Chronic Illnesses

During surgery for an ovarian cyst, Chron’s Disease was found in 1986. Mo says that she has a very mild case, especially when compared to other people she knows that has this disease. It may be because of the steroids she takes because of the adrenal health issues.

After going through the embarrassment of being considered a heavy drinker by an ER Doctor (because of her very low potassium level), Mo was finally diagnosed with Secondary Addison’s Disease in October 2001 by her Gastroenterologist.

Mo’s Life with Chronic Illnesses

Mo used to “Super Woman” before her diagnosis with Addison’s Disease and other illnesses, but things have changed dramatically. Because of the lack of strength, fatigue and other side effects from her chronic illnesses, Mo had to leave her job and go on disability. Her social life is gone. After turning down invitations from friends, they have now stopped coming in. She needs a housekeeper because she cannot clean her home anymore and she uses a grocery delivery service.

According to Mo, “Addison’s disease has changed my life completely.  Debilitating fatigue, weakness, side effects from my medications, brain fog, weight gain, and increased digestive problems have plagued me for over ten years.  I rarely leave the house and depend on my family for almost everything.”

How Mo Gives and Gets Support

Mo is fortunate that her immediate family – her husband, her two sons and her sister understand her illnesses and the limitations that come along with them.  “A few close friends sort of “get it”, but I have relatives and quite a few friends that don’t.”

The forum Chronic Babe has a group for women with Adrenal problems and other groups that help Mo connect with other live with chronic illnesses.  She also finds support and information from Addison Village.

When Mo posts in these forums, she provides information on what has helped her both medically and emotionally. She doesn’t like to give advice, but rather impart her experiences. She knows that others with chronic illnesses will understand. She has shared her story in a post about living with Addison’s Disease on the blog Fight Like A Girl Club.

Mo is an advocate for people with Addison’s Disease and other chronic illnesses because of her blog, her presence in forums and her real life experiences that she is willing to share with others online.

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.

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  1. I am lucky to be married to this wonderful women, who always thinks of others first. It is through her blogs and posting s that have set her free from all the “issues” and “effects” of her problems. Finding others who can relate and give real support is the greatest thing that these outlets possess. Not having to explain why you “don’t look sick”, or explain why you are tired and need to rest, is a great part of what these blogs/posting do.
    More importantly, reading these blogs/postings helps those of us who also must cope with these situations to better understand. My wife has taught me to really appreciate the little things of life, and to understand that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. I appreciate the time watching Say Yes to the Dress, or even watching Dancing with the Stars, with her. Of course a good glass of wine helps with this too.
    But what should have compromised or even ended our marriage has actually brought us closer together. I am her electric blanket when she is cold at night or her sounding board as I drift off to sleep. She is my rock who believes in me and pushes me to get out and enjoy what she cannot do.
    Together we have formed a bond that is stronger than the vows we spoke 27 years ago. I look forward to the next 27 years knowing that I have a very special woman to share them with.
    Thank you for seeing all the great things that my wife does with her writing.

    comment by Joe K — March 30, 2012 @ 12:55 am
  2. I am Maureen’s sister-in-law who has always considered her to be my true sister. There are very few people who come into your life and leave a mark on your soul. Maureen is by far one of them. What I admire most in Maureen is her stamina. Life has presented her with health challenges that would leave others in despair. Time after time Maureen has been there for me while putting her own concerns to the sidelines. She gives you “full-face” attention. What a blessing she is! While her body reminds her of its daily issues, her strong spirit breaks through. Who could ask for more in life than to experience someone who “gets” the giving and receiving? To know Maureen is to know fully the sweetness of love.

    comment by Linny — March 30, 2012 @ 11:40 am
  3. That was such a great artricle and prayers and strength

    comment by Vicky — March 30, 2012 @ 5:48 pm
  4. Maureen is a caring neighbor who is always at our side when those little emergencies happen. You are truly beautiful inside and out. BTW – reading your hubby’s comments made me tear up. You both glow when I see you together. See you when it gets warm.

    comment by Sue — March 30, 2012 @ 6:55 pm
  5. Fantastic article. I will be thinking & praying. Continue to have strength.
    maria recently posted..Surviving Little League – Top TipsMy Profile

    comment by maria — March 31, 2012 @ 8:02 am
  6. I am happy to see a spotlight on one of my favorite fellow bloggers. And I love what Mo’s husband wrote in his comment!
    Debbie Norman recently posted..A Little AnnouncementMy Profile

    comment by Debbie Norman — April 1, 2012 @ 4:15 pm
  7. I have know Mo for along time. She used to work with my husband. She has such a wonderful sense of humor. My husband loved working with her. We moved just as she was diagnosed with the disease. we call her when we are in town. we also understand if she is under the weather we do not take offense to it. we just love her to death. Take care Love you Kathy & Georg

    comment by Kathy Dulzo — April 1, 2012 @ 6:50 pm
  8. [...] I was honored that Connie thought my story was interesting enough to share with all of her readers.  To read my story go to: [...]

  9. Mo is an amazing person who gives so much to her friends in the real and cyberverse worlds, and family.
    She deserves recognition for all she has done; her story is one of courage, strength. She is an inspiration!
    I am glad she has received this recognition — she is someone special who deserves to have her giving and herself recognized!

    comment by phylor — April 2, 2012 @ 7:49 pm
  10. I was blessed when Mo stumbled on my blog! I deal with CFS, chronic migraines, anxiety and Fibromyalgia.

    Like Mo, I have people who understand, but most don’t, because I don’t LOOK sick. It’s so nice to have someone, like Mo, an angel here on earth, to converse back and forth with.

    We all need good people in our lives, regardless of our health, but it’s really helpful when we have people who can empathize with our plight.

    comment by Pamela D Hart — April 4, 2012 @ 2:50 pm
  11. I am Maureen’s first true friend since we were teenagers. I always knew Joe was going to be her sidekick when I no longer was… I am proud he took good care of her just as I would have through the years… OK, he is her husband guess he has that right. But Maureen was definitely my sidekick,my sister, my best friend before everything else (until Cinders my dog came along) Maureen helped me let my first husband die with dignity, and we enjoyed our lives with him until it happened. We were only 23 years old. She helped me still be me when I married and moved to Wisconsin and had my children. I always cared about who I was before and where I was going, but thru the years, we lost touch.. Because of the way we were so many years ago, I know, she understands acute and chronic illness because of Scott, my first husband, and the importance of people who accept you for who you are whether you are the person ill, or the caregiver. Both matter and both carry their faults. Back in the 70′s I felt it was so much easier to be who you were and not who you were supposed to be, and not like it is now with all the complications the medical profession puts on you when you are sick. To this day Scott has kept us trying to still grasp that simpleness from before. Honestly, you had to be there to know what I mean. Maureen and I have reconnected thru all our years, and we are still the same, just as when we looked at the balloons at that pajama party in the early morning and decided we were going to be unpretend forever.
    We are unpretend and will be no matter if we see each other, or just talk on the phone. I don’t have to explain how Maureen can look OK to others and still be ill. She is, and so is my brother with RA. And so is my husband Marty with post polio problems. We are who we are, and I am so glad Maureen has Joe, and I am so glad Maureen and I are still the same. She may not be the patient you expect her to be, but neither am I the nurse you would expect either. But we we both get it, and I know… I will always be there to help her!

    comment by Laura Walters — April 4, 2012 @ 11:09 pm
  12. WOW! I just read the comments here from my friends and Hubby! It makes me so happy to know that there are people who understand my limitations and accept me for what I am. AND…. how about that Husband of mine? What a guy!
    mo recently posted..Article from O MagazineMy Profile

    comment by mo — April 4, 2012 @ 11:22 pm
  13. Heck Maureen, lets put all of this on our bulletin boards… you deserve peace and happiness!!! : D

    comment by Laura Walters — April 4, 2012 @ 11:35 pm
  14. I’m honored to call Mo an friend. I don’t know her in person. We are “blogging friends”, but often she has given me just the right words to change a day of hell to a day of understanding….and a day of thank you…oh yes, you understand!
    I will always be so appreciative of this…over and over.

    Thank you for recognizing what an amazing person she is!!

    (it was also great to hear from her husband in the comments! Our heroes at home are often so quiet, to hear that amount of love and understanding speaks volumes!)

    comment by Wendy — April 6, 2012 @ 11:08 am
  15. It was a pleasure to get to know Mo too, Wendy. Thanks for bring up our caretaker, or “heroes at home” as you called them. They are the best.

    comment by Connie — April 8, 2012 @ 9:15 pm
  16. You can print this out if you’d like, Laura!

    comment by Connie — April 8, 2012 @ 9:16 pm
  17. You are one lucky woman, Mo! Your husband sounds like a very special person. It’s no wonder that you are accepted and loved for who you are – wonderful!

    comment by Connie — April 8, 2012 @ 9:17 pm
  18. You sound like a very special friend, Laura. It doesn’t matter about the time or the space that keeps you apart physically.

    comment by Connie — April 8, 2012 @ 9:29 pm
  19. I knew Mo should be part of my Spotlight Interviews since I read her heartfelt answers and of course, read her blog. Thanks for commenting, Phylor.

    comment by Connie — April 8, 2012 @ 9:31 pm
  20. Thanks for commenting about Mo, Kathy. I think she’s amazing and think so even more by the comments that are being left by her family and friends.

    comment by Connie — April 8, 2012 @ 9:33 pm
  21. Glad to hear it, Debbie. I agree that Mo’s husband’s comment had me tearing up.

    comment by Connie — April 8, 2012 @ 9:33 pm
  22. Linny, You’ve touched me with your comment. I’m sure you made Mo feel even better. Thank you.

    comment by Connie — April 8, 2012 @ 9:41 pm
  23. Thank you, Joe, for sharing even more about Mo, who touched so many people every day online. I was thrilled to get to know her through my interview and I look forward to keeping in touch with her. I wish you many more years of marriage and love.

    comment by Connie — April 8, 2012 @ 9:45 pm
  24. Glad that you enjoyed the post, Maria. Thanks for stopping by!

    comment by Connie — April 8, 2012 @ 9:52 pm
  25. I’m sure your comment is going to make Mo smile, Sue. Thank you.

    comment by Connie — April 8, 2012 @ 9:54 pm
  26. This is a topic that’s close to my heart… Take care! Where are your contact details though?
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    comment by what are the symptoms of cancer — July 10, 2012 @ 12:25 am
  27. Hello Moe,
    I just stubbled upon your blong and thought I would say hello. I am so sorry you have this disease. I have not bet diagnosed yet and can’t seem to find a doctor who will. I have had a lot of time on my hands this past year as I have been out of work recovering from a cacer diagnosis which is what I believe has left me with this awful disease. Unfourtanatly, this is still a self-diagnosis. Don’t get me wrong I do not want to be sick with this or anything else for that matter but just want to feel well once again.
    If there are any tips you can give me on how I can find someone who will accuratley diagnosis me, I would be forever greatful. Thank you, Mo and hope this finds you well.

    Suffering in MA
    Christine :(
    Suffering in MA

    comment by Christine — December 12, 2012 @ 2:50 am
  28. Oh MY!!! Sorry for the typos Mo, It’s late and I’m tired and I can’t sleep…Ugh

    comment by Christine — December 12, 2012 @ 2:52 am
  29. Christine,

    I am a very good friend of Mo’s. My husband loves her like his own daughter if he had one.

    It took me 7 yrs to get diagnosed with FM. Don’t stop trying. Some of the doctors treated me like crap.. But, I kept trying.

    comment by Kathy — January 6, 2013 @ 4:55 pm
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