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.
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.