Tag: disabled

hand reaching out of water

Look Online For More Disabled Income

Many of my readers like the Serenity For Spoonies series of gorgeous peaceful scenery that I post from time to time. I like finding and posting them, too. 

Fortunately, I can schedule these picture posts to appear even when I’m not able to do anything else. Like during the past few weeks when I crashed harder than usual.

Like many of us with ME or other fatiguing illnesses such as MS or heart failure, I’m accustomed to spending a day or even two recovering my energy stores after an exhausting day. But this most recent relapse (I prefer relapse to the official name of post-exertional malaise) kept me in bed or lounging in the recliner longer than I experienced in quite a long time.

woman-lying-in-bed

Fortunately, there are safety nets for people like us. For example, Medicaid can pay for prescriptions and in some states, there are waiver programs that will provide extra support for bathing, dressing, grocery shopping, etc.  Meals on Wheels is another program that will give us at least one meal a day at a reduced rate.

My years in public relations taught me to look for good things even when something appears not so good, so the silver lining to this most recent relapse was that I had a chance to step back and think about this blog.

Although I’m still not settled on a specific way forward, I do want to incorporate some of the things I’m learning about making extra money.

We all know or can imagine how difficult it can be when we have no source of income from a working spouse, parents or something else. Many of us live close to the edge with Social Security Disability as our only income.

However, even though I’m enrolled in a Medicaid community waiver program, I still get tired of counting pennies, shuffling the due dates of bills so I had funds in the bank when they came due, and basically running out of money before my next Social Security check came in. 

dollar-sign

Obviously, if the government declares you disabled you cannot work a 40-hour week any longer. For many of us, even part-time work is too strenuous. This leaves working from home as about the only option open to someone who is disabled with a chronic illness.

So I started looking for ways people are making money by working at home. Some are too strenuous and/or impractical for people like me who suffer from brain fog, for example answering customer service calls. Others take too much time for little return, like responding to surveys.

woman-holding-fan-of-money

I kept finding sites that promised thousands of dollars each month–even millions each year–making money online. Many of these programs are basically multi-level marketing in which you set up a website or websites that entice others to sign up for the expensive program in which you enrolled.

So I fell for the marketing and signed up with a young man whose main promotion was to get his followers excited about fancy expensive cars and a digital nomad lifestyle. He frequently posted videos showing him and his young child in various spectacular places around the world. The promise was that you, too, could be doing this.

expensive-car

His way was a hard-driving, hard-selling method of getting you to sign up and then getting others to do the same thing. You made money from the initial signup and then every month your people remained in the program. He offered free training on how to make videos that would go viral and how to write sales copy that would get people to buy things you recommend. 

This was just not for me nor was it appropriate for someone who often has to step back for several days and not do any online work. He offered a money back guarantee, so I wrote to say the program was just not for me and I wanted a refund.

However, I did not qualify for a refund in his eyes because I didn’t stay in the program and do everything as he laid it out. I finally had to threaten to go public and say John Smith (not his real name) was stiffing a grandmother before he grudgingly refunded my money.

My next foray into online marketing was through a young woman who promised income and location freedom with blogging. That sounded great since I already had a blog.

Sue Smith (not her real name) had a largish following of women and at the time I was involved she had just moved overseas using her blog as her sole source of income.

There were examples galore on her website of how to develop what is called a personal brand. In other words, this woman used photos and stories of herself in different locales as the subject of blogs about the place she was in, where she ate and the clothes she wore.

Sue (not her name) was involved every day with members of her group and offered tons of positive reinforcement and support. Almost a polar opposite to the first guy.

She succeeded by getting sponsors for these blogs, like a clothing company, a restaurant or a tourism department. Of course, she also promoted getting others to sign up using a referral code that was unique to you. 

I learned quite a bit about making pretty websites and posts, but this still was too much work. I also didn’t like the constant self-promotion. Her focus on the personal brand just didn’t fit with my lifestyle.

After all, who wants to see pictures of me lying in bed, on the couch, in the recliner…you get the idea. Who in their right mind wants to follow someone who can’t leave the house more than a couple hours a week and spends the remainder of the time resting?

My next foray got me into the world of selling on Amazon. That is a whole different story that I will tackle in the next post.

What do you think of my experiences?

Have you tried any work at home schemes? (I’m using schemes like the British do and not with any connotations of something risky or underhanded as we Americans often think of a scheme.)

sand dune

Serenity For Spoonies #12

This is the next installment of photos I find particularly intriguing and/or relaxing. If you don’t know what a spoonie is, here’s a short article that explains it.

winter road
Reminds me, just a bit, of driving through eastern Colorado. Photo credit to Ksenia Rudenko.

 

sand dune
Amazing what wind can do to a pile of sand. Credit to Ismael paramo.

inlet
Another inlet. This photo was taken by Joshua Fuller.

 

Suggestions?

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mountains

Serenity For Spoonies #11

This is the next installment of photos I find particularly intriguing and/or relaxing. If you don’t know what a spoonie is, here’s a short article that explains it.

mountains
Imagine yourself right here. Photo credit to Oliver Roos.

 

big cats grooming
That huge tongue reminds me of how our German Shepherd licks our cats. Photo credit to Michael Steinberg.

 

cave
Spooky, but wouldn’t it be fun to explore? Credit to Mikael Kristenson.

 

Any requests?

[contact-form][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /][contact-field label=”Message” type=”textarea” /][/contact-form]

 

Serenity For Spoonies #9

Number Nine. Number Nine. Number Nine.

Who knows what or whom I am referring to above?

This is the next installment of photos I find particularly intriguing. If you don’t know what a spoonie is, here’s a short article that explains it.

moutains
Makes you want to fly away and touch down on a hillside. Photo credit Paul Bence.

 

waterfall
Yet another waterfall. This time it was captured by Paula May.

 

snow scene
This snow scene is what it looks like from my back door. (Well, not exactly.) 😉 Photo credit by Patrick Schneider

[contact-form][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /][contact-field label=”Message” type=”textarea” /][/contact-form]

 

 

waterfall

Serenity For Spoonies #8

This is the eighth in a series of posts inspired by photos that make me and hopefully you, more relaxed by looking at them, imagining myself in them and feeling the environment of the shot. If you don’t know what a spoonie is, here’s a short article that explains it.

waterfall
Doesn’t this look like something from The Hobbit? Waterfall by Robert Lukeman.

 

seascape
Seascape by Ron Whitaker

 

tree and lake
A moody photo of a tree and a lake by Peter Oslanec

Guest Post: Foods That May Be Helpful For Fibromyalgia

This post is from my blogging friend, Terri at Reclaiming Hope: Learning To Live Well With Fibromyalgia. I’ve put a link to her blog at the end of this excellent post about Real Food. Eating well by ditching processed food is the bedrock of health. I recovered much of my function after years of debilitating myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome through good nutrition. In fact, I was planning on writing a blog post much like this one but Terri beat me to it! 😀

This is a post that I wrote back in the summer, but I thought it might be worth revisiting since good nutrition is such a key part of feeling our best. This is the first in a series of foods that may be helpful for fibromyalgia.

Collage of food with text overlay: For The Love Of Food: Foods That May Be Helpful For Fibromyalgia (And Are Good For Us All) https://reclaiminghope.blog

I love to eat. How about you? I know…. Most people probably wouldn’t be advertising that fact. In our society, food has really gotten a bum rap… NEVER eat this, ALWAYS eat that, you must eat this particular way if you want to be healthy…. Does any of this sound familiar? Several years ago, I overheard one of my fellow trainers say, “It’s food, not a religion. If you want a banana, eat a banana!” to a client at the gym where I worked. Outwardly I didn’t act as if I’d heard her, but inside I was cheering wildly. Evidently, this client had been told that bananas were “bad” because they had too much sugar in them and she told this trainer they “weren’t allowed” on her diet.

As a Personal Trainer and Health Coach, I worked with way too many clients who had an unhealthy relationship with food. They often had the good food/bad food mentality, and when they ate something they considered “bad” they considered themselves to be bad as well. That broke my heart, mainly because they thought that way about themselves but also because often, since they couldn’t “be good” all the time, they just gave up on trying to be healthy at all. A healthy diet doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition.

The truth is, food, REAL food, is just food.  It’s not good or bad….it just IS. That said, there are some foods that have a higher nutritional value than others and some that we should limit to maintain our health, but when we look at food in the bigger context, being able to enjoy healthy, wholesome meals can be not just good for our bodies, but good for our souls as well.

There are also some foods that seem to be particularly healthy for those of us who live with chronic pain, and I thought I would explore some of those over the next few weeks. I’m not a Registered Dietician, so I won’t be recommending any specific diet, or telling you what you should eat. That’s entirely up to you. Everyone is different and has to find what works for them. I’ll just give you the facts and let you decide.

First up on our food “tour”….. You guessed it!

REAL FOOD!

What do I mean by real food? I think Michael Pollan says it best in his book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. He says, “Don’t eat anything your Great-Grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” Our grocery store shelves are filled with items that are, as Pollan calls them, “food-like substances.” What started out as food has been ground up, stripped of nutrients, had nutrients sprayed back onto them, and shaped into what passes for food for us today. Scary, huh?

When I talk about real food, I’m talking about food that is in its most natural state, unprocessed or minimally processed, and is recognizable as food no matter where you’re from. This, of course, includes fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, meat, dairy products such as milk, cheese, and butter, and various nuts, seeds and grains.

Before I go any further, let me just say that I know when we’re dealing with a chronic illness, it can be hard to find the energy to prepare foods from scratch, and that sometimes we have to depend on convenience foods to get dinner on the table.  That’s okay – we do what we have to do! The goal is just to eat as healthfully as we can as often as we can.

Why It Might Be Helpful For Fibromyalgia: 

Even though scientists are now able to reproduce vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients naturally contained in food, we still don’t completely understand the mechanism that makes foods work synergistically in our bodies, and no matter how hard we try, we can’t replicate that synergy in a lab. What that means is that though we may be getting the same nutrients from the added vitamins and minerals in fortified food or in supplement form, they may not be working as effectively in our bodies as whole foods.

Some Tips For Finding Real Food At The Supermarket:

  • Shop the perimeter of the store. This is where the fresh produce, meats, and dairy are usually located. The frozen food section is often located on the outside aisles too. Frozen fruits and vegetables have the same (or very close to) nutrients as fresh, and it’s a convenient way to get those fruits and veggies in each day.
  • Look for whole grains; the less processed, the better; ie, steel-cut or old-fashioned rolled oats are less processed than instant oatmeal.
  • Look for foods that have fewer ingredients, and ones that you can actually recognize and pronounce, on the nutrition label.

I don’t know about you, but I can definitely tell a difference in my energy levels when I’m eating fresh, real food consistently, and I never feel guilty when I enjoy that occasional treat. :o)

Do you have any tips for making sure you’re eating real food? Please share!

Blessings,

~Terri