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Welcome to Healing Hugs and Hope!  
It is my goal to create a space for people fighting illness, 
and their caregivers to a find supportive community and feel-good content.
They say laughter is the best medicine, and we believe that here.
Take a moment, a breath, and enjoy!

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The Mascots of Chronic Illness

Have you ever heard of the yuru-chara?
If you haven't... They are mascots Japan created for places, industries, and events both public and private.

The idea was to boost tourism, and although the goal wasn't quite achieved, people around the globe have fallen in love with these goofy, adorable characters.

They have a mascot for just about everything.
So I got to thinking... What if there was a mascot for Chronic Illness? What would a Chronic Illness Mascot look like?  What traits would this mascot have?

Well, I am proud to announce that I have worked diligently on behalf of the chronic illness community to create a number of mascot suggestions.

Introducing, THE The Sensory Overload Ostrich
When it is all too overwhelming and you can feel absolutely everything (and all of those everythings hurt), your chronic illness mascot is the Sensory Overload Ostrich.

If this bird gets too overwhelmed he buries his head in the sand and says "Nope!" "not today."

It is …

Personal Experience with Saline Infusions for POTS

I've been pretty sick.  From the very beginning of February until very recently, I was essentially bed bound.

My Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) symptoms were completely out of control. So...

I started getting intravenous (IV) hydration a.k.a. saline infusions once a week. My cardiologist, who specializes in POTS, prescribed them and faxed the prescription to my local primary care doc who also doubles as my migraine specialist.

My local doc rewrote the prescription so I could have the infusions locally, as my cardiologist is about three hours away.

That would not be a convenient weekly drive.

It wasn't horribly fun to get a liter of saline over 3 hours once a week, but I only did it four times.  
I went to two different infusion center locations, the first in the downtown hospital location, and the second at the newer more suburban hospital location.

The downtown location had nurses more skilled at starting the IV, but the newer location had private rooms and…

Medication Organization 101

Organizing your medications can be a daunting task especially if, like most people with a chronic illness, you take multiple medications at different times throughout the day.  I've tried everything to keep my prescriptions and other medications organized.  I think I've owned every pill organizer ever created.  It can be rough managing refills or even just trying to find physical space for all the bottles.

Here are some pro tips to make this process a bit more manageable.
This post contains affiliate links, for more information see the full disclosure under "links to other sites" or scroll to the very bottom of the page.

Keep All Your Medications  Especially Prescription Bottles  in One Place 
This may seem at first like a no brainer, but it can be easy to scatter small bottles around the house.

Pretty soon, if you aren't careful to corral your bottles into a single designated area, you start to lose them in your car, a purse, a suitcase.

Basically, it doesn'…