Living with a Chronic Illness with Julie Morgenlender

In this interview of The Notable Woman Podcast, I interview Julie Morgenlender on breaking the stigma around chronic illness.

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In today’s episode of The Notable Woman Podcast, our second episode in my first series to introduce you to what we’re tackling here, I interview Julie Morgenlender. Julie is absolutely a notable woman and she could be on this podcast for many reasons, but I really wanted her on an episode breaking down the stigma around chronic illness. I know people with chronic illness and you do too. It’s time that we all find a greater understanding of these hidden illnesses and disabilities. We speak at length about Julie’s own diagnoses, what those illnesses mean for her and her daily life, and what sort of assumptions people make about her as someone with a chronic illness. This conversation really opened my eyes to what Julie’s life is like, and although I will never truly know what it’s like to have a chronic illness, I have greater respect and empathy because of her.

Julie’s own diagnoses
what those illnesses mean for her and her daily life
what sort of assumptions people make about her as someone with a chronic illness



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About Julie Morgenlender
Julie has blogged about chronic illness under a pseudonym for 5 years and is now also blogging about personal finance as herself at Nest Egg Chick. She is currently creating an anthology, a collection of stories written by many people, about living with chronic illness(es). Her latest project is the creation of products that promote awareness of invisible disabilities. In her free time, Julie enjoys crocheting and knitting items for a local homeless shelter as well as to sell, reading as much as she can, and especially spending time with awesome friends. She also takes plenty of time to rest and take care of her health as needed. Julie also loves spending time with any and all dogs and baking (especially the eating-the-results part.)

 You know somebody with a chronic illness, even if you don’t know that you do, you do.

Hello, and welcome to today’s episode of The Notable Woman Podcast.

I’m your host Cristin Downs, and I’m happy to bring you today’s interview with Julie Morgenlender. Julie and I have met in this big, beautiful online world, but never in person. She’s smart, talented, funny, loves dogs more than you could possibly imagine, and she has a chronic. Several. In fact, Julie is a notable woman and she could be on this podcast for many reasons, but I really wanted her here for breaking down the stigma around chronic illness.

I know people with chronic illness and you do too. It’s time that we all get a greater understanding of these hidden illnesses and disabilities. I hope you’ll enjoy this interview as I talk with Julie about chronic illness, how these illnesses affect her life, and how we can. More empathetic. I’ll be back at the end of this episode to fill in any gaps.

Welcome to the Notable Woman Podcast. I am happy to introduce today’s guest, Julie Morgan, lender. Julie has blogged about chronic illness under a pseudonym for five years and is now also blogging about personal finance as herself at Nest Egg Chick. She is currently creating an anthology, which is a collection of stories written by many people about living with chronic.

Her latest project is the creation of products that promote awareness of invisible disabilities. Welcome, Julie. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat

with me today. Thanks for having me. Kristen.

We are gonna dive right in and I would love for you to school me as much as possible about how to speak sensitively about chronic illness.

So if I’m being an ass, Please tell me, .

Well, I appreciate you saying that. I think that alone is enough for being sensitive about chronic illness. I think that a lot of people are scared to say that they don’t know and they need to learn, and that’s what leads to a lot of insensitivity and misunderstanding.

So just saying please let me know I think is

perfect. Thank you. I appreciate that. So to start, can you educate us on what a. Illness is, and also at the same time, maybe how that differs from a

disability. Sure. Um, you know, chronic illness can be a lot of things and a lot of people, everyone has their own definitions.

So I actually have people asking me as part of the anthology, does what I have count as a chronic illness? And I always tell people, it’s up to you to define it for yourself. A chronic illness is really any illness that’s a chronic condition. So an acute condition might be a broken leg that’s going to heal in a couple of months.

A chronic condition is something that’s gonna be lasting for a lot longer. I’m not a doctor or a research x. This is just what I’ve come across. And so chronic illnesses can be a wide range. It could be diabetes or depression, P T S D, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis. There can be a lot of different causes and a lot of different symptoms.

So it’s, you can’t really paint it all with one brush. There’s, uh, a wide range. And then to the second part of your question. Chronic illness and disability, they overlap, but they’re not the same. You can have one without the other. So, uh, an example of a chronic illness without disability would be somebody who has say multiple sclerosis, but it’s not in its.

Some phases of multiple sclerosis. It’s called relapsing remitting. Sometimes you’re in a relapse phase, but when you’re remitting you might not really have any symptoms at the moment. Um, you might be leading your life pretty normally, and it’s all good, but during your relapse, You might be disabled. For me personally, I had a lot of years of pain where I wasn’t really disabled.

There were some things I couldn’t do, but I could live my life. I just made a few accommodations. No problem. On the flip side, you can also be disabled without having chronic illness. If you’re in a car accident and you become paralyzed, there’s no illness behind that. Even though you’re disabled and it can be both.

You can certainly have a chronic illness that is quite disabling that stops you from working or walking or doing something else in your life. Thank you so

much for explaining difference for us. Now, when did you first know that you had a chronic

illness? You know, there’s no simple answer to that. My symptoms started when I was 12, but the doctors kept saying, give it six weeks.

It’ll go away. Wait another eight weeks, then it’ll be gone. And when I was 16 though, it changed. And instead of coming and going, the pain was all the time. And that’s when I knew something was wrong. But I didn’t get my first diagnosis until I was 23, and that was when I found out that I. Something I that was gonna be with me for the rest of my life, and I suspected it, but this was the first time I actually knew it.

Just so our

listeners understand what sort of chronic illnesses we’re talking about, are you comfortable sharing your diagnosises

with us? Sure. Um, a lot of people aren’t and so it’s always great to ask. I’m trying to be public about it with the anthology, I think it just, I have to be, so I’ve got a long list, um, which is pretty common.

I have an autoimmune disease, which means that, well, I have multiple autoimmune diseases. An autoimmune disease is when your immune system, instead of just attacking foreign bad things, it attacks your good things. So I have Hashimoto’s disease, which is where my immune system is attacking my thyroid, g. So I also have hypothyroidism because my thyroid can’t quite do what it needs to do.

And once your immune system gets all worked up, it gets confused and then attacks more things. So a lot of people have multiple autoimmune diseases. I have celiac disease, which means the immune system is in. Is attacking stuff in my intestines. Um, and that’s triggered when I eat gluten. I have what’s called undifferentiated connective tissue disease, which is a fancy way of saying, we don’t know you have a connective tissue disease.

We can’t classify it. That was my first diagnosis. It was sort of a lack of a diagnosis. And then I’ve got what I consider secondary things. I’ve got adrenal fatigue that comes from those other issues. And I’ve got polycystic ovarian syndrome, P C O S, which is pretty common for a lot of women. And then I have, uh, Central Complex sleep apnea, which does not help.

And scoliosis.

Thank you for sharing those with us. Now I have friends with chronic illnesses as well as I count you as a friend, obviously, and I know that it, it is been a many year struggle for for many people to find out what was actually wrong with them. How did that

process work for you? You know, it’s so different for everybody.

And I know a lot of the reason I had some trouble is because I was caught in the H m o hell of the, of the nineties, uh, where I just couldn’t get referrals out. So for me, like I said, took quite a few years, 11 years for me to get my first diagnosis. And I know for a lot of people it takes years. I’ve spoken to people where it’s taken even longer than 11.

Thankfully now we have the internet and we can do a lot more research on our own. My parents certainly tried to do research, um, but it was a lot harder to do and there was less known. So it, uh, it can be a long road and when you don’t have a diagnosis, people tell you it’s all in your head, which makes you wonder if you should even bother looking for an answer.

So it’s challenging. Now, you

previously had a quote, normal job, unquote. When did you know that wasn’t gonna be possible for you

anymore? I always knew that I wouldn’t be working until retirement age, you know, it was just the writing was on the roll. I saw that coming. I thought I’d be retiring in my fifties, but then, As I got sicker, I started thinking it might be my forties, and it ended up being that I left my job when I was 32.

I thought I was taking a three month leave of absence and that I’d go right back. But you know, it just didn’t happen. I was getting sicker and sicker and I had to leave. So it’s been tough. You know, our society here in the US, it’s very focused. On what you do here in the Northeast when you meet someone new, that’s the first question.

Not where are you from or, or what are your hobbies, but, oh, what do you do? And it’s hard in some situations to not be able to answer that question. Plus, of course, you know, having to redefine your sense of self-worth and struggling financially, it, it’s a tough situation. Now you mentioned

the financial side, and I imagine.

To be quite difficult and it also makes great sense to me why you’ve become a personal finance expert given, uh, the challenges that that brings up now, what are those financial challenges that are faced by people with chronic illness?

You know, it’s funny you mentioned the financial coaching side because that actually started first I really got into personal finance back while I was still working.

There was some financial challenges while I was working, but they weren’t nearly as tough. Um, it’s definitely been harder since I left my job, of course. So it, it varies for a lot of people. Job loss obviously can be an issue though a lot of people with chronic illnesses do work. Divorce is unfortunately very prevalent.

People have chronic illnesses. You have extra childcare if you’re not able to take care of your children to the same extent because of your illness. Extra pet care, even hiring a dog walker. , obviously there’s extra medical bills. You know, insurance is great if you have it, but a lot of people don’t and there is a lot that insurance does not cover.

I couldn’t even begin to tell you all of the things. So I actually have fantastic insurance and I’m very lucky and you know, I’m in a great situation. I still pay about $600 a month at medical expenses, which if you’re not working, is really a lot. Their government program. But they’re pretty limited.

Can’t always get them. And even if you can, the amounts aren’t quite sufficient. So yeah, there’s, there are a lot of challenges for people who have chronic illnesses, especially because for the most part, no one wants to admit they need help and they don’t wanna ask for help. Can you tell us a little

bit about what a good day versus a bad

day looks like for.

So I listed my diagnoses earlier, but those don’t really paint the picture because you don’t know my symptoms. So my main symptoms are pain in my wrist, knees, toes, back, and neck. Plus I just have pain everywhere. Sometimes I can’t even pinpoint it. And abdominal pain. When I get gluten. I also have fatigue, uh, nausea, so, And brain fog, which is where, think about the last time you had the flu in a really bad fever, but you had to think clearly for some reason.

It’s like that, trying to think through this, this fog in your head, and then just getting sick a lot more often. So those are my main symptoms. A good day is when I’m not aware of them as much. I can go out, I can do more. I might go out for the whole day, which for me, the whole day would probably be lunchtime until dinnertime.

I don’t go out both during the day and at night anymore. It’s one or the other. And a good day means I go out, maybe I’m out for six or eight hours. I have fun. I laugh. Usually it’s nothing too physically strenuous, but I have a good time. Or maybe I take a walk so it is a little more physically strenuous, but it’s shorter and I go to the woods or the ocean, which I love.

To me, that’s a great day, a bad day. Just being at home feeling absolutely horrible, either being in so much pain that I can’t do anything, or being so fatigued that I can’t do anything and doing anything is hard to explain because for a lot of people, being home and not doing anything means they stay home and just do the laundry.

But when I say don’t do anything, I mean literally sitting on the couch, maybe watching movies all day because I can’t read because holding a book is too painful or I don’t have the mental ability to focus on the words of the book. So a bad day really just means being at home, not seeing anybody, or talking to anybody, and really being able to do the things I consider productive.

Luckily, I don’t have as many of those days anymore as I did a few years ago. So Julie, what’s

a typical day like

for you? Well, you know, it’s interesting. There really is no such thing as a typical day. I talked about my best days and my worst days, and what falls in between actually is a really wide range.

I would like there to be some predictability. Unfortunately, predictability just doesn’t go with most chronic illnesses, so for me, most days, Um, well today I went to the grocery store and I wanted to do laundry, but I just didn’t feel up to it, so I didn’t, I did a bunch of useful stuff around the house though.

Uh, I did some stuff online that needed to be done and I felt good about that. So for me, that was a really productive day. If I go out with a friend for a couple of hours, that’s great, but that means I don’t get to cook dinner, I have to eat leftovers. So there’s a lot of balancing and pretty much every day, everything I do has to be.

Thought through, you know, if I’m gonna take a shower, I need time to rest afterwards, before I can do something else. I might go to the grocery store or do laundry or change the sheets on the bed, but I wouldn’t do all three. You know, if I’m gonna do laundry in three days, that means I have to change the sheets tomorrow cause I can’t do them on the same day because of the pain and the energy involved.

So, yeah. It varies a lot. A lot of days do involve talking to doctors or seeing doctors. Today I emailed with a doctor and that’s just the reality of things or fighting with an insurance company. And I think a lot of us, um, with chronic illnesses just have that as. A more regular part of our schedule. We don’t see doctors once or twice a year.

We see them once or twice a month, maybe once or twice a week. Thank you for

that. That really helps explain it. I think for the average person about what it would be like on a daily basis to have a chronic

illness. I think if you talk to someone about their experience with chronic illness, you get their experience with chronic.

And it doesn’t necessarily apply to other people. There’s a lot of overlap and a lot of common experiences, but everyone’s is just so unique. So you know, just to keep that in mind too. Thank you

ma’am. Are there treatments or even cures for chronic illness?

You know, it really depends. There’s so many chronic illnesses out there.

There are couple that have. Many don’t. As for treatments, you know, it varies. There are different treatments available, how effective they are, just depends on the treatment and the illness and the person, and a lot of other variables that no one can predict. So a treatment that works for me might not work for someone else with the exact same illness.

Or vice versa. And something that worked for me once in the past didn’t work for me the next time I tried it. So, you know, we would love to see more treatments hitting the market and it sometimes happens, but because these illnesses are chronic and typically not fatal, they just don’t get the kind of funding that a lot of other illnesses get.

So we’re just not seeing quite as many treat. As we’d like, although of course we’d all like, I think are cures.

Are there nonprofits or foundations that are focused on chronic illness?

Actually, I spent over five years working at a nonprofit that focuses on multiple sclerosis research, so there are quite a few of them.

You know, they can direct funding to a certain extent, but these illnesses have been around for a long time and cures aren’t gonna be found over. So we’re hopeful. There are definitely some promising avenues of research, no doubt. And I constantly have people saying, Hey, did you hear about this? And did you hear about that?

And have you tried bee stings? And if you tried, you know, fecal transfusions. But the truth is there’s very little out there I haven’t heard of. I stay on top of all of it. Most of my friends do too. So when something does come down the pipeline, we’ll know about it. Well, in. ,

so I’m gonna have to ask you about those two things.

Oh, . Can you tell me about bee stings and I think you said fecal transfusions.

Okay, sure. , what would that be? Sorry, I just took random examples. Bee stings were thrown out there for a while as a way to cure. or at least treat multiple sclerosis. There was a belief, not necessarily within the scientific community, but a belief that the B venom could have a positive effect.

And you could go into a room with a bunch of angry bees and get stung a few hundred times. And if you didn’t, you know, die or something, that you’d be cured. And when you feel so, Sick all the time. When you can’t function, you can’t hold your job, you can’t take care of yourself, sometimes you can’t even shower alone.

You’re willing to try anything. So I’ve seen people try some pretty incredible things. The fecal transplant one, I, I forget exactly if it’s transplant or transfusion, but this actually does have scientific basis. There’s a lot of really good, healthy bacteria I think. I’m not a researcher, not a scientist pointing out that disclaimer, but you can Google this.

There’s a lot of good, healthy stuff living in, uh, fecal matter. And what happens is a huge part of your immune system actually resides in your gut. And so that’s why a lot of what you eat can be so important. In addition, there’s fecal matter and what somebody. That might not be so healthy. Somebody who’s healthy could maybe donate theirs.

There’s actually a place in the town near me that collects the fecal matter. They pay people to poop into special containers and bring it over with a certain frequency and it gets treated and then put into the, I don’t know where exactly if it’s somewhere in, in the. System, the in the body of somebody who has certain med uh, medical conditions and there have been some very promising results.

I think I’m probably a good candidate, although I’m not at that point yet. It’s not something I’m considering now, but I would probably try it before I tried any of the chemotherapy drugs, which would be the next line for me. If I’m doing the traditional route, it would be chemotherapy, um, which is not just for cancer.

It’s used to treat a lot of autoimmune diseases also, and I’m trying to avoid that. I might do a fecal transplant. . Well

ma’am, you never cease to educate me, . I have never heard of that. So thank you for those details. And definitely gonna have to put some links about that in the show notes so that people can learn more.


there’s a lot out there. There’s some interesting stuff. There’s. Therapy with magnets. You put magnets all over your body that’s supposed to help you. There is a lot out there and a lot of it is really legitimate. I’ve had my doctor suggest things that insurance won’t cover, so I don’t do it. But you know, there’s some good stuff out there that can help.

It just doesn’t fix the problem. You know, acupuncture might help my pain for a few hours or even a day or two, but then the pain comes. So it’s not a fix, it just helps a little.

Well, thank you for that. Now, before the call, I had mentioned to you how I was much less productive, uh, now that I’ve had a baby.

And you said chronic illness was very similar. It was like a lightning rod to my brain. Can you talk a little bit about, about that difference?

Sure. You know, obviously it’s really not at all the same, but there are a few similarities. Like everyone thinks they understand what it’s like to have a kid. And my guess is they don’t unless they have one.

And I say this to someone without a kid and everyone thinks they can relate to chronic illness cuz they once had the flu and you really can’t relate unless you had one. So I’m guessing at the similarities here, but you know, I think you just have. Peace in your life that you can’t control. It’s very unpredictable and you might have the greatest plans in the world to be productive.

You are ready to go and your body just says, Nope, I don’t think so. Probably like your kid says, Nope, I’m gonna throw a tantrum right now. Yes, we

uh, we just fairly recently, we hit the tantrum phase and it’s uh, it’s a whole new world, those arms and legs. Throw themselves around. It’s, uh,

it’s very different.


very different. What would you say is the biggest assumption people

make about you? Um, I’d say the biggest assumption is that I’m fine. You know, I look okay. I have what is called an invisible disability and invisible illness. And if you look for it and you know the symptoms, you can see, you can see me flinch or limp a little, but for the most part I look healthy.

And so people assume that I am healthy. I get dirty looks when I park in a handicap parking space and people say, oh, but you look. Fine. I actually got that the other day. Someone asked me for advice on some pain she was dealing with, and I helped her and she said, how are you doing? And I told her, August is kicking my butt.

I am heat intolerant and summer’s really hard. And she said, oh, but you look great. And I said, well, you know, I can’t see the pain you were just describing. And I saw the light bulb go off and she just looked me up and down went, oh, okay. I get it now. So that happens a. Do

you feel like people treat you differently because of it?

You know, they definitely do because I’m healthy. They treat me like someone who’s healthy. I’ve had to pretty much beg for seat on the bus when I wasn’t able to stand. And you know, I come across as a generally happy and smiley person and. So people assume that they, it doesn’t affect me to any real extent, and I think it’s really important to have a good attitude towards all of this, but it doesn’t mean you need to hide the reality.

And I’ve made a real effort in recent years to actually let people know how difficult this can be emotionally. So my friends and family are seeing it, but when I leave the. If I’m not feeling happy, I’m generally staying in. So when I leave the house and people see me, they’re seeing a happier person who seems to be doing better, both physically and emotionally.

I think it’s really

important that you share that truth because I think far too often people hide what they’re really thinking, whether it’s. To how they’re feeling if they have a chronic illness, whether it’s how they feel when they’re discriminated against at work or out in public. And when you just act like it’s always okay, I think that, that, that hides the truth of it.

And so I think it’s great that you let people know because they need to understand. And I think that that understanding can lead to some empathy.

Yeah, I agree. And it’s. It’s a hard thing to do. You know, we’re always told to put on a happy face for all situations, and it just means that people don’t know what’s really going on.

So it’s hard to do, but I’m trying to do it not only with chronic illness, but in other parts of my life. And you know, I won’t pretend it’s easy and some days I. Skip it, but I think it’s worth it in the end. I bet that you also find that you

get a lot of support as a person with chronic illness.

Can you speak to that a bit?

I have the most supportive parent, and they’ve just been wonderful. They do everything that they can to help me, and the moral support is just the greatest thing. I have friends who have been. Super supportive. They come over and they help with physical things like putting in my air conditioners every summer or just hanging out with me when I’m stuck at home for days at a time and can’t leave.

They’ll come over and just hang out and they don’t care that I’m sitting in my pajamas and you know, gross and sweaty. And that’s really fantastic because there’s a lot of isolation with this. You know, I mentioned earlier there’s a lot of force with people with chronic illness. People lose friends. I’ve lost a couple, but most have stuck by me, which is fantastic because when you can’t go out and socialize, you know, you stop being as fun in some ways.

So it can be a little difficult, but I have not only my friends and family, but I found a great support group locally. Been really wonderful. Um, and I’ve also found great communities online. Blogging has been wonderful and I highly recommend it. If any of you are feeling a little isolated, start a blog.

It’s easy and it’s free, and there’s a great community and all over Tumblr and Facebook and Twitter. Throw in some hashtags and you’ll find some really great community and people who just wanna

talk. Excellent. Is there a, a hashtag or a good place for people to.

Hashtag chronic illness works on most platforms.

Spoony is a big one based on something called the Spoon Theory, which is used to describe a lot of what people go through with chronic illness. But look up, you also, if you have a diagnosis, just look up your diagnosis. If I put in Celiac or P C O S or Hashimotos, I’ll find people who are dealing with those things.


tip. Thank you. Now, you are working on an anthology for people with chronic illness. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Sure. I love anthologies. I read my first one years ago and I didn’t know what it was when I picked it up and anthologies a collection of stories written by a lot of different people.

So I picked up this anthology. On bisexuality called by any other name and all through it I went, oh my gosh, that’s me. This was the most exciting thing I didn’t really know either by people. And here were people writing about my experiences. They were putting words to feelings that I’d never been able to define.

It was this amazing thing and I feel like that’s really needed in the chronic illness community. You know, people have a hard time reaching out and finding each other. And I think there’d be a lot of value to just having something you can read and say, wow, that’s me. I’m so glad I’m not the only one.

Excellent. How did,

uh, you first get the idea

for the anthology? You know, I’ve been trying to remember back a while back I was talking to a friend who has, uh, cerebral palsy, and we were just talking about some of the completely absurd things people say. Some are horribly insulting, some are just funny, and we talked about gathering up the stories and we never really did it, but it always been in the back of my mind.

And in more recent years as I’ve talked to more people who have chronic illnesses, I’ve just realized how many people find comfort when others. Share similar stories, and I started thinking maybe this is a way to do it, not just by sharing the absurd things people say, but maybe going a little deeper also.

Now, how have you gotten the word out about your anthology?

I took some advice from a friend who wrote an anthology, and I put a call for writing out on. Tumblr and it became really popular. I was actually pretty surprised. I just got active on Tumblr, posting a lot about chronic illness, and people loved it and picked it up and reblogged it.

And before I knew it, it was on other people’s blogs. It was showing up in Facebook, and even strangers told me that they’d heard about it, which was incredible to. Julie, what has

the response to the anthology been? It’s

been really positive. I’ve heard from a lot of people saying that this is really needed in the community, and they’re so excited to read it.

If anything, the only negative response I’m getting is why won’t it come out sooner? And. That goes back to, it takes a long time, but I think that this is gonna be a great resource for everybody, and I hope other people do them also. I can tell you,

I’m very much looking forward to reading it. How are you planning on publishing it?

Oh, well, I’m gonna self-publish for a lot of reasons. So my plan right now is to do both an ebook and paperback, and then I’d like to do an audiobook. And I’ve certainly had a lot of requests for an audiobook, but it’s a. Expensive to produce. So I’ll need to see if I get enough sales of the book, an e-book to fund an audiobook.

But that’s my hope.

That’s awesome. Now, is there a self-publishing site or company or something that you would be using?

I’ll be using Amazon. Amazon lets you self-publish an e-book and they also do, uh, print on demand paperback, which means I won’t have to store a thousand copies of a book in my little apartment.

That is

awesome. Thanks for that tidbit. That’s. What would your advice be to someone who might wanna do something

similar? I would say, first of all, plan on it taking longer than you expect. I have been at it for two years at this point, and I’m going a little slowly because I don’t wanna mess up my health situation, but, Still, it takes a long time to get enough stories.

And then the other thing that, um, I was told by my friend who’s done an anthology was to find someone to co-edit it with you. And that’s something I haven’t been able to do yet, and I’m still looking for somebody. But boy, that would be helpful just to have. Another set of eyes decide which stories to include and how to edit them and how to order them well.


sounds like an excellent call to action to our notable woman community. If someone is an editor and is interested in helping Julie with this amazing project, please reach out to her. We’ll get her contact information at the end of the episode, and it’ll also be in the.

Yes. I will add though that I am looking for someone not only who’s an editor, but who has chronic illness so that they fully understand the experience.

What would be your thoughts for someone who has recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness? Well, first

of all, I’d say give yourself a lot of time to come to terms with it. It can be a lot to handle, especially if you don’t know exactly what your diagnosis is or what it. and give yourself time to grief.

The the five stages of grief are very real and very relevant here because you’re losing a part of yourself and you’re changing your expectations for the future. So, you know, denial, depression, bargaining, anger. And acceptance. Those five stages are things you might go through many times over the years and in different orders and for different lengths of time.

So don’t rush yourself. Just take your time to go through it. I’d also say do your own research. Doctors are great, a lot of them, but no one will ever care more about your health and your body than you will, and your doctors are focused on a lot of. You can afford to just focus on you. So I’m a big advocate for doing your own research.

And the third thing is to find some community. It’s hard sometimes, but if you go online and look around for local support groups, I’d say try and find some people that you can talk to who’ve been through it. You know, there’s a wide range of ex. Experiences for any diagnosis. So you might not be the best case or worst case, so don’t necessarily assume that whatever you hear will apply to you, but still find people who can relate and who can help educate you a little bit.

Excellent. Now, what would be the one most important takeaway you would want people to get from this

podcast? You know, somebody with a chronic illness. Even if you don’t know that you do, you do just statistically, you know, probably many people and they’re probably not talking about it. So I would say share this podcast with your friends and start a conversation and ask people what they’re going through.

And then just listen, listen, listen. Ask questions and listen. Um, you’ll learn a lot. Thank you. That’s

great. That’s amazing. Now, I know that you’re an avid reader and also a frequent library patron like myself. So is there a book you would love to take a moment to shine a light on? You

know, I am a very avid reader, but reading.

Fun and it’s my way of getting away from my health problem. So I tend not to read books about chronic illness, ironically, since I’m creating one. But if you do wanna read a book about chronic illness, obviously sign up to hear about mine when it’s available. But there are a lot of blogs that I find fantastic.

So I think chronic babe.com is a great one, but you don’t look sick. Dot com is a good one. There are a lot of them out there. And I’d say, you know, do a search, like I said before, do a search for whatever illnesses are relevant to you or the people that you care about, and just check them out and learn a bit more.

How would people

get signed up to hear more news about your anthology?

If you go to chronic illness truths.com, that’s my working title, chronic Illness. You can sign up and right now I’m just setting out updates about once every few months letting people know how it’s coming along and when the book is ready.

I’ll definitely let you know. Now, is

there anything else you would like to share with the notable woman

audience? Uh, sh Yeah, sure. I also do work with. Women on how to take control of their finances and grow their savings. For me, that’s my way of doing something productive. Even though I can’t work in an office job, I think we all need to have that extra thing.

So that’s my thing, and if you’re curious about that, you can check that out too@nesteggchick.com. And, uh,

I think you just started a Facebook group where people could ask their financial questions about trying to hatch their nest egg. And certainly, you know, there’s a thousand different ways and reasons why you might want to do that.

You might be trying to buy a house, you might be saving up for a wedding. , you might finally realize it’s time to think about retirement. And so Julie’s group is a great place to find out more information about all those topics and you get access to her brain there. So I definitely recommend you Joy. Now, how can people get in touch with you if they want to connect?

Well, I

think chronic illness truths.com and nest.com are the best ways. I’m also on Pinterest as Nest Egg Chick, but I. Post chronic illness stuff on Pinterest there too. And my Facebook group, as you said, is nest egg check. So I think those are the best ways. I’m also on Twitter as Jay Morgan.


Thank you so much, Julie, for taking the time to do this

with me today. Oh, thanks for having me. Been a lot of

fun. As a new mama, I spent a lot of time talking about poop, and if you had asked me before we recorded that interview, if Julie and I were gonna be able to work poop in the conversation, I would’ve said no.

But now you can see we were easily able to do it. Really interesting research that Julie presented. If you wanna learn more about that or any of the other resources she discussed in this episode, go to www dot the notable. Com slash episode two. Julie’s episode is the second in this launch series of the Notable Woman Podcast.

The first we talked to Tia Sheer Bassett about art. Here we are in the second just having talked to Julie about chronic illness, and in our third we’ll be talking to the Reverend Lorraine Peterson about spirituality. Faith and hardship. If you are enjoying these episodes, please stop and subscribe. We would love to have you with us for regular scheduled episodes starting next Thursday.

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Heyo, I'm Cristin!