Helpful Hints

Need ideas for simplifying your life? Consider the following:

  • Hire a cleaning service
  • Order your groceries online and have them delivered
  • Outsource yard work
  • Accept meals from organizations catering to the sick or homebound
  • Mail-order your prescriptions
  • Order gifts online and have them shipped to the recipient directly
  • Have gifts professionally gift-wrapped – save your swollen fingers the trouble
  • Hire a caterer when you host a party
  • Bring a side dish from your favorite restaurant to your next potluck dinner, or buy pre-made shes from the grocery store
  • Pull into the full-serve gas pump every once in awhile to give yourself a break
  • Say “Yes” when the attendant at the grocery store asks, “Need help outside?”
  • Ask the store clerk to help you with hard-to-unwrap items (e.g. CD’s and DVD’s, anything with a twist-off cap) immediately after you’ve purchased them, if no one is at home to help you
  • Hire someone to walk/groom/care for your pets
  • Hire a handy man to help with everything and anything around the house
  • Ask your grocery store deli or bakery to slice, cut, or pre-package items so that you don’t have to
  • Use a dry cleaning service that picks up and delivers
  • Use the skycap service at the airport or a bellman at a hotel to handle your luggage
  • Let someone help you when assistance is offered – each and every time


  • Schedule doctors appointments or errands during your most mobile, agile time of the day or week
  • Switch your wardrobe to pullover tops and pull up pants or skirts. Forget the buttons!
  • Wear clasp-less jewelry – slide-on bracelets and necklaces can be just as cute
  • Invest in soft, wireless bandeau bras if the hard wires of traditional bras are painful to you
    and don’t worry that they might not be as flattering. When you have a grimace on your face because you’re in pain, you’re probably even less attractive. (You won’t have to remove them for X-Rays, either!)
  • Use weekly pillboxes to organize your medicines
  • Use lightweight plastic cups instead of heavy glassware. Your joints will thank you
  • Alter your hairstyle so that you have an easier ‘do with which to work. Don’t you remember Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias?
  • Buy a wig if you’re losing your hair or invest in a couple of cute hats. You’ll save yourself the aggravation of trying to make those thin little wisps of yours behave
  • Utilize a cane, walker, or wheelchair when necessary. Don’t be embarrassed – hobbling
    around as if you’re about to collapse is what calls attention to yourself. Breezing along with the help of a walking device does the opposite!
  • Buy easy-open toiletries, groceries, etc.
  • Invest in a letter opener for mail, etc.
  • Replace your kitchen utensils with the easy-grip brands – they really make a difference
  • Make life with pets as easy as you can – if picking them up is too strenuous, purchase an ottoman so they can hop up and down on your lap without your help
  • Wear silky pajamas to bed, making it easier to turn over without disturbing your joints
  • Swap out hard-to-turn faucets or door handles for easier turning levers
  • Buy or request large print books from the store or library, if your vision is failing you
  • Buy single-use packets of dishwashing soap and laundry detergent so that you don’t have to measure out or pour anything
  • Carry non-zip bags and purses, and empty them of all of the heavy items you shouldn’t be lugging around
  • Ditch the over the shoulder duffle bags and always opt for wheeled luggage
  • Pay your bills online

Chronic Control Chart

Need an organized way to keep track of your myriad symptoms, prescriptions, and more? Try creating your own version of my Chronic Control Chart (C3), seen here:


SYMPTOMS - Joint Pain, Joint Swelling, Sore Throat, Swollen Glands, Neck Pain, Heartburn,
Chest Pain, Fever, Hives, Stomach Cramps, Digestive Problems, Chills, Fatigue, Muscle Soreness,Hair Loss, Vomiting, Headache, Tooth Sensitivity, Ear Ache, Numbness, Skin Discoloration,Blurry Eyesight, Lightheadedness, Hot Spots, Mobility, Angioedema, Skin Breakout.

LIFESTYLE – Travel, Hours Worked, Hours Slept, Nap Length/Time of Day, Exercise, Overall
Morning/Day/Night, Food, Alcohol.

MEDICATIONS - List all prescriptions you currently or intermittently take; also list OTC cold
medications, pain relievers and vitamins that you take in addition to your prescriptions.

TEST RESULTS - CT Scan, X-Rays, Blood Work, Urinalysis, Bone Density Test, Pulmonary
Function Test, Blood Pressure, Platelet Count, Ultrasound, Weight.

DOCTORS – List all doctors you regularly visit. I found that although my eye doctors, dentists,
gynecologists, and podiatrists weren’t originally treating me for lupus, they eventually contributedto my treatment. Therefore, I included them on my chart.


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