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Blog Title: What I Learn About Living From My Chronic Illness by Shelley Peterman Schwarz
Chronic illness changes every aspect of your life. In my blog, I reflect on my 30+ year journey living with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). I share thoughts, insights, and lessons learned that hopefully will help you or someone you know. - Shelley
By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Monday, February 18, 2013

Wisconsin State Journal newspaper logoAt this time of year, I'm always at risk of the getting a bad case of the "Winter Blahs." In Wisconsin, we are not even half-way through the winter and the overcast skies, frigid temperatures, and cooped up feelings of "cabin fever" has everyone feeling "Blah."


This is when I take out my list of "Take care of Shelley" ideas.  I have learned that if I don't take care of me, I run the risk of my "bad mood" irritating and alienating the people I love. And, I'm always happier (and healthier) when I do something nice for myself. Here's my list...


Do ...


By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Monday, December 17, 2012

Wisconsin State Journal logoI love this time of year and if you’re like me, you wish that spirit of giving that infuses us before the holidays could continue throughout the year. And, you know what? It can, by giving the best gift of all — a gift of your time to the community.

                                  Home Accessibility book cover

While I was researching resources for my newest book, Home Accessibility: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier, (2012), I visited a number of support organizations that provide assessment and assistance to people with a wide range of limitations/disabilities. I’ve been struck by how much is done with so little, yet how much more could be done if these organizations only had more resources, time, or dollars. 


By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Friday, November 16, 2012

Shelley in winter weather This time of year, weather gets unpredictable. For many parts of the country snow and ice, wind and torrential rains create barriers to someone with a disability getting out. Thankfully many services are available for people who are elderly or disabled that come to you so you do not have to go out.


Here are just a few:


  • Your Local Library - will answer questions and provide information over the phone and if you have a disability, many have volunteers that will deliver books and audio/video materials to your door. Contact your local library for details.
  • RSVP - If you are over 60 and you have trouble getting around, RSVP volunteers will provide rides to medical appointments and provide other services. This is a...

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Monday, October 15, 2012

Wisonsin State Journal LogoOctober means Fire Prevention week.  Since eighty percent of fires occur in the home, it is important for families to discuss what to do in case of a fire, especially if your home includes someone with special needs.


First, have a plan. Have a designated meeting place outside the house and emphasize that leaving the house to escape the fire does not mean you are abandoning your siblings or pets.  


Stress the importance of never going back inside once you are out.  Call the fire department after you are safely outside: never call from inside a burning home.


Show children...
By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Friday, July 20, 2012

Keep your address and phone number affixed to each phone in your home to avoid any delays in receiving emergency help. Use an address label covered with...

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Friday, May 04, 2012

Chronic illness seems to always translate into lots of medical appointments.  To me, one of the most frustrating problems I've faced has been with scheduling appointments and coordinating transportation. 


Taking "para-transit"/accessible community transportation to medical & dental appointments requires extra planning that begins when I make my appointment.  I explain to the person doing the scheduling that... 

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Thursday, March 08, 2012
I'm am getting so excited!!! Things are falling into place nicely for the New York trip and the Books for a Better Life Awards where I will receive the MS Awareness Award.  The annual event is sponsored by the National MS Society-New York Chapter and coincides with the beginning of National MS Awareness Week.

I just need to finish my ...

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