EVERYTHING COUNTS

EVERYTHING COUNTS

My thought today is that everything costs a token. EVERYTHING! If you drive somewhere, if you cook a meal, if you eat a meal. If you get dressed and out of bed, if you load laundry or unload laundry, if you fold laundry. EVERYTHING counts! EVERYTHING!

(That’s means YOU Aquatic Aerobics Beauty)

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Bad Days

Bad Days

I think it is important for someone following my blog to read when I have a bad day and how A Token Lifer finds themselves having a bad day.

Saturday I spent from 2 PM to 7 PM making a personal appearance and doing some peer counseling. I knew before I undertook this commitment that I would be using more tokens on Saturday that I have for one day. My personal appearance, however, was part of a fundraising effort for my local church and other worthy causes, so I felt it was very important that I do the appearance.

The night before, I was laying in bed worrying about this blog and end up getting up to write several blog posts that are still posting. I went to bed at 2 am and woke around 11 am stilling having A Token Life, the blog, running around in my head. Thinking about what had been written, I found myself at my desk writing again and talking to John Umbras about mathematical equations and how to figure tokens based upon medical conditions and actual medical information (something we are still working on).

Before I knew it I was late to my appearance and had spent a ton of tokens before I left. Then after my appearance I went to dinner with John and his wife to talk more about my mathematical problems (John has a PhD in mathematics) and to talk about the appearance and event and the fundraising. Before I knew it, it was 9:30 PM, I was exhausted and excited and turned on because Josh and Anu are HOT HOT HOT!

Then I get home and can’t help but take my energetic frustration out on my husband. We had a short but vigorous session which was much needed and happens not enough.

I then slept until late Sunday. I woke to a husband who needed help balancing the checking account which took what little was left of the morning. Before I knew it I found myself at my brother’s birthday bash with nearly all the rest of my family. Then it was off to drinks with a smaller bunch of my family before we took in DeadPool for the 2nd time. None of which I would want to miss out on.

By the time I got home, I had nothing left for my still amorous husband who got turned down just before I passed out asleep.

Now it is Monday morning and I was off to the chiropractor, and then to my office (which is actually a Starbuck’s near my home) to work on posts for this blog and many others I either administrate or write for. By lunch I went to the bathroom and took one look at myself and realized I was done and had to go home.

My face was pale despite having some make up on. My heart rate was way elevated. Despite this, I forced myself to meal plan for the week and create a shopping list. I made my teenager drive me to the store, help me shop and then unload all the groceries.

Even after I get home, I am still answering emails and doing work and then there was a friendly visit during dinner which I helped prepare with my husband.

I detail all of this because of YOU. I know YOU do this too. You get to feeling better and then you schedule more and more. Without even realizing it you have over booked and over planned, stretched yourself too thin. So what is a Token Lifer to do?

LOOK AHEAD

Given how I feel right now, I have looked at my calendar for the week. I have to work tomorrow my part time job and then Wednesday I have two doctor appointments and a ministerial meeting in the afternoon. This means that I will have to work at least nine hours tomorrow to be free to do the things required on Wednesday. Also my boy wants to have friends over for dinner Wednesday evening. Further I have water aerobics tomorrow morning and Thursday. Thursday looks relatively free except for a ministerial appointment Thursday evening and another ministerial appointment on Friday. Saturday may need me to be at another personal appearance, and Sunday my church has meetings and events scheduled.

I also took out my to do list and went through it. I take my list and I consider what HAS TO BE DONE. If it doesn’t make HAS TO status, then it gets bumped to next week.

PLAN NOW

Once I have thought out my to do list in relationship to my week’s appointments, I start to think about dinner. Tomorrow, if I get both my boys in the kitchen, I could set up a crock pot meal for Wednesday and have the chicken meal tomorrow night. Then Thursday and Friday, I can let the boys cook the stir fry and another easier beef meal. I can send the boys a text Thursday and Friday with a link to how to make the meal and let them know NOW what my plan is so they can schedule work and other issues around that.

My other concern for the week is laundry. It didn’t get done over my busy weekend, so I need to figure out when to do this. I also have to figure out when I can schedule time for me to REST and DO NOTHING. There is no way I am going to make this week if I don’t find extra time to do nothing.

EXECUTE

I am going to go to water aerobics tomorrow morning and then come home. I am going to let everyone know that I will not be available tomorrow or Wednesday. I am then going to start my laundry and try to run it throughout the day on Tuesday. In the morning on Tuesday, all I am going to do is REST.  I plan to work from home tomorrow afternoon. I will work until my husband comes home and then work with the boys to prep dinner and the meal for the next day. I will leave the boys to continue running laundry and spend the evening finishing my work before I go to bed.

Wednesday I can rest between my first two appointments and will have to catch lunch out to catch my third. I can put my dinner on before I leave for my second appointment for the day while I am resting. After my last appointment I can rest Wednesday evening and night and leave clean up to the boys.

Thursday I can water aerobics and work the morning. If I knock of around 2 pm, I can rest for three hours before my evening appointment. Friday I can sleep in late in the morning and not start work until after lunch and then knock off after a four hour stretch. Saturday I will need to spend most of the day recovering my week and will need to recruit the boys to do most of the chores. Sunday mornings I typically reserve to do very little or nothing so that means I should have pretty good luck dealing with Sunday’s events.

PLAN NOW TO CUT OUT

Looking ahead I can already start cutting out things if I need to. I can drop water aerobics if I need more rest and to conserve tokens. I can refuse to cook all week if I have to and get the boys to step in instead. Saturday’s event could be handed off to another minister if I need to and I can already set up to do that if I plan now. This would free my Saturday for more resting and less activity. I can also drop doing the laundry and make my son cycle it instead or just not do laundry this week. I can also give all my weekend chores off to the boys as well.

SET THE MINDSET & RECRUIT HELP NOW

I know this week is going to be tough. So I need to hold myself to resting when I get the chance, drinking lots of water, taking my medicine on time, go to bed on time. I need to let my church leadership team know so they are on board with any extra help I might need. I need my family to know so they can plan. I need to set my own expectations of myself a lot lower than I normally would or I am going to crash and burn.

I could spend my time wallowing about how I have over done it or I can plan and take action to adapt and over come.

How are you going to adapt and over come?

Calculating Tokens – ADDENDUM

Calculating Tokens – ADDENDUM

Addendum:  After writing about how to find how many tokens you actually have, I realized that some of you will add your tokens up and then find you have more than 100. Suddenly you may think you MUST have at least the same or more energy than that of healthy people. That’s okay! You are simply not thinking in terms of the percentage. For example, if you feel that your condition causes you to have 75% of the normal person’s tokens then you just need to do some math to figure out what a “normal” person’s tokens would have been.

x of Tokens = % of Normal

For example, you add your actual tokens used and find you have 167. It is your guesstimate that you only have 75% of the same amount of energy as a healthy person. We take 167 divided by .75  or 75% and this gives us 222 or 100%. The number normal people would have as you have judged energy tokens. Healthy people wake up,in your token system, they receive 222 tokens. You receive only 167.

Let’s do another one. You add up your tokens and find you use 225 tokens a day. After some research you realize that people with MS have about 65% less energy than healthy people. Take 225 divided by .65 (65%) which equals 345 (rounded off). This means that healthy people in your token system have 345 tokens. You only are using 225.

Healthy People get x Tokens, I got x Tokens

We can also think about this another way. Let’s say that in your own mind, you decide that healthy people should get 500 tokens a day. You do the exercise and find that you only are using 346 tokens. For this go to the percentage calculator. Put the smaller value in the Value 1 and the larger  value in Value 2 to calculate your percentage. In this example, you are using 36% of the same amount of tokens healthy people use in your system.

Actual Health Number Values to Calculate a Percentage

Another way to think about this is to subscribe something you can actually measure and compare it to normal, healthy adults. For example, my aquatic aerobics friend would know how much of her lungs were removed – what percentage. Let’s just guess that 47% of her lungs were removed. In her system, the tokens she thinks healthy adults receive should reflect that she has 47% less than a health adult.

Conversely, I have neurocardiogenic syncope. My heart when I was 32 years-old rested at 96 beats per minute (bpm) and a healthy adult rested at 72 bpm. When I put this to my math professor friend John Umbras. He suggested using this chart to help me figure out my percentage. If I throw out the column for athletes and people in excellent condition, that leaves me five columns. Each column is attributed an equal percentage, 20%. In essence, I have only 20% of the tokens everyone else is given because my resting rate is in the poor column. When I count the actual number of tokens I use in one day, then that number represents 20% the actual number healthy persons have or healthy people have five times the number of tokens I am given.

This isn’t good enough for me however. The fact is now my heart rate rests at 110 beats per minute sitting and around 122 beats per minute standing and walking normally. In this case, we are getting in to math when I was barely able to pass math in college. Even I am not curious to know how many tokens I have LOST because my bpm has increased over time. John is a real college math professor and he and I will be posting another post about how to take numbers that are larger than normal and using those numbers to figure out what that means for tokens in actuality. Subscribe to this blog for updates on calculating tokens.

Activities Cost x Tokens

One final way to do this is to think to yourself how many tokens activities cost in general. If you think, for example, that it takes you 20 tokens to cook a healthy meal, 10 tokens to drive through and eat at home, 5 tokens to have food delivered and eat at home, and 45 tokens to go out to eat, you can start making decisions about how to spend your tokens. It may be more efficient to have pizza delivered every day than cook a healthy meal. Of course, most Token Lifers know that poor eating decreases the amount of energy they have over time. Despite the immediate stress placed upon your energy out put, the long term effects of cooking healthy meals may actually increase your total energy tokens available on any given day.

Tokens Have the Meaning YOU Give Them

It is important to remember that energy tokens are totally arbitrary. What you determine equals one energy token is not going to be the same. It would be a mistake to think that everyone will assign the same token value to the same activity. For example, earlier I said that 1 token = getting up, getting dressed, brushing teeth, and brushing hair. This is true FOR ME. In MY token system 1 token equals that. In MY token system putting on make-up and actually doing my hair (blow drying or flat ironing it) costs another token. In MY token system if I flat iron my hair after I blow dry it, that is another token.

Getting dressed and ready for my day can cost me up to 3 tokens, in MY Token Life.

If I asked my husband how many tokens it took him (a healthy 40-something man) to get dressed he may say zero or 1. This is because we do not figure energy tokens in the same way (For Stone, this is also because he does not wear make up and is bald. When he shaves his head he is probably using more tokens than I do to get dressed.).

I found that if I sit down while I blow dry my hair and put on make up I can conserve about 1 token. That is 1 more energy token I wouldn’t have had if I stood to do this activity. This is only true because my condition is all about how hard my heart works. Sitting, my heart now rests at about 110 bpm. Standing it rests at about 120 bpm. You can easily see that whenever I can SIT I am saving energy tokens versus standing.  This is something living the Token Life taught me. After I understood how many tokens getting dressed was costing me everyday, I could then consider ways to save tokens. Some days that means I don’t do make-up and barely brush my hair. Other days when those activities are necessary (like today because I am doing an appearance at a book store), sitting while I accomplish these tasks is to my advantage.

You can begin to see that A Token Life is reliant upon having a personal understanding of your own token system.   Take time to develop it, think it over, and explore the idea of a Token Life and what it means to you.

However you go about finding your energy tokens, you should be comfortable with that number. The idea is to give you some tangible number to work with. In future articles we will be looking out how to save tokens, how to gain more tokens, how to increase the number of tokens we have every day over time.

In the next blog we will look at how knowing our TTT can help us help our family, friends, community, and doctors understand us and help us better communicate our physical condition and abilities. Then we will look at how we can manipulate inflation so that we can get more life out of less tokens. Stay Tuned! 

Defining Your Tokens

Defining Your Tokens

I do water aerobics twice a week at a local county aquatic center. I have noticed a beautiful shy woman who comes in. She is thin – too thin. She looks tired all the time. Maybe it is because I have spent years coping with my own chronic illness that I can easily identify it in others. In talking to her, I quickly confirm she has a chronic illness.

“What do you do?” I ask her.

“Nothing,” she laughs nervously. I can feel her shrinking into herself. Most Token Lifers feel like they do nothing even when they do.

“So you sit all day and stare at the wall and literally do nothing but get dressed and come here to water aerobics twice a week?”

She giggles a little and shyly admits she is a mother to two girls. Beautiful girls, I now recall, who have sat in the bleachers when school wasn’t in session.

“You are a mom! Ahh, now that is a full time job,” I say. I am sure she has a chronic illness and broach the subject. Soon I am learning about another rare condition that has cost this woman parts of her lungs, literally, sections of her lungs have been removed.

So I tell her about A Token Life. I explain to her that life is like an arcade. When healthy people enter they are given, let’s say 100 tokens to play with. When we enter, we are only given 75 or less tokens. The games are the things some people do without thinking about it. Get up. Get dressed. Make breakfast. See our children off to school. All of these little things cost tokens. Those of us with chronic conditions run out of tokens faster because we were given fewer tokens to start with. I see in her eyes and in her being that she understands this and is comforted that she isn’t alone in her struggle.

At the next class, she asks me,”How do I know how many tokens I have in a day?”

The idea of a Token Life developed over time for me. Her question really bothered me because I didn’t have a good or ready answer. I had simply started mentally deciding what cost energy tokens. I would check in periodically and see where my token level was. I had never thought about doing some calculation to figure out how many tokens I actually would have had.

Tonight, laying in bed, mulling over this problem, it occurs to me that tokens are all about supply and demand. Like supply and demand, the rate of inflation also factors into tokens.

Demand

demandJarIn A Token Life, demand are the things we need to accomplish – work, house work, feeding ourselves, getting dressed, taking out the dog, cleaning the cat liter, exercise.. in short anything that requires any physical exertion to complete. This is also the things we WANT to complete. The things we think we HAVE TO DO no matter how we feel. This is the floor you didn’t sweep and the bathroom you didn’t clean this week. Further, the chronically ill, has to account for EVERYTHING. Most people do not think twice about getting up, brushing their teeth, getting dressed and having breakfast. There are some chronically ill, however, where doing these things may use up half the tokens they have in one day. Everything counts. Walking through the grocery store costs tokens and so does writing a blog or making phone calls about doctors appointments. EVERYTHING costs tokens when you are a Token Lifer.

Supply

supply-jarSupply speaks specifically to the amount of energy a Token Lifer has on any given day. Unlike demand where we can easily associate a cost to an activity: 1 token for getting up, getting dressed, brushing our teeth; 1 token for putting on make-up; 20 tokens for a workout. Supply is subjective and unique to each Token Lifer. Someone with a more serious chronic illness or who is just recovering from a serious bout of their illness, may have fewer tokens than another person.

Inflation

inflation2This refers to something else that Token Lifers also have to consider – those undefinable and definable things that can increase the amount of tokens available or decrease them. Stress, for example, always subtracts from my total daily tokens. Drinking lots of water will increase my total daily tokens. Taking a nap in the middle of a day can temporarily give me some tokens back and resting up a day before a heavy token use day can help off set a busy day. When we talk about inflation we are in essence talking about an exchange rate around our tokens.

How Do I Figure Out How Many Tokens I Have?

You will need: three jars, a journal and two weeks.

Mulling all this over trying to sleep, I struck upon an idea that I think might help Token Lifers get handle on the supply and demand for tokens in their life and begin to identify and manipulate their personal inflation.

First, get something to be your token. I was thinking that marbles, small decorative glass pieces, small decorative rocks, beads, or buttons would all work for this exercise. It should be big enough to be easily handled but not too large.

Next get two jars or glasses from your kitchen. Place a label on one that reads DEMAND and another that is labeled SUPPLY.

Start this exercise by quietly sitting with your SUPPLY jar and holding the tokens you have chosen. Fill up this jar with tokens until you feel like it MAY represent the number of energy tokens you actually have for any given day. If you do not like that method, think of a normal person getting 100 tokens. Given your condition, how many tokens out of 100 do you think you have when you wake up? Then count this many tokens into your SUPPLY jar.

Once you are satisfied with this jar, take it and put it up somewhere. You don’t want it disturbed and you don’t want it somewhere you will see it a lot. Maybe in the cabinet in the kitchen or under the sink your bathroom?  Just take this SUPPLY jar and put it away.

DEMAND Jar Week 1

Now, get your DEMAND jar and your tokens (preferably in another jar or bag) and put them by your bed. When you wake up, place one token into this jar. This is your wake up token. As you go about your day, place tokens in this jar as you use them. How many tokens does getting up, getting dressed, brushing your hair and brushing your teeth cost YOU? Does make up cost you an extra token? How much does preparing and eating breakfast cost you?

Keep this up all day. Just ask yourself after an activity, “How many tokens did that cost me?” Place those tokens into your demand jar. If you feel like you have run out of energy and demands are still being made on you, PUT TOKENS IN THE JAR FOR THE ACTIVITIES YOU CANNOT COMPLETE. That’s right, if you run out of energy before you can make dinner, guesstimate how many tokens dinner would cost you. If you run out of tokens before you get done things you THINK you should be able to do, put those tokens in the jar too. If you are exhausted and can’t sweep the floor and are sitting there thinking you should have swept the floor, put in the number of tokens you think you would need to get the floor swept.

At then end of the day, count out your tokens and write down the number of tokens demanded. Do this exercise for one week, keeping up with your DEMAND. At the end of one week, find the average number of tokens demanded of you in one day.

DEMAND Jar Week 2

The next week, I want you to take your DEMAND jar and only put tokens in when you can physically do an activity. By now  you should be getting some patterns going. You should begin to know how many tokens certain activities are going to cost you.  This week, though, be sure you only put in tokens WHEN YOU ACTUALLY ARE ABLE TO PHYSICALLY DO AN ACTIVITY.

Like last week, at the end of each day, count out your tokens and write down the number of tokens you actually used. Remember to only count tokens when you physically are able to do an activity. Do this exercise for one week, keeping up with your DEMAND tokens. At the end of this week, find the average number of tokens you actually used in a day.

Inflation

Now, go get that SUPPLY jar you put away two weeks ago. Count out the number of tokens you placed in your SUPPLY jar and write this number down. Compare the DEMAND Jar Week 1 Totals, DEMAND Jar Week 2 Totals, and the Supply Totals. Welcome to the world of Token inflation.

I am willing to bet that many of you OVER ESTIMATE your SUPPLY. When you look at Week 2 which is really the actual number of tokens you HAVE during one day and compare it to the SUPPLY jar, you may find you have LESS actual tokens than you thought. Or you could find you have MORE tokens than you thought.

Now compare the week 1 totals, which is the actual energy demands placed upon you daily, to the SUPPLY jar and the Week 2 Totals. I KNOW you will find that there are more demands upon you, than you have energy tokens for. Most chronically ill are terrible about having expectations that are well beyond their physical capability.

Many of the Token Lifers I have met expected 150% of themselves when they were healthy. Now they find they aren’t healthy and they are still expecting 150% of themselves without adjusting for the inflation caused by chronic illness. Chronic illness means that you MUST consider that today when you give 150% it may be viewed by yourself and others as if you are only giving 50% or 75%. This is because you haven’t adjusted your expectations to keep up with your physical capabilities. For the chronically ill, what seems like 50% to a healthy adult is really 175% and is accounted by the rate of inflation being chronically ill has on energy tokens.

Supply Jar 2nd Time Around

Now I want you to take your SUPPLY jar number you estimated at the beginning of this exercise and subtract it from the Week 2 DEMAND average (the actual number of tokens you used in one day, averaged over a seven day period). Take this number, divide it by two and add it back to the Week 2 DEMAND average. This is your Target Token Total (TTT).

SUPPLY                    – 75

DEMAND Week 1 – 125 (Average number of tokens demanded of me even if I couldn’t physically complete the activity.)

DEMAND Week 2- 57 (Average number of tokens I actually used over a 7 day period.)

75 – 57 = 18 ÷ 2 = 9 + 57 = 66 Target Token Total (TTT)

In this example, I guesstimated before this exercise that I would have 75 tokens every day. When I tracked the actual number of tokens I used, I guesstimated that I only had 57 tokens a day. The demands my life and myself were placing on me were 125 tokens. I am going to drop the SUPPLY number down to 66 and use this as my Target Token Total (TTT). Now I have a realistic expectation of how many tokens I use every day and I am beginning to develop an idea around how many tokens specefic activities cost me.

Send me pictures of the tokens you use with the #ATokenLife or #TokenLifer!

 

A Token Life Defined

A Token Life Defined

This blog and hopefully book has been a long time coming. I hope to write both for those who enter the game of life with an abundance, indeed, an over abundance of tokens and for those who find that the number of tokens they play the game of life with are dwindling or have vanished completely.

I hope this blog and eventually book can reach medical professionals, holistic healers, massage therapists, nutritionists, aromatherapy specialists and anyone who ends up treating the chronically ill and those who are largely defined by the limitations a broken body has placed upon them.

When I wake up, I start my day with less tokens to play the game of life than the average healthy 43-year-old woman. This isn’t some choice. It is not a result of poor eating habits which have made me obese. It isn’t because I have abused alcohol or drugs. It isn’t some imagination of my mind. If a healthy 43-year-old woman gets up and starts her day with 100 tokens to play the game of life with, I get up with anywhere from 10 to 75. This isn’t a product of laziness or poor life style choices. It is a product of a genetic birth defect that is wreaking havoc upon my entire bodily systems.

Most importantly there is no “cure” for my condition. There is nothing anyone is going to be able to do to “fix” me. My life is defined by my physical limitations. My life is described by the ways in which I manage and overcome those limitations.

Once again today I was faced with a well meaning health zealot who was regaling me with the latest in nutritional supplements and how they held for me the promise of some cure – some perfect reset, some thing that would solve all my health problems. Coming from a place of abundant health, the idea that there isn’t some way to fix me is foreign to this well meaning man.

Here is the thing. You cannot fix my DNA. You cannot make a body physically do something that it literally has not be designed to do. I am never going to be an optimally healthy 43-year-old woman and I am not alone. There are plenty of us suffering from MS, neurcardiogenic syncope, dysautonomia, fibromyalgia, chronic arthritis, pain and destruction from a fall or accident that created unrecoverable conditions, post traumatic stress and serious chronic mental illness, and many obscure and rare conditions that have created a life of chronic illness, pain, and suffering. Society, however, isn’t equipped to deal with us.

Society believes that anyone can be restored to fully functioning wellness. Our medical professionals are often trained to find “the cure” for whatever ails us.  There is no discussion with these people who have life altering changes to their bodies that the way things may have been before are not going to be the way things are now. I recently met a woman who had parts of her lungs removed. It was clear to me her expectation was that she would be “well” again. She seemed to think that after the removal her life could just return to normal. It was as if no counseling had taken place regarding what she could expect once the surgery was done. No discussion took place about the absolute alteration to her life she and her family could expect.

This is exactly what A Token Life is about. For me, when I acknowledge that I will never be society’s ideal of health and wellness, I could do the work of figuring out how to get the most out of life with what I have been given. A Token Life for me is a badge of honor. With fewer tokens to play the game of life, I am successful. I am having a positive impact upon myself and my family and my community. The greatest compliment I was given recently was by another minister.

“Dia,” he said, “I can’t imagine what you could do with a full set of tokens, given how much you do with less.”

That for me is the goal of a token life. It is to find a system to work with your family, your community, your doctors and yourself to start living a life that is as positive and life affirming as possible. It is doing more with less and letting go of expectations regarding what is and isn’t “enough.”

If you are reading this, you are either living a token life or are living with someone who has a token life. You are reading this tired and depressed or you are reading this trying to understand the place the person you care for is at. For either person, the first step is to give up society’s ideal of optimum health.

Those glossy magazine covers on fitness magazines are never going to represent the chronically ill. The promises of supplements and nutrition are for those who are healthy with minor issues, NOT for those who have chronic illness, pain or distress. The “normal” for your age is not yours. There is not cure all. There is no nutritional fix. There is nothing that will ever be normal again. Own this.

Grieve. Grieve for the life you thought you might have had. That life you dreamed of when you were healthy before, a teenager or younger. Grieve for the fact that you have lost all that health claims it can give you. Let go of that fabricated, unrealistic world that you thought was obtainable until your body told you differently. Cry, scream, yell. Grieve. Let it out.

If you are medical professional or you love someone with chronic illness, let go of the expectation that the person you meet is going to ever be “normal.” These people have come to the poker table with missing cards. Your goal now is to teach them how to play poker when they are missing all the Queens, Kings, Jacks, and Tens. There are still  hands that can win the game, still a chance that they can beat a full house and they will have to play differently. Think differently. Be different than they have been before. You can help this process by helping them to understand the fundamental change in life circumstances and setting expectations for recovery that are realistic and giving input about what can be expected in regards to fatigue, quality of life, consistent challenges. You can help them by learning what is realistic for that person you love. What level of daily activity is to be expected? What activities are simply beyond their capability now?

Most medical professionals could take a moment and remember that if you are not chronically ill, the world you live in is vastly different from the world of those who lead a Token Life. Take a minute and own the idea that you live a life that is literally unimaginable to some people. Getting out of the car and walking through the store is not something you have to plan for or worry about. The Chronically Ill calculate everything about their days, how many times they will get in and out of a car; how far they will have to drive; how many stops they have to make; how far they have to walk at those stops; how long each stop might take. Just being aware that the chronically ill face a fundamentally different life is the first step in helping the chronically ill find A Token Life: A life of doing more with less. A life defined by physical limitations and describe by the ability to overcome them.