Chronically Living and how to make the most of it

Lupus with special guest Trachele Shields

February 21, 2021 Kelsey, Trachele Shields Season 1 Episode 35
Chronically Living and how to make the most of it
Lupus with special guest Trachele Shields
Chapters
Chronically Living and how to make the most of it
Lupus with special guest Trachele Shields
Feb 21, 2021 Season 1 Episode 35
Kelsey, Trachele Shields

This week my guest Trachele Shields shares her journey with lupus and how chronic illness has not stopped her in her pursuit for happiness and purpose. Some amazing themes are evident this week, including:

  • finding purpose and meaning is possible with chronic illness
  • staying present and taking care of your health however you can
  • maintaining hope 

Trachele Shields is is a licensed Florida realtor and business coach who promotes health and wellness by sharing her own journey through her blog and many social media channels. Follow Trachele on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook @thatgirlchele 

Show Notes Transcript

This week my guest Trachele Shields shares her journey with lupus and how chronic illness has not stopped her in her pursuit for happiness and purpose. Some amazing themes are evident this week, including:

  • finding purpose and meaning is possible with chronic illness
  • staying present and taking care of your health however you can
  • maintaining hope 

Trachele Shields is is a licensed Florida realtor and business coach who promotes health and wellness by sharing her own journey through her blog and many social media channels. Follow Trachele on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook @thatgirlchele 

Kelsey Harris:

Welcome to the chronically living and how to make the most of it podcast. I'm Kelsey Harris, a chronic pain warrior here to inspire hope and strength to the spoonie community, get ready to lift each other up and find ways to live the best life possible. Hi, everyone, and thanks for tuning in to this week's episode of chronically living and how to make the most of it. I'm very excited to have another guest on the show this week. I think we can learn so much by hearing each other's stories and really creating that sense of community. This week, I have to shell shields. Welcome to the show.

Trachele Shields:

Hi, everyone. Thank you for having me.

Kelsey Harris:

Oh, it's so great to have you here. I'm really excited for you to share your story with everyone.

Trachele Shields:

I'm definitely excited to share my story as well.

Kelsey Harris:

All right, so let's get into it. You're a lupus warrior. And I'm sure it's been quite a journey, because it's pretty much a journey for everybody. But can you kind of take us through your story and how you got to where you are now?

Trachele Shields:

Oh, yeah, absolutely. So my story goes back to maybe around 2013 or so I started noticing that I was experiencing some minor pain in my hands and also in my ankles. And I thought maybe I just had carpal tunnel because I used to work in the corporate world. And I did a lot of typing. And then I thought, you know, maybe I'm wearing too many heals, I need to wear flats for a while so I my ankles hurt. And then one weekend, I had such extreme fatigue. I couldn't even get out of bed for maybe about the entire weekend. And then on until Monday. And I'm thinking, wow, I'm really tired. But it never dawned on me that something might be seriously wrong. I thought I'm just working too hard, too many hours and need a break. And then when I went back to work, everything was fine. So this cycle went up and down for a couple of months. Until one day I had such extreme pain, it was in my hips. And it was in my elbows, that it was in my back and it was debilitating. And honestly, I mean, you guys are probably gonna laugh. But I told myself, I maybe I just have pneumonia or bronchitis. Because I had experienced that before. And it was like cold and flu season. Like we asked you to take it easy, drink some green tea, take my supplements, and I'll be fine until right before Thanksgiving. I got so sick that I actually ended up finally making the appointment going to see my physician, they ran all kinds of tests. And it came back that I had some type of connective tissue disease, but they weren't sure which one. So they referred me out to an RA specialist. But in my area, all the RA specialists were pretty much booked up until maybe about three months down the line. And I felt like I was going to die. Just to be blunt. I was in extreme pain. I was so tired. And I just couldn't wait three months. So there was a new ra specialist who had just completed the program. And he was taking openings. So my physician referred me to him. And he was amazing. He did all these tests, he first thought I had rheumatoid arthritis. several tests later, several months later, it came back that I actually had lupus, which was pretty shocking because no one in my family has lupus and you know lupus was you know, I was like, okay, that's great. What is it?

Kelsey Harris:

That's really common with like chronic illness, like no one knows what it is until you get it. You're like, Oh.

Trachele Shields:

Right. So I mean, I'm sitting in his office, and I'm like, on Google looking it up as he's speaking to me. And I'm like, Okay, well, maybe that's why I'm tired and why I have pain. And I was like, but I have a rash. And I don't have that butterfly and everything. So he really had to educate me on every case is different, all symptoms are different. And lupus doesn't affect everyone the same way. So once I learned that it was just a matter of adjusting and learning how to live with the condition and how to manage it. And then educating others around me so that they could support me and my fight against it.

Kelsey Harris:

Is Yeah, that's a lie. It's It's It's quite a it's scary kind of getting to get diagnosed with something but then you're like, you got to be proactive, right?

Trachele Shields:

Absolutely. Especially, it's really scary if you don't know what you're fighting against. tells a lot of research and then you're going through this wide range of emotions because until I found the right combination of medications, lupus was all over the place. So I One moment, I was in pain, I was exhausted and then the next day I was fine and normal and I'm thinking okay, so I have some type of issues and my bipolar now Do I have other underlying conditions. I was crying all the time. I was emotional and then I would get angry and act And it was just a lot going on at the time, it was hard to deal with it. And I had a great support system, my parents, my best friend at the time was here in the same city and really helped me like learn to manage the disease and to cope with it. And then, once you got a handle on everything, like I had to get a kidney biopsy, and just to so many treatments that really took a toll on my body in terms of I lost a lot of my hair. So I did do chemotherapy, I had gained over 100 pounds, I was on prednisone for years, I still am but on a low dose, and just the highs, the lows, the ups and downs, it just took a long time to get to the point where I could finally make peace with living with the condition because for a while, I felt like it stole a lot of my life. Right when I was diagnosed, I was starting law school. And I had to, I had to drop out because I just was too sick to go. And I was working in corporate litigation, I had to leave that behind. And I went to medical leave for several months. And I just, I just felt like I wasn't myself. I feel like my identity was taken from me. So fast forwards, I think this is my seventh year, you have to find a way to cope with this disease. If you don't cope, it really will, it will crush you, you will be devastated. And the mental aspect of it is the most important thing in managing any type of chronic illness. Once I accepted what it was, and how my life was going to be adjusted, I was able to make peace with it. And then I was able to slowly start putting together the pieces of my life. Like it took several years, but I was able to Okay, I can't maybe run 10 miles, but I can start trying to walk again. And maybe I can work up to a mile or at least a half mile. Maybe I'll never power lift again, I don't like to say never. But it might be a long shot. But we'll try doing some light weights or swimming. Just anything I can to make me feel like myself because physical activity was such a huge part of my life before my initial diagnosis. And I really needed something to latch on to, to help center me and focus me on in my headspace to like just hold on to something to get you back down and have a reason to continue to press forward and not dwell on things that you can't change. And exercise was that for me.

Kelsey Harris:

Amazing. I definitely want to come back to the exercise thing. But before we get there, because I'm a huge fan of exercise as well. What have you What was your biggest struggles been physically with lupus?

Trachele Shields:

My biggest struggles physically, were basically just well, aside from being able to do physical activity, but just not feeling like myself, I feel like I was having an out of body experience. The relationship I was in for many, many years. It's not that it ended because of lupus, but lupus put a considerable strain on it. And although he was extremely supportive and did everything he could, I didn't feel like myself, I didn't feel attractive, I gained so much weight, I was tired all the time, I just felt like I couldn't do anything. And we used to work out together, we used to take a lot of trips and travel and half the time, I just wanted to be in bed and lay down rusty with my heat pack. So I mean, when you're young and you're in your 20s or early 30s, it's kind of like, wow, this is going to be your life. So that was a little hard thing for me. And then also just learning that I couldn't do certain things. Like I used to like my friends to go out and be dancing the night away. And I'm like, yeah, I'm gonna be at home in my PJs

around 6:

30. But have a good time guys. Any one of these years, I'll be able to go back out just for maybe about an hour. And then I've got to be in bed by 8:30. Right.

Kelsey Harris:

And then so that kind of ties in I guess with it like mentally emotionally is that kind of what was hard for you to not be able to do things with people that you normally did.

Trachele Shields:

It was hard for me. I don't like being told that I can't do something. So I'm a very stubborn person. And a lot of my physicians were like, okay, so you may not be able to power lift, you're probably not gonna be able to you know where your high heels again, we're gonna have to get you some comfortable orthopedic shoes. Now, mind you at the time. I'm like 28, 29 years old, and I'm thinking You can't be serious. Just can't be. But they were. And then also the other thing that really took a considerable toll on me was I was told that children was going to be out of the question because I was too much of a high risk. It was too much of an impact and potential danger for me to ever have children. So that really hit me hard at the time. I never Thought about having kids until I was told that, hey, you shouldn't have kids, you can't have kids. And then it became a huge issue for me. But in time, I was able to take back a lot of my health and to be able to make a lot of positive changes. So that now, a lot of things aren't off the table. They just have to be proceeded with extreme caution. Right? Well, I'm okay with that. And like, at least I have the option just don't take away my options.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, I feel that I like I also don't like to be told, like, you can't do something anymore. It's like what no! I'll find a way.

Trachele Shields:

Exactly that's the hard thing to accept, like, no, we're just not gonna say never for me.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, exactly. And what have you found that has been helpful to control things like flares or just like kind of life in general with lupus. So like, treatment wise,

Trachele Shields:

I am a very holistic person. I like a lot of natural remedies. I actually, I mean, to be honest, I hate the fact that I have to take Western medicine just because I like doing these naturally. But I understand that maybe you need to take them together so that they can complement each other. So I do that begrudgingly. But what I like to do, I completely changed a lot of aspects of my lifestyle. So I don't reuse toxic products, I use natural things like natural face products, natural deodorants, because the medication that I was taking at the time, it had put me at a high risk for cancer. And I think labs on plaquenil is like all you can go blind. If you take plaque. Now you get cancer if you take this and every medication had like a huge horrible side effect, which not only gave me anxiety, but just made me extremely cringy. So I'm like, let me do my part and try to lessen the risk. So non toxic everything, including house cleaning products, and then I revamped my diet, I never really ate bad before, but I really tried to clean it up a lot more so. And I just in terms of organic, but just making sure that I eat a lot of greens, and a lot of fruits and just I take my supplements, I get my essential fatty acids and things like that. And I found that that works really well at minimizing inflammation in my body and just making me feel good. I don't know if it's doing anything, really. But I feel it mentally. So the missile is there. And then I feel like the physical follows entered a lot of water, I try to drink the alkaline or the pH balance water to try to keep everything in my body neutral. And then I strive for at least seven, seven and a half hours asleep. But it just never works. But at least a good six and a half of consistent rest. I have really bad insomnia from the chronic illness. So I have to do things like take liquid melatonin or sleepy time tea or put lavender on my pillows, anything that can help me try to calm my mind, I do that. And I found that that seems to be working for me as well as gentle stretching before bed. And also when I wake up because I'm sometimes a little stiff. And I feel like that helps like get the blood flowing, limber up the joints and then I can focus on the rest of the day.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, I love that. So I love your holistic approach, because I'm very much the same way. And I think it's really helpful. Like you said, like it complements each other because yeah, Western medicine is like scary. So

Trachele Shields:

yeah, all those side effects, as what's worse, the disease or the medication to treat it.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, totally. And yeah, the sleep thing, actually, I recorded a podcast on sleep. So it's actually the one that came out the day we're today that we're doing this. But yeah, because it is such an issue for so many people. It's like, like, if you're like in pain and your illness is keeping you up, like what do you do?

Trachele Shields:

You know, it's funny. I actually, I wrote a blog post about this a couple of months ago, I was doing research because so many of the methods I was using, and stopped working, I guess because I've done them for so long. So I was just searching for anything and I actually did some research and found that things like Kiwis can help you sleep better and Is this the craziest thing to me, but I tried it and it helped. Again, I don't know if there's any science behind it, but it made me feel good and it works. So I'm always looking for at alternative answers to help me achieve my best desire results in sleep because if you don't have sleep, you're gonna have flare you're gonna be in pain your whole day is going to be just pretty much a wash. So it's critical to get that necessary rest.

Kelsey Harris:

Totally. So kind of all this ties back into to the workouts that you're talking about earlier to because that is also like an alternative way to like get your body going right and we were actually talking before we started recording about like working out with a trainer and all that stuff. So how has that been going?

Trachele Shields:

You know, that's been really well, my journey to fitness has been really, really long. I started working out about three and a half years ago, once I regained the ability to walk and basically get out of bed, I was kind of bedridden for about three years following my initial diagnosis. And I hated it. I hated feeling like I couldn't do anything. I hate it. I hate it feeling helpless. So one day, I was like, You know what, I'm just wanting to take this line down anymore. And I went, and I walked into a gym, I think it was you fit at the time. And I was like, you know, I need to do something, I need a membership. I don't know what I need, but I need something. So I started walking on a treadmill. I think at the time, I could only do about five minutes before I had joint pain and breathing issues. But I'm like, okay, I did. I'll come back tomorrow. And I'm going to go six minutes. So it was a really slow process. And then after about two months, I think I had worked up to about 15 minutes of light walking, and I was so proud of myself, I'm like, you know, I'm gonna get a trainer, I'm ready to go all in I found a guy. And he was amazing. He's a young trainer, he just got certified no idea what lupus was. But when I explained it to him, he was like, okay, so we need to treat you gently and just like design a very low impact type of routine for you. And we'll go from there. So that worked for a while. But I'm a former competitive athlete. So after a few months, my mind was telling me I could do things that my body said I couldn't. So I'm like, I need to be challenged more. And I need this. So he designed the programs. And actually, surprisingly, my body ended up responding really well to it, which I'm just fortunate. So after he ended up leaving and taking a new position, I decided that I really wanted to continue challenging myself. So I picked the hardest thing that I could think of as an activity, and I started kickboxing, and doing Muay Thai and Don't ask me why. So I always wanted to do I felt like Well, I've come this far, I might as well keep going. So I did that. And let me tell you, that was one of the hardest things I ever did. It took me about a good year, to get to the point where I could actually like complete the workouts and do the training and everything. And now, I just started my third year. And I love it, it's been amazing to help me get those 100 pounds off. And it gave me the endurance I need and the strength to get back into powerlifting, which I won't really say powerlifting, I can only do that limited, because it triggers like extreme flares with the heavy weight. So I try to do more of a bodybuilding type of workout, as opposed to powerlifting. So that's one thing where I'm like, okay, maybe we can't go all the way back into that. But we can do like little glimpses here and there, of heavy powerlifting. But just having that exercise to focus on, and to keep me driven. So I like to set a new goal, like every few months, I need something new to do, whether it's, I'm going to run a few more miles or I'm going to compete in a tournament, it just helps keep me striving for the next level so that my mind doesn't ever gets to the point where I'm like, Man, I'm sad. And I want to focus on lupus and all the things that I can't do anymore. So I'm like, no, we're not doing that. We're gonna keep pressing forward.

Kelsey Harris:

I love that. I mean, like that there is such a mental health component with exercise anyway, like, it's really good to prevent things like depression. So like, you're right on there.

Trachele Shields:

All those happy endorphins, keep me going.

Kelsey Harris:

Also, like I'm personally inspired, because I would really like to get to martial arts. I did them as a kid. But I've like I'm like, so worried about joint pain or like, just like not being able to do it. I'm like, Okay, well, now I'm like, maybe like obviously, not all at once. But there's hope,

Trachele Shields:

I think but the good thing about martial arts that I found I like so much is because of the discipline that it takes for you to focus your mind in one I have something else to focus on other than lupus, it helped me not really think so much about the possibility of pain, but also martial arts is a lot of movements where they, they take the impact away from your joints so that you don't get hurt and a lot of stretching and things like that. So I think for me, that was what drew me to it. And I found out that, okay, if it's a little bit too much that day, maybe we'll just scale back and we'll modify or do something different. And it seems to be working out so far. Right? It's just my body.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah. Which I think is important, right? Like you got to listen to your body. Actually, earlier, we're talking about coping mechanisms as well. What has worked for you as far as like coping. goes.

Trachele Shields:

As far as coping goes, I mean, I think the biggest coping mechanism for me has just been making peace with my new reality and my new normal. And just accepting that this is where I am in life. And all I can do is press on with purpose and find a new purpose for me to fulfill. Okay, maybe it's not law school anymore, maybe it's something else. So when I was initially diagnosed, I thought I would write a blog as a way to deal with my feelings and to process the things I was going through. But I never got around to it. Because for one, I'm very shy and private person, and I didn't want to put my feelings out there. And then for two, I thought, well, this is going to be more like a diary. This is how I'm processing my feelings. But how is this going to help other people and I'm a very service based individual, I like to do things that are going to benefit everyone else. So at the time, I thought, this isn't going to help anyone I'm not going to write, and then randomly, at the end of 2020, I don't know if it was because of corrente and locked down, and I just had extra time on my hands. I woke up in the middle of the night one day, and build a website and started writing and just was like, You know what, I'm gonna make a blog with resources. For all chronic illness warriors, it was just like the craziest thing woken up in the middle of the night. So I wrote in Originally, it was going to be Health and Wellness Center. So I just started writing random things about how to achieve better sleep and how to avoid inflammation. And then I started a little glimpse of my story, like the first part, I had to go back and actually finish. And then I decided to focus on things with, like working from home and how to create income, because during my journey, I experienced a point where I couldn't work for a while I was on medical leave for months. And when I did go back to the corporate role, I was so stressed out. And I found that I couldn't do a lot of things that I did previously, I couldn't sit at the computer for more than an hour, I would have pain and stiffness. And then walking from the parking garage to my office was exhausting when I first went back, because it was literally about a 10 minute walk. And I was exhausted. So I was like, you know, I need to do something where I can work from home, but still support myself. So I started looking at different things, I ended up taking it position, working from home, and that's what led me to find other opportunities to support myself. So I'm like, I'm gonna write about this on the blog so that people know they have options, because a lot of things that I see on social media, people were saying they had stopped working, and it was taking so long for them to get their disability income or they were denied. And I'm like, well, we have medical bills, we have mortgages, rent, food, children, families, whatever, we need income. So I started adding that on there. And then after a while, it just became like, just mix them just random information. Yeah, I don't even know what the direction is anymore. But it's there.

Kelsey Harris:

No, I love that. Like, I think your blog is great, because there's so much different information. Like if I need help with this, I go to this part. And if I need help with this, I'll just go to that over there.

Trachele Shields:

Thank you. Well, that that has become my coping mechanism. It's like when I get some random, I didn't write about it. Okay, just gonna put this on the blog. Hopefully it helps.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, you know, what the attitude I always have is, like, if I can help one person, then I think like, hey, that's, it helps somebody. Right. Exactly. Exactly. Totally. Um, what have your relationships been like since your diagnosis. So you mentioned that one kind of ended during,

Trachele Shields:

you know, it ended, but it didn't end. It's like the weirdest thing. He was my best friend before we ever started dating. Though, during the relationship or during the initial diagnosis, he supported me he was always there for me, he's still there. Now. We just don't leave ourselves as a couple. He is still my best friend. But we just got to a point where I feel like he brought me as far as he could with helping me like get back to myself. But now I feel like the next part of the journey, I need to do it by myself. Like I had to really relearn who I was and what I wanted out of life. And I had to readjust a lot of my goals. And I'm just not the same person I was before the diagnosis or even during it. So I'm had to relearn me and for now, I'm not dating because I'm actually enjoying being alone and figuring out what I want out of life right now. So and he understands that and he's supportive and it's fine. But other people that come in my life, you know, I'm a little apprehensive at times just because I feel like this has a lot to deal with. So for a while, I kind of shied away from the idea of dating or doing anything because I just didn't want to deal with starting over and explaining lupus And all of its nuances to someone so for me, which is easier to avoid, and then I realized, like, Are you just gonna be alone forever? Are you never going to open up to anyone? Like, is this what you really want? So I'm like, Well, okay, no, but it's what I want right now. Well, I figure out who I am. But I am open to the idea in the future of dating the right person when I determined that, okay, let's go through this long list of lupus chronic illness, nuances. And if you're okay with that, and maybe we can go on a first date? If not, it was nice to meet you.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, literally, right.

Trachele Shields:

Like, is this a lot? A lot? It's a lot for me sometimes.

Kelsey Harris:

Um, I love I love that you just said that, you know, you want to just spend time with yourself. I think that's something is so overlooked in general, like, you know, we're conditioned from the time we're little to, like, find a partner to spend some like somebody spend the rest of our life with. And then no one's ever like, oh, but also you spend the rest of your life with yourself. So maybe work on that.

Trachele Shields:

Exactly. I think I saw a quote somewhere that said, the most important relationship, whoever work on is the one with yourself. And that really got me thinking, I'm like, wow, I do need to work on myself. I've spent the last seven years basically surviving and fighting for my life that I never really stopped to think, what do I want out of life now that I have survived this illness? So I think it's a good time as any to start.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, totally. I love it. And I think it's just like, so helpful for you like your mental health in general, too, right? Because like, if you have a good relationship with yourself, then your mental health will be better.

Trachele Shields:

Exactly. I mean, this time alone is critical. Because like I mentioned before, when I first got diagnosed, I was just a wreck. I was all over the place mentally, emotionally, and just trying to figure out like, What is going on? So I think now I've had time to adjust to treatments and medications, see how they affect my moods, my day, my body and just really figure out like, Okay, so this is where we are, this is what it's going to be. I understand myself now. So now I can explain myself to someone else.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, totally. And not like kind of tying back to your mentioned like, oh, like you were in the corporate world in the left. So now you work as a business coach and a realtor. So how did you get into that? That's a big shift.

Trachele Shields:

I was a realtor for a long time, I got licensed actually, in 2008. As Originally, I wanted to be a real estate investor. I think this was like back during the day where everybody was on HGTV and other networks, like flipping houses. And I'm like, wow, I love design. And that looks so cool. And I can make all this money, I want to do that. So I got licence, and is basically sat on the wall for years, because it was a conflict with my current employer, I worked in mortgage litigation. So I always thought in the back of my mind, you know, it'd be nice to come back to that one day. And then after I was out of medical leave, and then I ended up getting the work at home job. I was there for three years, it was a startup company. And then one day, they told me, hey, unfortunately, we're gonna have to downsize. And I had never been laid off. before. I didn't know what I was gonna do. For first part of me, I freaked out, like, Oh, my God, how am I gonna pay my bills? What am I gonna do? The other part of me was like, I mean, thank goodness, I really do not want to work for anyone else ever again, I don't want to be stressed out, I want to do my own thing. So for the first few months, it was like, Alright, I got this real estate license, let me do something with it. And of course, when you're new to real estate, and I don't know where this is a quick look at all markets. But in Florida, it's like, it takes a while to get going to build up your clientele and everything. So my honor, so to house, what am I going to do? So it took me maybe about three months, and I had a really good friend who referred me to one of her friends and that's how I kind of got into the industry and got started. So it was a slow process picking up. But when it did, it was kind of like, Alright, I can do this. And then it dawned on me. Wow, No, you do still have chronic illness you you need some good health insurance. That was an issue for a while it was like I had health insurance, but I will the insurance I had at the time. Some of my physicians originally weren't taking it, but my ra specialists might recall I just realized we don't care what kind of insurance you have, we will always take it we will always treat you and we will always make sure you are good. So that was a huge thing for me to be able to press on and go forward. So I did that. But at the time, I had a lot of medical bills, a lot of expenses, and I could not sell the Houses fast enough in order for me to pay my car bills plus the backlog of medical bills, I ended up taking a consulting position where I could work from home. So I did that full time and I sold real estate. So I got to the point where it was built up enough where, like, okay, we're good here. Good here. And now we can go all in. Then I found that I actually don't enjoy selling real estate I in a way that I enjoy educating people on the process of making a smart financial decision. And I enjoy teaching people about investing and how to use equity to basically build generational wealth and all that. So one day, about maybe a month or two ago, I was just got on tik tok randomly, again, everything I do is so random. And I just made a video. And I started getting all these questions. And I'm like, but yeah, I guess I can teach you. I mean, I don't know what I'm doing. I just do it. But if you want I can teach you. And people were like, Can we What do you have a coaching program with? No, but I can create one just give me about two months. I was like, I don't know how good it's gonna be. Let me do a few test cases first. So like, No, we want to be the first to sign up and whatever. So I'm like, I actually feel guilty for trying to charge someone for something that I've never executed. Like, no, we'll pay and I'm like, let me just give you like, like a really like, reduced rate. So we make sure that this works, Money Back Guarantee and everything, because I'm just not the type of person that is gonna put anything out there. That's not gonna work. So we did that. The program actually works. They didn't want their money back. So I'm like, okay, maybe I did what I'm doing. And it kind of took off from there. It's still a new endeavor, but I love it. It's fun. I'm enjoying it. And another random thing that lead somewhere.

Kelsey Harris:

I love that's awesome. It does it. Does it work well with like your illness, because you're like, I guess working from home, right? So

Trachele Shields:

Oh, yeah, it works really well, I just Yeah, my zoom calls. And then at some point, I'm going to get to the point where I actually do pre recorded trainings, where they just take the courses, so I won't even have to really be present for a lot of them. And I can work my own schedule. And to see my blog post, but I put a lot of trainings on there as well. So it's, it's the perfect thing. And it kind of ties back to my blog, which is hold about, you know, supporting yourself from home and finding alternative ways to be able to make a living. So I'm kind of like my own social experiment at this point.

Kelsey Harris:

Lead by example. What is something you would want someone who was rec ntly diagnosed with lupus to

Trachele Shields:

I would want them to know basically, what it took me seven years to find out hat you can still live your life it may take a littl bit of modification, a littl bit of adjustment, but you c n still live a long, healthy, pr ductive life, your life can be hatever it is, you choose to mak it. As long as you have that upport, you follow your treatme t plan, and you find what works or you. There are a lot of p ople on social media, and we' e gonna post what they do. nd it's great to take snipp ts from that. But that may no be the best approach from you. So you've really just got to take the time to learn yourse f or in your body, and learn how you respond and react to your illness. And then onc you do that, you can design our own life from that point, herever it's going to l

Kelsey Harris:

That's great advice.

Trachele Shields:

Thank you.

Kelsey Harris:

And how are you making the most out of life right now? I think you've kind of given us some snippets, but

Trachele Shields:

I really jus try to not take things for gra ted anymore. I think being dia nosed with lupus has made me mor self aware. Because before I a ways felt like, Oh, I have ple ty of time to do this. Or one day, I'll do that. And I put a l t of things on the bac burner that just never mat rialized. And I'm not saying tha I'm morbid or I think death is nocking around the corner. But I just feel like I am more awa e that the time is now. So if here's something you want to do n life, you should just do it. Like Don't let fear hold you bac . Just take the risk. I mea , to be quite honest, in lif , we're all going to die. You can't get out of it alive. So ave a good time. Enjoy you self. So anything I feel lik I want to do, I'm doing it. I m an, mine is travel right now But once we are open bac ups and free to fly, I'll be goi g everywhere.

Kelsey Harris:

Same Yeah, totally.

Trachele Shields:

Like taking virtual cooking classes I'm writing. I think I took a virtual sculpting class, just anything that I have ever wanted to do in life down to the martial arts down to I think next week, I may even intend to go skydiving who knows whenever I feel like in the moment. I'm in life.

Kelsey Harris:

Yes, totally. That's so great. You're super present on social media. So where can we follow you?

Trachele Shields:

I am currently on tik tok, Instagram and Facebook under thatgirlchele.

Kelsey Harris:

All right, easy. Same thing for all of them.

Trachele Shields:

All of them. Yes.

Kelsey Harris:

Amazing. Thank you so much for joining me today. I really appreciate your openness and all your sharing.

Trachele Shields:

Thank you for having me. This is great chatting with you.

Kelsey Harris:

And everyone listening as usual, keep making the most of it. Thank you so much for joining me today on the chronically living podcast. If you love this week's podcast, please subscribe, rate and leave a review. Until next week, stay strong