Show Notes

Episode 223: Jen Singer

Being sick is hard. And perfectionism can make it even harder. In this episode Shannon and Janine talk with Jen Singer medical writer and author of the Just Diagnosed Guides. Jen has had her share of illnesses and she has used her extensive experience as a medical writer and a sick person to help other people diagnosed with illness, as well the people who care about them. Jen also shares how being ill helped cure her perfectionism!

Discussion topics include:

Jen Singer
  • The journey that led Jen to helping people who are sick and those who care for them
  • Jen’s Just Diagnosed Guides
  • Jen’s mission to take the loneliness out of illness
  • Janine’s experience as the caregiver to a heart patient
  • Why googling your medical condition isn’t a great idea
  • How Jen learned the hard way to let go of perfectionism when she was ill the first time
  • Energy triage
  • Living with a chronic disease
  • Jen’s advice on figuring out how you want to spend your time
  • The importance of self care and how the pandemic might have made it easier
  • Supporting someone with an acute illness vs a chronic one
  • The thing to say to a sick person: “How is it for you today?” (And then listen)
  • What NOT to say to a sick person
  • “It’s not enough to mean well. Do better.”
  • More about how being sick cured Jen of perfectionism
  • The physical consequences of perfectionism
  • Resisting googling a diagnosis
  • Letting go of perfectionism if you’re a caregiver
  • The Circles of Grief


4 thoughts on “Episode 223: Jen Singer”

  1. Appreciated your guest’s comments and yours. I did not actually see much difference when the pandemic hit, since I generally spend a lot of time at home (afternoons & evenings mostly in bed). I have had lupus/fibro/RA since 2004 and over the years I have devised a routine. I am an introvert in any case and generally upbeat by nature. I also discovered your podcast and a couple of minimalist blogs/youtube channels during the pandemic, which have been very helpful. Thank you. I am on my own. Most of my projects take 6 months to 2 years longer than planned and are not perfect, but I do get help when I need it, and what’s the rush?

    When my lupus hit I went out and bought a book that explained everything that could happen to you; unfortunately the poor woman who wrote it had been through just about all of it. It shook me up at first, but I figured, what the heck, I was just trying to get through the day. By the way, I don’t talk about this stuff much but I have always found that God is faithful and continues to see me through whatever happens. I can’t do much but I do pray for others and especially for those whose lives have touched mine, in between the “Lord, have mercy!” prayers and the “Thank You” prayers.

    1. We’re so glad you count our podcast among the things that have been helpful for you. You’re right, there’s no rush, and good enough is good enough!

  2. I loved how we learned what to say & what NOT to say when dealing with someone who has a chronic illness. Thanks so much for that. I guess the typical Canadian phrase “How’s it goin’ eh?” still works!

    Very much enjoying your podcast!

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