Kicking Sick with Amy Kurtz

Amy Kurtz, from her book: “I don’t even want you to use the word sick anymore. That word is so small. And you are so expansive. Write sick on a piece of paper, and take it to your kitchen sink. Crumple it up in a ball, light a match, and burn that paper to ashes. Then rinse out the sink, and let the remains float down the drain. Give that word a swift kick in the ass! Sayonara Sweetheart! You are bigger than that word; it will not and cannot defeat you anymore.”

Amy Kurtz, from her book: “I don’t even want you to use the word sick anymore. That word is so small. And you are so expansive. Write sick on a piece of paper, and take it to your kitchen sink. Crumple it up in a ball, light a match, and burn that paper to ashes. Then rinse out the sink, and let the remains float down the drain. Give that word a swift kick in the ass! Sayonara Sweetheart! You are bigger than that word; it will not and cannot defeat you anymore.”

In the U.S., one in every two Americans is suffering from a chronic illness. When you’re living with a chronic illness, or several, your abilities and well-being are threatened in some way. As someone who has lived with asthma for most of her life, there is a lot of uncertainty. I often wonder if using an inhaler will be sufficient for the rest of my life, or if at some point, I will be unable to do small things, such as walking up a flight of stairs.  Those feelings consumed me before I realized I had a choice. I chose strength, and I chose to educate myself on the options of improving my quality of life –thankfully, most of those options are not at a pharmacy or a doctor’s office.

Amy Kurtz, a health coach and wellness expert, has taken the reigns on her health journey and thrives while living with several chronic health conditions. In her book, Kicking Sick: Your Go-To Guide for Thriving with Chronic Health Conditions, she explains through personal anecdotes, medical experts, friends and family how to rid yourself of the burden of being sick and how to become a “glow warrior” – someone who tunes in to her body and inner wisdom, takes charge, and builds a support circle of medical experts, friends and family.

Amy is talking to women who are ready and willing to make the most out of the cards they’ve been dealt, by making sure they don’t use their sickness as a crutch. She displays her story and her methods with grace, humor and transparency. It’s not just her story, it’s everyone’s story with a chronic illness. She’s talking to those with asthma, arthritis, celiac/gluten intolerance, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, fibromyalgia, lupus, thyroid disorders and many others. She empowers women to realize that they are not their sickness, and that they are not confined to the limits of their illness. We are glow warriors. 

Self-care is always being there for ourselves, treating ourselves like we would someone we love, and making choices that increase our long-term emotional and physical health and sense of well-being.
— A Glow Warrior

Amy takes you through her experience with the health system, the negatives of having a doctor who doesn’t understand you, to the uncertainty of investing in treatments that don’t truly heal you. Kicking Sick shows you how to build your team of health experts, arm yourself with the resources to overcome the challenges of being chronically ill, and gives you the courage to ask for what you need.

After reading Amy’s book, I found a lot of what she conveyed to be at the heart of what I hope for myself and others. I think taking the reins on your health is important. Really important. Connecting with yourself, and even redefining yourself, is necessary when you’re trying to heal yourself and get familiar with your body. It’s your identity that’s at stake when you allow chronic illness to take over your life. Making decisions to build and discover your identity again is a part of the healing process. This is something that Kicking Sick does well, and can show you how to do through lifestyle changes.

When I was first diagnosed as gluten intolerant, I was completely shocked. I had so many different doctors examine my symptoms, and not many answers until I saw my dietician. I was relieved, but it also showed me how well I knew my own body, and there was something to be said about that. Amy shows you how your voice matters and shows you when and how you must speak up. This could be verbally, by saying ‘no’, or it could be by trying something new, such as yoga. There are options for you to kick being sick, and they are doable.

Amy is someone I’d want in my corner, and her book is the first step in getting to know her. By reading Amy’s book, it reassured me of the health journey I’m on, and gave me tons of pointers on how to keep going. Because doing nothing isn’t an option.