For 20-year-old Caleigh Miller of Wallkill, New York, life is something to be lived to the fullest. If you ever speak with Caleigh, she’s one of the bubbliest people you’ll ever meet – effervescent and full of energy. Caleigh is many things, a lover of the color pink, an aspiring actress and also a chronic illness fighter.
Caleigh has battled against a few conditions including chronic gastritis and chronic irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Her health has required her to receive total parenteral nutrition (TPN) through a PICC line in order to absorb the proper nutrients her body needs. Living with an illness that can make your stomach feel like its constantly on fire, cause extreme nausea and can make you lose weight rapidly, can cause stress and anxiety. As a result, Caleigh has found a number of ways to stay occupied and positive, even when going through tough times health-wise. Here are some of Caleigh’s top three favorite things to help her power through:
1) Shopping - It’s not called retail therapy for nothing! Caleigh often makes trips to Target, where she loves to buy scented things that make her feel warm and cozy. For Caleigh, even just the act of going outside and walking around the mall makes her feel much better than when she just stays at home. Caleigh also loves her Care+Wear PICC Line Covers (in pink of course - see below!), which allow her to shop with ease, protecting her PICC, while still allowing her to monitor the site and look great while out with her friends.
2) Playing games – Caleigh loves games, particularly video and computer games. Games are a great way to have fun and stay distracted but also, according to Psychology Today, can have cognitive benefits such as improving visual processing, attention, vigilance, executive functioning and job-related skills.
3) Watching movies – The ultimate form of modern entertainment, movies can change the way we think, feel and ultimately deal with life's ups and downs. Caleigh’s favorite movie is Miracle From Heaven, a film that tells the story of how a young girl suffering from a rare digestive disorder finds herself miraculously cured after surviving a terrible accident. Caleigh explained, “The movie really inspired me and really helped improve my faith in God that one day he’s going to heal me.”
When asked if she had any other advice she wanted to share, Caleigh wanted to leave our community with one of her favorite inspirational quotes.
“Never give up. God gives His toughest battles to His strongest soldiers.”
Thank you Caleigh for sharing your story and tips! How do you power through when you’re not feeling your best? Comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re inspired by amazing people like Caleigh and are always excited to share the stories of patients from around the world!