This month for our Health Activist Blog Carnival, we asked you to get personal with your condition and tell it how you really feel. This exercise brought out some great creativity (and even a poem or two!) and seemed to encourage you all to “get real” and utilize that Health Activist honesty and courage you’re known for. Thanks to all who submitted – you did an incredible job.
Let’s take a look at some submission-snippets:
Amy G wrote to her MS, “I know you remember I had just turned 20 when we first met… 20+ years later you are still scary because I never know what you are going to do next. I’ve never been an adult without you tattooed on my brain. My career path, my social life; even my choice of fun activities were all shaped by your presence. …And you know what? My successes are even sweater, know that I did it in spite of you. I write a blog that is very well received (I didn’t even know I could write!) and founded a non-profit deducated to help others like me learn about their own version of MS the way they want to. Many people say “I have MS, but it doesn’t have me.” For me, I AM MS. I don’t know who I am without you…”
In Susan’s post “Dear Migraine we need to talk” she says, “I’ve done all I can to pay attention to your needs but I can’t let your needs rule my life and I can’t let your needs be more important than my own. We need to compromise because our relationship is all about you, and not about me. I already avoid the triggers that get you going, doing my best to feed you things you love, things that keep you satisfied and quiet. I hydrate and watch my medication and my diet, I think about you all the time but it seems that you never think of me.“
Amy K submitted two letters – one to her health and one as a reply from her health. Amy’s health had a lot to say to her, “Dear Amy, I know you want to be well, but I ask you… are you really doing all that you could be doing to take better care of me? As you are learning new things and how to better interact with me, are you applying them? It doesn’t feel like it much of the time. While I recognize that I have hurt you in the past, you need to understand that it is only because I knew no other way to respond. I believe that if we can work together, you will be able to achieve more than you ever imagined achieving in life, it just may look different than the picture you had before. It is not always going to be easy, but I believe we can work things out. I will try to be there for you, as best as I can…“
Julia had some fun with her entry and wrote a whole talk-show script where she interviewed her Sjogren’s Syndrome. Here’s a piece:
Julia sighed and shuffled the papers on her desk. “Today’s episode should be quite interesting. Let’s all give our guest diagnosis Sjogren’s Syndrome a welcome round of applause, shall we?” She stood up and courteously smiled as Sjogren’s syndrome made it’s way onto the stage, waved at the audience, and settled into the cushy guest chair. Well, if you insist on hanging around, you are going to have to explain a few things.”
“Because I don’t know why you chose to bother me, I don’t understand what you’re doing to my body, and I want you to leave me alone,” she said. “What do you say to THAT, buster?”
“Ah.” Sjogren’s syndrome settled deeper into the chair. “Those are excellent questions but I simply have no intention of answering any of them.”
Julia’s jaw dropped, speechless at it’s audacity.
“Why should I? Your best scientists and researchers can’t say why I made my appearance. Oh, sure, they talk about genetics and infections and exposure to various compounds, but to be honest, they don’t have a clue. My dear woman, isn’t it abundantly obvious what has happened to your body? The dryness, the fatigue, the joint and lung and skin issues?” It coughed delicately. “Perhaps you don’t understand because of brain fog. A delightful manifestation, if I do say so myself.”
Julia crossed her arms in front of her in a decidedly confrontational pose. She leaned forward and narrowed her eyes. “Oh, really.”
“Comfy?” Julia asked sweetly.
“Very!” It answered confidently.
“Well, I’m glad that you are comfortable. BECAUSE YOU HAVE MADE MY LIFE A LIVING HELL!” she snarled.
The audience collectively gasped with surprise, then began hooting and applauding their approval. The floor director rolled his eyes and sighed. “Here we go again..” he whispered to the nearest clipboard-carrying assistant. “Better call catering and make sure that we have her dressing room stocked with mango margaritas. Mango. Got it?” The assistant nodded, then mumbled quietly into his walkie talkie as he scurried away.
There were so many wonderful submissions that I wish I could recap them all! Especially because this has been a great way to learn more about what it’s like to live with a condition you may not be familiar with. I encourage you to read more from the other Health Activists who submitted by checking out the links in this discussion and reading the comments of this blog post!
Want to write your own? I hope you will! Just be sure to share a link with us here or in the Health Bloggers group so we can see what you came up with!