Showing posts with label WEGO Health Writer's Challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WEGO Health Writer's Challenge. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sunday WEGO Blog Challenge - November 20th 2016 - 20th BLOG POST! What has been the Highlight of my Actvist Journey So far?

Sunday WEGO Blog Challenge - November 20th 2016 - 20th BLOG POST!  What has been the Highlight of my Activist Journey So far?

Out of ALL the things I've learned and gotten to do that were highlights in my activism so far, going to the Arthritis Summit in 2014, to do my dream (Stand on the White House Steps and tell my Story to All of CONGRESS) I must say has so far been the real moment that I felt that I WAS MAKING a difference!

Being a writer, since the age of 13 years old, I had two goals, one to have a "book published". I told my kids that if I never got to "see" that happen they had to promise me to try and get at least ONE published. Thus in 2012/13 that goal came through twice! With the self-publishing and I used Amazon; although still a great deal of work, if you want to be frugal yet get your book(s) out there, that was my way to go,

So, I had many poems, short prose, and had began on my story several times. I wanted to tell my journey throughout the chronic illnesses and pain, but also some other very personal terrible things I lived through. I am a huge advocate for Women's Rights, and not being subjected to abuse, rape and such. A piece of the book will include that, plus my journey that began in TX, took me around the Western part of the Nation, to live in Lancaster CA for a short while. Then I came back, and went through an entire series of events; honestly a role of changes, that I am proud I got to go through. Without those, I am not sure I would have survived and been here this morning to be blogging this.

After several years I literally made a circle, and came back to my hometown. That was the one thing, I had hoped I would not have to do, come and stay permanently here. It held many lousy memories, and times that I did not want to face again. I had "been there, done that" and was so hoping all of that was behind me. I can tell you, life just like a wedding band, or the moon, is always a circle. Many of us do exactly what I did,

So, I lived to see two books published, and although they are not "chart toppers" I did get to live that dream.

I desperately needed something in my life, once again that I felt would truly help to change things for others, make a difference, and since I always wanted to be in the medical field, the entire "medical research", being a voice, advocate, activist, and Ambassador, in the realms of what I felt may do just that.

Long before I really "got extremely chronically ill" (I have lived with severe Migraines and joint problems since I was 17 years old), I kind of viewed an "activist" as someone standing on a sidewalk, or on the steps of some place, shouting, screaming, making waves, and that was how you tried to get your point across.

As I became aware of my ongoing health issues, I began to view the act of being an Advocate could be anything but "picketing", and there was non-profits, individuals that especially due to Social Media and the Internet who were making changes in so many ways, but especially when it came to Chronic Pain, Chronic Health Problems, from Autoimmune Illnesses, to Heart Attacks, to Degenerative Joint diseases, and MANY others, such as Fibromyalgia.

I began asking questions, researching some of the non-profits, looking for groups on Facebook, and saw that MANY of these types of opportunities are out there, and in TOO MANY when you are someone who would like to DO IT ALL!

I found out more about the Arthritis Foundation, through Tiffany Westrich-Robertson who had started her own "non-profit" more specifically for "Autoimmune Arthritis Diseases" such as RA, Sjogren's, at the (IFAA) - The International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis". She really began, along with the other advocates there taught me so much about getting into the organizations I felt were the "best fit" for what I wanted to try and accomplish. Thus the Arthritis Foundation (plus I still do Activism) for several other places.

Shortly, right after I attended my 1st "Ambassador Meeting" via the Internet and Phone, I found out that there was a possibility I COULD GO TO TELL CONGRESS MY STORY! Well, those that represented my District. The one person that did that happened to have been from my own home town, he had worked for the same company long years ago, that my Dad, Mom and I had worked for and I "knew" him, and some of his staff. In fact he has an office right here in my hometown.

So, I applied for a "Travel Grant" to go to Washington DC on March 24th, 2014. It was already probably kind of "past due" to even apply, but I did anyway. Tears of joy streamed down my face, when within a couple of weeks, I received notice I had been GRANTED A TRAVEL AWARD, for room, round trip flight, training, and such. I was almost shouting at my neighbors when I found out, telling everyone I could about getting the grant. My MOM was SO PROUD!!! SHE always SUPPORTED ME, AND BRAGGED ABOUT ME, to everyone! Mom was my "greatest fan", from my writing, to my advocacy work, to everything else I ever tried to do that was worth doing.

So, on March 24th, I flew to DC, and got to meet with Representative Joe Barton, tell my story, along with some other incredible people I met there. I cannot say enough about not only all of the Ambassadors, but the entire STAFF, are the most caring people. Laura Keivel was also such an inspiration to me from the AF, and she continues to be there for me at times,

On my last day of the Summit, I got a phone call (emergent) but at the time I did not hear my phone ringing. I was waiting to be picked up outside the Hotel, by my "Mother In Law" whom I had never met, (her son and I had been together over 10 years), plus we were going to stay, he was flying in, so we could spend time with her, and he could show me Washington DC!

Tragically, that phone call, came in about the same time my Mother in Law, walked into the Lobby to find me. It was from the Emergency Critical Care Unit in Dallas TX at Baylor Hospital, telling me my husband was in an extremely horrible car accident on the way to the airport in Dallas, to fly out to meet me! I dropped to the floor, and of course no one knew at that moment what was happening. But, a gentleman there that helped me get back to Dallas within about 6 to 8 hours, and I was at Baylor in ICU, my husband at the time, other than many other injuries, had a "broken back" and was headed for major surgery.

I shall end this piece here, but little did I know after March 26th, 2014, just how much more my life would change forevermore. Little did I know I would lose my Mom's sister, my Mom this past June, 2016 to a horrid Lewy Bodies Dementia, and that I became more ill, lost ALL OF MY TEETH TO SJOGREN'S, and the story just continues to go on. My husband went back to Seattle after mending a year here, for reasons, I feel mainly guilt, although it was NOT HIS FAULT! An 18-wheel tractor trailer literally ran over him,  and yes there is much more to that story also. Then my Pug, Tazzy, who was a Christmas Present in 2004 in Seattle, passed away within 24 hours of getting very ill. Thus "loss: had been a large portion of my life, loss of my own health, my own ways, my husband, my Dad in 2005, my Aunt and then my Uncle, and shortly thereafter my Mom.

So, I realize due to the nature of emotions tied into that fateful March 24th-March 26th, 2014, have been a mixture and blend of the good, the great, the bad, and just the plain horrid.

YET; although what happened in March 2014 WAS such a horror, being able to go to Congress, tell my story, and KNOW I HELP TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, has been the "highlight" of my activism so far.....


(by the Way WEGO HEALTH, all of you are also an inspiration to me also) 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

#HAWMC WEGO Health Writer's Challenge - April Tuesday 28th 2015 - Favorite Health Product

What product in relationship to my own unique health issues us a favorite of mine?

This particular subject has came up over the past couple of weeks several times. I really don't think I've ever given it much real thought, other than of course the special medications I am on for the RA, Lupus, Sjogren's, Heart Issues and so forth.

After it has came to this place of m being questioned, I've given serious thought to what items that I absolutely buy and use specifically for the autoimmune diseases, and or the symptoms that are always causing me some sort of grief in my daily life.

Even though the Lupus I have is not necessarily the "skin" type, I still have huge issues with discoloration on my skin, blotching, red spot, I do get the "Lupus Wolf Mask", my lips and especially the corners of my lips seem to always be very pink, or splitting. They have been horrible the past almost a month about splitting at the sides of them. I also have ulcers that develop due to the Sjogren's. It is also another "skin attacker". Our medications, for instance the Prednisone I take daily has a terrible effect on the skin. It can cause the red spots, thinned skin that is so easily bruised, plus a whole host of skin issues.

So, trying to find a product or products for my skin in different areas is difficult. Many either are too greasy or oily feeling. I put it on, and rather than sink in, it just feels like I have rolled in "lard" and have it all over me. So, I have come to find that if it is 100% Cocoa Butter, then I seem to be able to use it, and a huge plus is I can use it on my lips, the corners of my mouth, on my hands, arms, legs, just about everywhere, and even though it may feel "thick" at first, it starts to soak right in and give your skin a smoother feeling, without being greasy or oily.

I also LOVE the smell of cocoa butter. I have had several people just lately tell me they don't like the smell of it. But, I do. It smells so wonderful, so that is another huge plus. Anything that has a nice smell to it, you tend to use it more, because you like that scent also. 

I have my hands it seems in water, or cleaner all day everyday. So, another issue is finding something that kind of soaks in and does not just wash off as soon as you wash your hands. The Cocoa Butter does that for me also. I can put it on, and even though I am always cleaning something, washing something, it tends to stay on through a several hand washes before I have to apply it again.

It is not inexpensive for the most part. Even buying the more "name" brand of Palmer's Cocoa Butter products are a bit more thrifty than many of the items out there now days. In fact I was just in the process of placing an order online earlier this morning, and  was glancing through some facial products, lotions and so on. Even on Amazon, some of those items are so expensive. They really know how to "market" to women. I know there are many of us that easily spend three or four times as much as we have to on items for our skin. Whether it be for the face, for the body, feet, hands and cuticles, that is another good point about Cocoa Butter. You can use it just about any and everywhere on your body. So, it is an "all purpose" skin smoother, softener, and I have never had any rashes or breakouts from it. I use it on all of my "scars" from the many surgeries I've had. It does fade those also. It may take awhile depending on the type of scar or incision you have, but with Cocoa Butter, you do find most scars begin to smooth out, lay more flat, and then fade within a short period of time. There are many "scar" fading products out there. Especially when it comes to stretch marks. Again some of them are horribly expensive. There is also some you can get as a prescription, but the main ingredient in it that does the fading smells horrible. I have a tube of it, I do use where my neck has almost a purplish red permanent tint to it. It runs up the sides of my face, under my chin, and even up behind my ears. The ingredient in the fading cream besides smelling horrible, also has to be used with care, as far as where you use it on the body. So, that is another point to consider. 

I know there are "generic" brands out there. I keep the "swivel sticks" by Palmer's with me all the time. I have one in my purse, and another on my desk. I also have the cream and lotion in jars or bottles that I use also. But, I have found that although the generic brands are okay and they work also, it seems Palmer's Cocoa Butter, tends to be a bit creamer, tends to have even more of that wonderful smell, and it not "gritty" feeling. I bought a "generic" brand of the stick one a couple of weeks ago. I noticed immediately when I opened it, it felt a bit gritty, rather than as smooth as my usual brand.

As I said they make several different formulations of it, depending on where and what you are using it on.Even on my toughest parts of my body, like my cuticles is another place I have terrible issues with, this tends to help them to heal better, and again without the high cost of having several different types of creams for different areas of the body.

I feel that the Cocoa Butter for me, is almost a "one stop" shopping article. Just about anywhere I need to use it, I am able to, and I don't have to worry over buying multiple lotions, creams, and then being concerned on where I can or can't use them. 

I would recommend anyone that is battling either cracked skin, heels, cuticle problems, discolorations of the skin, fading surgical scars, stretch marks, or for a general lotion, to try 100% Cocoa Butter. As I mentioned there is one very popular name brand product, and since it is not expensive I would say to try it, rather than a "generic brand". But, a generic brand if it contains the same ingredients would probably give you the same results. 

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