Thursday, 19 April 2012

Health Writer's Month: Five Dinner Guests

Today's Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge question is:
5 Dinner Guests. Who are 5 people you’d love to have dinner with (living or deceased) and why? 

If you'd asked me this question before I was diagnosed with lupus, the kinds of people I would have immediately thought of would have been Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr, John Wesley, people who did amazing things because of their faith.

Since lupus, and since I've begun blogging, there's a whole new group of people I'd really love to have a get-together with. Because of the cost and physical energy that international travel requires, I'll probably never meet any of these people face-to-face, but I've spent time with them, and learned quite a lot from them.  I'm going to give you the links to their blogs, so you can spend some time with them as well.

Brynn Hultquist,
Firstly, from Canada, let's invite Brynn Hultquist.  You can meet Brynn at Lupus Interrupted. This amazing woman is actually doing the Writer's Month Challenge, while organising her wedding (which she's doing everything for herself.)  She's mum to five kids, even though she looks like she's 15, and is a daycare mum as well. 

She calls herself a "chronic badass" and tells it like it is. She's not afraid to throw in a few expletives if they're the appropriate words for the situation.  She has other conditions as well as lupus, but takes life head-on. In one of her blog posts she has an amazing photo of her dressed as a warrior princess, with a huge sword. That's what her life is like - it's all an adventure - and as with all adventures there's trials and perils along the way. She shares the trials and the triumphs with remarkably good humour, and complete honesty. 

Tiffany Peterson
Now, from the USA, how about Tiffany Peterson. You can meet her at Tiffany and Lupus. What can anyone say about Tiffany? She's inspirational.  When I first found Tiffany on-line, she was wearing a gorgeous purple wig - every time I saw it on Twitter, it would brighten my day. 

Tiffany's probably half my age, but I want to be like her when I grow up. She's everywhere, writing for practically everyone. She loves cooking - which we definitely have in common, and she's done cake stalls and all kinds of things, raising money as well as awareness for lupus.  She also founded "Friends Against Lupus", who very helpfully keep posting on Facebook reminders for lupies to take our medicine!

Christine Miserandino

While we're in the USA, let's invite Christine Miserandino.  You can meet Christine at But You Don't Look Sick. Hers was the first blog about lupus and other chronic illnesses I ever read.  For people with chronic illnesses, Christine invented the term for us to define ourselves: that term you might have encountered "spoonies" for people with chronic illnesses, comes from her Spoon Theory, which you can read about on her blog.

For me, and I suspect for many other health bloggers, Christine was the person who gave me the courage to speak up and tell my story, because she had already stood up and told hers.

That only leaves me two more.... I've just been going through my Lupus Links page, thinking: "There's at least another six people on this list I'd just love to meet."  I guess some of them are going to have to wait for another dinner party!

Still in the USA, meet FaLanYa, via this YouTube clip of her song "Blame it on the Prednisone".  Or you can meet her at A Lupie Existence. Just watch the clip, and you'll know why we just have to invite her - she's just got to be the life of the party.

Sure she's got lupus, but FaLanYa's also got a killer sense of humour! How much fun would you have with someone who could come up with this song (and the clip - check the out-takes at the end)?

Just got to have her there!

That leaves only one place at the table.  I wonder if just one man could cope with being at a table with all these chronically-ill women.

Dr Shashank Akerkar
Maybe he wouldn't want to come, given that everyone else at the table would be a woman, and a potential patient, but let's stop by India and invite Dr Shashank Akerkar, anyway.  You can find out about him at Arthritis Support Board.

What's special about Dr Akerkar as opposed to any other rheumatologist?  To start with, unlike the rheumatologist I pay $100+ per visit to see, he puts information about how to manage life with arthritis on the internet for free. That's right, he's a doctor who thinks it's a good idea for patients to have information. How's that for an unusual concept? Beyond that, he puts comics about arthritis on Twitter and Facebook every day, which I really look forward to.

Well there's the guest list. Now the really difficult question: what am I going to serve?

Wego Health:
 Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge

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