Here's today's topic for the Health Writer's month challenge:
I write about my health because… Reflect on why you write about your health for 15-20 minutes without stopping.
Why do I write about Lupus? Probably because there's not much else I can do about it.
Last year, for World Lupus Day, I said on Facebook that the way to celebrate was with a handful of painkillers and a long nap. I thought that was really funny - but a few days later started to think that there must surely be something constructive I could do.
That's why I started this blog in May last year. (World Lupus Day is 10th May.) It was my attempt to make a difference, to do something constructive. As a former journalist, and as a minister, writing is one skill I have easily to hand. My son helped me find a computer so light and yet with large enough keys, that I can use it even on my worst days - I can write even when I can't get out of bed.
So, I write about lupus, initially I intended to inform other people about lupus - but found that this blog quickly became more for people with lupus. It's a way to connect, to remind people that we're not alone.
As I've found more and more blogs by other people with lupus, I have found that this is as much a support and therapy for me as it can be for others. And as I've learned about Twitter and Google+ and started a Facebook page specifically related to the blog, I've found myself part of an international community. It's a community of people who "get it" - we understand each other - we know what it's like.
So, now I write, for others and for myself. I write, because I'm not a medical researcher and I can't find the cure for lupus, I don't have the energy to join lupus walks. I can't cure lupus. I can't be out publicly campaigning for awareness. But I can write.