Last month I was honoured to be nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Awards for 2019 by Gary and Michelle at loveandourlaptoplives.com . I have looked and realized that the Sunshine Blogger awards are a way for bloggers to promote other bloggers and to support each other. So, in that spirit, here are the answers to the questions Gary and Michelle posed and following that, I will nominate 11 of my favourite chronic pain bloggers.
Why a blog? What were your reasons for starting a blog?
Moving Towards Better started because I wanted to start the website that I needed 10 years ago when my husband was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. We had already spent 10 years trying to deal with the fallout from the brain injury only to start facing a chronic pain syndrome so there was a lot of time that I wished for resources and support. I did not start out to blog but I soon found out after I built the website that the blog was going to be my best way to share our story, gather an audience, and build connection.
What is one thing you want
your readers to know about you?
Moving Towards Better is all about connection. Being a wife of someone with chronic pain comes with this whole library of feelings and experiences that are foreign to most people. As a spouse, you expect to support your partner in sickness and in health but the sickness part is really different than the bowl of chicken noodle soup, and driving to the emergency if someone cuts their hand type of sickness that you expected when you said your vows. We want people to know they are not alone in this.
We also want people to understand that they must be their own health advocates. The phrase Moving Towards Better is our family mantra that we will try anything to move towards better health. We are pro-doctor, we are pro-alternative health, we are pro pain relief. We believe there are ways to build mutually respectful relationships with doctors and if you are not getting that, look for another doctor. Patients and their supporters need to speak up for their own health.
What hobby would you get
into if time and money weren’t an issue?
Writing. Definitely writing. I have had a diary since I was 8 years old and still have all of them to this day. I joke about journaling for my mental health long before it was a thing. Along with writing I enjoy knitting, simple stuff, mostly blankets. I also love colouring with my daughter during the cold winter months in Calgary, Alberta. I find it is a nice way for us to chill out and connect. I am also going to throw yoga in there as a hobby I would pursue if money were not an issue. I love yoga but sometimes it’s just not affordable.
My husband is the King of Hobbies (that’s a thing right?)! Darren loves to drag race, drive hot rods, fish, play music, own as many guitars, basses, amps, cabs, pedals, picks, cables, and tuners as I will allow into the house. So if money were not an issue, we would be very, very busy.
Do you prefer board games
or video games?
Neither. I hate losing and I’m a giant baby about it. Sigh. I’m trying to play more board and card games with my daughter so now we are both learning how to be good losers and winners. I do play a majong game for relaxation. I’ve been playing the same game for about three years so safe to say I am hooked on a video game but I’m playing against myself.
What activity takes the
most of your time?
Being a wife/mom, followed closely by my job. My office job takes me out of the house for 10-11 hours a day including my commute, so it is definitely the largest chunk of my time. Then at home I am a Mom and a wife and caregiver to my husband. So, I am cook, pharmacist, scheduler, clothes washer, bill payer, tooth brusher, accompany to drs appointmenter, put to bedder, grocery shopper, and counsellor. No different than any other Mom and Wife I suppose. I just really feel the lack of a village. I do not have any close relatives or girlfriends where I live and I am uncomfortable asking for help. We end up having to pay people to help us which is expensive and disheartening.
Do you work in addition to
blogging, if so what is your job?
I am a Business Analyst, Corporate Accounting for an Oil and Gas company in Calgary, Alberta. I really like my job and I have had the opportunity to work with and for some amazing people. I like the industry because there is a great “work hard, play hard” attitude. I just wish I had more hours in the day so I could enjoy everything more. Haha
What new things have you
learned by blogging?
Soooooo much! Let’s list!!
- I have learned WordPress
- I have learned that there is a large community of chronic pain bloggers who are welcoming and willing to collaborate
- I have also learned that the blogging community at large is helpful and whatever I need to learn, there is a resource out there for me
- I have learned that our story is important and that for as long as we have worked to hide it and act like it is not a problem, our story is far more useful to people when it is known.
- I have learned that people in pain and the people that support them need connection.
Give us three random
thoughts about yourself?
I like to have fake nails as much as possible. I do not like them long and I still like them squared off and plain. This is because I bite my nails cuticles terribly when they are not done. My husband appreciates the added back scratching skills the nails impart.
I am still scared of the dark. I have an imagination that makes the dark terrifying to me, so I still need to turn on lights if I go the bathroom in the night. Our love of horror movies probably does not help.
My guilty pleasure for music is 1970’s AM radio hits. I know all the words and it makes me feel like I am back in the backseat of my parent’s Beaumont. It was the soundtrack of my childhood.
What is your favorite food? America? Italian? Chinese? Mexican? Or???
Let’s be really honest here….I love all food. I love BBQ and burgers, poutine, I love pie and donuts, and sushi. I love butter chicken with naan, pho soup, and Italian food from Mediterranean seafood to traditional cheese and pasta.
What is the most
adventurous thing you have ever done?
This question is tough. But the two things that come to mind are committing to walking 100km in three days for the Kidney Foundation is one and deciding to go ahead with fertility treatments to have our daughter is the other. For the walk it was between myself and my will to do something amazing to raise money for people I do not know. For the fertility process, it was between myself, my husband, and my heart. I knew the risks and took them even though I may have had another miscarriage or that we might not be successful at all.
Where is your favorite place you have ever been?
Yellowstone National Park. We took Laney in 2016 and it was simply breathtaking. We drove down through Montana and the North Dakota to see the Black Hills, Deadwood, & Mount Rushmore. We then drove across Wyoming to Yellowstone and stayed in the winter cabins near Old Faithful. Those days of camping and exploring were so peaceful and beautiful. I have never slept better or laughed more. Some of the memories, of driving with my sleepy daughter in her car seat, us singing Mellencamp with the radio, and watching lightning storms in the distance as the summer sun set are the most precious I have.
As a new-ish chronic pain blogger, I have found an amazing community to draw support and inspiration from. I thought I would pay tribute to them by nominating them. If you have other bloggers you want to recommend, please let me know in the comments OR if I’ve nominated you and you want to let me know about other bloggers I should check out, please do!!
My questions for those I nominate are below!
For the Sunshine Blogger Award, I nominate in no particular order:
thedisableddivablog.com – Cynthia Covert
achronicvoice.com – Sheryl Chan
chronillicles.com – Georgina
ajourneythroughthefog.co.uk – Jo Moss
despitepain.com – Elizabeth Sirrell
nyxiesnook.com – Chloe Nyx Faulkner
notebooksandglasses.com – Alice
brainlesionandme.com – Rhiann Johns
fibromomlog.com – Suzanne Kopecki
brainlessblogger.net – Nikki Albert
chronicmom.com – Shelley Clark
Ok, lastly, here are my questions for the chronic pain and chronic illness bloggers I have nominated.
- Why a blog? What is your Why?
- What do you want your readers to know about you?
- What is your favourite place you have ever visited?
- What chronic illness do you deal with/want to bring awareness to?
- Reading – Do you prefer hardcopy or electronic formats and what is your favourite book?
- Where do you live? How does where you live affect the way you deal with your chronic illness?
- What do you miss most about your life before diagnosis or when you became symptomatic?
- What part of your illness takes up most of your time?
- Do you work in addition to blogging, if so, what do you do? Or what would you do if your illness was not preventing you?
- What is your favourite app to help you blog?
- Give us three random facts about yourself.
Thank you everyone for reading and for your comments!! Join us Moving Towards Better!