For April 2012, I’m taking another shot at completing the wegoHealth Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. Like BEDA, or Blog EveryDay April, the aim of #HAWMC is to complete thirty health-related blog posts in thirty days. With finals and a road trip, it’ll be a tough go, but I’m going to once again try giving it my best shot . . . And hopefully complete it this time!
Health Time Capsule: Pretend you’re making a time capsule of you and your health focus that won’t be opened until 2112. What’s in it? What would people think when they found it?
Twitter – My Twitter account, as it stands now, is very health-focused, but also very diverse. Because I have asthma, I obviously follow many people with asthma [but not as many as I’d think considering 10% of Canadians have asthma]. I’d say I might even follow more people with diabetes, type one, type two, or LADA, than I do people without diabetes. I follow people with cystic fibrosis, people who have or care for people with severe food allergies, fitness and nutrition bloggers, physical activity and health organizations, people with a host of other chronic diseases such as Crohn’s and lupus, the list goes on and on. And of course, I follow a bunch of accounts that have nothing to do with health at all.
School – I often forget to really appreciate all that university has done to amplify my focus in regard to health knowledge and current topics in health. My favourite courses thus far have been Physical Activity: Promotion and Adherence, Issues in Health and Adapted Physical Activity, because of the desire to encourage and implement positive health-related behaviours to as many people and special populations as possible. My focus thus far is always chronic disease or disability and physical activity, from a physiological, psychological and sociological perspective, so many of my courses have been able to tie into that passion.
Asthma – The first Ventolin inhaler, the one that started it all. The huge Mini-Wright Peak Flow Meter I got about a year after being diagnosed would have to be included, because it’s so ugly. I then moved forward to a little green TruZone meter and since then, a digital. The first beat-up AeroChamber. The nebulizer. And of course, the bottle from my first course of prednisone. The chronicles of the constant inhaler switches and doctors visits in my first few years with asthma. Conversation snippets from friends far away, like Natasha, Elisheva, Steveand many more, and pictures of meeting my friend Rona in Chicago who I met through the (smallish) Twitter asthma community and has been a huge supporter for many years. A shot of the Second Cup where Dia [who not only is a badassmatic, but a kinesiologist working in adapted physical activity] and I met in Real Life for the first time. Amazing people who I never would have met if I didn’t have to live with chronic disease.
Exercise – In this I would have to include many conversations with Steve above on how to figure out making the exercise/asthma thing work. Steve has been a huge supporter of mine over the years since my asthma diagnosis [hello, the man finished multiple Boston Marathons on far less than half his lungs. So badass]. I’d throw in the first pair of Saucony shoes that made me a convert. An UnderArmour shirt which made me a convert to the tech-shirt side permanently. The encouragement of so many amazing people on Twitter. The discussions on exercise and chronic disease via e-mail with Jay–along with his constant motivation to focus on the Good Things. And of course, my Team Asthma.ca t-shirt and the support of the Asthma Society of Canada in my crazy projects [like the TeamAsthma-based Intervention Project for Promotion and Adherence] and endeavours in advocacy through physical activity. My motivational dailymile friends. And finally, my Fitbit, which makes me increasingly intentional about my physical-activity choices throughout the day. Because the truth is, if I didn’t have asthma, I wouldn’t have met Steve, and I’d still probably be sitting on my ass :].
Perspective – The blog posts and journal entries that encapsulate transformation in my own thinking and attitude towards living with chronic disease. Because in this journey, it all comes down to choice, and the road that it took to get me to the place where I realized that it came down to my thoughts. With this, finally, I would enclose my personal mantra:
Perspective is crucial, positivity is essential, and ignorance is a curable disease.