Posted in Health Activist Challenge, NHBPM

#HAWMC Day 1: Health Time Capsule

April is Health Activist Writer’s Month – a month dedicated to celebrating health writers and bloggers. We host the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge (#HAWMC), an online writing workshop: 30 posts in 30 days. Focus on being creative when communicating about health topics! Learn more: http://blog What’s in it? What would people think of it when they found it?

Today’s prompt: Pretend you’re making a time capsule of you & your health focus that won’t be opened until 2112.

My time capable would include a letter to future generations about living with rheumatoid arthritis and the fears that I have and that I am sure many others have as well.

Dear future health activists:

I am hoping that by 2112 there will be a cure for all autoimmune diseases so if that is the case, it is important that people 100 years into the future understand what living with rheumatoid arthritis is like in 2012. My grandfather was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in the late 1960s at a time when biologic agents and disease modifying drugs did not exist. This meant that RA patients did not live normal lives and had no options to prevent and/or slow down the progression of the disease. I consider that generation of RA patients to be heroes who paved the way for future generations afflicted with RA.

Being a parent with RA, I know the limitations that this disease poses. At the same token, I am relieved that I am the one with RA and not my loved ones, especially my children. I always worry that I pass this disease on because RA is in my genetic line. In fact, genetics plays a role in the development of the disease. RA caused my maternal grandfather so much pain and suffering and eventually took his life and as a result, I am afraid to pass this disease on to my children.

I hope that in 100 years that the genetic trigger of all autoimmune diseases is discovered along with some kind of method to shut that trigger down. See, I can deal with all the other triggers that are not in my control but knowing that I can pass this disease on scares me.

I have learned to overcome the limitations that RA poses on my life. However, I am not sure that I can watch a child or grandchild struggle with the same obstacles and limitations. I pray that by the time 2112 comes that no one has to wonder about remission, about a cure, or even about prevention. I pray that science and medicine have evolved as they have in the last 40 years because I cannot imagine my grandfather watching me struggle in the manner that he did. I am glad that he is able to look down and see the positive affect that biologic agents and disease modifying drugs have had on my life. Without them, I would have suffered in the same fate that he did. Additionally, I want to be able to look at my children and grandchildren and know that their fate was much better than mine was.

It’s not too late to get a friend to join us! It’s easy to catch up and jump in – so if you know someone who may want to join us (or if someone asks you as they read your posts) – the more the merrier. Just have your friend or community member sign up here: and we’ll send him/her all 30 prompts!

Posted in Health Activist Challenge, NHBPM

The Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge 2012

Health Activists are incredible communicators, always sharing great info, ideas, and support for their online community.  It’s time to get extra creative! April is our Health Activist Writer’s Month and brings the official Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge (#HAWMC).  

We’ve prepared 30 health-related prompts that will help you get creative on your blog, facebook page, or health community all month long.  Take the challenge and do a post a day for all 30 days of April!

Sign up now and we’ll send you all 30 prompts before April starts so you can start your planning (and writing!) early.  We’ll also send you 30 images you can use on your blog to show your readers that you’re participating in #HAWMC.

Posted in Advocate, Health Activist Challenge, NHBPM

#NHBPM Day 30 Play that horn


Today’s Prompt (and the final prompt for November): Play that horn. Want to hear a secret? You’re awesome. (It’s actually not even really a secret.) This is going to be hard for you, O Modest One, but you gotta give yourself props today. Write three things you love about yourself – things you’re great at – or just want to share. Don’t you dare signpost or undercut those self-compliments!

 I have never been really good at complimenting myself or tooting my own here so this one will be a challenge. But here goes:

I am smart.

Despite my fear of failure and being my biggest critic, I know that I am smart.  I have an amazing ability to learn, reason, and understand.  Here’s the thing, I am not just intelligent in an educational sense. I also have a great mental ability to see facts, meanings, relationships and truths that others don’t see. That was something I realized about myself even as a child. It is also one of the main reasons I am strong.  My strength comes from the ability to be able to see things that others don’t see and to find resources and information in a way that others can’t.  If I wasn’t intelligent, I am not sure that I would be strong.  I often joke and say that both these things are a gift and a curse.

I am strong.

Sometimes, I even amaze myself with how strong I am.  So many people don’t understand why I am this way but I have enough people in my life that respect me for this. I emailed a dear friend of mine yesterday who is currently dealing with some tough stuff because her adult son has gotten himself in trouble yet again. My words to her were this:

For as long as we have known each other, we have shared all of the stuff that we can’t share with anyone else.  We have helped each other get through some really tough stuff and we have gotten through it all.  I realized that the reason we are tough is because we are tough together.  We are not like those women that cry during tough times or that fall apart or do crazy stuff to ease the hurt.  We are the kind of women that continue to stand strong during the worst storms and while sometimes, while I wish I was able to fall apart like everyone else, I am glad that I am not alone in my strength.  I am here for you and I will help you to stay strong – like you have always done for me.  

After I typed those words, I realized that my strength and hers were unique. While weakness is not a bad thing, for me it is not something that is even possible.  For a long time, I thought that there was something wrong with me because I was strong especially in situations where I should I have fallen apart, but I have since realized this was how I deal with bad situations.  I dive myself right into to the problem to find a resolution because this is how I cope and we all have our own ways of coping.  Being strong is how I cope.  

I am a good mother.

For a long time, I doubted my ability to be a good parent because I was a working mom.  Then, RA and fibromyalgia came into my life and I realized how my strength and my intelligence played a big role in my parenting. I learned the hard way how to prioritize and what was most important in my life. I thought in the beginning that I could still do everything I did before RA and fibro and while it took some time, I learned to accommodate my health into my life while still putting my children first.  Of all the things I know I am good at, I am great at being a mom. In my case, it involves a lot of juggling but my kids are my priority above everything else.

My kids are reminder that everything is possible. I remember a year after my diagnosis my eldest son told me that he wanted to be important just like me.  When I asked what he meant, he told me that I help so many people and he admired me for that. That conversation is one I take with me every day since. Even when I feel physically and emotionally drained by my health; I know that my children need me to set an example for them. I want them to see that success is possible despite obstacles.  My example is evident in my children because I see how independent, strong and empathic they are since chronic illness being a part of our lives.  I know that they get this by watching me and all it takes is a smile, a giggle or that bright look on their faces at the end of the day that means that they are so glad to see me to remind me how blessed I am and what a good parent I am.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Posted in Advocate, Health Activist Challenge, NHBPM

# NHBPM Day 29: Greeting Post Card


Today’s prompt: Greeting card post! The greeting card industry is all about writing generally universal feelings in a presentable way that you can use to express yourself when you just can’t think of the words to say. Write a greeting card for someone in your community to help them express themselves about a new diagnosis, treatment, or experience.

I will make this post short and sweet.  I pulled the quote from my Dear 18 year old me post.

Photo front of card.


Note inside.

Sorry about the new RA diagnosis.  The first year will be a tough one as your learn all about RA but know this. Despite everything, you will learn that you are smarter than you think, braver than you know and stronger than you ever thought possible.  Life will test you and you will rise to every challenge.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Posted in Advocate, Health Activist Challenge, NHBPM

#NHBPM Day 28: RA, It’s Not Just Arthritis


Today’s Prompt: Say WHAT?! What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve heard about health or your condition. Was there any context? What did you think at the time you heard it – and what do you think of it now?

When rheumatoid arthritis came into my life, I eventually got tired of  hearing that it was “just” arthritis.  Here I was struggling with this new diagnosis and I was in a lot of pain because I had not yet found a treatment plan that worked for me, and what I was going through was being minimized as “just” arthritis.  I would hear things such as “we get arthritis as we get older,” and “well let’s face it, you are getting older.”  Seriously, I was 32 when I was diagnosed.  If I was 50, those words would have made sense to me but in my early 30s, they made very little senseHearing “it’s just arthritis” didn’t really help and even osteoarthritis can be pretty painful so to that something is “just” simple doesn’t minimize what the sufferer is going though. Even so, arthritis from age and wear is tear is osteoarthritis and it is definitely not “just” arthritis.  Further, it is much different than RA which is an autoimmune disease.  Not to downplay lupus, but if I told people I had lupus, I would most likely get more sympathy. However, RA was “just” arthritis.  

I would find myself repeatedly explaining that the immune system of someone with RA is fighting its own tissues as if they were foreign bodies invading.  This response attacks the joints and soft tissue around the joints and causes inflammation.  If that inflammation is left untreated or if resistant to treatment leads to joint destruction and disability.  Lifestyle changes such as weight loss and healthy eating help but they are just one small step in being the disease at bay.  Further, RA doesn’t just affect joints. It affects tendons, ligaments, lungs, chest, organs and eyes.  There are also other symptoms that RA patients have such as fevers and debilitating fatigue. Further, RA doesn’t just affect one or two joints.  It hits both sides of the body and often nearly every joint so it doesn’t even matter if the joint is weight bearing.

While we are on the subject of the notion that RA is just arthritis, there are other misconceptions that people have that lead them to the conclusion that RA is just arthritis.   As I noted before, all joints are affected so while losing weight and/or exercising can help weight bearing joints, it does nothing for non-weight bearing joints such as hands and wrists.  Also, exercise can be hard for RA patients when they in a flare and for some RA patients, the flares never end.  So, for those who have this notion that all an RA patient has to do is lose weight or exercise to feel better, imagine exercising with knives poking at every joint while you did it.

Here is another one on the list of “it’s just arthritis.” Only old people get RA because for some reason we assume that the two conditions are the same and since osteoarthritis generally affects the older population, someone my age cannot possibly have RA. Most RA patients are diagnosed between ages 30 and 50. Children can also be diagnosed with RA and most autoimmune diseases are most common in women but men are also affected.  There were people in my life that looked at me like I was insane when I was diagnosed and basically assumed I was making it up because apparently only “old people” get arthritis.

Have you even been to a new doctor or to urgent care or the ER and you tell them you have RA and they say, “your joints are not deformed” or something along those lines?  Even people in the medical profession who are not rheumatologists don’t understand RA.  They have this notion that people with RA are really sick people. I guess that beats the notion from the outside world.  (I think.) The thing is that most RA patients don’t even look like RA patients (if there is a way that RA patients should look).  RA isn’t always something you can see either.  You can see inflammation and maybe you can’t.  RA patients don’t want to be sick and we try really hard to keep our lives as normal as possible.  At night, when I lay down to go to bed, you don’t see how much a struggle that is because every joint in my body is screaming out with pain.  In the morning, it can be hard to get out of bed because of the pain and stiffness.  During the day, I struggle with joint pain and other symptoms including that weird low grade fever.  See, these are things that no one sees so to think that RA patients look different, they really don’t. The difference is that we struggle daily to feel normal and to be part of a normal world.

Last, a lot of the people that actually accept that you have RA don’t actually see you as normal.  In fact, they think that there is no real hope for those of us with RA.  For me, it has been well over three years since my diagnosis and while I am not pain free, I am in a much better place than I was that first year, pain wise, symptom wise, and even emotionally and mentally. Treatment for RA is better than it has ever been but a lot of the drugs used to treat are pretty strong.  I take Humira, Sulfasalazine, and Methotrexate.  Humira is a pretty strong drug that suppresses your immune system which means it makes it pretty vulnerable to infection.  Methotrexate is a chemotherapy drug but RA patients take a much smaller dose than do cancer patients. It is pretty effective in relieving joint inflammation and pain, slowing the disease down and preventing disability by delaying joint destruction.  Like Humira, it makes your body susceptible to bacterial infections so you have to be your own watchdog/advocate by paying close attention to when symptoms of infection start. Studies indicate that sulfasalazine is a pretty effective drug for relieving the symptoms and slowing the progression of RA. Combination treatment with RA medications is the new norm for treating RA patients.

Every day, doctors learn more about RA and autoimmune diseases.  Also, new treatments are popping up every day and these medications continue to help people living with RA to have normal lives. I know that there is hope despite RA and the years have taught me quite well that RA isn’t “just” arthritis.  That statement no longer bothers me and I no longer feel to need to have to explain my disease to anyone.  RA is a part of my life but it no longer dictates it.  

Posted in Advocate, Health Activist Challenge, NHBPM

#NHBPM Day 23 Update on Life

Today’s Prompt. Health Activist Choice. Write about whatever you want!

I missed yesterday’s prompt because after sitting down on multiple occasions to describe something peaceful, I realized it wasn’t happening.  Without going into any detail, I am dealing with some personal stuff right now and I am having a hard time finding peace.  I wish I could find peace but it is not happening and right now, I am not really sure what peace feels like.  I just want peace of mind and it is not possible right now.

My family was at a different place this time last year.  Thanksgiving last year was the beginning of a very difficult journey for my family and I hate this is our memory of Thanksgiving from this point forward.  My sisters and I are planning on making this a wonderful time for Mom considering where she was last year while we were trying to enjoy our Thanksgiving meal. Despite everything we have lost, I am still very thankful for what we have. I am thankful that I have seen my mother happy for the first time a long time.  The first I saw her laugh in over a year was a few weeks ago.  However, I still see sadness inside of her that I wish I could somehow take away from her.

She came back from her Hajj (religious pilgrimage) about a week ago. This was her second Hajj and she did it in honor of my late father and my late brother. She is definitely happier than she has been a long time and I am so very thankful for that. I am thankful for so much and I think that sometimes I have to remind myself to be thankful because the chaos in my life seems to triumph over everything else.  

Sometimes, I feel like moving forward is a betrayal but I remind myself that my brother would want us to move forward. I think about him every day and I hate that he is gone.  I guess that I never will really accept the fact he is gone but that is probably a good thing.  I want to remember that he was here and tomorrow we will visit his grave and let him know that he is not forgotten, missed, and still so very loved. The fact is no matter how long it has been, I still feel sadness inside me that I cannot get rid of. I still feel pain, numbness, and emptiness like it was yesterday that we lost him. 

Anyway, Thanksgiving is at my mom’s tomorrow and my siblings and I are planning on making it special for her. I have also been busy with a new RA website launched by Alliance Health called Rheumatoid Connect. I am glad that they asked me to advocate for that site in addition to the two others I already advocate for.   I love advocating and I hope in the future I will be able to combine advocacy with my legal career.  I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving filled with many blessings, much happiness and good health.

Posted in Advocate, Health Activist Challenge, NHBPM

#NHBPM Day 21 Ekphrasis

Today’s Prompt: Ekphrasis post. Ekphrasis (writing about another art form) – Find a Flickr Image in Creative Commons that inspires you in some way (positively or negatively) and free write about it. Give yourself exactly 15 minutes to write without stopping. Don’t think! Brave bonus: Publish to your blog without editing! (You can include a disclaimer)


The photo I picked is a fall one.  Yesterday was a lovely fall day in northeast Ohio.  Aside of from the often chilly weather, fall is my favorite time of the year.  The days are cooler, leaves have changed color and everyone is preparing for wintertime.  I think that these clear brisk days are absolutely magical.  You can hear birds heading south and see animals preparing for winter.   You can buy pumpkin creations, apple cider, and canned fruits and vegetable on the side of the road.  School has started and there is this feeling of “new” in the air.  Autumn is a beautiful and kind necessity to the world and that is why it is one of my favorite seasons.

There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Posted in Advocate, Health Activist Challenge, NHBPM

#NHBPM Day 20 LOL Post

Today’s prompt: LOL post. Write a post about a moment that made you laugh. Or a video, picture, blog post, or something else that made you.

I love this photo because it was just the absolute perfect moment.  My boys and I at a beach on a late spring day (beginning of June) and it was a beautiful tranquil day. When I need a peaceful moment, I just look at this picture and remind myself that I am so very blessed. This picture was taken six months after I lost my brother and after I had endured other heartache in my life. It was the first time I felt at peace with myself in a long time.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Posted in Advocate, Fibromyaloga, Health Activist Challenge, NHBPM, nonsense, rheumatoid arthritis

#NHBPM Day 19 Best of Post

Today’s prompt : “Best of” post. Grab a post from your archives and repost it! Add a few sentences at the beginning to frame it. Why you chose it. Why you liked it. And why it should be shared again.

One of my favorite posts goes to August 13, 2010 titled Humor is  Must With Chronic Illness. It was the first time I saw a side of myself that understood the reality that RA and fibromyalgia had brought to my life. What I had realized was that despite the tough times, it wasn’t all bad and that there was humor that came out of it all.  I would like to share it to remind others living chronic illness that you are only human and if getting through means laughing at yourself, what do you have to lose?

Humor is Must With Chronic Illness

For those who suffer from chronic illness, you know all too well that life is far from normal and will probably never be normal again. The way I see it is that life with chronic illness is like climbing mountains. Some are steeper than others, and but you learn to climb each and every mountain the more you practice. Some of the mountains are easy to climb and some take a lot of you to climb. The problem is that the mountains (are out of a Sci-Fi movie) will keep getting higher so you can never really conquer them. Life with chronic illness is similar; it can be easy at times and it can be harder at other times and it only gets harder, never easier.

The effect that chronic illness has on our lives, and the lives of those we love, is life altering to say the least. It can be confusing and you never know what to expect. The only thing that we ever learn is that the path we choose will influence the quality of our life and that we must be wise and prudent in order to survive. Part of the path we take involves understanding and learning about our illnesses. Another part involves lifestyle changes and accepting that those changes are imperative to having more good days than bad. Probably the most difficult and important part of our lives with chronic illness is the emotional rollercoaster and without balance and sensibility, we can never learn to live with the challenges.

With our emotional rollercoaster, we learn that humor is a must. Let’s face it – Chronic illness is depressing because it involves pain, fatigue, loss of impairment, medical testing and doctor visits. There is nothing fun or humorous there. Being sick all the time means you mourn everyday. Where is the humor in that? Let me just say that you will find humor in situations you never imagined you would.

Over the weekend (as I commented over at Terry’s blog), I found myself reminded of the clumsiness that Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia have brought to my life. Apparently, I save my most awkward and clumsy moments for public places. I was at the library looking for books for my upcoming paper for my Family Law course and I had my toddler in his stroller. While I was locating books, he was throwing books left and right. Once I had found the books I was looking for, I started picking up the books he had pulled and thrown. I had about five books maybe in a stack and proceeded to pick them up and in the process tripped over my own feet. (Did you hear the thud because I sure did? Can you tell my middle name is not Grace?) Well, when I tried to get up, I caught my right foot between two shelves and went for a second fall/trip-whatever you want to call it. Per the usual, I got myself up, dusted my clothes off, retained my dignity, and moved forward. Of course, I decided to leave the books for the professionals to put away. Meanwhile, my toddler was laughing because he thought I was trying to be funny. So, I chuckled and hoped that no one saw me. Hopefully, there weren’t any security cameras in the vicinity or else, I might just end up on one those corny home video shows.

Later in the evening, two things occurred to me. One is that I am a complete and utter klutz and two, humor can be found in the strangest of places when you live with chronic illness. Since RA and FMS, I am a lot clumsier than I have ever been and (wait there is more!) I should be more careful considering I have literally turned into a clown. When I first started taking Lyrica for my FMS, it made me dizzy (it occurred to me that the room was always spinning or that the walls were moving – your pick). I would stop in my tracks and wonder whether I was going insane. (I eventually stopped asking people if they felt the ground shaking or the room spinning.) Needless to say, I am glad the spinning stopped and that my husband did not check me into an asylum.

Another thing that I find to be difficult is that sometimes the stupidest things come out of my mouth or that I am mumbling at times and wishing the right words would just come out of my mouth. (Spit it out already!) I have learned to keep my mouth shut when those moments arise and for the times that I don’t, I later laugh at the things that I have said. For those of you who are wondering how much longer you will have to put up with your babbling self, it’s permanent, but you will learn when to keep your mouth shut and wait for the confusion to go way. Do you know how many times I have forgotten which way I am going or what I was doing no matter how repetitive the task was? I have learned to laugh at myself at the worst possible moments or else I would go insane.

I often compliment myself on the ability to laugh when I want to cry regardless of the challenge. The only advice that I can offer to those of you who don’t know what more your health can throw at you is to keep your chin up no matter how much it hurts to hold it there. You can’t control your health or what your disease does to your body, but you can control your attitude and response. I often joke about what a complete klutz I have become, and amongst family and friends, I can comment on my new found clumsiness by saying something like, “I used to be nice to look at, but now thanks to RA and FMS, I am just fun to watch” at precisely the right moment. However, if you take your cell phone out to video tape me, you will know me on a bad day and that isn’t very pleasant (just ask my poor husband).

Of course, each of us has a choice in how we feel. For me, I know that even with chronic illness and pain, laughter is there and it is the only way to keep sane. We just have to know when to laugh and when to cry because well, crying is okay too.

Let me know about the humor that your health has brought to your life. Come on! I will laugh at yours if you laugh at mine!

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Posted in Advocate, Health Activist Challenge, NHBPM

#NHBPM Day 18 A comment as a blog post.

Today’s prompt: Pick someone else’s post (from the past or from today) and write a comment to them. Write that comment as your blog post for today. Link back to them to let them know you were inspired.          

I really like this prompt because it always our fellow bloggers to see how inspiring they are they to us.  The blog post that inspired me from yesterday was Kate’s Let it Be post.  Kate inspired me to find out all I can about Type 2 diabetes.  I am a strong believer in learning all you can about a condition and  I also thought it was equally important to learn to differentiate about the two types. I have been affected by diabetes because my mother has struggled with it nearly 20 years.

You would think that watching my mother struggle with diabetes that I would know a lot but I don’t.  In fact, I know very little.  My mother learned that she was a diabetic about 20 years ago when she was pregnant with my baby brother.  She needed insulin shots during her pregnancy and I remember how hard it was on her.  I was the only one of my siblings who was willing to help her with her injections and while it was pretty hard on me; I understood that she needed me. After my brother was born, she started taking medication instead of injections.

So, Kate, you inspired me. I went online and did some research on differentiating between the two.  What I found was that I knew a whole lot less than I thought I did.  First, I thought there were only two types of diabetes but I learned that there in fact several types.  Type 1 and type 2 are the most common.  My apologies to Kate because I told her my mom had Type 1 but after reading up, I am not sure I was correct on this because apparently Type 1 happens before age 20 and I assume she has Type 2 which is adult onset.

See, the more you know – the less of an idiot you look like!  And I feel like an idiot for not knowing which type my own mother has.

Posted in Advocate, Health Activist Challenge, NHBPM

#NHBPM Day 17 Let It Be.


Today’s prompt: Let It Be. What’s something that bothers you or weighs on you? Let it go. Talk out the letting go process and how you’re going to be better to yourself for it.

This is the prompt I have been dreading and while I have the option to ignore it or fake it, I think I will take the option to let it be by opening up about it. So, here goes.

Before my bother became ill last year, I had worked for a law firm that represented asbestos corporation defendants.  I never thought much of it at the time because I wasn’t very close to the cases. The attorneys handling these cases did most the work and most of what I did was just sending out documents to courts and to attorneys involved.  Then, one day the words “peritoneal mesothelioma” were uttered and I knew that the days of my not knowing about those cases were over.  Everyone case file that I came across suddenly had meaning.  The names had faces and they had families.  Less than three months after I lost my brother, I left the law firm and went to work for a real estate company because I could not take another day that was a reminder of a disease that killed my brother.  My former law firm represented asbestos corporations who, in my opinion, didn’t deserve anything more than criminal punishment.  My ability to remain impartial was compromised and my previous position was reminder daily that my brother was gone because I could no longer ignore what was in front of me.

Now, mesothelioma has a face and I am reminded almost daily of that.  When I hear about a newly diagnosed patient or someone who has lost their life to the disease, it makes me sad and it brings back memories of my brother’s very painful illness. It angers more than any other cancer out there because in my mind, it is manmade.  In a way, we created it by our use and overuse of asbestos.   Earlier this week, Anita Steiner’s battle with mesothelioma ended. She was only 49 years old and had a young daughter who is probably young enough that she won’t remember her mother.  She is another reminder of the cost that we pay when we allow industries to dictate our lives whether it is through legislation or whether through the products we use daily.

It bothers me that asbestos is still legal and that young people like my brother and Anita have to lose their lives when they didn’t even work in asbestos related industries.  Most likely, their exposure happened when they were children. Asbestos corporations get away with continuing to use asbestos despite their knowledge of its effect on people and that really angers me.  What kind of society are we that we allow people to knowingly cause harm and then we let them get away with it.  If you intentionally crash your car and kill someone, you are charged with murder and you are either in prison or on death row. However, if you knowingly expose people to asbestos and they become sick and die as a result, you are fined and dealt with by civil courts.  Really, where is the justice in that?

It angers me that corporations get nothing but a slap on the wrist and federal legislation does not even allow for victims and their families to be compensated fairly for sickness, loss of life and loss of income.   While there is some legislation that has been proposed for banning asbestos, none has become law.  The inability to pass laws is because powerful lobbying protects asbestos corporations. There are 55 countries around the world that have already banned asbestos use but the United States, the most powerful country in the world, is yet to take a stand on this.  Instead, we allow protection for asbestos corporations. 

Letting go of this issue has been difficult for me especially now as it is going on a year since we lost my brother.  It was the day before Thanksgiving last year that he went into to surgery so that they could attempt to remove the cancer.  Less than a month later, he was gone.  While there is a lot I can do this through activism, letting the issue stress me is not good for me nor does it bring my brother back so for the time being, I am going to let it be.  Letting go of its effect on me will allow me to focus on more pressing things in my life.  I miss my brother and I hate that he is gone but I love him enough to spend less time being angry and more time being thankful.  I have my children and my amazing wonderful family.  I am so grateful for that every day.

Posted in Advocate, Health Activist Challenge, Life in general, NHBPM, nichole smith

#NHBPM Day 16 Little Engine Post

Today’s prompt: Little Engine Post. Write a list post with 10-15 lines that start each with “I think I can…” Write 5 lines at the end that start with “I know I can.”

I think I can…

  1. Lose twenty pounds by the New Year
  2. Keep my blood pressure down today
  3. Keep my blood pressure down for the long term
  4. Eat healthier to keep my RA symptoms at bay
  5. Take my LSATs by this time next year
  6. Learn to dance the tango
  7. Be moved out of my place by the end of the year
  8. Visit NYC next summer
  9. Go into remission from RA
  10. Make it too work on time for a straight month
  11. Dance in the rain 
  12. Keep my temper down even in the most ridiculous situations and when a flaring temper is warranted.
  13. Pretend that certain people’s actions don’t get to me.  
  14. Let go of things that I have weighed me down in the past year – things, not so much as people. 
  15. Stop craving something sweet at three o’clock every afternoon – thank goodness for healthy options.

I know I can…

  1. Work to keep my blood pressure to a healthy level
  2. Eat healthier to keep both my blood pressure down and my RA symptoms down
  3. Keep my temper down in order to keep my blood pressure down.
  4. Learn deep breathing and meditation techniques.
  5. Pretend that certain people and their actions don’t get to me.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: