Monday, January 02, 2006

Carnival of Compassion #16

Happy New Year, Bloggers, and welcome to the Carnival of Compassion. I have read such wonderful posts by other bloggers who've participated, like TMJ Friends, Diabetes Mine, and Chronic Babe, to name but a few, that I feel privileged to even be in their company. I only hope that I can do this important cause justice.

One of the wonderful things about blogging is that you get a glimpse into people's souls and definitely a window seat on the reality that they live in. It puts some perspective on your own situation, to be sure, but I have to say that more than that it's given me the strength that I've often lacked, to continue facing, head-on, this damned affliction. I began to correspond with a few bloggers after reading their blogs and the friendships and associations that bloomed from that humble beginning has nourished me when I've been starved for compassion. That, to me, is what this carnival is all about. We can
empathize with one another on a level that no one else possibly can. We can learn from each other, gaining insight into our own situations from reading about how someone else handled theirs. We can encourage one another to persevere, because we know exactly what they need to hear at that moment to motivate them and most of all to remind them that they have the right to be treated with dignity. When I'm shown compassion, it reminds me that this world is still full of good things, good people and gives me the reason that I need to continue on for one more day.

Moogle's Thoughts always seems to shine a positive light on her chronic migraine status. She goes through hell, but hangs on to her faith in God to see her through the darkest times. Her blog has encouraged me more times than I can count and I was reminded by her that there are positive aspects to every situation, no matter how dark or hopeless it may seem.

The Daily Headache is a blog that I rely on consistently for updated news on new treatments, medications, breakthroughs and reminders to keep looking for effective treatments to upgrade my quality of life. Her information is always spot-on and well researched, so I've come to really count on her blog to keep me in the know.

I love to read this
Nurse's blog, because it reminds me that there are concerned and compassionate care-givers in the world. I, and many migraneurs like me, just don't get to meet them often enough. But, they are out there. I feel that if you're fortunate enough to find a compassionate physician, thank God daily for it, because they seem to be few and far between when you're a chronic pain patient. I especially enjoyed her Christmas blog, because she has such a wonderful attitude about how and where she spends her time. I don't want to spoil it for you, so that's all I'm going to say about it. Here is a woman who practices presence and has it down to an art form on Christmas.

With the advancement of genetics research, we're learning so much about disease and it's origins.
Migraine is thought to have a strong genetic link. If a family member has had it, then you'll probably get them. My case is different in that mine stem from an accident that I was in a couple years ago. However, I still hope that one day this research will lead scientist to produce a cure and certainly, so far, they've been able to develop better medications for us, than our parents' generation had. The Genetics and Health blog is written by a brilliant
epidemiologist, Hsien-Hsien Lee. It's fascinating, she's a very good writer, and I learn something new from her blog every day.

Long ago in my long-term care nursing days, I had a patient with ALS. I wish that she'd been able to keep a blog. She was a wonderful poet, but couldn't communicate very well at all and I remember how I wanted so much to give her everything that she needed, but I knew that we were falling short so often, simply because the communication wasn't there. I think that's why
Colin's blog has warmed my heart like it does. He writes so honestly about his disease and how it's affecting him, that you can't help but be touched with compassion. And, what amazes me most, is the amount of compassion he displays for his loved ones and people he meets, because he knows that his disease affects their lives very profoundly, too. I wrote once about how we have to be just as present for our loved ones as they are for us, because what touches me, touches my hubby and my little girl as well.

I met my new friend,
Aeryn, through reading her blog. She'd written about how she was having a difficult time getting her test results back from her doc's office. Now, this poor woman has had a huge struggle with Cancer and it seemed like it might be raising it's ugly head again. As you know, this is one of my peeves with the medical community. Here is something that needs to be taken care of ASAP, and here her doc's office was giving her the run around. Well, I don't think we have to put up with that kind of shit, so I told her that. I must say that I was as proud as a mama hen, when she next blogged about getting tough with the staff and she got her results. We have to advocate for ourselves and not get intimidated by the guys who like to show off their pigskins by hanging them on the walls. It's my body and I say what happens to my body. The doctors are simply members of my team to assist me in getting a better quality of life. That's the attitude we should have as patients.

Another blog that I read frequently is Living with ADD. Here's another disorder that doesn't get respected at all. If you have ADD or ADHD, then you know what I'm talking about. I was put on a bi-polar medication for almost two years by a doctor who most likely didn't "believe" in ADD. Puh-leeze. It's not a religion, it's a disorder and there is treatment for it. What I like about this blog and Adult ADD Strengths, another great resource blog, is that they treat this disorder with compassion and respect. Another thing I like is that both blogs play up the strengths of having this disorder. There are alot of really great strengths and leadership qualities that we have, but we need to learn how to channel them and how to compensate for the symptoms of ADD/ADHD.

Last week's host of the Carnival of Compassion was This blogger addresses social issues that affect our world daily. Certainly health issues, and how they are treated by society as a whole, affects each one of us. We need to be reminded often to be compassionate toward one another, but what good are reminders if we do not learn HOW to show compassion?

Compassion is something that we cultivate in our lives daily. We can never have enough of it. We can never show enough of it. It's a continuous cycle. The more you give of it, the more you learn about it. And the more you learn about it, the more of it you have to give. Without love, life is not worth living a day. Think about that. If you didn't think that you mattered to a single being, what point would there be to even getting out of bed in the morning?

So, continue to cultivate compassion by participating in the
Carnival of Compassion. We have so much to learn from each other. Go to Medsim.Net to learn about how Dr. Del got the idea to start the Carnival of Compassion and how you can participate as a blogger. It doesn't cost a thing. But, you'll get so much out of it, just from what you learn from other people. And, please, leave a comment if you've enjoyed this blog, if you'd like to participate in the Carnival, or if you want to tell me to bugger-off, because I'm getting on your nerves.

Next week's Carnival will be hosted by
Bomb in My Belly.


At 9:15 AM, Anonymous DrDel said...

haha! bugger off!

nice job with the Carnival! very nicely done indeed

At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! That was a long entry!

great job

At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Stacy said...

Fantastic Carnival! :)

At 11:40 PM, Anonymous Hsien Lei said...

You're so sweet! Thank you for mentioning Genetics and Health.

At 5:32 PM, Anonymous AmyT said...

Excellent job! I see you're all taking the Carnival to new heights!

At 11:12 PM, Blogger Kim said...

I would never tell you to "bugger off"! I'm glad I found your blog. Mine is about emergency nursing, but I just realized I have no "blog roll call" for patients! That will have to be rectified, like now! Mind if I use your blog?

I know migraines are bad, I've actually experienced some horrible ones related to monthly cycles (no longer, thank goodness) but was fortunate enough that Vicodin took care of them.

I'll keep reading....

At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Jessi, for your wonderful compliments and the link to my blog. I'm off to the Carnival now.


At 2:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jessi, I just read your entry on empowerment and managing your own care, and I support you completely. If you don't mind a sports metaphor, I look at myself as the quarterback, and the physician as coach. He or she may suggest plays, but in the end it's my decision on the field what play to run. And I'm the one who's going to take the hit if it's wrong, and celebrate the glory if it's right. I've been very fortunate to find more and more doctors who subscribe to this philosophy. I've actually had to encourage a few to argue with me if they felt I was making bad decisions. As long as they respect my right to make the final decisions, I want them to support their positions.

One of the advantages of having ALS is that health care professionals take you very seriously. They know they can't cure me, and they are very willing to help me in any way they can to be more comfortable.

I hope you are able to find good, caring medical professionals who will support you.

-- colin

At 11:43 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

Dr. Del--ha, ha! Very funny. lol

Stacy-- thanks. You're too kind.

Hsien-Hsien- Of course. How could I forget you?

Amy--Thanks. That's a HUGE compliment, coming from such a fantastic writer like you. You totally made my day.

Kim--I just started reading your blog. You should get involved in the carnival, too. Of course, it's fine to use my blog for that, but I'm curious, what is blogroll call? lol I left a comment, btw. :)

Colin-- it's such an honor to me that you'd visit. Thank you. And, thank you for the kind words. I love sports analogies and that's an excellent one. Thanks. I'm going to keep that in mind. It's true that people in general will do whatever they can to try to make you more comfortable. They don't do that for us, migraneurs, because we're not dying from it and we still have our hair. :/ It's discrimination. It's also very annoying. Quit rubbing it in my face! lol jk

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