As a patient advocate I love to help others in a wide variety of ways, and while it would be easy to say my mission is just that and be done, I feel like my passion to help others goes so much deeper.
One of the main goals of this blog will be to show others that with the right planning and preparation, so much can still be done with a chronic illness. We all fall into the trap of thinking certain tasks are impossible, that the new “normal” of life will not allow us to do activities we love still.
And while that might be true to an extent, if we change or adapt to another new “normal” we can find a way to still take on the challenges we face head on in a different way. I’d like to share a quick story about my friend Ryan Reed. She is battling cerebral palsy and I’m sure she thought there was going to be so much she couldn’t do.
Instead she adapted to her new “normal” and has still taken on the challenges of triathlons just like me. She swims, bikes (using a hand bike), and runs (doing the same). Is this different then what she’d be doing in an ideal world, of course. But Ryan is a true inspiration and still crossing finish lines and training for the para Olympics.
If we can learn how to adapt to the adversity we face, the world will open up to us.
Another goal of this blog will be to share a voice for the chronic illness community and share a very positive mindset as we hopefully tackle various challenges together. There are so many parallels between almost all chronic illnesses, and I believe we can all come together to find ways in order to overcome them together.
I’ve found that by setting up systems such as accountability partners, structure night and morning routines, meditation to reduce stress in our bodies both mentally and physically, and living a balanced lifestyle can only help us along this very long and difficult journey.
I hope to share some of these systems, techniques, tools, and more here and be a resource to help others who want more from life with their chronic illness.
I would also like this blog to accomplish a goal that I have always tried to be, a male voice in the female dominated space of patient advocacy.
I get that as men we are not supposed to show weakness, we are supposed to be the rocks of society, grind out teeth through whatever pain we might be experiencing, and continue through all facets of life with out showing any vulnerability.
But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The reality is guys are dealt a bad hand in life too, and we shouldn’t have to go through these battles alone. We shouldn’t have to keep our voice silent and deal with everything by ourselves.
I hope to be a voice and discuss topics that aren’t talked about much by men who suffer from chronic illness, and at the same time show other guys that it is okay to talk about the adversity we face. It’s okay to share what we might be dealing with on a tough day.
It’s okay to ask for help.
Those are just a few of the main goals I will be starting with here at The Spoonie IRONMAN. I know how blogs work and that they are an ever evolving passion project, but I feel like this a good start and I look forward to sharing/helping others with their journey as a spoonie.