2017 WEGO Health Awards–Vote for The Headache Heroine!

I am excited to share (even though I may have already initially shared) that I have been nominated for the WEGO Health Award in the 6th Annual WEGO Health Awards! Last year I was nominated for three categories and a finalist in two. This year, I’ve been nominated for two categories: Best in Show: Instagram  and Best in Show: Twitter.

WEGO Health is a mission-driven company connecting healthcare with the experience, skills and insights of patient leaders. They are the world’s largest network of patient leaders, working across virtually all health conditions and topics.

The WEGO Health Awards were created to celebrate those who tirelessly support the mission of WEGO Health: to empower the patient voice. With 16 award categories, the WEGO Health Awards are the only awards across all conditions and platforms, that recognize the over 100 thousand inspiring Patient Leaders who raise awareness, share information, and support their communities – but often without recognition.

Being nominated means that I have in some way, shape or form helped another person like myself–someone who struggles with health issues and who may have at one point felt or still feels totally alone in their journey. I’m so glad that I can use my experience to empower others to feel empowered.

I’m looking to you, my incredibly supportive network, to help endorse me for this award.

Click here to be taken to my WEGO Health Awards profile and click “Endorse” under my nominee photo. You can vote twice–once for each category that I have been nominated in!

If you’ve ever felt touched by something I’ve written and shared, if I’ve ever made you laugh or inspired you to keep fighting–please consider endorsing me for this award!

Thanks fam 🙂

Vote for The Headache Heroine in the 2017 WEGO Health Awards!

I’m so happy, humbled and honored to say that I’ve been nominated again this year for the 6th Annual WEGO Health Awards!!

 

Last year I was nominated and became a finalist in three different categories. It was such a cool experience and I got to speak with so many wonderful patient leaders.

This year, I’ve been nominated in two categories: Best in show: Instagram and Best in Show: Twitter! I would very very much appreciate your votes! You can visit my nominee profile here and you can vote once for each category! Just click the endorse button below my page 🙂

Thank you so much for your love and support ❤

 

HAWMC Day 10: Yahoo Has All The Answers

Yahoo Answers

Q: My head feels like it’s about to explode. The throbbing is so intense. Can someone’s head actually explode?

A: No. Your head cannot physically explode. It will feel like it at times–the throbbing feels intense enough that it feels like something will erupt from within your skull–but no, your head will not explode. It will be over soon.

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HAWMC Day 9: My Ideal Day

I wake up around 10 A.M., knowing that I don’t have any schedule to follow. With my eyes opening, there’s no pounding or throbbing in my head–only a refreshed and bright feeling. Being just close enough to the beach to smell the salty air, I know that after a quick breakfast and yoga session that is completed with no exertional headaches presenting themselves, that I can walk down to the sand where it meets the water and just relax for a few hours.

There is no aching, no yawning, and no throbbing allowed on the beach. Only reflection, good music and tan lines. A couple of close friends and loved ones trickle down and lay their towels next to mine, bringing some much wanted company to my presence.

After a few solid hours down by the ocean, it’s time to find something to eat. Pizza sounds awesome. Pizza always sounds awesome, actually. I eat and my head is not affected. There’s no increase in head pain, just an increase in food coma. And what’s a great pizza dinner without a refreshing strawberry margarita to go with it? And again, no increase in head pain as the margarita leaves the glass.

My day wraps up with one of two options, a night out with my friends dancing the night away and adding more margaritas to my tally, or a solid game night full of competition and margaritas. (Am I being too subtle about my love for margaritas?)

margarita

The entire day, I have experienced a 0/10 head pain day. No headaches. No frustration. No symptoms. Nothing. I feel nothing–something I haven’t been able to say for the past few years. There’s always been some kind of head pain–never a zero. But today, today it is a zero.

HAWMC Day 8: Little Engine Post

  1. I think I can find a combination of treatments that help drastically reduce my chronic headaches
  2. I think I can find an exercise routine that doesn’t drastically increase my exertional headaches
  3. I think I can eventually monetize off of my blog
  4. I think I can increase traffic to my blog each month that I continue to work on it
  5. I think I can bring together people who have similar health issues or similar battles and give them a positive, supportive place to turn
  6. I think I can lose those extra few pounds by turning my diet around and really eating well for my body
  7. I think I can increase my income through outside, freelance and side jobs, in order to help feel more comfortable with my finances
  8. I think I can motivate others to share their stories, as I am sharing mine
  9. I think I can improve my handlettering/handwriting skills
  10. I think I can eventually use Etsy to sell products with my handlettering/handwriting on them

  1. I know I can make a positive difference in the health activist community and grow as a health activist, myself.
  2. I know I can make a big ripple, even though I’m one single stone being thrown into the pond
  3. I know I can gather and maintain the strength, both physical and mental, to keep fighting my everyday pain with chronic daily headaches and migraines
  4. I know I can continue to grow The Headache Heroine into what I what it do be long term
  5. I know I can make a difference

HAWMC Day 7: Starting My Advocacy Journey

We all need people in our lives who push us to do and be greater. Sometimes it’s hard to accept advice that someone has to offer, but most of the time, it’s worth it to hear them out.

I never even thought about sharing my story about living with chronic daily headaches, because I never thought anyone would really need or want to hear and read about it. The thought never crossed my mind.

That was until one day, during a pretty dark and frustrating period of my life when I was experiencing 6+/10 head pain every single day for a long string of time. I was living with my older sister at the time, so she knew and could see that I was living in constant pain and that I was having a difficult time dealing with it. One day she suggested an idea that turned out to be my motivation behind creating The Headache Heroine. She said “Why don’t you write about all of this?” She suggested I use it as a coping mechanism, since I already had a love for writing. Why not take my love for writing and do something positive with it? She helped me realize that it could be therapeutic for me, which turned about to be very true.

At first, I was worried that sharing my story would just make me sound like I was throwing myself a pity party and was inviting people to bring gifts of sympathy. But that’s not what I was going for and that’s not the kind of vibe I wanted to throw out into the world.

What actually ended up happening, was that I got an outpouring of encouragement and praise for being “brave” for being vulnerable enough to start opening up about my health and really putting it all out there. I had been hesitant to share my blog posts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, because I didn’t want to bug people and add things to their newsfeed that they didn’t want to look at/read. But then I realized, that if people wanted to skip over what I shared, they would, and if people wanted to read what I wrote, then they would. I eventually created a separate Instagram account for my health journey, but I still tried to tell myself not to worry about what others thought.

After a few months of being worried that people would judge or roll their eyes at the stories I was posting and sharing, I slowly grew much more comfortable with sharing my story. I realized that I was actually reaching people who really appreciated and benefited from my words. I became less concerned with those people who didn’t care about my story, and focused all my attention on the people who did care and who actually benefited from hearing my story and my advice.

While advocating and getting my voice out there actually helps me cope and feel more positive about myself and my life with chronic daily headaches, I also know that I have helped other people who are facing similar health journeys. That fact alone keeps me writing and sharing, and it should help encourage you to do the same!

HAWMC Day 6: Superpowers Wanted

I’m never able to settle on just one answer when I’m asked “What superpower would I want?” But for today’s purposes, I chose flying.

Cliche? Yes. Practical? Yes. Awesome? Yes, yes and yes.

How would I use it? The real question: How wouldn’t I use it?

It’s crazy expensive to travel the world, or even travel through the country. It’s even more of a stressful decision when you have medical bill after medical bill rolling in, staring you in the eyes.

I dream about visiting different cities and countries, exploring the vast world around me. I hate knowing that I’ve seen so little of this world. But I have to force myself to be realistic and save my plane ticket money and use it to keep collections from hunting me down.

But if I could fly, well I could see the beauty around the world and still have money to pay off the inevitable debt that medical bills create.

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HAWMC Day 5: Favorite Platform for Getting My Voice Out

I love utilizing every one of the platforms that I use to get my voice out there. I love Instagram because I’ve found that I can reach a lot more people than through the other platforms I use. I also love Instagram because I’m able to show my hand-lettered quotes and what not. I also think that pictures are more initially captivating than just a bunch of words. It gives people a quick glance at what you’re all about.

While I love to use Instagram for building my brand, I have a different platform preference for actually getting my voice heard. That platform is blogging on WordPress. By writing on a blog, while my reach not be as wide as it is on Instagram, I am able to write in much more detail and really write in the voice I want to. I’m able to share more information–holding nothing back. I have received really great feedback from people who have visited my blog saying that what I’m writing is really resonating with them and that the way that I write is unique and beautiful. I don’t share that to sound boastful, I share it to explain why blogging is my favorite platform for getting my voice heard.

What’s yours?

social-media

Image from Skyscanner Business

#HAWMC Day 4:Wishing For A Concrete Diagnosis.

This isn’t the answer you were hoping for or expecting. Well, the lack of answer, actually. You were hoping to hear a clear cut diagnosis so that you could then begin whatever treatment was available. But it’s not that simple. It won’t be that simple. Instead words like “new daily persistent headache,” “chronic daily headache,” and “chronic migraine” will be thrown at you. They’re all very similar but very different.

It’s going to be hard to find treatments that work for you. Your life will become to feel like a science experiment. But trust me, you need to keep on going. Give different treatments a chance so you can figure out what really will not work for you and your body and you can also discover things that can help you, even if it helps just a little bit.

It’s going to be an up and down roller coaster. You won’t be able to predict or control when the curves are coming or how shaky it’s going to get. What you can do, though, is control, is how you react to those curves and shakes.

Stay strong. Stay resilient. Your mental strength will waiver, your physical strength will at times feel imaginary, but you have the highest pain tolerance of anyone I know.

Even though you won’t be getting a concrete diagnosis, just remember, that you are taking steps forward in this journey of ours.

#HAWMC Day 3: There’s No Such Thing As A Small Act Of Kindness

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” Scott Adams

 

A smile to the person passing you by. A note to a stranger telling them to have a good day. Offering to help someone carry their bags to their car. Little acts of kindness such as these, are actually not so little at all. When you act kindly, you inspire others around you to act kindly as well. No act of kindness is too small. The positive effect that you can have on someone’s day should be reason enough to act kind. Just think about the bad days you’ve had yourself. Doesn’t it make your super crappy day just a little bit better when someone does or says something kind to, even if it’s just a compliment or offering to do a small favor for you? Having kindness sent your way can completely turn your day around. Therefore, when you spread kindness to someone else, you have to the potential to completely turn their day around as well.

There are a couple of places that I like to turn to when I want to hear positive stories about people being kind: The Bobby Bones Show and the Love What Matters podcast (which is run by Amy from The Bobby Bones Show.” The Bobby Bones show promotes pimpin joy, which means when you spread joy and kindness to someone else, they are likely to spread that joy and kindness to another someone else, and so on and so forth. They always encourage people to do something kind for someone, and their stories of real people doing so always bring a smile to my face. In fact, they have something called Joy Week, where they do things to spread joy every single day of the week and share those things with their listeners. The Love What Matters podcast does something similar. It shares incredible and positive stories about people just like you and I. Most of the time, those stories include someone doing something kind for someone else.

Always remember: there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act of kindness will help someone in ways you may never believe.

Let’s be kind to one another.

random-act-of-kindness