Book Review: Healthy Baby, Toxic World

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Since I began blogging, one of the illnesses I learned a lot about was MCS – Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. This is an illness that develops after a certain amount of exposure to chemicals where your body becomes hyper-sensitive to almost everything. In a sense, you become “Allergic to Life,” which is the title of a book by one of the bloggers who first taught me about MCS – Kathryn Treat.

The thing that I found most profoundly frightening about MCS was that it could happen to anyone. Chemicals are like drugs, and the “overdose” amount for each one is different from person to person and hasn’t been studied much. While you may think you couldn’t possibly be at risk for this “overdose,” you have to remember that chemicals are in literally everything – your soaps, lotions, perfumes, shampoos, cleaning products, water, the air outside – EVERYTHING. Continue reading

The Problem With Forums

When you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness, it’s a great idea to get online and try and find other people who know what you’re going through. Blogs like this one can make great reading, especially when you need a little affirmation. But it’s also really important to connect person to person through sites like facebook and twitter. Engaging in conversations is a completely different treatment than writing your feelings in a journal or blog, and it’s just as important.

A lot of people really love online forums – and I think forums for chronic illness are a great idea. Unfortunately, I’ve never had a good forum experience, especially in the chronic illness realm of things.

There are a few things wrong with forums in my opinion, but they aren’t inherently bad. Like I said, it’s a good idea, and if you’ve found a forum that’s offered support and friendship then please link it in the comments below!

I should also preface my experience by saying that I’ve never joined a forum that was exclusively set up to talk about chronic illness. Maybe they’re great! I have no idea. I haven’t sought one out because of my past experience with online forums.

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So, what’s my problem? Continue reading

An Unexpected Package

Remember how my blog won Best in Show for this year’s Wego Health Activist Awards?

I know you’re all like “WE KNOW, RACHEL. Your blog is great, WE GET IT.” But hold on! Because I super didn’t expect to win. And when I was nominated, I super didn’t expect to get a care package of goodies including a Health Activist t-shirt. At that point I was like “Wowee kazowie! I didn’t think I’d get a super official shirt to wear! This is AWESOME and can’t get better!”

THEN I won, which was crazy. I feel like this blog is so little in the internet world. And I did look to see if there was a prize or anything, but I somehow concluded that the prize was the exposure. And I got a LOT of exposure! Blog views were great and my twitter EXPLODED and everything was awesome!

So life went on. I felt my blog was validated and happily continued writing. When my dad got sick and had to have open heart surgery for an ascending aortic aneurism, I found myself spending a lot of time in a hospital with craptacular wifi or at home watching my little sister while my mom was away with dad.

At day 6 of this hospital caregiving life, I was feeling pretty worn out. I’m only 11 weeks pregnant but I’m out of breath all the time, and my head was killing me when I got home from another long day.

And there was this package there from Wego Health. I opened it and pulled out the congratulatory letter. Attached was a playlist for Health Activists, which I thought was such a fun idea. I thought “Maybe they made a mix CD for the winners!” and was pretty excited by that notion.

So imagine my face when I pulled this out:

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WHAT IS HAPPENING OMG.

Wego Health is an awesome organization that is really serious about not only connecting health activists, but rewarding them and encouraging them to keep going! Keep blogging, keep tweeting, it DOES make a difference! I was just beside myself. It was like my blog just Pinocchio’d into a REAL thing.

This just made my week. And it’s been a really hard week.

On top of that, Dad is coming home today! Life isn’t completely back to normal yet, but we can see it getting there.

Normal or not, life is good.

Inspiring, Versatile, and Loved

rachelmeeks:

Hey All! I was nominated again for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by Wear, Tear, and Care – this is a new blog on my reader and I definitely recommend checking them out. Very funny, sharp, and informative.

I haven’t been posting much as my dad is in the hospital at the moment. He had open heart surgery on Friday and is recovering well, but is currently still in the ICU. My sister recently started having seizures as well, so I’ve been running back and forth from the hospital to my parent’s house to watch her. Life is very lifey!

I’m now 10 and a half weeks pregnant, feeling very well! Baby’s about the size of a prune now. They seem very happy! I say this mostly because they stopped making me throw up everything I try to eat, so I *think* they’re happy.

Thanks for sticking around! I’ll try to post more soon.

Originally posted on Do I Look Sick?:

Hey all! I know y’all are on the edge of your seats waiting for the first installment of “The Spoonie Experiment,” and you should be! This will be the first video made especially for Do I Look Sick. It’s coming along very nicely, but it’s taking longer to put together than your average post, and I’m realizing now that I should have probably planned some in between content for you during the wait. But hey! Ya live, ya learn.

So in the mean time, while the professional editor inside me goes all perfectionist on this video, my lovely lovely readers have provided some new content for me! No, I wasn’t nominated for another award – I was nominated for THREE more, all in the span of one week!

The first may be my favorite one so far – love the design. I’m very excited to add it to…

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