Welcome to the PATIENTS FOR A MOMENT (PFAM) patient-centered blog carnival, founded in part by Leslie of Getting Closer to Myself. We are delighted to be hosting this month, with the New Year's-inspired theme of Renewals.
We put out a call for patient bloggers to share anything fresh they're planning for 2013, be it changing doctors, updating meds, new exercise routine, or just committing yourself to being more active in patient communities.
Personally here at the 'Mine, we are committing to updated CGM technology, and pledging to "act locally" in our advocacy efforts. Mike is also striving to get back on the D-wagon with more blood sugar checks and accurate carb-counting as he ends his pump hiatus and gets back to insulin pumping.
Now without further ado, here's a look at what came back from the PFAM blogosphere:
Rachael Faught, of the blog Offbeat Follies -- about living with an inborn congenital heart defect -- writes about A Bright and Shiny New Year. She's setting some simple goals for 2013, including making a long-awaited trip to Europe.
Shannon of the chronic pain blog Nip Pain in the Bud & Let Your Soul Blossom has a few things to say about a Healthy New Year 2013!: "Now that we're through the busy holiday shuffle, we need to refocus on our health, reset our medical treatment plan, and renew our spirit for a healthy new year."
Our friend and fellow writer Laurie Edwards, who's balancing multiple chronic illnesses, posts a piece called On 2013 (Or, Side by Side), about "about re-framing how I approach the new year and navigating the competing emotions of serious illness and motherhood. Sadness and joy, grief and hope, are each a measure of love, and my goal is to hold tight to the joy."
Laurie also tells us: "I love the theme for this edition of PFAM (getting back into posting and submitting to PFAM is an act of renewal itself for me these days...)."
Barbara Kivowitz of the couples/illness blog In Sickness As In Health has an unusual approach: My New Years Resolution: To Complain More. She writes: "Complaining has gotten a bad rap. Instead of seeing it as whining, let's think of complaining as a release valve that helps us discharge agitation, renew our stamina, and connect with more honestly, especially with our partner or spouse." (OK, I'll try that... you reading this, Honey?)
Venerable patient advocate Duncan Cross has written a Renewals post especially for this edition of PFAM, with some deep introspection:
"A surprising thing that I have learned by being sick is how plastic we are — that is, how malleable in our personalities. In our society we place great stock on the consistency of our personalities, a superficial sort of 'integrity' which insists we always present the same face to those around us. We fear anything that might change the 'self', but we cannot grow if we cannot change. I have seen many people made miserable by the belief they cannot change who they are, trapped in a persona that no longer does them good."
Are you thinking about your "persona" for 2013? Maybe you should...
Kathy Dueck of the Canadian fibromyalgia blog FibroDAZE says that her big word for the new year is Less: "I've written in this blog post what I plan / hope to do 'less' of, particularly as it pertains to medical treatments."
Under the pen name "Wolfinohio," the lupus blogger at Tyring to Tame the Wolf addresses Learning to Live Again. This new patient blogger writes: "After my diagnosis, 2012 was a difficult year. I've resolved to work on a few things to make 2013 much better."
PFAM co-founder Leslie Rott, who blogs about living with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus at Getting Closer to Myself, submits a post on how Renewal Means Reflecting on the Past. "The past few years haven't been easy," she writes. "There has been love and there has been loss. There have been extreme highs and extreme lows. But more than anything, there have been people who have marked each moment for me... It is only by acknowledging our struggles that we are able to succeed." We hear you, Leslie.
Aviva Brandt of SickMomma blog writes that the New Year Means New Beginnings: "After being walloped by a series of unfortunate events, I'm hoping that the new year will offer a fresh beginning on multiple fronts, or at least not quite so much bad luck."
Megan, who also blogs about lupus and rheumatoid arthritis at Objects in Mirror are Closer than they Appear, is musing on Un-resolutions and Some Thoughts About Food: "It's an entry about new years resolutions, the impact of food and diet on chronic illness, and my thoughts about low-carb diets in the treatment of inflammatory diseases."
Diabetes New Year
And from our own neck of the woods in the diabetes world, Patient Advocate Gabby Preset of DiabeticConnect has this to say:
"One thing that stood out to me as I reflected on last year was that there were too many great ideas that I started and didn't finish. I tend to have a three-month period of working on things and then I get distracted and do other things. It would be okay if I kept doing what I started, but I often forfeit one for the next. I want to change that and am going to focus on doing just one thing the whole year. Other benefits will come from that one goal, but only if I stick with it."
D-mom Hallie Addington of The Princess and the Pump is lamenting the stomach flu, while looking back on 2012, and sharing her thoughts in New Year Reflections (Same Old Diabetes). Got that right!
Over at Medtronic's Diabetes Loop, guest blogger Karen Graffeo shares her Diabetes Goals for 2013. Her ideas for Renewal are basically to "get moving," commit to a healthy breakfast, and bring back post-meal BG checks on a regular basis. Bravo, Karen, for keeping it straightforward and meaningful.
Lucky for us, the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy (DSMA) carnival topic for January is also about Renewals for 2013: what will we all be striving for this year? This makes it easy to cross-share posts. A few we've pinpointed to highlight are:
Cara from Every Day Every Hour Every Minute talks about renewing her commitment to online advocacy efforts in her post, New Year with Diabetes.
Our own correspondent Allison Nimlos of With Faith and Grace is striving for an A1C under 7.0. That will certainly make for a good New Year with Diabetes -- go Allison!
After his recent scary hypo event (he passed out at a restaurant!), you can read about Scott Johnson's plan for a fresh start in his Diabetes New Year's Resolutions post at Diabetes Monitor. We like the idea of slowing down, and breaking down your goals into bit-size bits. Be well, Scott!
Finally, Rich the Diabetic is participating for his first time in the DSMA blog carnival and he gets a cross-posting here as a bonus :) Who knew the guy was a bodybuilder? Wow! Like all of us, he's Striving for ___ (better BG control) in 2013.
A huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated in this edition of PFAM!!
Also, to see more January 2013 "Renewal" posts included in this month's DSMA Blog Carnival from the DOC (diabetes online community), click here.