The phrase 'Health Activist' is a strange one for me. I like it, I just don't think it's something I could by any manner of means be described as right now. I have an illness and I like to blog about it. I like to hear responses from people going through the same/similar things, and I love that it's helped my friends and family to understand the intricacies of the disease which I've struggled to get across previously using only my voice as an instrument. Having another 'voice' in the blog has been, and still is, an amazing outlet for me and has encouraged me to become more open and honest about how I'm feeling.
So what does all this mean in terms of what I can do to help others? Well obviously if money was no object I'd be ploughing every penny I had into trying to find a cure for Crohn's Disease. As it stands there is none (cure nor available pennies :( ) and the varied treatments available rarely work long-term and most come with highly unpleasant side effects. Crohn's is not alone in it's complications too, as the disease lowers your immune system, it makes it much harder for your body to fight normally silly little things like colds and achy bones, and the long term affects on the body are not worth going into right now.
So as the whole 'cure' idea is unfortunately pie in the sky material I like to think what I can do in my own little corner of the world to help others in the same Crohn's filled boat as myself. How this could manifest itself I'm not sure - the blog is a great way to reach a worldwide audience with my story but what about those who are not yet computer literate? (my parents for example) - how to express to them what I'm going through? Talking is a start and something I've had to learn to do more of in order to get across the full extent of my symptoms. As my consultant has often said (shouted) "TALK TO ME KATHLEEN!" - her advice is pretty rock solid, how can she begin to help me when I hold things back and underplay my symptoms?
So the best help I could be right now is to plug on with the blog and continue to try and encourage others to speak up about what they are going through. As the man with the white glove once said, You are not alone.
Nothing too grand there unfortunately, but I'm still dealing with this slowly but surely myself - the miracle-cure-finding will come soon I'm sure ;)
This post was written as part of NHBPM - 30 health posts in 30 days