Thursday, January 03, 2019

Begin Again

Hello & Happy New Year! Some of you are probably wondering why I've been MIA. There's a very good reason: 2018 was rough. I struggled with my health all year. By struggled, I mean I spent NINETY TWO out of 365 days at medical appointments. (I'm not kidding.) I'm not going to get into all that though because living through it once was more than enough. Let's just say I was spending what little energy I had surviving. It left nothing in the tank for blogging. Life happens!

We also lost three family members to cancer; one in February, one on Solstice and one on Xmas Eve. To say 2018 was brutal is an understatement. I am glad it's over. I am hoping 2019 is a kinder, gentler year.

Despite feeling terrible, I was still busy behind the scenes. I wrote a couple blogs for The Rick Hansen Foundation. They invited me to write about invisible disability for them. I shared what it's like to have a hearing impairment and after a lifetime of struggling, to finally be fitted with hearing aids. You can read all about it here. In case you missed it, my first blog post about how invisible disability affects my life, can be found here.

I wrapped up my 5th cohort of UBC Health Mentors students in November (I am really going to miss them! They were hilarious and made me laugh.) and began working with my 6th cohort in September. The work continues to be rewarding-I learn as much as my students do and my new students are lovely young women.

I worked with the UBC physiotherapy program in October, helping students get their patient interviewing skills. I've done this twice before and they are a lovely bunch of people to work with. I am going to be working with the program again in a few weeks. This time I'll be helping students learn about assessing patients with rheumatoid arthritis. I did this twice last year and enjoyed the experience, so I signed on again.

I also volunteered to speak with 1st year UBC Pharmacy students about the impact pharmacists can have on people's lives. I figured it was the perfect opportunity for me-I have so many drug allergies, plus I'm complicated and my pharmacists have been invaluable in helping me manage the medication end of things. It was a great experience and it sounds like the students loved it so the program will be expanding next year. I hope to be able to do it again.

Next week I have a phone interview. I've been short listed as a potential patient adviser for a committee that is looking to making improvements to medical imaging. I am hoping to be selected, as I have a wealth of personal experience with this branch of diagnostics and there are some aspects that I feel definitely need some work. I'd be happy to be a part of that process. I want to make things better for everyone. *fingers crossed*

I started a project, using the 1 Second Everyday app. Essentially you do a 1 second video clip every day for a year. It's 1 second out of my day so I am pretty sure I can manage to stick with it and it will be cool to see the video at the end of the year. Anyone want to join me? Let me know if you take this on!

Right before the holidays, I started printing a bunch of the graffiti photos I've taken using my HP Sprocket printer my son gave me for Xmas last year. My plan is to make a book with the prints. I have a fat stack to work with. It's a work in progress.

I treated myself to a couple new stencils from Stencil Girl that I've wanted forever. One is called Tall Reeds and the other is Circles Circles. They got here lightening fast-I wasn't expecting them to arrive so quickly, but I'm thrilled they did. I can't wait to play with them!

Okay, this is a good start. It feels good to begin to get back in the groove. I'll be back soon with  more to share.

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