People told me one of the most important things about podcasting is consistency, and delivering an episode on schedule. My bad. Maybe someone with a terribly unpredictable chronic illness shouldn't be a podcaster, then? Whatever. Time is just a construct, right?
I am using the last fraction of my last spoon to write this because I'll miss you too. Even though there will be no new episode this week, In Sickness + In Health will be back with a new one next Tuesday (hopefully, and if not, I'll keep you posted). I thought this might be a good opportunity to look back at some of the episodes we've produced so far (we made it to 10 episodes!), and share some good chronic illness + disability related stuff with you.
In case you're still not familiar with The Spoon Theory, and are wondering why I keep talking about silverware, it's a concept that many of us use to explain our fatigue and energy management. If you've never read the short essay that created The Spoon Theory, I highly recommend you read it. I also talk to Cathy about it in episode 05 of the podcast.
December 3 was International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a day which "aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities." Each year, there is a theme chosen to focus on some aspect of disability; this year's theme was inclusion, access, and empowerment. But a lot of the posts I saw about it really missed the mark, and failed to include the voices of any Actual Disabled People. Watch Stella Young's TEDx talk about "Inspiration Porn" and the Social Model of Disability to understand a little more about why many groups got it so wrong. I also talk to Rebecca in episode 06 about some of the persisting barriers to inclusion, access, and empowerment for people actually living with disabilities.
Dysautonomia International is hoping to keep the #GivingTuesday spirit going all December long with a goal of raising $31,000 this month before the year's end. As their president, Lauren Stiles, talked about in episode 01, DI has been able to provide grants for important research in a neglected field. They announced this month that they have issued over $300,000 in POTS research grants in the past two years, far more than any other non-governmental organization. Lauren's interview was part of a series of episodes, each with dysautonomia patients that have different primary diagnoses and stories to share. Dysautonomia is a blanket term for conditions that affect the Autonomic Nervous System, which is the part responsible for all the stuff that's supposed to happen automatically in your body. In our episodes from that week (01-05), we talked about misdiagnoses and diagnostic delay, trying to do life stuff while chronically ill, the wonders of high sodium diets, grief and denial, The Spoon Theory, and working 10x as hard to be half as healthy as everyone else.
I am now running on negative spoons, so I must leave the internet for a pile of blankets in a dark room. If you want to help out the podcast until we come back next week, you can rate and review In Sickness + In Health on iTunes–it helps other people find the show. You can also donate to the podcast. And tell your family! Tell your friends! Tell your doctors!
But most importantly, don't forget to be excellent to yourselves and each other.