HAWMC Day 24: Health Mascot

Hello, to all my readers.  Welcome to Day 24 of the WEGO Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge – 30 Days, 30 Posts.  The prompt for today reads as follows:

Health Mascot…Give yourself, your condition, your health focus a mascot.  Is it a real person? Fictional? Mythical being? Describe them.  Bonus points if you provide a visual!

I found this prompt difficult.  With any invisible conditions, it is hard to come up with any visuals to describe the condition, its symptoms and the effects it has on the individual.

However, one of my favourite things in life is butterflies.  I love the symbolism of them – the freedom they have, flying freely.  I also think they are beautiful with their bright colours and different patterns on their wings.  It can also symbolise change – as a butterfly emerges from a cocoon.  I have butterflies on a range of items I own, they are on my wallpaper in my bedroom, pendants on necklaces, on t-shirts and tops I wear, and so on.

Therefore, I immediately knew that due to my love of butterflies, I had to somehow incorporate a butterfly into my ‘mascot’ for my health condition.  So, I have decided due to my condition being caused by a lesion in the brain stem, I have used a brain stem as the body of the butterfly and then have used wings to surround the brain stem.  I have attempted to draw what it would like, which I have found exceptionally difficult as I am not artistic at all, and even more difficult with the tremors in my hands which I am experiencing today.

But this is my attempt:

I know it’s not very good, if someone out there is artistic and could up with something even better which I could use for the blog I would be most appreciative!!  Maybe even producing a banner for the blog instead of the one I have of the willow tree and the sea.

Again, if you have any suggestions, comments, I would love to hear from you.

Until Tomorrow…

HAWMC Day 6: Health Haiku

It’s Good Friday, so I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter. I’s the 6th of April, so that means it’s the sixth post in the WEGO Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. Here is today’s prompt:

Health Haiku…Write a haiku about your health focus. 5 syllables/7 syllables/5 syllables. Write as many as you like!

I have to say, I was pretty nervous when I read the prompt. While I used to love to write poetry as a child, I haven’t done so in some years, and what’s more is I have never written a haiku before!! But I signed up to the Challenge promising myself I will write something everyday. So here it goes…

Image: http://happyhaiku.blogspot.co.uk/2000/07/theory-5-7-5.html

I may look normal

But I am not invisible

Cannot see what is wrong

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

Silent deep and hides

Within my brain lies a lesion

Dizzy, weak legs and falls

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

Are now part of my life

Feeling all alone in the world

Nobody understands

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

Room is spinning fast

Legs weak buckling beneath me – fall!

Pick myself up…again!

Although there are 4 separate Haikus I written them so that they all link together, creating a story about my condition.

I hope you enjoyed them…

An Introduction…

Hello to my first post of my brand new blog.

Just a little about me … I am 25 and from a town in South Wales, United Kingdom.

A little over a year ago, or is it two??  Anyway, I was diagnosed with a long-standing brain stem lesion.  What is that you ask?  Well, to answer that question, a lesion is by definition any abnormal change involving tissue or an organ through disease or injury. With mine, it is basically scarring on the brain stem.  The brain stem being the part of the brain that sits right on the bottom of the brain connecting the brain itself with the spinal cord.

Diagram of the Brain

Am not sure  about all the technical jargon involving the brain stem, or indeed exactly the part of which the scarring is located.  But for me, the lesion causes, and has caused since the age of 8 chronic and disabling dizziness – the sensation that the world around you is moving, for many this sensation feels as if the room is spinning around… although for me it generally feels as if my world is pulsating back and forward… back and forward.  And the general feeling of disequilibrium… not of being stable, as if at any minute you are going to fall.  For example, when standing up, and for many of you, you can stand there completely still like the Queen’s Guard you see outside of Buckingham Palace.  However, in my case I am unable to stand still, and instead my body sways in a back and forward motion.   The dizziness used to come and go in sporadic episodes, but now as my brain has changed and grew my illness has progressed and now I am in a state of disequilibrium 24/7.  The vertigo or ‘the sensation of the room moving’ comes and goes in episodes, although these episodes seem to be much more frequent than they have ever been.

The brain stem is also important for balance, and unfortunately for me do not seem to have much balance!  As a consequence I fall regularly and am unsteady on my feet… so if you ever see me on the street, I am not drunk, OK??

As well as those issues regarding balance and the dizziness, I also suffer from something called ‘spastic paraparesis’.  Spastic paraparesis causes muscle stiffness and weakness in the legs, in some cases, which has started happening with me can affect the arms also.  The SP has meant that my legs have become very stiff, making it difficult to walk and causing discomfort and pain and as they are weak I am unable to stand for any more than 10 to 15 minutes before they collapse from under me.

Well, that’s it for the first post, folks!  I’ll be updating whenever… more about my condition, more about me, commenting on stories that affect me, that kind of thing…

Hope you enjoyed… and feel free to comment too…

 

Origin of Image: CancerHelpUK