Summer Lovin’ & Physical Therapy (#HAWMC)

Today I continue WEGO’s Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge (#HAWMC).  But first, I want to say thank you to everyone who joined me tonight for WEGO’s Roundtable on YouTube–if you missed our discussion on how to discuss taboo health issues with health providers, family, and friends, click here for the recording.

wego 29Today’s question is:  Summer is coming up. What plans do you have?  Any family vacation? What do you look forward to in Summer 2014?

(I was exhausted Sunday and Monday so I missed answering those #HAWMC questions.)  But I’ve been looking forward to today’s question if only so I can share this:

Physical Therapy: A New Beginning?

I look forward to this summer.  I don’t take vacations for many reasons including my current lack of insurance.  (See my previous post, “Top 10 Ways to ‘Vacationize’ Your Hospital Visit or Inpatient Stay.”)  I recently started physical therapy for my neuromuscular autoimmune disease, Myasthenia Gravis (MG).  This is the most hopeful I’ve felt about MG in years.  It will be six to nine months of hard work but I look forward to it.  One of my physical therapists (PTs), “D,” distracts me by talking about boxing with me–we discuss things like Manny Pacquiao, one of my favorite people.  Today, Eye of the Tiger was playing.   He asked me if I liked this song–oh boy, he has no idea!  We discussed the differences between the different Rocky films–apparently, Rocky IV is his favorite.

My Prognosis

On my first appointment, “S,” the head PT, gave me some MG tests that were even harder than the ones my neuro gives me!  He said that I was weaker than some of his 85-year old clients.  But he also said that I was the strongest MG patient he’d seen (pre-physical therapy).  Living with chronic illness shines a spotlight on the uncertainty of life.  But one (of many things) that keeps me going is the hope that things may get better.

What are you doing this summer?

–Your Stylist, Jessica Gimeno 

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Hi, I have five illnesses--bipolar disorder, myasthenia gravis (neuromuscular autoimmune disease), endometriosis, asthma, and psoriasis. Most of the organs in my body are affected. I'm dedicated to being a stylist for sick women. As someone who has experienced changes in my appearance due to my 12 meds (including Prednisone), I know how hard it can be when your face and body change overnight. (In fact, because of treatment, between 2008 to 2010, I went from a size 0 to a size 10. While I lost the weight, there are permanent changes in my face and body, which I've grown to appreciate.) My blog will also help women deal with other issues like surviving chronic pain and fatigue. Healthy people can also use this blog as a window into what life with illness is like. Let this website be a place where we can draw strength from each other despite our illnesses and find solutions to our everyday challenges!

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