A Day in The Life….Interview Series

Photo by Sean Morris (All Rights Reserved)

Photo by Sean Morris (All Rights Reserved)

On Wednesday July 2 2014 , the best series I have ever run on my site begins – A Day in the Life of…

In this series, I interview a series of individuals who inspire me. Some are moms. Some are single. Some are college students. Some are men. Some are British. They come from every walk of life, and have had a broad array of experiences. In most ways, they couldn’t be more different. But they have one thing in common. Each one has a chronic illness or long-term condition.

Here are the interviews I have published so far:

Breast Cancer Heart Attacks & Brenda McGraw
Chronic Mouth Pain & Robert D. Smith
Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjogren’s & Jeana Weiss
Adrenal Fatigue + & Sandy Kim
Rett Syndrome & Colleen English
Fibromyalgia & Christa Sterken

I Don’t Have a Chronic Illness So Why Should I Keep Reading?

Great question. There are three reasons I would like you to keep reading.

  1. You know someone who has a chronic condition. You just might not know it. Statistics show that over 150 million people have a chronic illness of some sort, and this number does not include the many individuals suffering with an undiagnosed or misdiagnosed illness.
  2. Knowledge is power. I know it seems cheesy, but sometimes clichés are true. The more each of us can learn about how to treat those we know with chronic conditions, the better friend/spouse/coworker we can be.
  3. Understanding creates a better community. We cannot serve others as well if we do not know what the challenges are. As we learn more, we can give dignity to each other.

A Couple Caveats

I am using the terms chronic illness and chronic condition interchangeably in this series, and generally on my blog. I am broadly defining these terms to means any mental, psychological, physiological, or psychosomatic set of characteristics that last more than 120 days or are regularly recurring.

Because of this broad definition, I am including some things not normally considered “chronic” in the classic sense. Indeed, some of my interviewees corrected my language when I asked about their condition. There is some sensitivity here because of the way so many of us have been treated, as if we somehow don’t measure up because we are different.

Each Person I Interviewed Inspired Me

Their resilient spirits give me courage to push through the tough days I have, like when my shoulder feels dislocated from my seizure fall.

You will meet Christa, who has to literally crawl up her stairs some days when her pain flares up, but still thanks God for showing her beauty in the ashes.

Sandy opens her life up for us, and shares how she balances the life of an actress with a condition that causes hair loss and skin inflammation.

Their unwillingness to allow their condition to rule their lives reminds me I control so much more in my life than my whining self wants me to remember some days.

Sean talks with us about how his brain makes connections between things that others don’t, which creates some social challenges.

We have much to learn from each of these individuals.

Why I Decided to do This

I have spent most of my adult life as the parent of an epileptic, and I have had seizures throughout my life. Because of these facts, I know how uncomfortable we make others because “we are not normal.”

I could spend a lot of time talking about the pain behind “not being normal”, but not today. Suffice it to say that nobody with a long-term health condition wants to be known as “less-than-normal”.

I started this interview series because I want to shine a light on the struggles we experience as chronic illness sufferers. But this is not primarily going to be focused on the facts of a diagnosis. WebMD and Wikipedia are awesome resources for those specifics.

My hope is to push far beyond the facts of a diagnosis. I want to give each person a chance to share their heart about how they cope with their condition and how they would like to be treated by others. My goal is to show that we are not defined by our conditions, and that we are usually pretty okay with questions.

Every guest will be interacting here as much as they can, so please ask any questions on any topic (within reason).

I will be releasing interviews every Wednesday, starting July 2nd  and going until I have run out of interviews. A link to each interview will be posted here for you to easily find, so I hope you stop by regularly to see what’s new (say, once a week on Wednesdays perhaps).

Speaking of interviews, I am not “out of slots” for interviews. I will never run out slots. If you would like me to interview you, or if you know someone who might be interested, please reach out to me by email.