May 12-12-12 Project: The Lesson

small plant coming out of the ground

Image: Sujin Jetkasettakorn

 

This month really impressed upon me the importance of self awareness. In my own experience, I can share that looking within and challenging myself with difficult questions is what helped me move toward acceptance.

This months project member Sara Gorman leaves us with a beautiful lesson.

I will mention a phrase in my book. It’s a little kind of a poem that I came up with that a lot of people have been able to identify with.

The harder I push, the sicker I get. The sicker I get, the less I resemble myself. The less I resemble myself, the harder I push to regain some semblance of who I used to be.

The point is you’ve got to break that cycle. You’re in control…It starts within. It really does. You have to make up your mind that the way you’re doing it right now, pushing through the pain, isn’t working – or it’s not working as well as it should.

Much love,
Marissa

Podcast: May 12-12-12 Project Member Sara Gorman

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It’s a blessing when someone alters your perspective in a positive direction. This month’s project member Sara Gorman did just that!  Thank you Sara for being open and sharing how to live well with a chronic illness! 

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* During the interview, I had an off-the-cuff moment which lead to a hidden surprise offer! 

Much love,
Marissa

A Book I Wish I Had In My Arsenal 5 years ago!

Front Cover of book Despite Lupus: How to live well with a chronic illness.

Have you read a book so inline with your experience that you began to markup every page? I have dismantled my copy of project 12-12-12 member Sara Gorman’s book, Despite Lupus: How to live well with a chronic illness. This book will force you to stop and evaluate your thoughts and approach to living with a chronic illness. The book is focused on lupus; however, I found the book inline with my chronic illness experience. Heck, the book got me to start taking a daily nap. That extra daily nap is giving me additional energy that I so desperately need! I highly recommend this book.

Much love,
Marissa

Getting Ready For Put On Purple Friday!

 Research shows that most Americans know little or nothing about lupus and its devastating impact on millions of people.

I look forward to joining thousands nationwide for Put On Purple Day on Friday, May 18, 2012.

Put on purple banner

Thank you to my future father-in-law for helping me get my sticks purpled out! It was an opportunity to bond and spread awareness!

Getting ready for Put On Purple day

Thank you GingerPixel.com ! That is where I found this great storyboard template.

Here, are a few facts via Lupus.org:

The causes of lupus are unknown; however, scientists believe hormones, genetics (heredity), and environmental factors are involved — more research is needed to better understand the role of these factors in people with lupus.

No two cases of lupus are alike. Symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening including everything from skin rash to severe organ damage.

Early diagnosis is crucial to preventing long-term consequences of the disease. If you notice signs or symptoms of lupus, be sure to engage your doctor and ask questions.

*If you can join in, please don’t hesitate to share with me your POP pics!

Much love,
Marissa

Need a stylish way to carry your medication?

I want you to stop reading this post and go grab your pillbox, pill bag, prescription bottles, ziplock bag, trash bag; you get my drift ! This months May 12-12-12 project member Sara Gorman has come up with a beautiful alternative to clunky, plastic, pill boxes, and bottles.

Many of you, just like I used to be, are beholden to a clunky, plastic pill box to carry your pills.  And if you’re not (yet!), you know someone who is. But couldn’t there be a better way to organize and tote pills? At least, a more fashionable way that doesn’t include plastic? Most importantly, couldn’t there be an organizer that doesn’t scream “I’m sick” when you pull it out to use it?

I want you to toss those dingy, boring, pill boxes and containers aside and start rocking a beautiful Pillfold! What’s a Pillfold?

Sara Gorman pillfold

The Pillfold is a fun, fashionable new way to carry your vitamins and medication.

I understand those prescription bottles have pertinent information on them and you are not ready to throw them away. No worries, Sarah offers a Pillpouch.

Sara Gorman PillPouch

The Pillpouch makes toting and storing your medicine bottles simple and easy. Featuring six elastic bands and a special-drawstring design, this cute little number is just the thing to keep your prescription bottles organized, stowed, and at the ready.

Did I mention:

5% of every Pillbag sold goes to a Lupus charity. Join our quest to raise $1,000,000!

Let’s support Sara by heading over to her website and support her project:  Bringing a dose of style™

Much love,
Marissa

Did You Know May 10 is World Lupus Day?

World Lupus Day Header

Would you have known today is World Lupus Day? I personally admit I had no idea there was a World Lupus Day before the 12-12-12 project.  My introduction to lupus presented itself in my teenage years. My mom and I were sorting through old photos and a picture of her best friend sparked a memory.  It was then she shared that one of her best friends died from lupus. I immediately connected the word lupus to death.

The word lupus once again entered consciousness when my doctor suggested having me tested for the disease. I immediately was reminded of my moms best friend and I became scared. The initial test came back false-positive.

While most people with lupus test positive for ANA, medical conditions such as infections, other autoimmune diseases and false positives can also produce a positive test result. For this reason, your doctor may order some other blood tests to correctly diagnose SLE.

I was tested again and cleared. Lupus became a subject I did not think about again until the 12-12-12 project. When I went through a list of conditions I knew I had to explore lupus. I wanted to make sure I educated myself on a condition that had taken one of my mom’s best friends and became a personal concern.

With that said, I believe it’s important for me to alert everyone I  encounter that Today Is World Lupus Day! I encourage you to click the image below and sign the awareness pledge.

World Lupus Day Pledge

Please check out this beautiful video narrated by Julian Lennon as he talks about the legacy of his friend Lucy.

 

Much love,
Marissa

 

6 Important Facts About Lupus

It is estimated that 1.5 million American’s are living with Lupus. According to the Mayo Clinic:

 Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs.

 

Lupus awareness banner

 

This month’s 12-12-12 project features an awesome woman, Sara Gorman, living with Systemic Lupus. I have been following Lupus.org like a hawk, educating myself on the condition. I appreciate the daily important facts about lupus. Here are the facts shared the last 6 days!

 

May 1: Lupus is an unpredictable and complex autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and can damage any organ in the body with life-threatening consequences.

 

May 2: Ninety percent of the people who develop lupus are female. Males also can develop lupus and their disease can be more severe in some organs.

 

May 3: Lupus develops most often between ages 15 and 44. However, between 10 and 20 percent of cases develop during childhood and these cases can evolve more rapidly into serious health complications.

 

May 4: In lupus, something goes wrong with the immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs. The result is the production of autoantibodies that causes inflammation.

 

May 5: Some people have genes that allow them to develop lupus. Factors that may trigger lupus in these people include infections, ultraviolet light, extreme stress, certain prescription drugs, and certain hormones.

 

May 6: Many symptoms of lupus mimic those of other illnesses, and symptoms can come and go over time, which makes diagnosis more difficult. Consequently, lupus can take three to five years or more to diagnose.

 

Much love,
Marissa