Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Expressing yourself is the pathway to healing...

Expressing yourself is the pathway to healing.

Those were the words of Lester Friedman, PhD, a humanities professor whose career has been at  schools of medicine.

Yesterday I posted a blog titled, Surfing the Blogs. It was about people in our community who write and the benefits they get and give.  That blog reminded me of an amazing keynote presentation by Dr. Friedman at our 2004 Conference in Minneapolis.

It was one of the first that we filmed and today I asked our staff to put it up on YouTube.  Writing for Your Health speaks of stories as medicine, offering wisdom and statistics you do not want to miss...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Surfing the blogs...

Blog information seems to flow like the waters. This afternoon, PHA's VP for Community Engagement, Mollie Katz, sent a note about a blog that focused on PHA's Research Room at Conference.

Med School Watercooler is a blog from the University of South Alabama's Medical School. Pulmonary Researchers Participate in Pulmonary Hypertension Association's International Conference is a well-told story of how one medical team participated in the Research Room at PHA's International Conference in June and the important work they did.

Reading that first blog got me to exploring...

Next, I found Team Phenomenal Hope's site and their blog about their Conference experience.  These are the great folks from the University of Pittsburgh who unveiled their plans to bike awareness of PH across America in 2014.  Besides their Conference story, Team PHenomenal Hope energized by PHA Conference offers a lot of great pictures.  By the way, I love the theme of their website, Team Phenomenal Hope...It's not just about the bike. It's not even about the race. It's bigger than that...

We look forward to working with Team Phenomenal Hope to make this a national PH awareness event when they Race Across America in two years.

A little bit of searching brought out a lot more discovery.

Sometimes, in our community, blog information flows from the sharing of life experiences.  That can happen with groups like Generation Hope and their blog for young adults living with PH.

It can also happen with individuals, as I found with blogs from Colleen S. and Colleen B.

Colleen S. lays her goal out in the subhead to her Daily Ponderings...the ramblings of a girl with Pulmonary Hypertension...sharing the ups and downs of this disease and anything else I want to share!

So does Colleen B. in her PH and "The New Normal"...finding a path with Pulmonary Hypertension.  Her profile explains why Colleen B. writes:

My PhotoI am a mom in my early 30s. I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in January of 2008. This life changing disease has forced me to find a new perspective on things, to find a "new normal," and ultimately to decide what that new normal would look like. I don't believe in letting the disease define that for me. Chronicled here is the story of that still on-going journey.
Becca A. tells her story through My Life as a Chronically Ill Teen, defining her purpose clearly and powerfully...
This blog is about hope, love, acceptance, and life's ups and downs. Living with a chronic illness isn't easy, but with the written word, maybe we can bring some hope and kindness back into the world.
Sean Wyman's Blog, Sean Wyman--Future D.O...the thoughts and reflections of a graduate student chasing the dream of being a healer shares insights from his experiences, observations and, yes, trials. 

Kim's blog - The Life and Lungs of Kim is self-described as "the chronicle of a woman who was diagnosed 6 years ago with Pulmonary Hypertension..."
And then there's Pam G.'s Blog, Multi-tasking Wife's Life, in which a caregiver celebrates the joy of self-publishing in the blog world.

Blogs are a great way to talk about what you think is important (or just spin the day's events) in a way that you feel comfortable. They are easy to set up, too.  And, help is everywhere.  All you have to do is Google, how to blog.

To learn more about the value of blogging...or diary-keeping...or any other form of self-expression, you may want to watch an interactive workshop in PHA Classroom. Words for Wellbeing

It's based on the fact that medical research actually links creative endeavors, such as expressive writing, to reduced symptoms and improved health. You may want to invest 45 minutes to get ideas, prompts and tips regarding writing for your own health, as well as guidelines and considerations when writing for publications like Pathlight.

The session was presented by Sylvia Earley, volunteer copy editor for Pathlight, Megan Mallory, PHA's Publications Director and Jeannette Morrill, author of “Living with Pulmonary Hypertension: 34 Years and Counting…Healing the Mind and Body Through Faith.”

Also very much on target is a PHA webinar, Creativity and Healing through Blogging, featuring Leigh McGowan and Colleen Schnell and hosted by Megan Mallory.
My goal for this blog was to spotlight the fact that many in our community are finding satisfaction and personal value through writing.  It may be something you want to consider.

Expressing yourself can be the pathway to healing.

Oh...and if you know of any other blogs from the PH community, please feel free to post a note and let me know.  Thanks!