The 30 Day Chronic Illness Challenge is nearly finished!  It consists of one brand new writing prompt, each day, that has something to do with chronic illness.  The Challenge was created by @cfs_zombie and I learned about it from Tumblr.  I am very motivated to complete this project.

Day 25: Name 5 activities that you have managed to pursue while being ill, and 5 activities that you have done that you wouldn’t have pursued if you hadn’t become ill.

5 activities I managed to pursue while being ill:

1. Blizzcon 2013

Going to Blizzcon required travel, which is always a challenge for me. It takes place in a convention center filled with a huge crowd of people. Typically, being in a crowd results in me catching a cold, flu, or sinus infection. I took a huge health risk in order to participate in Blizzcon – and it was entirely worth it.

2. NaPodPoMo

NaPodPoMo stands for “National Podcast Post Month” (but, really, it includes podcasters from around the world).  It involves posting one brand new podcast every day for 30 days straight. That means figuring out what to do in the podcast, gathering music (etc), recording it, editing it, writing show notes, and putting the episode online. I would not recommend podcasting while you are extremely sick, but it was nice to learn that I could do it if I really needed to.

3. Book Club

There was a brief period of time when I participated in an online book club. I liked that it was done online (instead of in someone’s home).  This allowed me to participate even on days when I was on too many antihistamines to drive safely. It was fun, until I got sick. Being sick takes up a lot of time, so I wasn’t able to finish reading one of the books. That threw things off for me, and I eventually had to cancel my membership.

4. Painting a giant mural for a fest

I painted several huge sheets of plywood into a design that I created for a festival in Rockford. Work took place in an old building (filled with mold and dust). Putting up the finished artwork required spending time outside, and then more time outside to “check on it” – for about 3 days. I skipped meals and sleep in order to complete everything on time. To this day, I cannot imagine how I survived this experience with all of my chronic illnesses.

5. Try as I might, I cannot come up with a fifth activity.

5 Activities that I have done that I wouldn’t have pursued if I hadn’t become ill.

1. Freelance writing

Part of what inspired me to become a freelance writer was unemployment.  Once I started, I realized that it is the perfect job for me.  I work from home (which limits my exposure to allergens).  I make my own hours and can take a break to eat (or sleep) anytime I need to.  It is super easy to schedule doctor’s appointments around freelance writing.  I have more “good days” now than when I was trying to physically cope with working in retail.

2. The 30 Day Chronic Illness Challenge

If I were healthy, there would be no motivation for me to try this challenge. There are some topics (like the “pep talk” one) that anyone could write about. However, if I were healthy, some of the topics would be out of reach.  How would a healthy person write about the topic “How did you get a diagnosis”?

3.  Twitter

Does the use of a particular form of social media count as an “activity”? Years ago, I started writing haiku of frustration.  I’ve found that the character limit on Twitter is the perfect medium for sharing my haiku.  Many of my haiku are about being frustrated due to my chronic illnesses.  I share them on Twitter (as well as the haiku that are not about being sick).  It makes me smile when someone “favorites” one or retweets it.

I’m out of ideas, so I don’t have a number 4 or a number 5. If this were a homework assignment, it would probably be marked “incomplete”.

Image by Andres Cappell on Flickr.

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