Day 24: Today’s Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge Prompt (#HAWMC) is: “My Mascot! Give your condition, community, or self a mascot. Who is it? What do they represent? What is their battle cry?”
When I first saw this prompt, it freaked me out a little . . . Me, create a mascot? Oh no, I couldn’t do that. After all, I’m not that creative, am I? Well, maybe I am, because the idea kept sort of sloshing about in the mush that is my brain; bumping into all these other ideas about fibro, and coping, and pain. Some of the ideas stuck together, a picture started forming in my head, and suddenly there she was. FibroFighter, the fibromyalgia mascot, waving a hot pad and shouting “I can do it!”
FibroFighter is just as much a superhero as a mascot though. She has to be to do even part of the things that a “normal” (read “not sick”) person does every day while coping with constant pain, exhaustion so deep it feels like it pins her to the bed, and fibrofog that turns her brain to mush.
FibroFighter’s “secret weapons:”
- Hot packs of all shapes and sizes
- Epsom salt
- Herbal teas (and capsules)
- Nutritional supplements
- Prescription meds
- A laptop computer
I wish I was artistic, and could put the picture in my head down on paper, because FibroFighter doesn’t look like any superhero you’ve ever seen in your life. She (the majority of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are female) is an ordinary-looking, middle-aged woman who is starting to go gray. She’s moderately overweight and wears loose, comfortable clothes. Her superhero “cape” is a microwaveable hot pad shaped to lay over the shoulders and drape down over the upper back; and she looks like you, or me, or your neighbor down the street.
In my head, she’s sitting at a desk in front of her computer with a cup of hot herbal tea conveniently close to her dominant hand, and she’s researching everything she can find about ways to ease the fibro symptoms she lives with every day, or writing about what she’s found. She’s posting links to useful information on Twitter and Facebook, participating in groups and forums with other chronic pain patients; and generally working to make her life and the lives of the people she connects with better.
The biggest difference between FibroFighter and other superheros though, is that she really exists. She is every health activist in the world that fights her way through the pain, exhaustion and fibrofog to work toward a better life for herself and those like her; she’s every chronic illness blogger who writes about her experience; and she’s every fibromyalgia patient who still manages to bathe, and parent, and clean, and have relationships in spite of her illness.
FibroFighter is you, and me. She is all of us, and we are all superheros!
This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J
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