• Choosing Life and Sobriety

    As this is Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 6-October 12) and addiction and substance abuse are a part of mental health, I wanted to share something here that I shared publicly on Facebook for the first time last month during National Sober Day. I don’t talk about it much, but alcoholism runs deep in my veins, much like it did my father who was an abusive alcoholic when I was a child. There was once a time when I could and would drink you under the table. The hard stuff was like water in my system. I loved the taste of it and the burn as it went down. But no longer. All of that changed for me when I…

  • 2019 WEGO Health Award Nominations

    I am honored to announce that I have been nominated in three award categories for the 2019 WEGO Health Awards. Those categories are Best in Show: Blog, Healthcare Collaborator: Patient, and Patient Leader Hero. The WEGO Health Awards were created to celebrate those who tirelessly support the mission of WEGO Health: to empower the patient voice. With 15 award categories, the WEGO Health Awards are the only awards across all conditions and platforms, that recognize the over 100 thousand inspiring Patient Leaders who raise awareness, share information, and support their communities – but often without recognition. It is humbling to be nominated for these awards alongside so many other amazing advocates who work so incredibly hard to make a difference…

  • A Heart Filled with Gratitude

    So, it’s been a week now since HealtheVoices19 wrapped up in Dallas. What an amazing weekend of connections, education, empowerment and support it was. I’m still trying to wrap my head around everything that happened at the conference and find the words to capture the experience for a blog post. I hope to share that in the next couple of days. Today, though, I wanted to say thanks to everyone who made the experience possible. This year’s theme, “A Little Heart Can Do Big Things”, was inspired by the wristbands that I shared at last year’s conference. The words are my personal mantra, stemming from my experience with congestive heart failure, and it has been exciting and humbling for me…

  • Playing catch-up

    So, it’s been a while since I last updated the blog and some things have happened in that time that I feel a need to write about. This will be a bit long, so bear with me. Esophageal ManometryOn January 29th, my new gastroenterologist had me undergo a test called Esophageal Manometry. The test is used to measure the functionality of the muscles and lower sphincter of the esophagus and determine if there are issues. The procedure wasn’t the most pleasant of ways to spend a morning. To begin, I was given a cup of lidocaine gel to swallow and then a syringe full of the same gel was emptied into my left nostril. A thin probe was then passed…

  • Loving Your Heart This Month

    Today is the first day of February and with it comes the beginning of American Heart Month.  This month we focus on raising awareness of heart disease and all of its various forms, risk factors, steps to prevent and treat the disease, etc… As we start this month, I’d like to ask you a question.  How will you love your heart this month? Personally, I’m going to try to be more active and focus on eating a heart-healthy diet.  I plan to walk more each day and find ways to squeeze more steps in during my breaks at work and in my downtime.  I’m also working on making dietary changes due to my recent gastroparesis diagnosis and those changes are sure…