Learning from Another Health Activist

Earlier in this blog challenge, I was paired with Jamee Miller and we swapped guest posts. When I took a look at her blog I instantly learned something about building your blog audience: connect with blogging communities! I have a new blogging goal thanks to Jamee: attend a bloggy boot camp one day…

In the meantime, thank you to the very special Realitynibs readers who are right here, right now ♥♥♥

Day 25 (April 25) – Learning

  • Share something you learned from another Health Activist (that everyone should know!) OR
  • Share something you’d like to teach other Health Activists.

Wordless Wednesday!

Day 24 (April 24) – Wordless Wednesday

Create a Pinterest board for your health focus. Pin 3 things. Share the image.


Here are the images I used for today’s Pinterest board. Please click here to see the descriptions and captions on Pinterest!



Technology: Track My Mitochondria Please!

Mitochondria are sometimes described as “cellular power plants”. Wikipedia


Nobody would expect the price tag for traveling to another continent for treatment to be inexpensive. But damn, the blood test I had in November 2012 to measure how much of my mitochondrial sites were blocked and to find out what was blocking them, that was crazy expensive. To give you an idea, this test was developed in the UK and is not currently available anywhere else in the world.

And just to make sure my head exploded, my doctor also did a test to determine the genetic profile of my liver, so that an effective way to remove the mitochondrial blockages could be designed.  Continue reading

Day to Day

Vincent drives a classic black cab around London – one of those old ones where the back doors open in the opposite direction from the front doors. After I hailed him from outside my flat, he asked me what had brought me to London as we headed for the Marylebone Farmers’ Market. I hesitated then told him about being ill for seven years and about getting CFS treatment in England. Vincent responded with his own honesty. He was supposed to be retired but had lost his pension to the UK equivalent of Bernie Madoff. When I paid the fare, Vincent gave me his mobile number so he could take me back home when I was ready. He refused to charge me for the return trip…

I don’t even remember the name of the vendor at the Farmers’ Market whose sage advice about dealing with life’s difficulties brought me to tears. This was right after I’d watched her practically give a pie away to a young mother who seemed like she was struggling to pay, while somehow making it look like the mother was doing her a favor.

The night before my plane took off for London, I finally accepted that I could not physically pull off all the packing and organizing. I desperately posted a request on TaskRabbit.com. A motherly woman in an SUV showed up at my San Francisco apartment early the next morning, packed my bags, and drove a bunch of my stuff to a storage unit.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m trying to say that the love of friends, relatives and even strangers inspires me, startles me and keeps me going. I could have said that at the beginning but it would have seemed too corny.

I hate to admit this but it’s easier to write stories about strangers – especially in a short post – than about the friends and relatives whose love has left me speechlessly grateful (you know who you are). I will get to that though. It would just take a lot more than a single blog post…

Day 22 (April 22) – Day to Day

  • Write about something ordinary that’s inspiring to you, something simple, perhaps overlooked, that fuels your activism. OR
  • Write about the things you couldn’t live without – list 10 things you need or love most.


Day 21 – Adversity

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.” – Mulan True or false? When do you bloom best?


When I read the quote in today’s prompt, I wanted to say, “Well it better be true. I’ll make it true for me!” Then I remembered that I’m learning to “allow” rather than “make”. I am allowing this quote to be true.

I get the whole thing about “making” life happen and it’s how I survived parents that I found to be scarily unreliable. But my body has now declared that this is not working. I didn’t know it but I was locked in a stressful approach to life at a fundamental level.  Continue reading

Burnout? Feel Better Right Here!

ME/CFS is essentially a form of extreme burnout. The burnout’s gone past the point of no return and one can no longer simply take a vacation or get some sleep in order to get better.

This blog is all about understanding the triggers, how it feels and how to recover. Those moments of despair do happen and I’ve developed a bag of tools to help me get out of the pit. My favorite one is listening to Mozart’s symphony no 12 in g major. Here’s the delightful menuetto!  Continue reading

Vintage Photo

Day 19 (April 19) – Vintage

Post a vintage photo of yourself, with a caption about the photo and where you were in terms of your health condition.


Alex drove me to the hairdresser. My roots got straightened, we stopped at the ocean where I had a good scream, then I returned to my cave. It seemed like a good idea at the time as I only ever went out for doctor’s appointments and tests. But soon I had to change my vanity for sanity strategy

Vintage Photo

I Take It Back…

I had a tantrum at Whole Foods Market High Street Kensington. It is so unusual for me to make such a public spectacle of myself. But berries are the only fruits that don’t cause problems for me and the Clinic had said to make sure they were organic – what with my sensitive system and the amount of pesticide used with conventional berries.

So when the guy from Whole Foods called me and said they were getting organic blueberries in (my favorite!) I was willing to make the trip to get them. I was feeling strong so I thought I could handle taking the bus. Then I got off the wrong stop and used up the rest of my precious stamina figuring out what to do.  Continue reading

Wordless Wednesday – Wow!

Day 17 (April 17) – Wordless Wednesday

Go to http://www.wordle.net/ to create a word cloud or tree from a list of words associated with your condition, blog, or interests. Post it!


Last year there was also a prompt that required us Blog Challenge participants to use Wordle. I had all kinds of problems because, as it turned out, the Wordle applet does not run on an iPad and I was still waiting for my desktop to arrive in London. The solution was to ask for help and the results were rather fun.

This year, I have my desktop but the application still didn’t run at first. I had to solve a few technical challenges and then, voilà! A word cloud in my own style. It’s interesting to see that one of the most recent Realitynibs posts was actually written by a guest so some of the prominent words are not typical of my Realitynibs vocabulary.

Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 7.24.40 PM



Misinformation: Vote for the Lie!

You can still vote RIGHT NOW before reading the answer below! Thank you to readers who voted on Facebook yesterday. Those Facebook results are already included in this poll.

When I first fell ill and nobody could diagnose or treat me, I began trying things on my own. I thought I should write down what I was learning for others who may come behind me and this eventually led to Realitynibs.comContinue reading