National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week 2010: Each One Can Reach One

National Invisible Illness Awareness Week is upon us once again.  I'm thankful for that, because I know that Lisa Copen, the lady behind it all, has had a rough year since II Week 2009 - check out her "outrigger splint;" and she doesn't even mention the flesh eating virus she had to beat after the surgery!  The fact that the event is happening at all this year is a testament to her strength and resolve in this mission to increase awareness of invisible illness.

If you're a blogger and you want to participate with a blog post you can sign up at Bloggers Unite: National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week 2010.  And if you're not a blogger you can see all the blog posts for this event in one place there.

My blog topic for this year will be "Blogging About Your Illness: An Update," per Lisa's suggestion.  In 2007 I was a participant in the II Week Virtual Conference, and Blogging About Your Illness was my topic.  Three years ago researching this topic was hard going.  There wasn't much information available, so after writing about the mechanics of blogging, I wrote about "writing about illness."  Things have changed a lot in this respect; there's lots of info out there now on blogging as a specific form of writing about illness.  And I'm going to tackle it in my next post!

In 2007 at the Virtual Conference I was ready to talk (actually that year we were chatting in writing, not talking) about The Mechanics of Blogging About Your Illness (Part 1), Why People Write About Their Illness (Part 2), and The Benefits of Blogging (writing) About Your Illness (Part 3).  But people had so many questions about Part 1, The Mechanics of Blogging About Your Illness that all my time was used up answering them.  So I put it all up as a three part blog post where it remains today for posterity.

Tune in for the "Blogging About Your Illness Update" on my next post.

This year the theme for II Week is "Each One Can Reach One." The idea is to spread the word via Post-It notes.  That way even people who don't do computers can be reached.  Lisa has an informative video about it, among lots of other goodies, on the II Week website at   Below is a slide show of notes that people are taking pictures of and sharing.  My favorite so far is the one on the Epsom Salt shelf at the store.  I have a shelf like this in my home; I can't abide being without my Epsom Salt!!!

There is also a free ebook of chronic illness tips available that looks totally cool - Chronic Illness Tips: 263 Ways To Do More Than Just Get By.  You sign up for daily email updates on II Week in order to get the ebook, and so far the updates are excellent and something I'm going to use to keep up with all of the II Week happenings.  There are A LOT of happenings and this will help keep me "in the loop."

The ebook has tips from a variety of Those Who Know - Lisa Copen, of course, Trish Robichaud, Jenni Prokopy, Maureen Pratt, Rosalind Joffe, Jennifer Saake and Jennifer Jaff, to name my favorites so far.  I expect after reading the book and listening to the Virtual Conference I'll have a few more favorites!  There are also a lot of links to even more info, in the ebook.

The topics range from relationships to career to faith to practical tips, and more.  The faith focus in the eboook is on Christianity, but there is also an abundance of secular information if that's not your bag.

One quote from Lisa that really struck me:
I have had days where I have thought, “If one more person tells me to go have a cup of tea I am going to scream! Tea is not going to help, people! I am tired of tea! My illness is bigger than tea! Don’t you get it?”  page 13
Yes Lisa, I totally get it.


  1. Sheryl, your post brought such a smile to my face. Yes the flesh eating bacteria in 2008 was not fun, and then the joint replacement surgery in 2009 was not completely done correctly. But reading blogs from people like you who have so much heart and passion for those who are hurting, keeps me going. I feel like there are so many cheerleaders alongside me (with their own bandages, aches, crutches and more!) I had to laugh that out of the whole book you quoted my one rant about tea. I DO like tea... but it doesn't always cure what ails us, huh?

    Your posts look wonderful on blogging! Let me know if there is any particular one I could share at w/ you as a guest blogger.

    Thanks dearly,

  2. Thank YOU Lisa, and I love tea also. No, it doesn't always (ever?) cure what ails me, but it does usually make me feel a little better. My favs are by Tazo: Awake, Chai, Earl Gray, and a new one called Focus. They are all black teas that I drink in the a.m. instead of coffee. In the winter I drink more calming bedtime teas also.

    You're welcome to share any of my posts on blogging. I'll write you about that directly.

    I'll say it again: You are an amazing woman to keep all this wonderful stuff going year after year!

  3. Sherril, I'm so glad you brought honor to Lisa in this post! Not only is she deserving of it but I think it's easy for others to forget or overlook the fact that she is also chronically ill herself and in pain a great deal most of the time. And she's got both the reins in her hands for Invisible Illness Week! Amazingly, look at what God been birthed through her own suffering! What a blessing that Lisa and Rest Ministries reach out to the myraid of us who are chronically ill but also to step out to educate others about what it means to live with illness and/pain that is not always visible!

    I've enjoyed reading your posts, Sherril! Really informative about the blogging tips. Thx!I find your blog very warm and welcoming! Oh, and I love tea too! Mucho grande! Having a nice hot cuppa Keemun I write! Perhaps tea is a thought for the topic of next years IIW. Just sayin.Love and blessings :)

  4. Thanks, Michelle! Hmmm, I'll be thinking about the tea as an IIW post for next year. I just found a cute new (to me) series of books by Laura Childs, The Tea Shop Mysteries. I expect to learn a lot more about tea while engaging in one of my favorite pastimes, reading. Also, I do use teas for other things like nausea and IBS.


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