On Part 1 of #LivingARTHfully, you read about the plot for a blogging event that was held in Toronto, Ontario. Now meet the cast - the bloggers, the presenters and the supporting members.
There were six of us in total - from Newfoundland, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Surrey (me) and Vancouver. Please meet:
Brian gives you a front row seat in his kayak as he paddles you up close to icebergs and inlets, whales and wildlife. If you've not been fortunate enough to experience the rugged beauty that is Newfoundland, Brian's blog may be the tipping point, pushing you to add Newfoundland to your Life List. His travels afar are documented, as is his his family life. Brian lives with psoriatic arthritis.
Feast on Lene's blog where you'll find a smorgasbord of topics. Sample posts from politics to passion/s, books - her own and those written by other authors, advocacy and volunteerism and a whole lot more, expertly spiced with her own special brand of humour. I'm amazed at the beauty she captures on her 4-wheeled journeys around the City of Toronto. Lene has had rheumatoid arthritis since the age of 4. She also has fibromyalgia and migraines.
And, boy, did she ever! Lindsay has participated in the Joints in Motion marathon. She's still running, but now it's after her daughter, Briony. Lindsay lives with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia - read about her 30 Things About an Invisible Illness here. She gently sprinkles her blog with inspiration and humour.
Dustin doesn't let his dual diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis stop him from boarding planes, trains and automobiles. In fact, just after this event, he went to Paris. Bien sûr! He encourages you to sleep and eat well, so you'll have the energy to seek out your sources of support. He also participated in the #60MinuteGameChanger.
On Changing Normal, Julia offers a vivid description of the effects of RA, which arrived one October morning in 2012. However, it wasn't until January 2013, that her life took an ironic turn. Julia proves the show does go on in Under the Spotlight. If one is good, two is better - Julia also blogs on Corkboards and Coffee Houses.
If I were allowed only two words to sum up the qualities of this group, those words would be hope and tenaciousness. Bravo! May you take many, many, many curtain calls!
Our moderator for the day. As far as moderators go, she was top o' the class. She did a remarkable job of keeping us mostly on schedule, even though the clock was challenged by the bubbling of animated discussions.
As well as introducing Sonja, Leigh provided a bloggers reference sheet that is sure to help unfreeze that icy writer's block. She generated a discussion on how much to share via social media. My curiosity about Nimble and embedding, although I confess that I haven't yet done any exploratory work in that regard.
Sonja spoke about the genesis of Hormone Soup and how she integrates it into a variety of media outlets and created a successful site.
Unfortunately, Dr. Thompson was at the far end of the room, and my hearing aids didn't pick up all of his wisdom. He talked about the importance of developing a time management system. One he recommended: Personal Kanban. He would know, as he is one busy man!
Dr. Sanjay Dixit
Dr. Sanjay is a rheumatologist who is also an assistant clinical professor at McMaster University in the Division of Rheumatology - Department of Medicine. He provided an overview about treatment options for RA, PA and AS. He stressed that one's symptoms should not be underplayed. The treatment goal is to get someone back to how they were before diagnosis.
— Marianna Paulson (@AuntieStress) August 15, 2014
Kelly - Janssen, Inc.
Kelly talked about a video series that Janssen produced, which documented the lives of three women who have RA. We had a far-too-quick glance at an amazing bit of technology - an LCD screen in a brochure, which looks like something that could belong on the set of Star Trek!
Her talk was brief, but her message was powerful - establish and use your support team, which could include using a patient support program.
Carol - The Art Gallery of Ontario
Carol took us on a brief tour of the Art Gallery, where we were introduced to two artists who had successfully mastered their craft, in spite of their disabilities. Then, it was playtime!
— Marianna Paulson (@AuntieStress) August 15, 2014
The Supporting Cast
They may be behind the scenes, but they are front of heart. Like any production, and like life with a chronic illness, it takes a team approach to ensure the show goes on, which it smoothly did!
Anya has a taste for the mysterious, as her first email to me was written in an evocative way - a great skill in her role as a senior consultant. She is as delightful in person as she was in print. Friendly, supportive and flexible - I'm sure all that yoga she does helps!
Kate - Janssen, Inc.
When you meet new people, it's always fun to find common ground, or in our case, common water! 😉 A little bit of home along the shores of Lake Superior. Thanks for reminiscing with me, Kate!
I didn't have much of a chance to speak with Sukhait, but when I did I learned that he eats, breathes and lives for skiing.
— Sukait Sharma (@sukait) August 15, 2014
"Great day with a group of inspirational people #livingARTHfully pic.twitter.com/lTZIH8pQPi"
— KarMar (@NotTheSameRiver) August 15, 2014