Hi there! My name is Jessica, and you’ve found my blog. Welcome!
I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a long time. Not just because various people have suggested it, although that did help move things along. But I think my primary motivation for something like this is to know that I’m not alone in what I’m going through in my life, and to let others know that they aren’t either. I want this blog to build a little community. Internet community is something I want to talk more about here, because the idea of community as something we (as Americans) have lost as far as the original, in-person definition goes, but something we’ve also tried to recreate online, is something that fascinates me. I’m interested in exploring the strengths and weaknesses of online community, as well as how well it works to fill the human need for community that has not kept up with our changing world.
But community isn’t the only thing I want to talk about. One relatively recent but very major aspect of my life is that I am disabled. A stumble down some stairs and a twisted ankle in July 2009 developed into a nightmarish permanent nerve pain condition that changed my life completely. I have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), which used to be called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). Both of these long, acronymed terms really mean that it is real, but modern medicine doesn’t understand it very well. We don’t know why it happens, and we don’t know how to cure it. I want to share my experiences with being in pain every day because I think most people don’t have a good idea of what this involves. There are some legal issues with the way pain medications are controlled that I think would be improved if more people knew better what it’s like to need these medications. And I hope to connect to others that deal with pain so I can share my techniques for living with this condition and learn about how they do it too.
I have several other interests I’d like to discuss as well. I’m very creative, and I’m almost always working on some project or other. I plan to discuss these as I work on them. Lately, I’ve been learning how to sew, and I’m hoping to learn how to design my own patterns as I figure out what I’m doing, so you’ll be seeing some sewing projects develop here. I also have some art and musical projects simmering on back burners that could come into focus again as well. And this new craft of blogging will be on my mind too.
My career before I became disabled was in aquatic animal husbandry, and I studied zoology and behavior at school.
American Hairless Terrier – Tagnon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I realized I would no longer be working with animals every day, I knew I needed to have animals at home. So I adopted two American Hairless Terriers–as someone with severe allergies to everything airborne, including animal dander, this is the only breed of dog I can live with and stay healthy–and had them shipped out to Guam. They are wonderful little creatures and do me worlds of good, keeping me walking when I’d rather lie around, making me laugh, giving me someone besides myself to fuss over, and letting me know every day that I am loved. They have interesting personality quirks and funny habits, and Crackers, the male, has some pretty serious behavioral issues from his prior life. I’ll be talking about the work I’m doing with his training and diet and how he’s responding to that. And I’m always looking for ways to make my beloved dogs’ lives better, so there will be talk of toys, food, treats, and and other dog care products and tips. I’m also happy to share info on taking care of fish if anyone has questions.
Finally, I’m currently learning a lot about yoga and meditation, as I practice these disciplines. It began as a way to cope with my pain condition, but I’ve found that these activities affect my life more profoundly than mere pain-control, and so they will get their own category. I’m hoping someday to become a yoga therapist, and help others discover some of these methods that have been so beneficial to me.
It’s going to take me a little while to get up to full speed with this blog (I don’t even know what that is going to be yet!), so for the moment I’m not advertising this blog anywhere. Once I feel like I’m getting the hang of it, I’ll put the word out. I want this to have some dialogue, so please feel free to leave any questions or comments. There will be a comment policy put together soon to make sure things are civil, but I don’t object to differences of opinion or constructive criticism.
Until next time!