Advocacy Win for Migraine Awareness Month

When the U.S. Pain Foundation announced they drafted a template to submit to the Governor’s offices for Migraine Awareness Month, I gladly offered to help obtain one for the State of Wisconsin.

My past efforts as a Pain Ambassador for Wisconsin was successful during Pain Awareness Month. Twice, I successfully gained Governor Walker’s signature to declare September Pain Awareness Month and had no doubt he would continue showing his support for the Wisconsinites living with this neurological disease that currently has no cure.

Once again, Governor Walker came through for a cause I strongly believe in. He signed the first proclamation declaring June 2017 Migraine Awareness Month throughout the State of Wisconsin.

As someone that was diagnosed with the migraine disease 30 years ago and a mom of a teen that lives with abdominal migraine, this was a huge step for the whole migraine community.

 

 

 

Today’s Parenting Team

 

I decided that my first Today’s Parenting Team article would be about my 13 year old son who lives with chronic migraines because people don’t seem to grasp that his migraines are not “just headaches.”

To read this article, click on the link below to be directed to the Today’s Show website.

http://community.today.com/post/how-to-help-your-child-cope-with-a-debilitating-chronic-illness

 

What to Expect When You’re Chronically Ill and Caring for a Chronically Ill Child

Being a mom to a chronically ill child, is one of the most challenging things I’ve experienced thus far.

With running back and forth between my own doctor appointments and my child’s, I easily became overwhelmed. Stressed out took on a new meaning. I honestly didn’t think I had it in me to be the mother my other two kids deserved.

I was drowning in my own sea of medical issues. How would I ever overcome the unexpected obstacles life was throwing my way, if I was too ill and always in a tremendous amount of pain to handle it?

This new section on my blog will dive into the past 4 years where Continue reading “What to Expect When You’re Chronically Ill and Caring for a Chronically Ill Child”

What to Expect When You’re Chronically Ill

This new section on my blog will be where I post about the delimnas I’ve faced these past 5 years as someone living with several chronic illnesses.

Here are just a few things I’ll be opening up about:

  • Financial Strain on the family
  • Relationships
  • Loss of Independence
  • Medications and the Dangerous Side Effects

 

 

 

Lego® Batman Build Event


My kiddos and I could not be any more excited about the release of The LEGO® Batman Movie.

My youngest already has 3 of the LEGO® sets from the movie and still wants to get the whole series!

My 13 year old is mostly looking forward to the characters that will be making an appearance in the movie.

And I am psyched about getting spending quality time with my family while relaxing in the Marcus theater’s dream loungers.

Since we have to wait two more weeks to see Batman in action, we are going to head out to Barnes & Noble this Saturday for their LEGO® Batman Build Event.

Starting Saturday January 28th and continuing February 25th and March 11th, celebrate the release of the LEGO® Batman Movie. At each event, kids can collect two limited edition trading cards (while supplies last) featuring characters from the movie. The cards collected at all three events will unveil a special scene. Enjoy giveaways, make and play themed moments with LEGO® bricks and blocks plus much more.

Let me tell you, when Barnes & Noble does giveaways, their prizes are awesome!

Both of my boys have won prizes from different events. You’d think they hit the lottery! The Doctor Who prize pack and the Batman VS. Superman: Dawn of Justice movie posters fit perfectly with the other superhero decor in their bedrooms.

For more details about the LEGO® Build Event and to find our what locations are participating, check out Barnes & Noble’s website.

 

Spoonie Mom Blogs: Jaime Sanders of Migraine Diva

 

Jaime Sanders of Migraine Diva

When I first met Jaime it was through one of the many online support groups for people living with chronic migraines. She was a friendly face amongst the sea of migraineurs that always had insightful content on Twitter and Facebook. Her positive outlook on the worst of days is part of what makes this spoonie mom remarkable.

A few months back I finally had a chance to speak to Jaime about the exciting things happening in her life.

During our very long conversation I learned that we had quite alot in common. The 30 years of living with migraines, more failed treatments than successful ones, the debilitating physical/emotional pain all the while trying to be the loving wife and mom was something we both connected on.

Her blog is a true reflection of who she really is. She’s very open about the way each of her ailments complicate her every day life. This woman does not hold anything back when she writes her posts. I admire that!

Despite all of the challenging obstacles that Jaime endured in her lifetime, she knew it was those unfortunate circumstances that would give her the courage to help educate others about chronic migraines and depression.

This past August, she was invited to sit on the More to Migraine Panel during the BlogHer Event.

This is a photo that features the More to Migraine Panel at the 2016 BlogHer event. Jaime joined Dr. Susan Hutchinson, a headache specialist and migraine sufferer, Shannon Albert, a patient speaker, and Serene Branson, who served as the moderator.

She even had the opportunity to join an Excedrin campaign that focused on fostering empathy from those that might not understand why migraines are not just headaches.

This is one of the videos that Jaime appears in.

http://www.reuters.com/brandfeatures/excedrin/hardship-and-hope

All I have to say is this woman is on fire! I see great things in Jaime’s future. Possibly a talk show with that stellar personality.

Jaime is a beautiful person on the inside as she is on the outside. I am truly honored to know this migraine diva and lucky enough to call her my friend.

To learn more about Jaime and view the other videos by Excedrin visit her blog:

http://themigrainediva.blogspot.com/

Don’t forget to show this woman some love by liking her Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/themigrainediva/

You can also follow Jaime on Twitter or Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/migrainediva/

 

 

 

Advocating Goals for 2017

2016 marked my 2nd year as an Advocate for Migraine and Headache Disorders, as well as, an Ambassador for the U.S. Pain Foundation.

In February I attended Headache On The Hill in Washington DC with my 13 year old son. We spent the day speaking with our State’s (Wisconsin) Congressional members about living with debilitating chronic migraines and cluster headaches. We both shared how our neurological diseases impacted our daily lives and how there’s a desperate need for more funding towards research.

Migraine and Headache Disorder Advocates lobbied in Washington DC for Headache On The Hill.

Not only did our State’s representives listen, they truly empathized with us. The best part was how they learned it is not always easy to find an effective treatment plan because each paitent responds differently than the other.

Case in point, the same medication and dosage that worked wonders for my son put me into a comatose state for weeks and landed me in the ER several times.

This was the first time I left Capitol Hill feeling accomplished as an Advocate.

I was especially proud of my son. He braved through his own migraine attack from the night before to join me and the other advocates hoping to gain the support of their own State’s congressional members.

Congressman Reid Ribble of Wisconsin and my 13 year old son after our meeting with his office during Headache On The Hill (February 2016)

My advocacy efforts did not end there.

In June I took to social media along with other paitents, caregivers and medical professionals to help raise awareness on migraines and headache disorders.

The entire month of June is dedicated to this cause as a means to end the unnecessary stigma that stems from individuals whom view migraines and cluster headaches as an unimportant health issue.

I furthered my dedication to raising awareness by doing a podcast with Joni Aldrich of Treatment S.O.S. We spent 45 minutes discussing various topics related to my health over the past 3 decades of my life and how I manage to care for a child that has just as debilitating migraines as my own.

Anytime I can openly discuss how my life has been negatively and positively impacted by migraines or cluster headaches, you better believe I’m going to do so.

With the rest of summer causing multiple health delimnas for myself and 13 year old, I took some time to rest and work on regaining control over my overactive immune system.

Once fall approached, I finally felt well enough to advocate locally.

In September, I joined other U.S. Pain Ambassadors by helping beautify cities and towns throughout my State in blue.

Spending the day in Downtown Green Bay and City Hall decorating designated areas with Beautify in Blue ribbons and signs (September 2016)

Beautify in Blue is a campaign created by the U.S. Pain Foundation that highlights the bravery, courage and perseverance of pain warriors during the month of September.

With the permission of business owners and the Mayor of Green Bay, I decorated designated areas with blue ribbons and signs.

Mayor Jim Schmitt of Green Bay and I in front of City Hall. Mayor Schmitt was more than happy to support the US Pain Foundation’s Beautify in Blue campaign.

In total there was 8 participants. 12 signs and numerous ribbons was displayed for Pain Awareness Month.

Some of the businesses that supported the US Pain Foundation’s campaign. The following Cities/Towns in Wisconsin had ribbons/signs placed on their property to honor pain awareness month: Mountain, Breed, Suring, Laona, Green Bay, Lakewood, and Antigo.

I would have loved to put more ribbons and signs out, but in the world of a spoonie the state of your health has the ability to render those ambitions.

Which brings me the advocating goals I’ve set for 2017.

With the State of Wisconsin electing a new congressmen for my district, I felt it was important that I be in Washington D.C. for this years Headache On The Hill. If anyone can convince a person why they should fully support paitents living with neurological diseases like migraines and cluster headaches, I am the right gal for the job.

The entire month of May will be my busiest.

The Arthritis Foundation and other partners observe Arthritis Awareness. The 12th is designated as Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. Not only does my mom have Rheumatoid Arthritis, she just received her latest test results and now we both have Fibromyalgia. It’s definitely not something I want to have in common with my mom, but we can take a little comfort in knowing we have one another for moral support.

Next on my list is taking part in my very first walk/run marathon in May.

Miles for Migraines will host a 2 mile walk/5K/10K run at the Diversey Harbour in Chicago. They are dedicated to raising awareness and funds towards migraines and other headache disorders.

Running isn’t in the cards for me, but I’ll gladly walk the miles with anyone else that is willing to join in our cause.

In June I’ll be on full mission mode for Migraine and Headache Disorder Awareness Month. I’ve been doing my part to help raise awareness throughout the month going on 4 years. I have to admit, it’s pretty amazing how many people will open up about their own experiences with migraines or cluster headaches once you’ve shared how your life has been impacted by these neurological conditions.

That alone, makes me feel that I’ve done my part as an Advocate.

As September approaches, I will contact Governor Scott Walker’s office to ask him to sign his 4th proclamation for Pain Awareness Month. This time around, I’d like to display Beautify In Blue signs around the State’s capital in Madison and setup an educational table at several health fairs or hospitals in Wisconsin.

Now that my goals are set, I am going to do my very best to achieve each and every one of them.

Wish me luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toys R Us Events Your Kids Won’t Want to Miss

blog-kids-banner

This weekend Toys R Us is having not one, but two events that your kiddos will not want to miss out on.

Join Toys R Us for their LEGO® Star Wars™ event that takes place this Saturday, November 19th from 12-2PM. The kids can go on a scavenger hunt & get a FREE LEGO Star Wars Minifigure!

screenshot_2016-11-16-00-56-17-1

Then return back on Sunday, November 20th from 2-4PM for the Toys R Us Pokémon trade and collect event. There will be FREE giveaways & more! Plus, Sun & Moon video games are here!

screenshot_2016-11-16-00-56-30-1

For more information or to locate the Toys R Us nearest you check out their website: http://www.toysrus.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=2255956

Also, follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook to find out about other upcoming events.

https://twitter.com/ToysRUs

https://www.facebook.com/toysrus

***This was not a paid ad. I just have kids that LOVE Toys R Us and we always go to their events because they are so much fun!***

Halloween ComicFest 2016

blog-free-comic-books

What could be better than candy this Halloween Weekend?

How about FREE comic books!!!

Saturday, October 29th is Halloween ComicFest 2016.

Halloween ComicFest Official logo
Halloween ComicFest Official logo

What is HalloweenFest?

It’s a one-of-a-kind event held at local comic shops. It gives a chance for pop-culture fans and comic book enthusiasts alike to enjoy the free comics and HCF Mini-Comic Polypacks and participate in the Greatest Halloween Costume Contest.

According to the Halloween ComicFest website, there are 32 titles—19 full-sized comics and 13 mini-comics—available, including select titles from Marvel Comics (Darth Vader: Doctor Aphra #1, Spidey #1, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: You Choose the Story #1, and The Haunted Mansion #1), DC Comics (DC Superhero Girls #1 and Scooby Apocalypse/Hanna-Barbera Sampler), Dark Horse Comics (Harrow County #1), and IDW Publishing (My Little Pony: The Haunted Dungeon) among other spooktacular tales.

Last year my kids and I attended our first HalloweenFest at Powers Comics in Green Bay. We had such a blast! Not only did we each get to pick 3 free comic books there was also an assortment of free bookmarks, stickers and candy. Powers Comics was lucky enough to have New York Times bestselling author, John Jackson Miller, signing his own comic books for anyone that purchased his work.

To find out if your local comic book store will be participating click on this link: http://www.halloweencomicfest.com/StoreLocator

There is also a contest going on where you can enter The Greatest Halloween Contest Ever!

Costume contest photo submissions can be submitted starting October 6, 2016 and close Monday November 7th, 2016 at 11:59PM.

Contest voting will run from Tuesday, November 1st until voting closes on Monday, November 7th at 11:59PM.

Winners will be announced on Friday, November 11th.

For more details visit the HCE website.

blog-power-comics
My youngest kiddo sporting his Star Wars costume last year at Powers Comics during Halloween ComicFest 2015