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6/21/2008

Gratitude Moment: Taking Time to Thank Tracee Sioux who has been a GREAT Supporter!

About 3-4 months ago, I stumbled across a blog:

http://www.sosiouxme.com/.

It's written by a woman named Tracee Sioux (pronounced "Sue").

Here's a picture of Tracee Sioux. (I hope she doesn't mind that I used her picture without asking her first but that would have spoiled the surprise and her picture is all over the Internet thanks to her blog so I don't think she will mind):




I found her blog simply engrossing. I had looked at numerous blogs before I found Tracee's but suddenly I found myself posting comments to her articles and basically joining in the discussions taking place on her blog about a variety of topics. (Tracee writes a blog about the topic of empowering women and girls and I had plenty to say about those issues).

Sometime in March, I emailed Tracee directly (not a post on one of her comment boards but an email to the address listed on her site). Since March is endometriosis awareness month and since Tracee's blog seemed to be quite active, it occurred to me that it would be REALLY cool if she might consider the possibility of posting some information about endometriosis on her blog. (It turns out she has two separate blogs but the www.sosiouxme.com link will get you to both of them).

Anyway I emailed her with some very brief info on endometriosis and asked if there was any possibility that she might consider writing something up on endometriosis and posting on her blog. I figured a blog targeting empowering women and girls would be a good fit for reaching the audience that could benefit from endometriosis awareness!

Tracee wrote back immediately and agreed to write about endometriosis on her blog. I was thrilled. She took some information I sent her and combined it with her own perspective on endometriosis and/or the management of women's pain. (There has been research done that shows women's pain is undertreated as opposed to men's pain. See the "For Grace" site for more information about this topic):

http://www.forgrace.org/women/in/pain_home/.

Anyway, Tracee then wrote not one but TWO articles (one on each of her two blogs) about endometriosis and/or pain management for women! I was very excited.

I was thrilled and honored to have the opportunity for increasing endometriosis awareness through Tracee's blog. I was excited at the opportunity for outreach to endometriosis patients and their loved ones, I was pleased for endometriosis to be covered on a blog that gets lots of traffic, and I was touched that my simple email request had blossomed into two articles that could stand to help endometriosis patients (and their loved ones).

I followed Tracee's blogs regularly for weeks (actually for months). In that time I started to really be inspired about the possibility of starting my own blog. I was a bit vague on the details at first. Blogging is new to me. I didn't know where to start at first. I REALLY wasn't sure if I could maintain a blog properly because I didn't know if I had to post articles on a certain frequency. (With the multiple chronic illnesses and severe pain, there are times I just can't write articles and there is no way I could "sign up" for something with deadlines and pressure to produce just so much with a particular frequency/timing)!!!

I didn't discuss my "secret dreams" of starting a blog with anyone but talked quite a bit about Tracee's blog to my husband over a period of time. One day he asked me if I'd ever thought of starting my own blog. (I was thinking, "is he reading my mind?"). Well... I had actually given it lots of thought but hadn't voiced it to anyone (even my husband). This is very unlike me! I infamously wear my heart on my sleeve. Those who know me well know that I'm generally not the "secret-keeper" type and that I share my ideas and dreams quite openly in normal circumstances. However, this was something I had some concerns about. I didn't want to "sign up" for something that would end up burning me out or escalating my symptoms. I'm sick enough and couldn't risk undertaking a project that potentially could make me even sicker. A couple of weeks went by. Then Tracee emailed me one day asking the same question my husband had, "have you considered starting your own blog?"

Shortly thereafter Tracee came to the rescue. After pounding her with questions and listening to her GREAT tips, I realized that there are different types of blogs and I COULD make this happen. There ARE blogs that are tied to various media companies where you must produce 6 articles per week, for example. That got ruled out immediately for me due to my illnesses. So Tracee explained to me that I COULD have a blog where I set my own pace and simply post when I'm well enough to do so. That was just an example of the multitude of helpful tips and useful information Tracee Sioux provided me when I was contemplating starting a blog.

She truly inspired me. Yes, her tips and information were inspiring. However, she also inspired me because she is courageous and brave. Her blog tackles tricky and controversial topics at times. She speaks her mind! She does not let fear prevent her voice from being heard. Whether you agree with all of her opinions or not, she is strong and resilient and kind. She is thoughtful and supportive. She CARES!!!

So I just thought it would be appropriate to take a moment to post this "gratitude moment" and thank Tracee Sioux for inspiring me to use my voice to speak out on behalf of endometriosis patients around the world; to speak boldly about women's choices to advocate for themselves when navigating the landmine that is our healthcare system in the U.S.; to "get the word out" to people (men and women, patients and medical professionals... anyone interested in listening or posting their feedback comments here); to generate more awareness about the potentially devastating illness we call endometriosis...

I've seen endometriosis sidetrack or decimate careers, endanger marriages or contribute to divorces happening, cause heartbreaking infertility, cause excruciating and debilitating pain... and so much more! I have met face-to-face (in endometriosis support groups in a couple of cities and their outlying areas in which I've lived over the years) with countless women who are SO sick yet somehow manage to do so much! Unfortunately, sometimes they do "so much" at their own peril. I know ALL about this topic because I went from working 80-hour weeks about 14-15 years ago to now being too sick to work outside the home at all. Pushing the body (and mind) past its limits can have devastating results.

So I'd like to thank Tracee Sioux, for her role in inspiring me to start an endometriosis blog. My intent is to reach out to endometriosis patients and their families, to provide information they may find useful or interesting, to soak up their feedback on the comments to the articles, to hopefully get "guest blogging" rolling eventually (if you have story ideas, let me know), etc.

I am not a medical professional. I am an endometriosis patient whose symptoms began 26 years ago. At my current age of 39, I been through a great deal with endometriosis. From pharmaceuticals and surgery to any valid alternative medicine methods/info I could get my hands on, I have learned and grown so much. My endometriosis support group has been a massive well of info and support!

I hope to incorporate what I've learned from personal experience and from my role as an endometriosis support group co-leader for almost 7 years now into this blog. I want to HELP PEOPLE attain a higher quality of life, be active participants in their healthcare, advocate for their rights when interacting with medical professionals, etc.

I have seen what a relatively small local support group can do to connect endo patients with other endometriosis patients who simply "get it", to help them truly network with fellow patients (a HUGE benefit!!), and to simply have a free exchange of information that positively impacts all who participate!!!

IT IS VERY TOUCHING HOW MUCH SIMPLY CONNECTING WITH FELLOW PATIENTS CAN DO!!!

With this blog, I hope to reach MORE people. My intent is to create on online community of sorts... where readers like you can stop by in moments of need, visit the blog on a regular basis to "stay in the loop" about endo happenings, have the chance to interact with other endometriosis patients (and other chronically ill patients as well)...

I just wanted to take a moment to publicly thank Tracee Sioux.. for her support, encouragement, information, and kindness. Her input was very helpful in me getting out of the "fear zone" about starting a blog... and simply jumping in and doing it! I hope this blog proves helpful, useful, informative, etc. My intent is to provide a comfortable place for interested readers to read posts, write comments/feedback, and perhaps even submit their own ideas for topics of interest, etc.

We're only 20 days in on this blog and I know I have to pace myself. There will be times when I'm too sick to post. When this happens, please check back! I'll post again as soon as I am able.

The more active this blog becomes, the more people we reach. With estimates as high as 80+ million women worldwide who are endometriosis patients AND with the incidence of co-existing conditions for so many endometriosis patients, I believe the need for endometriosis support and information is VAST and I hope to do my small part in providing information/support and a forum for readers' feedback on a variety on endometriosis topics and related topics (such as the topic of chronic illness in general).

I hope to live up to the challenge ahead!

Right now, I just want to thank Tracee again for her support, encouragement, and information. Her brave spirit, her fearlessness, her candid comments, and her honesty are inspirational to me.

Thank you Tracee!

This article was posted by Jeanne via "Jeanne's Endo Blog" at www.endendoat.blogspot.com.

2 comments:

Tracee said...

Thanks so much Jeanne. I very much hope that your blog is a great success. I hope other women find you as inspiring as you have found me. You're very kind and I'm so glad to have helped.

Jeanne said...

You're a great role model for being strong in your convictions and helping people.

I can only hope to aspire to do the same for others with my blog.

My support group has been so enlightening and I hope to channel the positive energy I have gained from people like you and from the women in my support group in a positive, uplifting way.

I am fortunate to have family and friends who support me as well.

Support from other people is so important.

Whether it's illness or some totally unrelated issue, we human beings have so much to offer each other.

I can only hope to do my small part in making the world a better place one piece at a time.

Thank you for helping "jumpstart" my efforts at getting blogging!! :)

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