I’ll Be Hosting a PFAM Blog Carnival Next Month! Please Be “Patient”!

I’m thrilled to announce I’ll be hosting a couple of future editions of the Patients for a Moment (PFAM) Blog Carnival. I hope you will participate!

PFAM is a biweekly blog carnival, described thus on the PFAM “About” Page:

Patients For A Moment is a patient-centered blog carnival – for, by, or about patients – that was started by Duncan Cross (http://duncancross.net//). The goal of the carnival is to “build connections within the community of people who blog about illness, disease, and disability. This includes doctors, nurses, caregivers, even policy wonks – but especially patients.”

PFAM has been going strong for three years, but I have rarely taken part. I love blog carnivals, and I have wanted to take part more often than I have. So, what has stopped me?

The main reason is that, since it’s biweekly, there’s not a long lead time. With my symptoms and unpredictable functionality, it’s hard for me to write blogs without a substantial amount of time to gather my thoughts on a topic that hasn’t already been floating around in my head, write it, and submit it on time (always assuming that I remember to write and submit it — a very, very big assumption!).

The other reason is that I sometimes don’t have much (or anything) to say on the given topic. (I know, hard to believe: me, without something to say!) That’s because the PFAM structure is that the host asks a question pertaining to living with illness, disease, or disability, and requests blog posts that answer that question in some way. While many are general enough that I could answer them — What are you afraid of? What are you thankful for? What are your guilty pleasures? — sometimes the questions were so specific, and my life so limited, there wasn’t much I could say. For example, your five favorite places to go (I can only go one place, aside from medical appointments); how do you stay physically active (I don’t/can’t); what is your must-have music (I usually can’t tolerate music), etc. Often, I’d think to check out PFAM and find a really great topic that I definitely had something to say about had been published the week before (or I’d plan to write on that topic and forget), and then the next one was a topic that didn’t fit me.

Another issue, though a small one, is that I don’t usually think of myself as a “patient,” and I don’t blog that much specifically about my illnesses/disabilities. My life as a disabled person is the background to almost every post, but I’m not really a “chronic illness blogger” — I don’t generally write posts about treatments, coping, doctors, how my life has changed since I’ve been disabled (I barely remember what it was like anymore not to be disabled), etc.

However, so often I find that the best way to get involved in something is to alter it to fit me — which usually involves taking a leadership role. Well then, what better way to get involved in PFAM than to host?

So, I will be hosting two PFAM editions in the next few months. Here at After Gadget, on October 12, look for the announcement of the topic for the October 26 edition of PFAM. Then, in December, I’ll host an edition at my other blog with a topic appropriate for that blog’s focus.

Meanwhile, if you didn’t know about PFAM before, and you’re interested in reading archived or new editions, or in contributing to the carnival, check out the PFAM home page!

– Sharon, the muse of Gadget, and Barnum, SDiT

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