The AWESOME happened and I and we – it feels so much like a WE – became a #WEGO Finalist for the 2019 Best in Show Blog.
My desire was to spread the word about the science of trauma, how it affects risk for chronic illness, and why it’s not in your head.
Thank you guys for all that you did with your support, speaking out, voting, submitting comments, sending well wishes and more.
Becoming a #WEGO Finalist
It’s an honor to be a part of the amazing group of #WEGO patient leaders (there were 6000 nominees this year) who are doing so much in the world to offer hope and support and tips for the journey and for healing.
While we didn’t win the Best Blog award, becoming a finalist was a huge and touching win on its own.
It’s a win for all of us who are using the science of trauma to make sense of our symptoms, find empowering tools that support healing, and to know that being sick is not in our heads.
It’s a win for all who are educating our doctors, friends and family; who are learning how to stop judging ourselves and our bodies and others; who are growing in our abilities to love and accept who we are just as we are … and more.
You can see all of the finalists for each of the 15 categories and learn more about what this means on #WEGO’s website.
The section below is the first blog post I wrote on this topic after having been nominated for the health awards.
July 2019 Nominated for the #WEGO Patient Leader Awards
We had 544 votes at the closing of the #WEGO voting on July 28th and I feel like we accomplished something significant regardless of what happens.
You also left 37 comments!
15 of your extraordinarily thoughtful comments are visible on my profile page (I was really moved to learn how my work has been helpful to you – thank you).
You left another 22 comments (!!). These were not made visible because they were anonymous but each one of them was read by someone who approved each nomination.
As we’ve discussed here in the past weeks, becoming a #WEGO Finalist and winning would give me the chance to speak about trauma to health innovators & other patient leaders.
Health leaders who will be attending the October conference I’d be going to if I won include speakers from medical schools, health insurance companies, Mayo Clinic, organizations focusing on specific diseases such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), other patient leaders, and more.
You Voted to Inform Medicine
You’ve voted to inform health care professionals about the large body of research explaining how difficult events, adverse experiences that affect us emotionally and trauma can all increase risk for chronic illness – and how healing unresolved trauma can help with decreasing, managing and even healing symptoms of many diseases.
As so many of you know, this is what I write about on my blog and have shared in my own story of discovery and gradual recovery over many years of disabling exhaustion from chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and other symptoms.
Your vote supports spreading the word about how chronic illness can be traumatizing (and doctors contribute) as well as the research I write about that increases risk for so many chronic illnesses:
- adverse multigenerational experiences (AMEs)
- adverse babyhood experiences (ABEs)
- adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
- adverse childhood relationship experiences (ACREs) and developmental trauma
- adverse institutional experiences (AIEs)
- adverse pre-onset experiences (APOEs)
- events that trigger flares after onset
The message you guys have sent feels clear and I feel buoyed, honored and excited to be a part of this growing movement that is so empowering for everyone – patients, health care professionals, families and beyond.
What A #WEGOHealthAwards Win Offers
I feel quite uncomfortable promoting myself, yet my passion to open medicine’s eyes to the huge body of evidence explaining how adverse life experiences shape our health keeps calling and pulling at me.
It’s why I blog and why I spend so much time integrating and writing about the research.
Medicine has trouble keeping up with the science. It’s the nature of the beast.
But despite a deep desire to help, putting lives on hold to complete training and to do the work that often takes long hours and that can be very stressful – many medical professionals still often cause harm to patients through a lack of awareness and unrecognized bias. I still regularly hear and read about other patients who have experienced judgement, or who have been shamed and treated with out-of-date notions that anything to do with trauma implies a psychological cause or that their physical symptoms are all in their heads.
What I continue to see and hear from you guys is that many health care professionals still routinely tell you your symptoms are due to weakness, personality flaws, laziness or pretending (read Mechanical Engineer Dr. Gary Sharpe’s thoughtful story about his recent hospitalization for a crisis of his early onset Parkinson’s disease).
Few doctors or patients know about the hundreds of adverse childhood experience studies (ACEs) and other research showing how trauma increases risk for disease. And why it’s physiological, not psychological.
So I hope to have a chance to spread the word about the science of trauma and help educate fellow health care professionals and others in the field.
This opportunity is for everyone who wishes their doctors and nursing staff, their friends and family and colleagues could “get it” about the very real and painful effects of trauma and just how much more pervasive and subtle it is than most of us have ever realized.
Thank you everyone for being a part of the CITS journey!