Each week we are highlighting a different Chronic Illness Bloggers’ member as our ‘Blogger of the Week‘. As well as getting to know each other better, we hope that you enjoy this series and that you find the interviews with each member to be insightful and helpful.
This week our blogger of the week is “PJ” of Pajama Daze.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Started Pajama Daze in 2012, and as it morphed over the years, I began including more and more submissions from other chronically ill bloggers, artists, poets and writers. It all started when I was bored with being stuck in the house and/or bed and needed to do something worthwhile. I had been suffering CFS (which after 10 years went into remission last summer) after having 4 heart attacks. I had also suffered from severe migraines and dizzy spells for over 25 years. Eventually it was discovered that I had an uncommon condition called Fibromuscular Dysplasia which impacts connective tissue, especially arteries where it causes abnormal cell growth in the artery walls. My carotid, vertebral and renal arteries look like strings of beads. My carotids are severely stenosed and I must travel 10 hours by train to Mass General to see my team of doctors at their FMD program. I like writing, and now have more time to do it as I’m now disabled. I used to work in media and health care, as well as volunteer activities for the environment and human rights. I have am Masters in Communications and am a certified Holistic Health Educator.
2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
My website is called Pajama Daze. The main blog there is called the Goin’ Bananas in Pajamas Blog. There are also two other pages set up as blogs – PJ’s Bookshelf (book reviews) and the Pajama Daze Entertainment Center. The purpose of the website is to motivate, educate and inspire those with chronic illness to create the best life possible for themselves. We also celebrate creativity.
3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
Like I said before, I’ve been blogging since 2012 because I was so bored being mostly housebound and wanted to do something constructive. I never had blogged or built a website before. It was an exciting project, and now, even more exciting, I’m publishing a Pajama Daze Book mainly based on the website, with around 40 people who have posted on my website also contributing to the book.
4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
I post when I feel inspired, and I also welcome guest bloggers. As I also have some responsibilities in caring for my elderly father, and I’m not always sure how I’m going to feel or if my oxygen-starved brain is even going work, this works best for me at this time. When the book is done, I’ll have more time to spend on my website, and I’d like to revamp it.
5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
first started blogging in a journal on inspire.com, I felt so vulnerable and exposed. But after others started commenting on how they were so glad to see someone with similar experiences put those experiences into words, I knew that what I was doing was important. I also learned I wasn’t alone. Then I got the idea of developing a website. I truly feel I am doing something worthwhile now. It’s a great feeling.
6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
Because we’re all so isolated, physically and socially, and we NEED to connect with others who can understand what we are going through. NO ONE understands a spoonie like another spoonie!
7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
1. Be honest.
2. Don’t be afraid to use humor, if you have a humorous side.
3. Don’t ever write and then post a blog while you’re angry or upset.