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 Kathleen of The Fibro-Fog Chronicles.

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a dog and cat blogger who has fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, migraine, and arthritis. I live with 5 pets: two dogs and three cats. I am a recent widow and co-own my family’s student group tour business. Sometimes I travel, but not as much as I used to.

2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
My blog is The Fibro-Fog Chronicles. It was once called “Fibroworks” but I gave up that domain name. My social media profile is still @Fibroworks on Twitter and Facebook. The purpose of my blog is to bring awareness of fibromyalgia to the workplace, and to provide support and tips for active, working people living with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions. A lot of people with these afflictions try to remain active and working, despite what the general public might think. After all, “we don’t look sick!”

3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I think I started blogging in 2006 or 2007. I was one of the first!

4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
I am just coming back into regular posting due to the recent death of my spouse in 2015, and his cancer illness and treatment during 2014. I basically took two years away from regular posting. I have gradually built up to once a month, and hope to post at least once a week going forward.

5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
I’ve met some great people by blogging. Many of whom have sent me emails with questions or looking for advice for their own chronic illnesses. Last summer, I helped organize a musical “festival” to bring fibro awareness to my local community. We raised nearly $900 which we gave to the Massachusetts Fibromyalgia and CFIDS Association.

6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
Many people don’t realize that lots of their friends and family are walking around with invisible illnesses. I think a chronic, invisible condition is the most debilitating because not only are there the chronic symptoms, but there is also the psychological aspect in that often patients are not believed. We need awareness of these conditions so that friends, family, employers and medical professionals will start to realize that these afflictions are more widespread than once believed.

7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
1. Be short, but informative.
2. Include photos!
3. Post on social media, and be sure to follow back.

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