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 Laura of ribbonrx.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a pediatric pharmacist by training. After six years of intense study, I graduated from pharmacy school in 2010 with my Doctor of Pharmacy degree. I found a job straight out of school at a large medical center in Cleveland. My primary practice areas are general pediatrics and neonatal intensive care.
I met my husband, David, on the first day of college. He works as an emergency department pharmacist. We have no children yet but have seven cats between the ages of 7-10.
2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
My blog is called ribbonrx. The name has a twofold purpose. Obviously, the Rx part refers to my job as a pharmacist. But I knew from the beginning that I wanted my blog to be primarily an awareness blog about conditions that I suffer from, which is, unfortunately, a great many. I love awareness gear such as t-shirts and ribbon pins (which I would put on my white coat at work.)
It dawned on me as my diagnoses piled up that each condition has its own awareness color and is often expressed in the form of a ribbon. So since I have many illnesses, I am represented by many ribbons! That’s where the “ribbon” part of my blog name came from. My blog’s tag line is “Raising Awareness About Life” because chronic illness is a part of so many people’s lives.
3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I started my blog on July 1, 2016. I was on an extended leave of absence from work and feeling stuck in a rut, awaiting two surgeries (which eventually became three.) My best friend suggested to me that I should start a blog about my experiences and that she would read it. I figured if I had at least one reader, I had nothing to lose!
I realized that the trials I have gone through with my illnesses could be helpful for others to read. I’ve loved writing since I was little, so I figured this would be a good opportunity to do something I loved while raising awareness.
4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
I post whenever I feel like it.
5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
Yes. Blogging has helped me get a lot off my chest. Sharing my story at least makes me feel like I’m doing something important at a time when I can’t do much anymore because of my illness burden.
6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
So many people out there think chronic illnesses are just for older people. They don’t realize that anyone can be struck down by chronic illness at any age, even in the prime of your life like I was. The more those of us affected make noise about what we’re going through, the more people will learn about what chronic illness really is. This can affect people’s opinions of things like the current healthcare debate and the “opioid epidemic,” so we can really have a positive influence.
7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
1. Don’t feel like you have to stick to a schedule. Your followers will still be there if you post on a Wednesday instead of a Monday.
2. Don’t be afraid to branch out. Initially, my blog was only about chronic illnesses. But then I realized it’s MY blog and I can do with it whatever I want, so I decided to incorporate other things that make me ME, such as book posts.
3. Interacting with other bloggers helps you learn better blogging skills.