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On Friday, Susan
posted about narrative medicine
to a large extent, that's what Nickie's Nook has become for me. It is a way to promote healing, deal with pain, fatigue and frustration, understand my thoughts and feelings and seek support. Hopefully, it's also a way to educate others about blindness, pain and other things in my life.

In my class on disability/illness in lit and science (I need a shorter way to refer to this), we've discussed the idea of stories, or narratives, being how we understand and give meaning to things we deal with. The way in which I talk about blindness tells a story. That story can either be happy or sad or anything else. But that story represents how I think about blindness. Telling the story of getting RSD also shows how I give meaning to that disorder.

This blog, for the most part is a series of interlocking stories or narratives. They tell others about how I view life, and the meaning things have for me. They are shaped by language and words. The choice of words I use will shape your understanding of the situation. If we talk, my inflection will shape your understanding as well.

What we often forget is that the stories can shape the way the teller understands the situation too. If I tell the story with hope, that hopeful story is going to stick in my mind. If I change a sentence from "What if x happens?" to "If x happens, I can..." or "I don't know what will happen, but I'll deal with it when I come to it", my story is more hopeful than a cliff-hanger. That story is now about brainstorming, instead of freaking out.

Isabella Mori posted today about using journaling as a
I find this idea to be interesting, though right now, blogging is the dialogue I need. If I do write privately, I actually do find that a dialogue happens naturally. Dialogue can be a powerful example of story telling too, I think.

All of these thingslead me to believe that blogging could be a powerful form of medicine. Blogging is a form of distraction from pain, a good outlet for the pain that can be constructive (if done carefully), a good way to get to know others and a good source of support. Feeling alone is one of the worst things when you're in pain. It's easy to construct a more cynister meaning to the story if you're the only one you think is listening. I don't think we'll ever get to the point of prescribing blogging instead of medication or exercise, but it's one more tool, and a great way to engage in narrative medicine.


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(Deleted comment)
Feb. 5th, 2007 01:50 am (UTC)
But if blogging made a dent in physical pain, the entire pharmiseudical market would be turned upside down... Excuse the dark humor...
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 7th, 2007 04:12 am (UTC)
I liked your prescription!
Feb. 5th, 2007 01:46 am (UTC)
Fabulous post!! (Denise who doesn't have a darn LJ log in anymore!!)
Feb. 5th, 2007 01:58 am (UTC)
Re: great!
I've heard rumors that anyone can get an open ID url, but I'm unsure what needs to happen to get that done. I'll try to do some research to figure that out. Thanks for commenting!
Feb. 5th, 2007 05:51 pm (UTC)
Your blog gives me insights into the courage of people who are dealing with afflictions in an honest way. Thanks for being here.

Jan from
Feb. 7th, 2007 04:14 am (UTC)
Hi Jan,

Thanks for commenting. I'm glad my blog can help explain some of these things. I really enjoy reading your blog as well!
Feb. 5th, 2007 10:21 pm (UTC)
story represents how I think about blindness.

This is a story on how I NOW think about blindness.
I was in the store meandering, looking and not finding. My thoughts were a million miles away. All of a sudden; I hear a tap-tap behind me. I was surprised by a lady with a white cane that was right next to me. My first reaction was to ask her if she needed any help. Nickie's advice popped right up in my pea-brain! I didn't say anything. The lady was doing just fine and picked up an item on the shelf. I had to get out of her way and so I maneuvered my cart so she could pass. If she wanted help; I'm sure she would have asked me. Nickie is a great teacher and has given me a whole new perspective!
Feb. 7th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)
Re: afflictions
I'm glad I could teach! One neat little trick if you're not sure what to do or whether to offer help is to say "Hello" or good morning or some other greeting. That way, you've identified yourself as being there, and as you said, the person can ask for help if they need them. You get two bonus points btw...
Feb. 9th, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
I get bonus points!
You write.
I read.
You teach.
I learn.
Thank you, Nickie!
Feb. 17th, 2007 11:45 pm (UTC)
hey, nickie, thanks for referring to my blog entry on journaling as a dialogue. that blog also refers to two other entries, one on women, blogging and healing and the other one refers to dr. pennebaker's work (http://www.moritherapy.org/article/journaling-for-healing-15-tips/), which i find very exciting. he's done a lot of research on what type of writing/journaling tends to make a difference in terms of healing. actually, i should email him and ask him about blogging as a way of healing!

love the idea of replacing pharmaceuticals with blogging. hmmm .... is that something that we should bring up at the northern voices conference (http://www.northernvoice.ca)?
Feb. 20th, 2007 02:15 pm (UTC)
I think it would be a great thing to bring up. I haven't gotten to go to any of the blogging conferences yet, but I hear that some great dialogue happens there.
Apr. 25th, 2007 04:34 am (UTC)
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Bugaga. Werta nola. Glomita fore spanio..
Hi all!

andora magolita. el senora guanesta. ;)
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