If you’re an avid reader of my blog (first of all thank you!) then you are super familiar with The Chronicon and what it is since I interviewed the creator Nitika Chopra here. Check it out to get all the tea on how The Chronicon was born!
Leading up to The Chronicon I had been very excited because up until this event; there wasn’t really a space created for the chronic illness community to approach their various conditions in a different light.
Being a person who is dealing with multiple chronic illnesses and dare I say struggling; I needed to be someplace where I felt understood and not like the odd man in the room.
The Chronicon did not disappoint! The event was produced in partner with Healthline and had some absolutely amazing sponsors! To start, the tasty coffee bar was sponsored by the company Joe based in Redhook, Brooklyn. I can’t speak for anyone else but I love a good cup of coffee!
Lunch was sponsored by The Little Beet . A health conscious and gluten free restaurant dedicated to providing healthy but delicious food; they did not disappoint. There were many other sponsors for our delicious snack bags and gift bags chalk full of awesome items. You can see the complete list of sponsors here on The Chronicon site.
The Main Event
So now that we’ve discussed some basics, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes. The event opened up with a beautiful song performed by the Resistance Revival Chorus who sung beautifully about surrendering to whatever it is your body needs to exist in it’s current state. As they sung about honoring your body I felt myself tear up because the pain I was in at that moment I had tried so desperately to pretend I wasn’t in it. As they sung out I allowed myself to feel my pain and just sit with it. It was a beautiful moment for me and one that will always stand out for me.
The discussion began with “Am I Sick Enough” where panelists dived into having invisible illnesses and what that meant for their day to day interactions. Often times unless you are visibly ill (i.e wheelchair, cane, walker etc.) people don’t think you are sick. The fact is many autoimmune diseases and chronic illnesses are indeed invisible but that does not negate the terrible symptoms one has to endure while dealing with said illness. This conversation was so informative and my only wish was that more people could have heard it!
Next up for conversation was “Speak Your Truth at the Doctors”. This was SUCH an important discussion as many of us dealing with chronic illnesses are often dismissed by our physicians before we’re able to truly get to a diagnostic point. As I listened to the story of Endometriosis Advocate April Christina I felt my emotions overwhelm as she spoke because our stories mirrored one another in many ways. It was intriguing to have two doctors present for the conversation but Dr. Tay Ahmed and Dr. Darien Sutton both offered another point of view and a healthy dialogue was present and I feel as if everyone learned on both sides about effective communication between patient and doctor.
There were so many other conversations and I wish I could give you all the details on everything but there isn’t enough time! The conversations included:
- The Business of Being You
- The Difference Between Victimhood & Vulnerability
- Chronically Capable of Love
- Keynote Speaker Stacy London & Nitika Chopra
There were was a LOT of information presented and a LOT to digest. A lot of the information I had heard because I’m no longer a newbie to the chronic illness community; but there was a lot of new information to take into consideration as well.
Most importantly, I had the opportunity to connect with people who I didn’t have to explain my circumstances to. There were no weird looks as I shuffled along with my walker, the staff was kind and accommodating, the people there understood me when I said “I’m tired”, and the general sense of being in a safe and judgement free space was a beautiful feeling.
I am super appreciative of being able to meet Nitika Chopra in person as her energy is just as warm in person as it was when I first interviewed her over the phone. While we both come from very different backgrounds, we understood each other’s language as people dealing with chronic illness. What she’s created is innovative and needed and I am so grateful to have been a guest at the inauguration of this event!
In my humble opinion, The Chronicon was everything it promised to be! I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Most importantly, I walked away feeling very motivated about continuing to take control of my health by any means necessary. I also feel compelled to continue to use my platform as a means to educate and advocate for fat bodies in the healthcare system.
I am definitely looking forward to all the ways The Chronicon is going to grow and being able to be apart of it once again in the future!