We all know that not all women bloggers made it to BlogHer this year, obviously they are more of us at home than in Chicago. Probably the biggest reasons that a woman who wanted to go but couldn’t are financial, or their responsibilities at work conflicted, or they couldn’t leave their children. Maybe some are single moms without a decent support system, maybe some have a special needs child and they don’t feel comfortable leaving their child for a few days, ever.
I think about all of those woman who couldn’t be at BlogHer’09, but I also think about the people like me who couldn’t go because they are chronically ill. Even though money is tighter than tight for us, I know my husband would have told me to go to BlogHer because he knows how much that means to me, how happy it would have made me. But on July 24, 2009, I cannot stand for long periods of time or walk more than a short distance, and the doctors still don’t know why, more than six months later. I am still hurting from playing with my son in the pool two weeks ago. My biceps are still sore, my Costochondritis is flaring and my Rheumatoid Arthritis if flaring a bit too. On July 24, 2009, I am in chronic pain. I wouldn’t want to be at BlogHer because I would be too exhausted and in too much pain. I would need someone to push me in a wheelchair all of the time.
Forget about me. When the location of BlogHer’09 was announced, I spoke about it with a friend of mine who lives in New York. Chicago was too far and we were both too sick to go. “We’ll go next year, together!”, she said. On July 24, 2009, she is sicker than when she said that to me. She has had Lupus for about 15 years, and her disease is much more advanced than mine. Ironically, the location of BlogHer’10 has already been announced and it is New York.
When you have chronic illness you don’t know how you will be doing tomorrow, much less a year from now. You could be doing better, you could be doing worse. My friend and I are just two of the many women bloggers with Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Cancer, etc., etc. who don’t know how we will be doing next year. Who fight ever day with their illness to just be able to post on their blog, to be mothers to their children, to overcome financial hardship, to just get through the day.
There were those women, who, when the 2010 conference was announced today, bought their ticket. And then there are those women who have chronic illness. Where will any of us be on August 6th, 2010? I hope for the best for us all, especially for my friend, but none of us can really say.
If you are at BlogHer this weekend, thank God or whatever Higher Power you believe in that you are healthy enough to be there. I ask you to just take a moment to think about those who can’t and to maybe think about ways you can help them. Maybe just start by getting the word out about your sisters who wanted to be there but just couldn’t.