Thursday, April 17, 2014

TV Matchup

I'm really excited to be participating in the WEGO Health Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge.  I'm hoping that the challenge factor will motivate me to write more often (every day this month, in fact!), and that that will develop into a habit of writing regularly after the month is over.  More importantly, I'm hoping that by sharing my experiences, thoughts, and insights about living with chronic and invisible illnesses, I'll be able to bring comfort to someone struggling with the same issues.

*Note - I'll be including this introductory paragraph at the beginning of every post, so that anyone who's checking in will have that background info.  If you come back another day (and I hope you do), you can skip this part!

Today's assignment: TV Matchup.  Think of a TV show that compares to your life. What is it? Who would you be, who would your friends and family be?

Wow, these are getting harder!  It took me quite a while to come up with a tv show that reflects my life.  At varying times over the years, there were a few shows I could relate to, but as for now?  Not so much.

When I was younger, I absolutely loved Roseanne (I kinda still do, but not the later seasons).  I was 13 when it premiered, and it was the first time I could actually relate to a tv family.  The Conners weren't perfect, but they weren't caricatures either.  They weren't stunningly gorgeous with modelesque bodies - they looked like real people.  They weren't rich - they had money troubles, but found a way to get by.  Mom was the one who knew everything and solved everyone's problems, and sometimes it took longer than one 30-minute episode.  They struggled, they fought, and they laughed through real-life issues ... but deep down, they all loved and cared about each other.  (As a bonus, they swapped out the older sister after 5 seasons, always a fantasy of mine! )

Years later, I related somewhat to Mad About You.  That could be mainly because the show was so funny, and hubby always made me laugh (and of course, I was - and still am - mad about him).  The Buchmans dealt with the realistic and ridiculous problems of a young married couple, with bickering and with love.  I can't tell you how many times hubby and I had the same argument as Paul and Jamie, which then became a long-running joke (there was a tone!) ... and of course, it had the moment that fulfilled every wife's fantasy (the scene starts at about 19 minutes in, or you can watch the whole episode):

As for now, though ... it's a lot harder to come up with something.  There are quite a few that might work just from the title, even if the plot and characters don't quite match up to my life:
  • Unsolved Mysteries - This is really the perfect show/title to describe life with an autoimmune disease.  The symptoms are inconsistent, the lab work is often normal, and there is a great amount of overlap among different diseases.  Once the diagnosis is finally made, it can take years to find a combination of medications and lifestyle changes that will relieve symptoms and slow progression of the disease, and by then, the disease activity will likely have changed.  
  • Up All Night - Honestly, I can't even remember the last time I got a "good night's sleep."  Insomnia is a common side effect or comorbid condition with fibromyalgia.  It's difficult to fall asleep, and when we finally do, it's even more difficult to stay asleep.  I've tried melatonin and prescription sleeping pills to no avail.  Currently, I'm in the midst of my doctor's plan: sleep deprivation as a treatment for insomnia.  It's torture at the moment; I'm just hoping it will work in the long run.
  • Workaholics - Though I am currently "between jobs," I am most definitely a workaholic.  I usually work for an organization/cause that I am passionate about, which often leads to 50+ hour work weeks.  While I am not working, I am filling my time with not only the job search, but volunteering with Arthritis Foundation, fundraising for an upcoming walkathon, and of course, this writing challenge.
  • Worst Cooks in America - I really am up there on the list.  I have literally started a fire while boiling water, and gotten scars from using the microwave.  It's so pathetic, it's funny.
  • Happy Days - No matter how rough things get - with health problems, unemployment, financial concerns, even family drama ... my days are still filled with more good than bad.  I am fortunate to have an amazing husband and a mom who love me unconditionally and would do anything for me.  I've got friends who care, doctors who listen, and great insurance that covers it all.  I may not have all the solutions, but I choose not to dwell on all the problems.  I am blessed, I am grateful, and I always have hope.  That combination can only lead to more happy days.
I've even got my very own Fonzie!
Beyond the titles, I tried to come up with a show whose storylines resembled my life, whose characters resembled me, whose setting was somewhat like my own.  Apparently, my life is not dramatic enough to make it to the small screen: I am not solving crimes or committing them; I am not single and on the prowl for a mate; I am not struggling to raise children or teenagers.  Thank goodness on all counts!

**If you like what you read, tell a friend.  In fact, tell me, too - post a comment below!  If you don't ... well ... I'm all for honesty, but ... please be gentle!