BlogU, the (re)view from the wheelchair

June 12th, 2014 by Carrie, the Just Mildly Medicated gal

BlogU, the (re)view from the wheelchair

wheelchairJMM-150x150-e13757500138601

 

I was able to attend BlogU14 this June with some of my favorite bloggers and couldn’t wait to share the awesomeness with you all. BlogU14 was the dream-child of Stephanie, the amazing blogger behind Binkies and Briefcases. After finding some of the popular blogging conferences very large leaving newer bloggers a bit lost in the shuffle, she wanted to create a weekend packed with information but also focusing on personal connections. With the help of some very talented blogging buddies and sponsorships from American Public University, Nick Mom, and The Huffington Post her dream became a reality.

I felt it was important to share with you what BlogU was like for me personally, as someone with a chronic illness and wheelchair user. I live with several overlapping illness that fall under the umbrella term Dysautonomia. Some of my struggles are maintaining a stable blood pressure and heart rate and a partial paralysis of the stomach which causes nausea and a delay of digestion. The BlogU faculty was very accommodating and the location, Notre Dame of Maryland University, earned a rating of above average for actual accessibly. As all wheelchair users know, sometimes a location’s handicap accessibility isn’t actually all that accessible.

After hours I did need to find a security guard to let me into the accessible door to the dorm. I would have preferred being able to enter the building without assistance, but also understand for campus security measures the entry through the doors along the back of the building are locked after hours. It never took more than five minutes to find a guard and there was a number I could call to have someone from the inside come open the door for me.

On that note, I have to give some big love to Steph of Binkies and Briefcases making sure I was finding the campus maneuverable throughout the conference and the blogger chicks behind The Pursuit of Normal and Mom on the Run, as my buddy pals they hung with me and though we broke off and did our own thing and made connections with others, they made sure I was never stranded outside waiting alone.

When you have a chronic illness planning activities can be a project. During BlogU I had to consider things like how to conserve energy, stay hydrated, stay on schedule with meds, making sure I knew where the wheelchair accessible doors and elevators were located for each session, and making sure I had food available that I could eat.

This wouldn’t be everyone’s approach, but the some of the things I did to help ensure my own success during the conference was to be open about my illnesses and wheelchair use. When I registered of course I noted that I’d be cruising in on wheels to be sure I was in a room that fit my needs, but beyond specifying my needs during registration when sharing blog posts and conversations in our private FB group of attendees, I made sure to include things about my illness and my wheelchair use. I know many people feel strongly that they don’t need to share their disability and expect places to be accommodated as per the American Disability Act and for people to be accepting; personally I feel that if I want people to understand my situation I should be willing to share my circumstances.

I am happy to have BlogU15 on my radar next summer.

Just a few of the amazing blogs to check out.

Big Top Family

Don’t Lick the Deck

Foxy Wine Pocket

Honest Mom

Let Me Start by Saying

People I Want to Punch in the Throat

Snarkfest

Welcome to Grand Central

 

UPDATE

This post was the (re)view from the wheelchair but as Kim from Let Me Start by Saying pointed out in the comments, I did in fact have a DJ in my lap at one point… so maybe a few pics were needed to show the fun that was had from the chair ;)

There was “work”, here I am with Vickey from The Pursuit of Normal and then with Lea from Becoming Super Mommy.

Hello, they read  my blog… they have no idea what a blog crush I have on them!

Pursuit of Normal  Lea...

Then there was “PLAY” and by play I mean Nick Mom, yes… the MotherFunny Nick Mom, hosted RETRO PROM!!! My hair sadly forgot how to stay big and slowly allowed gravity to bring it back down, but fun was still had by all!

Here I am with the ever snarky Teri from Snarkfest  (I went total fan-girl on her and I’m pretty sure she liked it)

Snarkfest

 

and Ashley from Big Top Family… yeah I got a little giggly over this chick.

 

Big Top Family

 

and yes, Papa Does Preach 

 

PapaDoes

 

and sometimes, at the very end of the night, after several wine coolers (yep, wine coolers), the DJ ends up in your lap…

redefining lap dance

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16 Responses

  1. I’m so happy that you found the doors to be up to par. I was more than a little worried about the accessiblity of the historic building!

  2. Teri says:

    SO glad I got to meet you and get pics!! And your dancing was awesome. Looking forward to hanging out next year at BlogU15!!

  3. I was wondering how you were getting around so well as the campus didn’t seem very accessible. I do remember seeing your pals with you everywhere. And you always seemed to be having fun. I’m glad you enjoyed the conference. I love your blog.

  4. It was so lovely to meet you last weekend Carrie! I think it is great that you are upfront and proactive so that you can make sure your needs are met, and I am glad that the weekend went well. Thanks for sharing your unique perspective! Thank you for sharing my blog too – very sweet of you :)

  5. Lindsay says:

    sounds like a lot of fun! and i love the list of blogs – some people have the most creative blog names!!

  6. Laura Jo says:

    Carrie, I was so glad to have met and visited with you. I hope we can spend more time together at BlogU15. Keep smiling that beautiful smile. Many thanks for mentioning my blog.

  7. Hayley-Eszti says:

    This whole chronic illness thing really makes an organised person out of a previous not so organised person doesn’t it! It sounds like a great event to be a part of and I bet it was great to meet the other bloggers!
    :)

  8. So glad you are making plans for next year! Ellen

  9. First of all, I KNOW you had a good time because I saw a DJ sitting on your lap at one point. ;)
    Secondly, thank you so much for sending your fans my way. You’re a treat!

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