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Headache on the Hill 2013 a.k.a. The Capitol Hill 5K

I am in Washington DC once again for Headache on the Hill, an annual lobbying event organized by the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy, an event that I am renaming The Capitol Hill 5K. Why? Because I am scheduled to take seven meetings with my state representatives and senators today. SEVEN!! Last year I only had four. I clicked over to ye old Gmap Pedometer to map the route I’ll be taking from the subway to all my meetings and back, and it’s about five kilometers long. I’ll probably walk even further than that as I trek through winding corridors and get lost looking for the cafeteria, assuming I even have time for lunch. My only comfort is knowing that each Congressional office for North Carolina is packed with peanuts.

If I grab one bag at each office I might be able to fend off low blood sugar and prevent myself from collapsing, though that would be a rather dramatic and memorable way to end a meeting.

Why am I going to seven meetings? Well, out [...]

National Air and Space Museum: They provided the planes and I brought the baggage.

When I visited my dad last month I had a five-hour layover between the time my train pulled into Union Station in Washington, DC and the time my flight back to Raleigh departed. I decided to spend my layover at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

The thing that complicated my sightseeing was that I had to wheel my carry-on suitcase everywhere along with my backpack full of bricks (aka my laptop). I had to lug all this stuff with me on the Metro, up the escalator, and across the pebble-textured sidewalk that made my suitcase bounce like popcorn cooking in a pan. Overall, it gave me a greater appreciation for what wheelchair-bound individuals must deal with on a daily basis. Now, I won’t pretend that dragging a suitcase around all day gave me an understanding of what it’s like to be paralyzed, which is undoubtedly a complicated experience both physically and emotionally. However I did find myself thinking about things I normally don’t, like searching for the ramp to the front entrance instead [...]

Headache on the Hill 2012: This is what democracy looks like

If I’d known it was going to be 32 degrees out as I walked from the DC Metro stop to the front of the Capitol building, I would have worn a coat. Instead I relied on the fiery passion of my convictions to keep me warm as I walked with almost seventy doctors, patients and other advocates taking part in Headache on the Hill 2012. Considering how numb my arms got, the coat would have been the better choice. (My fiery passion burns from within, not without.)

Everyone departed from the hotel at 7:00am so we could take a group photo in front of the Capitol before dispersing into our state-based groups for the day. That’s right, seven o’clock in the morning. The AYE-EM. Which means at 6:00am I woke up in sweaty, panicked confusion to the sound of my phone’s rooster alarm. Cocka-doodle-do-you-remember-why-you’re-getting-up-so-damn-early?

Anyway, I made it there on time and was milling around the seat of our nation’s power when this happened:

That’s right! Someone managed to go down before we’d even taken the group photo. [...]

Headache on the Hill 2012 in Washington DC

A few months ago I got an email inviting me to participate in the 2012 Headache on the Hill, the hill in question being Capitol Hill. To which you might say, “Jennette, isn’t every day a headache on Capitol Hill?” To which I’d say, “Har, har, har, isn’t that funny? NO, it’s not.” (Ok, it’s a little bit funny, but don’t tell my representatives I said that!) Going to Washington DC and talking to powerful elected officials sounded scarier than Gremlins was as a kid, so I said, “Sure! Let’s do it!” Because I subscribe to the belief that you should do things outside of your comfort zone, which seems like a stupid belief when you’re actually doing things outside of your comfort zone.

Headache on the Hill is a program organized by the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy which is actually 10 headache organizations combined, sort of like two sets of Voltron Lions but without a theme song. Now in its fifth year, the initiative brings together dozens of headache doctors, patients and other advocates [...]

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Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, chronic headache sufferer, (former?) weight-loss inspiration, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She was formerly known as PastaQueen. You can contact her if you promise to be nice.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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