Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Outline/Thesis/Intro for Research Paper

Juvenile Dermatomyositis
      A.    Intro
a.       JDM is an autoimmune disease that can cause a skin rash and weak muscles, although there is no known cure, there are many medications that can suppress the symptoms of this illness
b.      Some other symptoms can include fever, weight loss, and fatigue.
      B.     Genetics
a.       My cousin was diagnosed with JDM in January.
                                                              i.      Just dry air and she slept on her neck funny.
                                                            ii.      Went to a doctor in North Carolina and then sent to Chicago
     C.     Diagnoses
a.       Many different ways some are strength tests and some are blood test
b.      CMAS-tests the child’s endurance and how long they can keep their leg off of the ground.
c.       For a blood test the look to find higher leavels of aldolase or phosphocreatine kinase levels.
     D.    JDM only affects 17,000 children in the United States. 
     E.     The immune systems is defined as a group of cells that protect the body from infection.
a.       In JDM the immune system becomes hyper active and the cells attack each other causing inflammation.
     F.      Case Study
a.       14 year old girl who was diagnosed at age 3
b.      She had difficulty standing up from a sitting position and vise versa.
c.       Rash on her hands and knuckles, shoulders, and back.
     G.    Doctors in the United States
a.       Dr. Lauren Pachman
                                                              i.      Works at the Children’s memorial in chicago
     H.    Treamtent
a.       Prednisone-side effect and how to be weaned off of it
b.      Methotrexate
                                                              i.      I have taken Prednisone and am currently on Methotrexate
c.       Other medications can work too
     I.       If caught soon enough the outcome can be good

         What if one day you thought everything was okay and then you woke up and realized that you may never be able to do every day activities again? Juvenile Dermatomyositis is an auto-immune disease that can cause a skin rash and weak muscles, although there is no known cure, there are many medications that can suppress the symptoms of this illness. There are many different ways to find out if someone has JDM and if the illness is caught soon enough they may be able to regain all strength back and live a healthy normal life. 

Statement of Purpose? Design Plan for Photo Essay

Statement of Purpose/Design Plan

My audience is my classmates and my professor; because each of my classmates will get a chance to look at my photo essay. The context will be a normal day of class, but we are going to pull up our essays on our computers and we will move around the room looking at each other’s essays.

My anticipated expectation for evaluation is that people will understand and get a chance to see what it is like to have Juvenile Dermatomyositis. I hope that through the photos people will also see the emotional experience that it is to have JDM. My story will talk about how my cousin Caroline went from having a completely normal life to it all changing in a few weeks. I will show photos of how she looked and felt “normal” and healthy, to pictures of her illness and how her body changed physically. For my essay, the argument is that even when something gets us down, or someone tells us that we cannot do something. We need to stand up and try again and prove people wrong. We are stronger than the rough times in our life, and we grow from every experience we overcome. Some anticipated needs that I still have about my argument is that I know that I am not trying to convince someone of something and that their really is not anything to argue. Who is going to argue against that we need to be humble in bad situations? I would like my readers to understand that there are bad things in this world, if they did not already know that, but sometimes they can have very good outcomes. Just because something bad happens to someone, does not mean that they will not overcome it. When they do they become a stronger person. I want to show how illnesses can change people’s lives for the better and how they make us who we are. My argument is that even though some of us have illnesses that we should not let them define us although they are a part of us, it is not all that we are. I want my audience to agree with my argument and to see how it is possible to achieve all of this.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Research Paper Topic Proposal/Design Plan about Juvenile Dermatomyositis

For a long time in my family I was the only person who had an illness to deal with, until this past year. One of my younger cousins was diagnosed with an illness called Juvenile Dermatomyositis. This is the topic that I have chosen for my research paper. JDM is an auto immune disease that affects only a small number of children. There is not much known about the illness, and only three doctors in the country specialize in it. Although they do not know much about the illness itself, the can compare it to other autoimmune diseases and use the medications that are used to treat them.
            For my strategies, I plan to talk about not only what JDM is but also all the advances about the illness. If there are any possible ways to cure it and all the current research that is being done about it. My choice of medium is going to be a written paper and I will produce the communication on a computer. After this, I will post it on my blog.
            The argument that I hope to make is that people need to be more aware of illnesses. Sometimes people just think things will go away on their own and that they do not need a doctor or medication. In most cases if an illness is caught in time it can either mean that the illness can go away forever, or at least the person will not need as much medical assistance. Another argument is that health care and health insurance are both important. I hope that people will agree with both of my arguments. I also hope that it will teach people about JDM so that if they have it or someone that they know has it, they can notice the symptoms and save someone.
            JDM is an autoimmune disease that can cause a skin rash and muscle weakness. Doctors do not know what the cause of it is but genetics has a factor. JDM is rare and affects only 17,000 children in the United States. What happens during JDM is lie any other auto immune disease, it just attacks differently. The immune system is defined as a system that protects the body from infection. It becomes overly active and starts to attack itself destroying healthy tissue. This causes inflammation of the blood vessels, which causes the rash, and inflammation of the muscles, which causes great pain. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for JDM but there are medications that can help with the symptoms. One common medication is called prednisone, it is a steroid. It helps take the inflammation away, but it has bad side effects. A few of them are, weight gain, mood swings and stunts growth. When taking prednisone there is not a quick way to get off the medication. Every day you have to wean yourself off of it, and if your symptoms come back then the medication goes up again. This can cause someone to be one the medication for years, and that is not good. Another medication that can be used is called Methotrexate, it is taken every week either orally with a pill or with an injection usually given in the leg or arm. The only bad that about this medication is that it is a chemotherapy drug. Most patients are put on a very low dose, so they do not get any chemo symptoms like hair loss.
            I plan to conduct my research using the internet and statements from my cousin who has JDM. I can ask her if the website correctly depicts what it is like for someone to have JDM. One source that I will use I called curejm.org, I already did research on the website and found that it is a credible source.
            I hope to learn about my topic, that there is some way that all auto immune diseases can be cured. I hope that through research they can find a cure. I would also like to learn what an everyday experience is for someone who has JDM and how they live with it everyday.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Photo Essay

Photo Essay 


 Closing Comments
I followed my original design plan that I was going to use for this essay. I added somethings about how I wanted my readers to feel after viewing my photo essay, and I hope that I accomplished this.

Reference List
Flounder, Charlotte, NC. Personal photography by author 2012.
JDM, Charlotte, NC. Personal photograph by author 2013.
Megan and Caroline, Charlotte, NC. Personal photograph by the author 2013.
 White Christmas, Grand Rapids, MI. Personal photograph by author. 2012.
Caroline Farley was born in April 2000 into a family that was full of dancers and singers. She took dance and singing lessons all throughout her childhood, and was very talented. In 2011 she was at a camp in Florida when someone contacted her and her mother about auditioning for Broadway. They flew to New York and after many different auditions, she got a part in the musical “White Christmas.” They toured all over the United States and it was an awesome opportunity for such a young girl. After the tour, she went back to school in North Carolina and was in many plays at her junior high, including “The Little Mermaid.”

In January 2013 Caroline noticed a rash on her hands, but everyone thought that it was just the dry winter air. It turns out the Caroline has an auto immune disease called Juvenile Dermatomyositis. It can cause a skin rash and muscle weakness. Caroline was in the hospital for a few weeks and then was put on medication. Unfortunately, she is still weak and dancing is tiring, she can still sing. A lesson that can be learned from Caroline is that we cannot let bad things in life bring us down. We need to get right back up and continue doing what we love. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Experience with the Photo Essay

I have never written a photo essay nor have I ever even heard of one. At first I thought it was going to be easy because I thought it was just pictures. For my research paper I decided to talk about JDM, which is an illness that my cousin has. After we looked at examples of photo essays, I realized that in order to make my photos work I would have to use them differently than I thought. At first, I thought I was just going to be able to put all the pictures of the symptoms of JDM on a power point and be done, but this wasn't the case. I had to use my photos to tell a story.

This is when I decided to tell the story about how Caroline went from being a normal girl, to then doing an off Broadway production, to then having an illness that effected her dancing abilities. Currently, Caroline is on medication and she is doing better, but not perfect. She still continues to sing often but dancing is tiring. From Caroline's story we can all learn that even though we might have battles to overcome in our lives, that we cannot let them hold us back.

I think that this photo essay was something different to do other than just writing a paper. Unfortunately, many of my classmates did not really understand the topic and what was required for the assignment.

The essay engages with the rhetorical strategy pathos because since it is an illness, we feel sympathy for the people that have the illness. Logos is used because I know a lot about the topic because my cousin has the illness and it is related to my illness-Ulcerative Colitis.

Yes I think that the narrative text provides enough information for one to understand the argument of the photo essay. It also helps that there are descriptions of all the photos and gives background information that needs to be known to understand the picture.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Juvenile Dermatomyositis

How does one depict what it is really like to have an illness? Can a website create the emotions and the struggle that some illnesses take someone through their life? In analyzing the website curejm.org, the signs and symptoms of Juvenile Dermatomyositis are explained and using visuals, we can see what it is like to live with this illness. There are three components used to analyze the website. The first being ethos and how well the website is credited. The second is logos, does all the information make sense and does it have evidence? The last component is pathos; does the website really show what it is like to have this illness? The visuals and texts are analyzed with all of these elements.
            At the bottom of the web site it says,
“This website is provided for educational and informational purposes only. Cure JM is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services and this information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem. The site author and the content providers make no representation or warranties, expressed or implied. Providing links to other websites does not imply that Cure JM endorses the information or services provided on those websites. The organizations operating those websites are solely responsible for the content found on their websites.” (curejm.org)
            This states that the web site is credible because it shows that it does have an author, although no specific name is given.
            The website uses logos by saying that JDM is a rare and life-threatening autoimmune condition affecting approximately 17,000 children in the United States alone. All throughout the page it continues to give facts and statistics about the illness. For example, “JDM begins in childhood or the teen years. The average of onset of JDM is between six to seven years old; 25% are age 4 or less.” (curejm.org)
            Through the use of pictures and dialect the website expresses what it is like to be a child and have this illness. This brings out the appeal of pathos because it applies to one’s emotions, when we see what the symptoms look like and what the side effects of the medications are. Looking at the pictures, we can see the rash on the skin and how the medications can make children gain weight. The pictures on the website are categorized by body part.

In looking through all the pictures of the faces, all the children are smiling. I think this is done on purpose so that the children still look happy and that they can still lead a normal life with the illness. The website uses words like attacking, sufferers, and weak; this shows that the illness is very detrimental and that every person that has to deal with it goes through a struggle.
Recently, my younger cousin was diagnosed with JDM and it was a very dramatic and scary experience for our whole family. It worried me because JDM is a form if an illness that I have and I did not want my younger cousin to have to go through what I went though. From reading all the information for the family, it explained everything that a family needed to know about the illness and there was a phone number to call if there were any questions. When my cousin was first diagnosed, my mom called the phone number on the website. Although it says that it is the foundations information, it goes to the woman who started the foundation. When my mom called her, they stayed on the phone for hours and talked about the woman’s son who was diagnosed when he was little and my mom got a lot of information from the woman. This shows that the people who are in charge of the website want to help anyone who has this illness.
I asked my cousin to review the website and to decide if it correctly describes JDM. My cousin Caroline Farley said,
“It feels like your muscles are always exhausted. Like you just worked out really hard or did something tiring. It also hurts because your muscles are sore and in a few places my muscles actually hurt just when you touch them from the outside. Sometimes I feel weak, like a paper doll sometimes, as it got increasingly worse it also became very annoying and especially because I am usually pretty active so not being able to zip up my coat without help was frustrating to me.” (Farley).
            Through her explanation, it is shown that the website correctly depicts what it is like the have the illness and that all the scientific information is correct.
            The predominant focus is the text because there is more information about JDM then there are visuals. With all the information there are pictures that represent what it is talking about. For example, after reading about one symptom there is a picture creating a visual. It talks about how a skin rash is one of the first things that is seen with this illness, and then there is a picture. 

This shows that the text and visuals complement each other. The visuals deepen the understanding of the text because the text might use big words that not a common person would understand, but after seeing the picture it shows what it really means. The visuals are placed in various locations throughout the website. Some are throughout the text that is explaining the information and some pictures are under their own category of pictures.
            In perusing the website, I believe that it correctly depicts what it is like to be a patient living with JDM. Pathos is used throughout the website with all of the pictures because they show the children and what their skin looks like having the illness. Ethos is used because the author is a credible source. Logos is used throughout the website because it has facts and statistics. There is more text in the website than pictures, but all the pictures go hand in hand with what is being talked about throughout all of the text. 

Works Cited
"Cure JM Foundation Is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization Dedicated to Finding a Cure for       Juvenile Myositis (JM). JM Is a Group of Rare and Life-threatening Autoimmune    Conditions Affecting Approximately 17,000 Children in the United States Alone."Cure   JM Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.

Farley, Caroline. "JDM." Telephone interview. 17 Feb. 2014.

Monday, January 27, 2014

I have to write this blog for my college writing II class for college. My name is Sarah and I am a freshman in college. I have always been against blogging because I did not understand what the point of it was. But after my professor told us about how his daughter used it to keep their family posted about her being in the hospital, I had a different outlook on them.. I suppose it's a good way for people to follow what you are doing without having to be in contact with them all the time.