We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Howard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
When I was a young kid, my two brothers and I lived in Simi Valley, California, but when I was 10 we were uprooted to southeastern Arizona to live near my mother’s family. I suffered from endless wanderlust, lots of empty desert to explore, and had an insatiable appetite for books. Thirty years later, I still have a healthy appetite for reading, love exploring (especially the deserts), and am a curious creature. I love to research answers to questions and am always seeking knowledge. These traits and characteristics have blossomed into an online blog about Endometriosis and an outreach and support system for fellow EndoWarrriors.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
By day, I’m a paralegal working for the personal injury law firm of Estey & Bomberger. Finding justice for those wronged in accidents or sexual assaults. It’s a noble career that I cherish. At 18 years old, I started as a temp typist at the R. Rex Parris Law Firm in Lancaster, California and worked my way up. I’m forever grateful for the lessons they taught me as well as paid my way through paralegal school. But I do love my small E&B family that they’ve created here in San Diego and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. By night, I’m a blogger and admin for the Endometriosis support group. Writing blogs about this disease and sharing others’ journeys gives me a sense of control over an uncontrollable illness. And being there, with hundreds of other Southern California EndoWarriors, to support others is a wonderful sensation. Bloomin’ Uterus is not my money-maker. I refuse to accept any cash myself, unless it’s to pay for costs associated for our annual walk. The blog costs are out-of-pocket, as well as any awareness bracelets or other swag I give away from time to time. It’s a labor of love. And I want my information to remain out there, free, for the curious masses.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Roadtrip!! We’d be heading east on the 8! And, dare I say, these are often stops I make often with the hubby. It’s absolutely a favorite of ours. And never gets old. First, a stop in Boulevard, CA for some fudge and sarsaparilla at the Candy Cottage. And then meander around the Campo Train Museum and also the Gaskill Brother’s Museum for some old-time flair, followed by lunch in Jacumba Hot Springs, California, at the Hot Springs resort. Then hit the Deanza Springs Resort for some R&R in the sun! Maybe some hiking as well. Then, a cruise a mile east toward the Desert View Tower for my favorite view: atop the tower! And an adventure through their Boulder Park. Then we’d have to make a decision…or would we? Head northeast to Aqua Caliente Park? What about the Salton Sea and Slab City? OR further east toward the tiny town of Felicity, CA, an a tour through the history of mankind in granite? Or a quick drive through the dunes to visit what’s left of the Old Plank Road? Cutting sharply north, I’d head toward the 10 freeway to visit the General Patton Museum…an absolute must! And head a bit west to visit the iconic Cabazon dinosaurs. I’ll never forget visiting those for the first time as a kiddo. And maybe cutting southwest toward Idyllwild for some mountain air before bumping further south to Hemet and the Diamond Lake museum for some awesome fossils and traveling exhibits. And before heading home? Two more stops: Fallbrook, California for a refreshing walk down mainstreet and Palomar Mountain, California for some amazing views from Boucher Lookout. I lied: one more stop…grabbing an ice cold beer from the bar of the Lazy H Resort near Valley Center, California, while enjoying the hundreds of hummingbirds outside the windows.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Mentors? Support? Oh man, this is endless. My mother and brothers have always been there for me. And my fifth grade teacher, Mr. John Brozo III, was an endless inspiration of creativity and truly taught me to embrace all of who I am. I still have a beautiful relationship with Mr. Brozo and we visit each other from time to time. I am eternally grateful to my Endometriosis excision surgeon, Dr. Mel Kurtulus of San Diego Women’s Health, who has been a fount of knowledge and support since my 2014 diagnosis. Dr. Matthew Schultzel, my colo-rectal surgeon, has been an invaluable addition to my support network. His bedside manner and accessibility have made me feel like he is more than just my healthcare provider. And each and every one of the EndoWarriors I’ve met (both virtually and personally) since my diagnosis. Nicole Tamillo is a wonderful friend and fellow EndoWarrior who runs our Bloomin’ Uterus instagram. I know NOTHING about instagram, so am SOOO grateful she’s taken on the laboring oar and is reaching so many EndoWarriors from that venue! Thank you, Nicole!! The San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, in particular Sister Donatella Soul, have been so uplifting during my Journey. As well as the photographic efforts of fellow San Diegan EndoWarrior, Brandy Sebastian. Without a solid support team, the willingness of others to share their journeys and love, and the outreach the Bloomin’ Uterus blog has afforded, I don’t know that my efforts would be as successful. Together, I know that we are not alone in this chronic and incurable illness. And together, we will do nothing but urge support and awareness to Endometriosis.
Lisa Howard Exxes Fritz Hauffen Richard T. Reyes