Clinical Trial #15: Day 7

Nobody tells you that having a chronic illness is like taking on a part-time job. The first provider who typed “chronic” into my chart didn’t warn me I’d become a one-woman drug trial for years. Hey, I get it. Everyone fixated on me getting better. The possibility that might not happen was never mentioned, andContinue reading “Clinical Trial #15: Day 7”

My American Dream Dies Here

It was a good dream. In this dream, I owned a small, modest house in a quiet town. I sat beneath a tree and sipped hot cocoa under the stars. I worked hard as a teacher and served my students well. I paid my bills on time. I helped my neighbors. I pulled on rainContinue reading “My American Dream Dies Here”

Nine Signs You Have a Bad Doctor: What I Wish I’d Known

As my husband and I learned this February, having a bad doctor can be deadly. First, before we get in too deep, I just want to acknowledge that no doctor is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, and tragically, even a mistake made in good faith, with the best medical practice, can still result in death. SomeContinue reading “Nine Signs You Have a Bad Doctor: What I Wish I’d Known”

Nine Ways to Cope When You’re Stuck Inside

I’ve been at this for four years and counting. In early 2016, a medical provider ordered me to stop all work, and I was put on extended medical leave without pay. A few months later, my boss and I called it quits. After all, it was my second medical leave in six months. So IContinue reading “Nine Ways to Cope When You’re Stuck Inside”

This Word Chronic

I’ve been so angry at people who ask me, “How are the headaches?” and “Feeling better?” “It’s still chronic,” I say flatly. “I was diagnosed 27 years ago. Five years ago, it went from episodic to chronic, and there’s no cure. In the context of chronic migraines with vertigo and brain stem aura, most drugsContinue reading “This Word Chronic”

Another Staycation

I don’t know about you, but I like to start every vacation with a clear idea of what I’m going to get from my time off. Half the fun for me is in the planning. The other half is in making the plan happen. Except this time, no such luck. This time I spent theContinue reading “Another Staycation”

7 Tips When Your Friend Has a Chronic Illness

Maybe this sounds like it should be common sense. People should just know, you say. But what if people weren’t raised well? Like me. What if they’re kind of feral and can be thoughtless and ill-mannered socially? Also me. Or what if someone is only beginning to examine their own ableism and would like to moveContinue reading “7 Tips When Your Friend Has a Chronic Illness”

Writing with Chronic Illness

This week I came right up against a wall. Writing can be tough for anybody. Writing a book is even harder. But attempting to write a book with chronic illness? Even Flannery O’Connor said screw it when she was diagnosed with lupus and had to move back home, trading her fabulous life among Manhattan’s literatiContinue reading “Writing with Chronic Illness”

How to Talk to Doctors

Five years ago, I didn’t know the first thing about speaking to doctors. I walked into the clinic knowing that my health was eroding. I’d already had to quit one job, and I worried about my ability to maintain my current position. But I trusted that the medical community had the answer. My doctor wouldContinue reading “How to Talk to Doctors”

The MFA for the Chronically Ill Writer

When I enrolled for my prerequisite language courses in 2013 leading up to my M.Ed., I was headed to grad school for the sake of financial stability. I had served the immigrant and refugee communities for over 16 years as academic support staff across two campuses as well as online. And I loved it. ButContinue reading “The MFA for the Chronically Ill Writer”