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”

My Life Is Out of Control, So I’m Trying Goals

Some people scoff at goal-setting. They think it’s new age-y. Or they think it’s fear-driven. Or they think what’s the point? Life isn’t in our control anyway. Which for many of us—especially the lower our incomes, the poorer our neighborhoods, the more marginalized our gender and orientation, the darker our skin, and the more healthContinue reading “My Life Is Out of Control, So I’m Trying Goals”

The Four Stages of Migraine

At the age of 31, I learned that the body is irrevocably tied to others. After violence from two young men, my health rapidly deteriorated. Migraines became more frequent and eventually chronic. Within three years, I had become too disabled to work. Our culture tells us that health and weight signal personal virtue. That “willContinue reading “The Four Stages of Migraine”

Life and Death

I apologize for being MIA the last week and a half. Things have been happening. Those of you who have been following me for a while know that I have chronic migraines. I developed migraines shortly after the first assault I survived at age 12, and they became chronic shortly after the last assault atContinue reading “Life and Death”

Learning That Disability Isn’t Your Fault

“So I’m going to keep getting better, right?” I asked. My neurologist looked at me for a moment. “Probably not,” he said. “Migraines are an oversensitivity of the brain. There’s no cure for that. It will fluctuate. Some months you may have no symptoms, and then it will be very bad for several weeks because youContinue reading “Learning That Disability Isn’t Your Fault”

Learning Mindfulness from Two Months of Sick Leave

I’ve gotta tell you–these last two months at home with just the cats, my laptop, and my migrainous vertigo have offered some advantages. Like I’ve missed a good chunk of cold and flu season. Like I get to sleep in. Like full-time grad school is a breeze when classes are online and I only workContinue reading “Learning Mindfulness from Two Months of Sick Leave”

Women Running: A Feminist History

We go back at least 2500 years, to the Heraean Games of ancient Greece–the women-only version of the Olympics held every four years and led by a committee of 16 female leaders. Or we can turn to Sparta, the most egalitarian of Greece’s city-states where young women regularly competed in footraces, and men chose wivesContinue reading “Women Running: A Feminist History”

What (Not) to Say to People with Chronic Conditions

“But isn’t there something you can take?” If you have a chronic condition like me, this question camps out on your front porch like a creeper and waits to hop into every visitor’s mouth. “But isn’t there something you can take?” It comes from the best of places, I promise. The people around you just don’tContinue reading “What (Not) to Say to People with Chronic Conditions”

Learning to Live with the Demon That’s Always There

Anger, like depression, is a stress response, and both can shorten our life expectancy. I’ve been facing some hard facts lately, and one of them is that I go around packing anger like a loaded gun. Still. Don’t get me wrong. Anger serves us well in many situations. It protects us from people who wouldContinue reading “Learning to Live with the Demon That’s Always There”

What Friends Are For

Despite what popular sitcoms and rom-coms would have us believe, friends are not resource bases for us to cull from. They are not a bottomless well of empathy and generosity for us to draw on in hard times. And when someone commits to being your friend, there is no clause in the contract that guaranteesContinue reading “What Friends Are For”