Do You Long to be Normal When it Comes to Your Health?


I have recently come across many blogs where sufferers write about how they long to be “normal.” I too speak of that longing for a norm. I guess what I truly long for is familiarity. . . because when I fell ill I also felt like I lost a huge chunk of myself to the […]

Finding Hope Through Illness in a Flower Garden


It has been one year since I was diagnosed with Waldmann’s Disease, also known as Primary Intestinal Lymphangiectasia. There are less than 200 reported cases worldwide. My symptoms include chronic diarrhea, heartburn, stomach distention, and mild to severe abdominal pain. I follow a very strict low-fat diet and a daily workout plan to keep the […]

How Can I Make My Illness Not Impact My Family?


What happens when a mother of two has a reaction to a medication, causing her health to plummet indefinitely? Two o’clock in the morning and I am wide awake . . . I am wide awake pondering the damage–the long term emotional pain–that my “mystery illness” has caused my husband and children. My husband who […]

A Lightning Bolt Changed My Life


During a summer night in the beginning of this millennium my life changed forever. Within a fraction of a second it changed. . . . a huge bang! Then nothing–nothing at all. No light, no fire. Just a very loud sound, pain in my ear and nothing. At 2 o’clock in the morning I had […]

A Day in The Life of A Chronic illness Flare


It started a few days ago. Basically the flu– except not. But now . . . it is so much more. I have primary systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disease also known as discoid lupus or disseminated lupus erythematosus. My secondary illness is Sjögren’s syndrome, an immune system disorder characterized by dry eyes and […]

Fighting An Invisible Illness Is No Party!


Fighting an invisible battle of chronic illness is no party! I can hear many or you responding “that’s for sure!” My daily battle is not only against a few invisible illnesses . . . but also against an invisible enemy. It’s ruthless in it’s tenacity, strength of its army and the way it sneaks into […]

When Your Invisible Illness Makes You Pay for Fun


We call it ‘Payback’ . . . but doctors call it “post-exertion malaise.” Essentially, it’s when the body pays you back (or “tells you off” or chastises you) for doing something even remotely interesting or out of your usual routine. Any additional exertion sends illness-affected bodies into hyper-drive and causes all consuming flare ups of […]

The Mess of Emotions Behind Medication Weight Gains


When your body starts to show the side effects of prednsione how do you cope with the changes emotionally so you don’t become depressed? Recently while receiving intravenous steroids, a young doctor asked me what I think the worst part of being sick is. He seemed surprised by my answer. It didn’t take me very […]

My Illness is Visible in Me


People like to call my chronic illnesses and disabilities “invisible.” I’m still not sure why–perhaps it’s to downplay the seriousness of these conditions or perhaps it’s to somehow encourage me in a weird, twisted way. I can understand where the term is coming from–really I can. It’s fairly obvious that Crohn’s disease isn’t as visible […]