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Diagnosis: After the Doctor’s Door Closes

Diagnosis: After the Doctor’s Door Closes

“I’ll send someone in to schedule the test,” the specialist says to me. “Wait here a moment.”

I nod and watch her leave. As the door clicks shut, a sinking, sick, hollow gap grows and groans in my chest. I shrink against the uncomfortable chair, stare at my hands or count the number of tiles on the floor. I don’t look at the posters of disease on the walls. I already read them earlier.

It never gets better, this moment after the door shuts and there is only you and the white white room. It never changes.

The me who waits for someone to schedule a test is 21-year-old me cradling a broken finger and fearing surgery.…Continue Reading

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In Standard

Suffering the Silence: My Portrait of Chronic Illness

Suffering the Silence: My Portrait of Chronic Illness

I came across the online campaign Suffering the Silence through this PBS article and immediately knew that I wanted to participate. It’s an awesome movement that encourages people with chronic illness to share their stories. I’d highly recommend browsing the Instagram and Twitter hashtag.

Scrolling through the pictures, I have found it so encouraging to see other young people discussing the hardest parts of chronic illness. These diseases can be incredibly isolating. And when I see people with multiple diseases, and read the things they’re saying, my spirit lifts a little. I’m reminded that I’m not alone.

I haven’t talked much on this blog about my recent diagnosis with Type…Continue Reading

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Open Letter to My Autoimmune System

Open Letter to My Autoimmune System

Dear Body,

Well, here we are again, on the night before everything starts to roll. You remember last time, yeah? We were seventeen and they’d taken the bloodwork and there was a crazy Mississippi storm that night. Remember how we curled over and cried a little and then wrote some poetry? Yeah, it sucked – the poetry, and the night.

I’m not mad at you. I’m not breaking up with you. Partially because I can’t since, let’s be honest, you are me and I’m just personifying you to make sense of something that can’t be made sense of.

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Let Me Be Broken

Let Me Be Broken

I originally wrote this for Nearly Christian, after reading the challenging post Easy Like Sunday Morning. I’ve been sitting on it for a few months now, but as NC hasn’t updated recently I figured I would go ahead and share it here. 

On that cold fall night, I decided enough was enough. It was time to have it out with God.

I had just seen a Christian film that touched on grief and emphasized healing. The message (like most Christian media) was uplifting, but I left feeling deeply disturbed.

Have you ever noticed that in Christian fiction, everyone gets their answers by the time the credits roll? Everyone has received peace and healing and probably…Continue Reading

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When Someone You Love is in Danger

When Someone You Love is in Danger

Let me start off by saying I’m not a professional. I’ve never had a counseling class, and this isn’t a post about “fixing” people. The list below are things that help me through trauma, but they may not be for everyone, and they are not a cure.

That being said, I’ve gained a lot of experience in having someone I love in danger.

Sometimes I can physically do something about the danger. For instance, if my Type 1 Diabetic sister is taking a shot on her bed and an unobservant teenager starts jumping on it, I can throw that teen across the room.

But other times the danger is a sort that I have no control over. I can’t…Continue Reading

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Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Pain Passes

Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Pain Passes

While in Paris, Mom, Laura and I went to Musée d’Orsay to see the Impressionist paintings. It wasn’t until I saw the first Renoir that I remembered he and I share Rheumatoid Arthritis. When I saw that first painting (I can’t remember which it was), his words rang in my head as if I’d just read them:

“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”

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Timesick

Timesick

Sometimes when I take a cab home from church, I stare out the window at nighttime Bath—all lit up and glowing and gold—and I feel a little sick. This city is beautiful and full of promise. It has been here for centuries. It will remain here for centuries.

It stays. I move.

It’s like I’m learning to miss it and I am still here.

I’ve started to recognize this feeling more and more. Perhaps because of the changing seasons, perhaps because my arthritis seems to be on the verge of flaring, perhaps because I can’t seem to shake this everlasting cold. But sometimes I stare out my window at the beautiful English countryside and I feel at once blessed…Continue Reading

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