Spoon Theory: What Silverware Has to Do with Chronic Illness

CN: General discussion of the experience of having a chronic illness, reference to ableism and mental illness Have you ever dealt with a chronic illness and struggled to explain to your healthy friends why you just can’t go out with them anymore? Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t have the spoons for that,” and wondered what they were talking about? Simply put, spoons are a unit of measurement for resources. When someone references …Read More

I Can’t Fix Myself But I’m Supposed To

CN: chronic pain, medical neglect, fat-shaming, discussion of specific health issues and their symptoms Today’s guest post is written as a follow up post to Sunflower Punk’s piece, “Broken,” on her blog on The Orbit. The article covers her life-long struggle with chronic pain, living 6 years with an untreated broken ankle, doctors blaming her health problems on her weight, inaccessible housing, and juggling all of those while also raising a kid as a single …Read More

A Day in the Life of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

CN: chronic pain, detailed descriptions of health issues and treatments, emetophobia, mental illness, food and eating issues. A day living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome starts with how I slept the night before. Usually, I’m lucky enough to have pain in places that don’t interfere much with my sleep but recently my 5-year old shoulder injury has been bothering me at night. Sleeping on the injured shoulder hurts. If I sleep on the opposite shoulder, I can …Read More

Guest Post on ‘Splain You a Thing: Why It’s Hard to Reveal My Disability to Strangers

To make sure you all continue to have something to read during my writing hiatus, I’m happy to present to you a guest post I wrote for the social justice blog, ‘Splain You A Thing. After you finish reading my article about the struggles of communicating about my disability with strangers and my grief over losing the ability to dance, I highly recommend you check out the work of Ania Bula and Sunflower Punk on …Read More

What Ableism Feels Like

CN: institutional, social, and internalized ableism This was not the blog post I had planned to write this week. Earlier this week, as I was crossing the parking lot toward a grocery store, I noticed a man sitting on a motorcycle. It caught my attention because he was parked near the disability parking spots. I looked again and realized he was parking over one of the striped spaces between the disability spots. Only recently, I …Read More

10 Things I Love About Being Disabled

CN: chronic pain, general discussion of disability and health issues Three years ago, I began a chapter of my life in which I had a part-time job, a full-time disability, and round the clock pain. I spent a lot of time thinking about my body, my pain, and grappling with how to balance acceptance for myself with maintaining quality of life. There are many people who have disabilities that do not bring them suffering, apart …Read More

New Clothes

CN: discussion of weight gain, loss, and body image issues; chronic pain, depression In the months after I injured my sacrum, I gained a lot of weight. I went from walking everywhere and working an extremely physically taxing job to almost no physical activity at all. My diet wasn’t unhealthy, but I was used to eating whatever I wanted. After I got hurt, my diet didn’t change and my intake of comfort foods slightly increased …Read More

The Blue Book

CN: chronic pain, ableism, images of mild body contortions I sat down at the bus stop. There were still a few minutes before my bus was due to arrive so I grabbed the book my physical therapist had given me that morning out of my bag. I opened the book with a blue cover and a large orange flower on the front, skipped past the acknowledgments and Intro and stumbled on to “Suggested Evaluations for …Read More

Why Don’t I ever see you Dancing? What is EDS?

CN: chronic pain, descriptions of injuries It must be strange for you. You arrive at my weekly tango dance. I smile and say hello, I take your money. I’m there hosting every week for the full length of the event. In the middle of the week, you’ll get emails from me detailing special events, you’ll see my facebook posts and photos that I took of the dancers. Every Tuesday, you’ll dance to the music that …Read More

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CN: chronic pain, PTSD, doctor neglect, ableism, emetophobia (mention only) When you meet a new doctor, you’re allowed just a few sentences to communicate everything about who you are, where you’ve come from, and which details of your health history are the important ones. In such a limited format, it’s hard for me to convey to a new doctor how long I spent looking out for myself with no close relationship to a primary practitioner. …Read More