Essays

First-person narratives about what it’s like living with illness, from people who know.

My Son Gave Me A Kidney. He Has Been Chronically Ill Ever Since.

I'll probably never know if he got sick because he donated an organ to me, but after years of soul-searching, I'm determined not to let his kidney go to waste.

How Visions of Vietnam Helped Me Survive Paralysis

Changing my attitude and dreaming of another land helped me win a fight I almost lost against Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

My Grandmother's Murder and My Decade Of PTSD

Today, I’m still finding ways to cope, and I probably always will be. This is my reality after living with PTSD for a decade.

How Chronic Illness Caused Me To 'Accidentally' Get A Tattoo

Fibromyalgia isn't funny, but the reason it inspired me to get my first and only tattoo is.

Fairy Tales And My Father's Parkinson's

When I was a kid, my dad made collages of Rapunzel, Rumplestiltskin, and Hansel and Gretel for my bedroom wall. I still think of them as I confront his Parkinson's.

My Disability Is Invisible. I'm Still Disabled.

After falling out of a tree, I experienced a traumatic brain injury that affected nearly every aspect of my life. So why is it so hard for even friends and family to believe I'm disabled?

Fighting Off Hypochondria in a Mexican Shaman’s Temazcal

A travel journalist tries to outrun her irrational fear of health ailments, only to confront it square on in Oaxaca.

How Gardening Healed My Mother After Her Stroke

My 93-year-old mother never really cared about her garden. Then she had a stroke, and growing vegetables became her passion.

My Body, The Stranger

When you have borderline personality disorder, recovery can often be like learning to love a voodoo doll.