The Myth of the Hero Doctor

We, the viewing public, are supposed to feel good about this hot doctor helping his hot patient continue to live. I, who effing know better, just sit and seethe.

The All-Singing, All-Dancing Illness Pit Jamboree

Vulnerability, it turns out, is not a liability--it's one of the best tools we have. So welcome to the Illness Pit! I may not have The Answers, but I do have a tourniquet, a bag of cookies, and some Neosporin. Find yourself a comfortable rock and let's do this.

How Money Buffers Patients from Pain

Where are the gift bags and perky volunteers at the public hospital? And why does the private clinic make me feel like I'm at the most depressing spa?

Compassion for the Darkness

It’s important to acknowledge the periods of profound darkness, because they so often get glossed over. Usually, the dark pits are only mentioned en route to some fun, Oprah-ready rebirth story, like a zeal for juicing or the founding of a sassy new handbag line. These stories are the worst.

Young, Fun, and Chronically Ill: Owning Your Extra Burdens

I’d add to the list that we young people with chronic illness have another burden: having to brood on the ways in which we’re burdened.

This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain on Fatigue

By Chronic Illness rules, "tired" can be fought, but fatigue must be befriended. (Well–if not befriended, more like “ankle-cuffed together like a chain gang.” Fatigue sucks, but you’re stuck with it.)

2014: Welcome, Failure!

My illness taught me the universe is cold, random, and uncaring. Happy new year!

Yes, You Can't!: Embracing Limitations Like a Champ

Lifetimes of plucky American can-do determination make us believe that our ill health is something to work extra hard to overcome. "Pain is weakness leaving the body! Blast 'Eye of the Tiger'! Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and for the love of all that is holy, stop puking!"

Beach House on the River Styx

I may not have Odysseus’s powerful biceps, but I do have thoughts on dragging your specters of decay to Walgreens. It all evens out.