Taper Town: Stuck Street

I’m stranded in Taper Town, stalled between well-enough-to-be-bothered-by-my-growing-to-do-list and in-too-much-pain-to-attack-it. The street sign reads: Up ahead, there’s an emergency box: Break glass for prednisone.

Taper Town: The Blame Game

A tombstone bearing the epithet, “I told you I was sick,” was one of my grandfather’s favorite jokes. But this lament is no joke for people with autoimmune diseases. Our lives are often riddled with odd symptoms and… Read More

Taper Town: Take Two

 At my last doctor’s appointment, my rheumatologist encouraged me to taper my 5mg/daily dose of prednisone… when I was ready. “See if you can taper down to 4mg by the next time I see you,” she said. “I… Read More

What do you wish teachers knew about your chronic illness?

CALLING ALL CHRONICALLY ILL STUDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES! I was a high school English teacher before a severe lupus (a chronic autoimmune disease) flare took me down. Now I help students and their teachers understand each other and find useful strategies… Read More

Taper Town: Don’t Know What You’ve Lost ‘Til It’s Back

I wake up curled around the pain. Burning, it thrusts me from deep sleep into semi-consciousness, and I lie there panting, knees to abdomen, elbows to chest, face to fists. There is only pain. I become aware of… Read More

Taper Town: Initial Skirmish

Well, good. Who wants to read about an easy prednisone taper, anyway? Hi, joint pain, muscle aches and stiffness. Remember that jet tub we had installed? That’s for you. It soothes peripheral neuropathy and the purple-white-red ache-numb-sting of… Read More

When Even Yoga Hurts: Tai Chi

NOTE: Scroll down for a practical guide to starting tai chi. I could say she was a terrible doctor, but that isn’t true. I could say that she doesn’t care about treating the whole patient , but I… Read More

Taper Town: Move Day

Today’s the day: I’m moving to Taper Town. Did you ever see a two-year-old go limp when his mom or dad tries to lead him by the hand? Neat trick. That’s what your adrenal glands, those lovely lumps… Read More

Operation Adrenal Awakening: The Plan

18 September 2013, 09:00 War Room. I stand in a semi-darkened room, staring down at a large table littered with important documents. Lab reports, clinical research abstracts, and medical records. On my laptop screen, tabs open to Lupus.org,… Read More

When Yoga Calls: Gentle Poses for Every (Dis)Ability Level

Yoga’s calling me today. Non-yogis tend to see yoga as a soft exercise. A boring combination of stretching and breathing. You know – not a work out. And it can be among the gentler types of exercise. Yogic… Read More

A Call to Arms: Advance Notice to My Adrenal Glands

Standing tall in fatigues and combat boots, my hair waving somehow gracefully in the wind as helicopter blades beat the air around me, I raise my megaphone: Listen up, adrenal glands. I’m headed to NY to see my… Read More

Do other creatures hurt?

I wrote a rant today in which I said terrible things: nasty comebacks to an ignorant, oft uttered comment and a whole hypothetical conversation, all designed to make people who’ve uttered such things feel small and ashamed and… Read More