My Chronic Illness Taught Me How to Grieve My Pet’s Death

17 Jun
On May 31st, with the help of a home-visit veterinarian service, my best friend and sole companion of nearly 14 years passed away. She was a retriever mix named Amica. I’m still grieving. I know I will continue to grieve,...
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My Fibromyalgia: The 5 Stages of Diagnosis and What Went Wrong in My Medical Care

7 May
It started with some tenderness in two or three knuckles. A couple days later, my hands were definitely hurting and my elbows were sore. A couple days after that, I felt it in my shoulders, too. Then suddenly, my whole...
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4 Ways I Do It Anyway (When Pain and Fatigue Conspire Against Me)

20 Mar
Oh, springtime …. I’m seeing green of my lilies starting to reach out of the ground. Daily I marvel at the new growth on the rosebush I planted last year. And the weather is … all over the place. So...
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Invisible Disabilities and LEGO

11 Jan
I love LEGO®, and LEGO helps me love myself. Here’s how it happened. LEGO bricks were my favorite childhood toy. When I was in middle school, they existed in secret. It was the early 90s, and I was getting teenager...
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The Sag Wagon Advantage

27 Aug
Earlier this month, I attended a bicycle ride event for charity in Iowa. It’s an event a friend of mine puts on and I’ve seen the pictures on Facebook every year and decided this time I was going to go,...
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When an Apostrophe Made Me Cry, and How I Made It OK

14 Aug
This afternoon, an apostrophe made me cry. OK, context. My fibromyalgia is in full flare today. Extreme fatigue, brain fog, body aches, plus the mental health symptoms: anxiety and depression. I have a ton of work to get done in...
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On Mattresses and How I Hurt Myself

6 Aug
Mattresses tell the tale of a thing I do wrong a lot. Amica and I are traveling again, and our first night was a marvelous stay in a National Forest where I slept on my comfy air mattress. That air...
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On Lambeau Field, Celebrity, Possible Impossible and Heroes Defined

18 Jul
Christina Irene wearing Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodger's jersey in Lambeau Field
Two weeks ago, I was in Green Bay, Wisconsin, home of my favorite American football team, the Green Bay Packers, and my soul scored a big win on Lambeau Field. I’m not a die-hard fan, but I’m a fan. I...
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“Usual” Does Not Make It “OK”

17 Jun
I’ve had a bad stretch of bad days lately. One of my very least favorite symptoms of my chronic conditions, extreme stomach bloating, has had an excessive tenure this month. In addition, my fibromyalgia has been super active. Last weekend,...
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