Radioactive Retort

The local hospital just called to schedule my PET/CT scan. On Friday, I'll have a bit of gallium pumped into my system and then spend three hours strapped down while a machine searches my entrails for biochemical anomalies. Since this is a nuclear radiology procedure, I will need to wait patiently for the results like anyone... Continue Reading →

My Favorite Hiking Gear

Every year for our anniversary, my boyfriend and I spend a long weekend in a remote cabin devoid of technology, and then embark on a pre-dawn hike in order to enjoy a mountain-top sunrise. Though it's unlikely that I'll be up for our Year 5 hike next month, I'm anxiously anticipating the day I'll be... Continue Reading →

The Wonder Of Medical Advancement

My health insurance carrier approved my full-body PET/CT scan. Thus, I have been looking up what the heck imaging entails and what the results might show. The scan for which I've been approved offers stunning detail. The PET scanner and CT scanner are superimposed into one image, showing both the 3-D anatomy and any metabolic... Continue Reading →

Lost, Orphaned, and Alone

The most challenging part of my illness is not the hair loss, skin ulcers, or constant nausea. I'm starting to come to terms with the swollen joints and the forced sabbatical from lifting, hiking and cardio. I'm okay with the fact that I'll be on heavy-duty medication for at least ten more months and, quite possibly,... Continue Reading →

Groundhog Day

I spent thirty minutes talking with my infectious disease doctor and nurse practitioner this morning. How am I progressing (or not)? What are my prospects? How does my recovery compare to similar cases? Would a different diet, more sleep, or alternative medicine help? "I don't expect you to get worse," she offered. "Gradually, over the... Continue Reading →

A Hundred Different Diseases

After completing my sixteen-week trial run on a high-dose anti-fungal medication with no improvement, I asked my infectious disease doctor what our treatment plan would be moving forward. I could hear a small sigh over the phone before she replied, "For every 100 people I diagnosis with valley fever, I encounter 100 different diseases. The... Continue Reading →

The Importance of Rest

Rest is important. Yet we live in a world where the masses worship at the alter of busyness. We try to appear productive, so others will perceive us to be important. In a society where worth is tied closely to output, rest is often placed on the back burner, sometimes forgotten entirely. I'll be the... Continue Reading →

Lay Low and Go Slow

Over the last several months, my emotional state has been cycling through periods of relief, anticipation, dread, and hope. In the last nine months, doctors have presented me with the good, the bad, and the uncertain. However, it's only in the last week or so that I've been able to apply the wisdom I have... Continue Reading →

My 5 Favorite Vegan Cookbooks

Five years ago, I admittedly had no idea what vegetarians ate or how they met their nutritional needs. When I met my boyfriend, he had been a vegetarian for over 13 years, so I immediately began my inquisition. What do you eat? Where do you get your protein? Do you feel satisfied after plant-based meals?... Continue Reading →

10 Lessons From 10 Years of Yoga

I began yoga at age 19 after a car accident caused some damage to the muscles around my scapula. After a year of physical therapy did nothing to resolve the muscle weakness, my mom suggested we try yoga. I reluctantly agreed. Together, we attended private lessons, where the instructor worked with our unique bodies and structural... Continue Reading →

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