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Encountering Ableism in Healthcare

When I was being diagnosed, my initial MRI revealed that I had long lesions over several sections of my spinal cord. While I knew nothing about the disease I was about to be diagnosed with, I understood that any damage to my spinal cord was bad news. It meant I…

Chronic Pain: The Elephant in the Room

One of the most difficult aspects for me of living with neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is dealing with chronic pain. It’s what most affects my quality of life, but in my opinion, it’s also the least addressed and treated issue. In 2012,…

The Struggle Is Real: How I Cope With Patient Burnout

In my circle of friends, we often joke that being a rare disease or chronic illness patient is a full-time job. For me, living with not just neuromyelitis optica (NMO), but also several other life-altering diseases that require constant treatment, takes a lot of energy. I must attend numerous appointments…