my story

my name is Megan

and I've been

sick for

seven years

I’m 25 years old and I am chronically ill, and yet if you

saw me on the street you'd

likely have no idea.                                 

. . .

when I was 18,

I began having

pain in my ribs

that just...

never went away

After maybe a month of persistent rib pain, I went to the doctor. Tests indicated autoimmune activity, but diagnosing a specific autoimmune disease is notoriously difficult. More symptoms presented themselves and I found myself declining quickly. 

A few years into searching for answers, I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. The doctor who diagnosed me made the disease seem completely benign. It's not. I'm still discovering exactly how much the condition affects me almost 5 years after being diagnosed. 

I've gathered other diagnoses over the years, but the elusive autoimmune disease and my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome are the most pervasive of my illnesses.

I went away to college, but was forced to move back home. My symptoms were progressing rapidly. I finished school over the course of 5 years, graduating with a degree in psychology with a minor in philosophy. I wanted to go to grad school to study psychoneuroimmunology, specifically focusing on the physiological mechanisms behind the psychological effects of chronic pain and autoimmune disease. That has yet to happen.

I currently work part-time at a ballet school I used to attend. I danced from age 3 until I was 17. I was ready to start a professional career when I quit. I quit because I had ankle problems that led to 2 unsuccessful surgeries. I later found out that EDS caused the problems that forced me to quit.

suspected

systemic autoimmune disease (probably lupus)

severe chronic respiratory issues

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (type 3/hypermobility type)

postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)

fibromyalgia

celiac disease

hypothyroidism

depression

anxiety

insomnia​

diagnoses

Dance has always been my passion, and I'm looking into ways I can help introduce dance therapy to sick and disabled children. Dance brings me so much joy, and I think it can help people make peace with their bodies and to love them again.

I've also found unexpected solace in writing. I never thought that I would share my writing, let alone consider pursuing a career as a writer

but until my health

gets under

control

these are

distant

dreams

It's probably apparent that chronic illness has changed my life in many ways. I will be the first to admit that chronic illness has been devastating for me. It's taken so much from me and it's replaced what it stole with pain. I am a different person than I was before I became ill.

 

It's been 7 years and I'm still trying to figure out who I am now. But I'm realizing that I like who I am or who I'm becoming, regardless of all the devastation.

warrior

& i am proud of my fight

I am a

the
philosophy
is kindness.