Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, the Onset

I was 24 and had recently returned to my parent’s home in suburban Philadelphia, after a seven week cross-country road-trip that extended into a four month stint of living in a filthy, cheap house with two random dudes in San Luis Obispo, California. I needed to see if California was where I belonged. It wasn’t, at least not then. Verdict’s […]

Living in the Company of Chronic Pain

When I first started writing about my struggle with vaginal pain, I wrote that it felt like one of my greatest fears was materializing: that I am stuck with this unprovoked pain forever. Seven months later, the pain persists. I am discovering what it feels like to live in tandem with one of my greatest fears. Some days, […]

Kindness as Pain Medication

My life isn’t so much peaks and valleys these days. It’s more prairies and valleys. Since this pain nightmare started in June, I seem to cycle between total despair and a little less despair. When a loved one kindly offers, “I hope you have a good day”, it feels like a monumental disconnect from my reality. Semantics are powerful, and […]

Childhood Medical Trauma, 36 Years Later

This story is about a series of childhood experiences that, until March 2012, I’d long dismissed as not that relevant to my life. Not long after I was born, I was catheterized for a suspected urinary tract infection (UTI). That post-birth infection was the first of what turned into a long chain of unrelenting UTI’s and […]

Coming Out About Vulvodynia

For months, I’ve been ignoring an urge to start writing again because the thing I want to write about is extremely personal, even for me. So I repeatedly reminded myself that in this case, the personal is political. If I can turn this struggle into something of use to other women despairing alone and in silence, then the suffering […]

Is Depression a Form of Grief?

I’ve made it to Day 22 of a grueling food elimination diet to see if allergic foods may be contributing to my health issues. The health yields have been imperceptible to non-existent. But I remain curious enough to keep going. The experience hasn’t been without silver linings, like learning how to cook fish (the only allowable […]

The Great Isolation Intervention of 2011

Plenty of people who know me, peripherally or professionally, if asked, would predict that I have a vibrant social life. I know about this public misperception because I’ve been told as much, more than a few times. I can understand why it exists. I run my own business that’s been blessed with press and success. […]