Living with Depression and Learning Self-Care

Living with Depression and Learning Self-Care
      The first time I heard the word “depression” and understood it, I understood that I was depressed. I was probably about eleven years old, and it put a name to the thing that had been plaguing me for so long it seemed my defining characteristic. I can remember people, adults, telling me... Read more »

The Best of All Possible Worlds: Lea sees the Time Knife

The Best of All Possible Worlds: Lea sees the Time Knife
Every year when I get my eyes dilated, I have the same strange sensation. Not only that things are brighter and blurrier, but that every noise is louder. The hum of a radiator, the patter of ice against the windows, the thrumming of blood in my temples. All of it is louder. I don’t know if... Read more »

A Love Letter to my Husband on the Occasion of the Second of our Three Children Coming Down with the Flu during the Polar Vortex

A Love Letter to my Husband on the Occasion of the Second of our Three Children Coming Down with the Flu during the Polar Vortex
To my dear, amazing, spectacular husband, I know I’m a difficult person to live with. I’m moody, a dreadful housekeeper, an often reluctant cook despite a love of cooking and a genuine flair for it. I’m a selfish and mercurial lover, I yell at the children, and most importantly, I have sleep problems. Since the... Read more »
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Way Past Time for Healthcare Reform, or, The Whole Damn System Is Broken

Way Past Time for Healthcare Reform, or, The Whole Damn System Is Broken
When Mike was first diagnosed with glioblastoma, the hardest part wasn’t watching him struggle with radiation effects, or lose his hair, or the constant battle to make every piece of information that concluded with its fatality invisible to the two of us. The hardest thing was getting him his medications. Not dealing with insurance, they... Read more »

Next Year is its own Resolution

Next Year is its own Resolution
There is a desperation that comes at the end of the year. All the things not yet accomplished, all the things to begin fresh with the new year. Lists of goals and resolutions and the abortive calculus of “better than” versus “working on” multiplied by “Things That Have Changed.” After Thanksgiving, it’s all a matter of... Read more »

A Plea for 'Happy Holidays' during a Rise in American Antisemitism

A Plea for 'Happy Holidays' during a Rise in American Antisemitism
Last week, I stopped taking my children to the store. I’ll start again in a month or so, but for now, I am avoiding bringing them to any stores. Target, Walgreen’s, Jewel-Osco, Costco, anywhere that a family of five might regularly shop. It’s the only way I know to protect them from Christmas Creep. You... Read more »
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The Most Important Election of our Lives

The Most Important Election of our Lives
Today is election day, and I am 100% judging you if you can but do not vote in this election. I don’t mean that in the adolescent, “OMG I’m totes judging you,” sense. I mean that I am passing judgement on your character. On the nature of your very being. If you do not vote,... Read more »

Yinzer's Kaddish

Yinzer's Kaddish
I was born in Pittsburgh. My father was a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon, and my family was Jewish. We lived on Shadyside, in Squirrel Hill. We lived about a mile away from Tree of Life, and we attended a different Conservative congregation- one slightly closer to home. No doubt I found myself in the... Read more »

Young, Naive Cancer

Young, Naive Cancer
When I was 23, my fiancé was diagnosed with glioblastoma- terminal brain cancer. Most of our friends were graduating from college, getting jobs, enjoying the freedom that comes in the years after you turn 21 and you make all your biggest mistakes, but not us. Our lives revolved around chemotherapy, radiation, clinical trials, and managing... Read more »
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An Adventure in Misdiagnosis, for Dysautonomia Awareness Month

An Adventure in Misdiagnosis, for Dysautonomia Awareness Month
I’ve recently learned that October is Dysautonomia Awareness Month, which I found utterly stunning. I thought dysautonomia was a rare disorder, incredibly rare. I was spectacularly wrong. However, it is often misdiagnosed. It takes an average of six years to diagnose dysautonomia. It took five years to diagnose mine. When I was eighteen, I started... Read more »