Author Archives: Sandra Ross

The Light at the End of 2020

Here it is, the end of 2020, and what a year it has been. After so many dark and worrisome days in this pandemic, it is quite a relief to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I am overjoyed that COVID-19 vaccinations have begun in the…

Battling GPA for Half My Life

I reached a milestone in November. Half my life ago, I was diagnosed with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA). On Nov. 16, 2001, I was near death when I was admitted to the emergency room. Nineteen years later, here I am. Each of those years has been a bonus in…

The War Against Fatigue

Everyone probably battles fatigue at some point, but for those with an autoimmune condition, it’s a war. I have granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), and fatigue is one of my biggest foes. I can handle many of the GPA symptoms and medication side effects without too much of an issue.

I’ve Been Blessed With My Career Path

When I chose my career path in high school, I had no idea how perfect it would be for me. At 19, I was in college pursuing a career in journalism when I was diagnosed with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) in 2001. I was the editor and designer of…

Diving Into a Sea of Denial

Before I was diagnosed with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) at age 19, I was ready to conquer the world. After the diagnosis, I just wanted to conquer the condition. At first, I was extremely focused on finding out everything I could about GPA. Every detail, every bit of information, and…

Persevering in a New Reality

After being diagnosed with granulomatosis with polyangiitis, I felt like life as I knew it was over, and a new reality was emerging. When I was diagnosed, I was a 19-year-old sophomore in college. I missed the last half of fall semester, and it was possible that I would…

Fighting Back After My Diagnosis

When I began college in the fall of 2000, I expected it to be similar to what my siblings had experienced or what I had seen on TV: making friends, having fun, enjoying a massive amount of freedom, and even going to class. I didn’t expect to fight an illness…

The Long, Blurry Days Leading Up to My Diagnosis

I was in a hospital room, dazed and confused. A doctor had sent me there after a chaotic trip to the emergency room. The first nurse to treat me said I had a hemoglobin level of 3.8 deciliters. My resting heart rate was 140 beats per minute, and when I…