Columns

I’m Proud to Be a Face Mask Trendsetter

I never expected that wearing masks while I traveled would be my trendsetting mark on the world. I never expected the world to join me in wearing masks during cold and flu season. In 2020, COVID-19 changed all that, and I became a trendsetter. For a decade now, I have…

‘Get Well Soon’ Doesn’t Work for Me

When someone we know is sick, we tend to tell them to “get well soon.” These words seem polite and social. We say them to anyone who is sick. It has always seemed like the correct phrase to use. But why do those three polite, socially acceptable words feel like…

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…

5 Holiday Survival Tips for Those With Vasculitis

I have been dealing with vasculitis symptoms and fatigue for the past 14 holiday seasons. In the early years, I was so worried about disappointing my family and friends that I tried to be my old self and accomplish everything. This behavior always led to a series of disasters.

I Came, I Saw, I’m Conquering Vasculitis

“Veni, vidi, vici” is translated from Latin as “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Julius Caesar first said this after a victorious battle. Having a rare illness is a battle every day. I battle to stay alive. I battle to live a fulfilling life. I battle to get out of…

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.