Discussion of news topics with a point of view, including narratives by individuals regarding their own experiences

Story by Aviva Loeb, illustrations by Katie Wheeler.

I’ve spent the past year battling a slew of weird symptoms and health problems. Finally, in March, I received a diagnosis. It’s been a terrifying experience that has tested me physically and mentally — a constant, nagging reminder that life can turn on a dime.

Sometimes I’ll feel normal for weeks in a row. Those days, when I feel okay, I wonder whether any of this is even real. But other days are spent frantically emailing my doctor to make sure my latest flare-up isn’t a sign of something more serious. I’m still figuring out how to approach my diagnosis. Should I talk about it on a first date? Tell my friends if I’m feeling particularly awful? How bad does my health have to get to justify taking a sick day?

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I was inspired by my friend’s comment about ‘fallow periods’

As a fat person, fear and shame have kept me from going to a spa. But I deserve to be pampered, too.

Until recently, I was even too afraid to take a fancy, candlelit bath in my own home