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?

I’m hard of hearing. The pandemic has introduced unique challenges — but I’m learning to overcome them.

There are already lots of roadblocks in society for people with disabilities

2020 zapped my creativity. I’m slowly finding my way back to art.

When I wasn’t producing, I questioned my identity as an artist

My home is full of hand-me-downs. When I feel lonely, these items raise me up.

The objects remind me of the sense of connection and joy I take from art