In 2015, I was in a rollover car accident that was admittedly the most gentle rollover car accident in the history of rollover car accidents. No one was injured and the car wasn’t even scratched—but hanging from my seatbelt was apparently not what my body was built for, and I’m not being dramatic when I say my life has not been the same since.
At the time, I was in my junior year at Grand Valley State University, studying creative writing. I’d been managing my chronic illness pretty well up to that point, having been diagnosed with POTS at the Mayo Clinic in 2008—but the lifestyle changes that worked before suddenly didn’t, and I found myself resting on campus benches because I couldn’t keep my eyes open, skirting around my beloved homework, and losing weight fast.
It was rough.
When my local doctors couldn’t make a dent in my symptoms, they shipped me back to the Mayo Clinic to be poked, prodded, and tested over the course of two weeks. It was also rough—but while I was there, I met my first chronically ill friend—and I’m not being dramatic when I say my life has not been the same since.
She was the one who encouraged me to start drawing comics consistently—and she set up my Instagram, so if you found me through that, you can thank her. We became instant best friends, and when we both returned home, it was hard having my best friend all the way across the country while we both got sicker and sicker.
Little did we know that, in less than a year, we’d be meeting up again—this time in Connecticut, with a shared diagnosis and undergoing the same surgical procedure.
Life hasn’t been what I expected, but it’s made for some pretty incredible stories and some pretty fun comics. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ones you’ve found here, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the days to come!
Because of my chronic illnesses and the advocacy work I've been doing, I've actually had the opportunity to do some pretty cool stuff--like go to Facebook HQ as part of 2019's Facebook Community Summit and get a behind the scenes look at the Kennedy Space Center as part of a NASA Social event. You can learn more about my unexpected adventures on my Instagram page!
My other big, life-changing diagnosis is a congenital anatomical anomaly (try saying that five times fast) called Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome. It occurs when the diaphragm is situated too low in the body, causing the median arcuate ligament to compress the celiac artery and a bundle of nerves. You can find more information by clicking the link below.