Hi, I’m Michelle. You wouldn’t know it by looking at me if you can’t see my port or IV pole, but I’ve been sick most of my life. Unfortunately, I didn’t know I was sick either. My undiagnosed conditions caught up to me as an adult, causing me to lose my job and go on disability. Now, at 30, I’m finally starting to recover, and I’m here to share what I learned along the way — all the things I wish someone had told me early on.

I want to help others with the same issues get properly diagnosed and treated sooner. I want to raise awareness about the drawbacks of the US medical system that led to my circumstances, because my story is all too common. We need more informed patients, better educated providers, and more understanding, period. I want to educate the public about the realities of living with chronic illness and the existence of invisible disabilities, so patients aren’t misjudged by strangers, and so they can get the emotional support they need and deserve from the key people in their lives (including their doctors).

This blog is also for me. It’s a way to keep everything in one place, and it’s a better medium for detailed updates than email or social media. Writing soothes my mind and soul, and I want to be able to look back more clearly on the changes in my life. This will also make them apparent to outsiders, because, most of the time, my progress is only obvious to me.

“Life in Doses” refers to the way I live my life, and something other patients can probably relate to. With chronic illness, sometimes it’s too much to take things one day at a time, and you can only look as far ahead as your next dose of medication, your next task. I’ve been so exhausted before that all I could focus on was making it to my last infusion of the day so then I could go to bed. When your schedule revolves around medications, sometimes you use that to measure the passing of time, too (“Another day of IV antibiotics done”), or to place an event from the past. My days would blur together if it weren’t for my IV medications changing every so often.

It also refers to the way I’m sharing my life here. My posts may be sporadic based on energy levels, and, mainly, I want people to remember that you’re only seeing glimpses of my daily life. I may want to post about “normal” stuff one day, even though I’m having a hard time with my illness. I went with a vague name for that reason. I didn’t want it to be overtly medical, so I’d have the freedom to talk about all subjects, especially when I don’t know for sure where my journey will take me.

I hope this blog will grow with me as I discover who I am as a healthy person, and I hope you’ll join me for the ride!