An un-named college guidebook for those with chronic illness
In 2017, I graduated from university Summa Cum Laude with a 3.95 GPA—while fighting two serious chronic illnesses for my entire undergraduate career.
My book is an entertaining guidebook for college students with chronic illnesses and disabilities, peppered with memoirs of both my successful moments and my hilariously cringe-worthy failures to apply my own advice. With words of wisdom on everything from studying through brain fog, to managing flare-ups, to not being “that roommate,” it is sure to inspire and encourage anyone facing illness, disability, or mental health conditions while earning a degree.
Up to 17% of college-aged people live with a chronic condition today, according to WebMD, and NAMI says 20% of young adults have a mental illness. There are so many things I wish someone had spelled out for me before I packed up and moved hundreds of miles away for university, so now I’m passing along what I wish I’d known to help all these other students with similar challenges.
Moreover, I hope that by sharing my story in this book, I will increase awareness for PANS/PANDAS, autoimmune encephalitis, and Lyme disease, and perhaps more people will learn of these illnesses and get the help they need.
If you have a specific question or aspect of college that you would like to see me address in my book, please send me a message on my contact page!
My Recovery Memoir
I’d like to release this in the next few years, but I want to be farther along in my PANS/Lyme recovery first.
As far as I know, there are no other first-person memoirs about PANS. It’s great that PANS parents are telling their family’s story, but we need survivors to talk about it themselves to help validate the legitimacy of this illness.
When I was eleven, just before I became ill, something told me that I needed to start journaling. It was like someone told me something profound was about to happen, and I would have to remember as much as possible someday.
I have twelve years of first-person journals, as my illness was unfolding, about what it was like to have PANS as a child/teen. I may literally be the only person on the planet with this level of documented detail about my PANS experience. My book will incorporate quotes from these entries (at least, from the best ones).
My memoir will focus mainly on the four years since I was diagnosed and began treatment, but I will definitely include significant content from the undiagnosed years, too.
I’ve been through too much on account of PANS, and I don’t want anyone else to go through what I have. I hope that by sharing my story, some people will get the help they need. And maybe I can bring some hope to those who have already been diagnosed, who feel alone in their journey.