Do These 7 PANS Symptoms Make College Impossible?

No one understands how hard school is while fighting PANS

They say that “school refusal,” or a deterioration in school performance, is a hallmark symptom of PANS/PANDAS.

Continue reading “Do These 7 PANS Symptoms Make College Impossible?”

What I Really Mean When I Say I’m Fine

My life with PANS and a brain on fire! (cred: KC Green)

As I hurried off to class the other week, suddenly, I knew things were awry: it was that strange and all-too-familiar feeling in my head that foretells an atonic seizure.

Continue reading “What I Really Mean When I Say I’m Fine”

Is This a Nightmare Come True?

Sometimes, you don’t get to wake up from your nightmare…

Lately, with each day that’s gone by, I’ve slipped farther and farther into the abyss of my inflamed brain. I’m in a bona fide PANS relapse—there’s no denying it now.

As it turns out, I’ve had too much faith in my Lyme/co-infections antibiotic protocol. Continue reading “Is This a Nightmare Come True?”

It Isn’t You: Defying the Shame of PANS

Since the first day I became ill, shame was a mainstay in my life with PANS… Shame about irrational fears that no one understood. Shame that I felt no control over my mind or body. Shame that I couldn’t do what I once could. Shame that I lashed out at my parents and said things I never wanted. Shame that I was spending more time with doctors than friends. Shame that I’d become a different person that I hated.

The shame can be as painful as the symptoms themselves.

Continue reading “It Isn’t You: Defying the Shame of PANS”

Daring to Dream Again

Photo cred: NEPANS.org

This week, despite recently having the best few days I’ve had in several years, my OCD came roaring back, worse than it’d been since 2014. I started ticking again, too. People would say things to me, but their words made no sense. All the symptoms that I thought were gone returned to taunt me. Just as you think you have the upper hand with this disease, it can swoop in to tear you apart all over again!

Continue reading “Daring to Dream Again”

Why I’m Glad I Had No Fun This Weekend

This Labor-Day weekend, while you were outside grilling burgers and hotdogs, and some other college students were drinking and partying, I was all alone, locked in my apartment, doing nothing but homework and chores… And I’m so thankful I was.

Continue reading “Why I’m Glad I Had No Fun This Weekend”

PANS & College Part 1: Managing Academics

Is it possible to go to college if you have PANS?

In the past three years of running this blog, one of the most common questions I get asked is, How have you been able to do college when you’ve been so sick?

Truth be told, when I look back at the last four years, I’m surprised by it, too.  And not only have I made it through eight semesters, but I’ve made good grades.  This sounds like an impossible feat for someone fighting an illness that causes severe mental disorder and sometimes severely incapacitates my cognition, but over the next two posts, I’m going to show you how I did it. 

These posts might be longer than usual, so I hope you’ll stick around!  This week, I’m going to answer one part of the question…

Continue reading “PANS & College Part 1: Managing Academics”

I Have No Idea What I’m Doing Anymore

I don’t know where I am or where I’m going in life anymore.

With my final semester of college on the horizon and an amazing summer internship behind me, it’s finally sinking in that it’s time to figure out what I’m doing with my life next. I’m pretty sure that anyone about to graduate from college is feeling anxious about transitioning into the “real world,” but for me, as someone recovering from PANS/Lyme, there’s a whole other layer of messiness.

Continue reading “I Have No Idea What I’m Doing Anymore”