Who Am I?

Why Anonymity?

Okay, so with a weird name like “The Dreaming Panda,” you’re probably wondering who I really am.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you. 🙂

After much debate, I chose to make this blog anonymous so that I could share as much as possible while maintaining some sense of privacy.  I’ve been through far too much, so I decided I was going to lay everything out here in the hopes that maybe some of it can help someone else going through the same thing.  I’m actually a very shy person, so I knew being anonymous was the only way I’d allow myself to share my whole story.

You have no idea how ironic it is that I’ve spilled my guts all over a public blog with a decent following—I’m the kid in your class whose whole body shakes with anxiety if I have to say a word.  But we introverts are the ones with vivid thought-lives that we’ll gladly share with a few people we trust…  Or apparently with the entire internet, so long as we’re anonymous. 🤦‍♀️

Okay, a little More about me…

All I can tell you about myself is that I’m twenty-three years old, I’m from California, I’m a graduate student, and I’ve had PANS/PANDAS for at least ten years.  I’ve had Lyme since 2016, maybe much longer.  I have no formal medical training, but I have a “degree” in Google research and encounters with 20+ doctors.  When I’m not too sick, I like running, biking, cooking, and spending time with my friends.  And obviously, I love to write.

What’s in a Name?

Some of you may know me as Iris Ainsley, but I chose to call this blog The Dreaming Panda to reflect my diagnoses and also my hope of getting better. The “Panda” part is because I have PANDAS.

The “Dreaming” part came from the fact that hypersomnia was one of my worst symptoms when I started this blog. I used to fall asleep all day long no matter how much sleep or caffeine I had—standing up, sitting down, driving, taking notes, having a conversation, etc.  I was never sure if I was conscious or not, so I pretty much existed in a dream world.  Thankfully, this symptom disappeared after two IVIG treatments.

The truth is that most people who know me have no idea what I’ve been through. I don’t really talk about my illness in “real life”—I save it all for this blog. Even if you don’t know who I am or what I look like, I hope you feel special for knowing things about me that I won’t tell anyone else.

2 thoughts on “Who Am I?

  1. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I just discovered this blog after searching for side effects for meds my daughter is going to have to start tomorrow. She’s 9 and was dx with PANS a few years ago. Have read a few of your posts and will continue to read on. I’m so glad you’re writing this.


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