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 not in any way ashamed of my journey, but when people search my name or meet me, I don’t want this one unfortunate part of my life to be what they associate with me. PANS doesn’t define me. Believe it or not, I actually DO like to do other things besides work on this blog and talk about PANS (when I’m well enough, anyway).
My anonymity isn’t about hiding anything—it’s about having the most freedom to discuss my life with PANS/Lyme. Besides, I like that keeping myself so generic means I could be any twenty-three-year-old you pass on the street. PANS can happen to anyone.
Plus, with anonymity, this means you can know I have absolutely no ulterior motives, like attention, fame, or money, for doing this blog (in fact, I only lose money on web-hosting fees every year). I have nothing to gain and everything to lose. I’m just here to spread awareness and keep the focus on the message rather than on me.
Okay, a little more about me…
Well, you probably want a little more info on me as a person, apart from PANS, anyway, so I’ll tell you that I’m twenty-three years old, I’m originally from California, and I’m now a graduate student. Writing is one of my passions, but I’m working towards a career in a STEM field. (Sometimes I do think about changing gears and writing full-time instead, but writing is essential for any career in academia.) When I’m not too sick, I also like running, biking, cooking, and spending time with my friends.
What’s in a Name?
Some of you may know me as Iris, 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.
I don’t much like to talk about my illness in “real life” outside the chronic illness community—I save it 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 don’t tell to anyone else.