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 passionate about PANS/PANDAS and Lyme awareness, and this blog and the community means a great deal to me, but I also don’t want to only be known for having these diseases. When people Google my actual name, I don’t want the first thing they read about me to be that I have PANS and Lyme. I’m in no way ashamed of my story or anything I write on here, but I also don’t want it to be the only thing outsiders associate me with.
Okay, a little More about me…
All I can tell you about myself is that I’m twenty-two years old, I’m from California, I’m a college graduate, 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?
My pen name is 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.