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.