Right before I signed the paper, I looked into my husband’s fearful eyes and felt a wave of disbelief at the realization that I was about to consent to the very thing that I had desperately wanted to avoid. During the previous six months of my pregnancy, I huffed through prenatal yoga sessions, dragged my big belly to childbirth classes, spent $500 on acupuncture treatments and even hired a birthing coach (known as a “doula”) to insure that my firstborn would make a serene entrance into the world. As my due date approached, my thoughts became preoccupied with images of the idealistic birthing experience that was about to change my life. I carefully selected songs for my “birthing playlist,” and envisioned the perfectly disheveled picture that I would post on Facebook to introduce my little guy to the world. With all the energy I put into personalizing the experience, it never occurred to me that I would end up feeling like a statistic—one of the 38 percent of new mothers at our New York City hospital who delivered her baby through Cesarean Section. Keep reading »
I was 17 years old and sitting in a dimly lit, poorly ventilated doctor’s office next to an incredibly nervous mother. I never imagined that the following six simple words would change my life forever: “You have spots on your brain.”
Excuse me? What does that even mean? I thought.
Ten years later, I still question the doctor’s choice in words and his flippant tone. What he meant was this: you have Multiple Sclerosis. Keep reading »
When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to have a full-length mirror in my room. My Jewish mother loathed hearing me complain about how fat I was and refused to invest in one. I never made the purchase for myself until I was a freshman in college—and even then my mom questioned whether or not I should buy it. Now, I’m a 22 year-old fashion student and while I own a full-length reflector, I keep it at a slant. The incline makes me appear slimmer. But it’s never enough.
See, I have Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I look at my reflection and see something that just isn’t there. You could say I have an eating disorder, but I’ve never been able to fully starve myself or binge and purge. I am 5’3” and weigh 115 pounds. But when I look in the mirror, I see a girl who is 150+. Keep reading »
In retrospect, it was all inevitable. Not the details, like the time I grew so afraid of using the toilet that I urinated in cereal bowls in my apartment, or the time I collapsed outside a filling station in Sicily and told someone I couldn’t remember how to breathe. Those specific situations weren’t predictable, of course. But looking back, I can see how much sense it makes that I have panic attacks. Keep reading »
This is the first essay in a new column on The Frisky called “I Have _____.” In each piece a female writer talks about her experience with a health issue. Frankly, we’re curious about our bodies and yours, including the medical issues many of us are faced with — in “I Have _____” we promise to bring you the absolute real deal from a real woman.
Eventually, in the course of any new friendship or relationship, I have to reveal that I have diabetes. It’s usually greeted with a quizzical look and the question, “Wow, I thought only old/fat people have that,” or my personal favorite, “OH! My grandma DIED from that!” Um, great. By now I have my response down to an art. And in case we ever meet, I’ll save us the time by giving it here, in layman’s terms:
“Well, there are two types of diabetes, Type 1, juvenile, and Type 2, adult onset. I have Type 1. Keep reading »