Feature

Rosemary’s health concerns date back to 1984, when she was diagnosed with lupus and interstitial lung disease. In the decades since, she has been diagnosed with several other conditions, making each year more complex and challenging than the last. Looking back on her…
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Feature

Zoann managed asthma symptoms for nearly two decades only to find that the doctors she saw over those years had never truly seen her. They had never looked beyond her diagnosis to see that she had multiple health issues going on.  When Zoann…
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Pain has shaped Pam’s life for decades, both physical and mental. Others’ pain, too. She has served as a caregiver for multiple family members and in more recent years, after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions, shifted focus to her own…
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member art MSA Feature

In 2021, Cathy sent us her story about her harrowing experiences leading up to, and following, a multiple system atrophy (MSA) diagnosis. We checked in with her before publishing it, and in the time between, she had forgotten exactly what she’d shared with…
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walking in nature Feature

For many years, Megan’s multiple physical and mental health conditions have proven difficult to treat with standard medications. As a result, she has found alternate ways to find relief and peace. Here she shares some of what she has experienced and how she’s…
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Robin’s declining strength and stamina at work served as an alarm that something was wrong. It took three years, however, to identify what was causing these feelings of weakness and exhaustion. Here Robin shares the perspective gained from this long process — and…
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pointing fingers in blame

Despite a healthy, active lifestyle, Michael found himself in an ICU bed with kidney failure in 2019. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, underwent dialysis and chemotherapy and then a stem cell transplant. Still recovering nine months following this procedure and in search…
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Gina, living with rheumatoid arthritis

Gina’s life completely changed when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. She went from being an active 34-year-old business owner to completely disabled by 46. Here she shares her story, along with encouraging words for others experiencing similar situations. Seeking Medical Care I…
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the MS iceberg

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is like personality — it’s very different from one person to another. The symptoms are unique to everyone diagnosed with MS and may be misunderstood by people who don’t live with the condition. March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, so…
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danielle, living with bipolar disorder

Danielle has been living with bipolar disorder since 1996. This condition, and others she lives with, affect her life daily. Here, she shares hurtful words her father told her and how comments like this affect her and others living with a similar condition….
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Lindsey, living with narcolepsy

Lindsey kept her narcolepsy diagnosis to herself, family and close friends, until September 2019 when she decided to finally post about her health experiences on her social media profiles. Here she shares how opening up about her diagnosis has helped her accept the…
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Denise, living with HIV

Denise was diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the late 1980s and told she might only have one year to live. Here she shares what has given her strength in the decades since. A Bleak Prognosis [In the 1980s], my friends were…
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systemic lupus erythematosus

When Sylvia’s husband passed away, managing her health conditions — including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) — became exponentially more difficult. The key to her perseverance was receiving support from someone living with similar circumstances. Here she recounts her emotions following in the wake…
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health challenges

Heidi’s health challenges began when she was very young and only compounded in her teenage years and early adulthood. Today, she continues to manage multiple physical and mental conditions — some with effective treatments and others through guesswork and specialist appointments. This is…
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Osteoporosis

Cynthia first broke one of her bones when she was eight years old. Since then, every five years or so, she has broken another. Before that count reached a dozen, she worried that something physical was contributing to the pattern — and her…
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Brian's Hashimoto's disease

Brian’s difficult and frustrating path to multiple diagnoses, including Hashimoto’s disease (chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis), is an apt reminder this Thyroid Awareness Month that the small gland plays a huge and vital role. When the thyroid functions incorrectly, it may stymie both patients and…
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psoriasis

Diane was diagnosed with psoriasis in 1963, a condition no one had ever seen in the town she was growing up in. She experienced situations she doesn’t want others to live through, so she now advocates for others living with the same conditions…
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Misty tirelessly advocated for herself until she received a referral to a neurologist that would ultimately lead to finally getting answers she had been searching for. Here she shares her long journey searching for someone to look into her symptoms, her diagnoses of…
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rheumatoid arthritis sleep apnea lung cancer

Lucy has experienced health issues since she was a teenager. These have carried out throughout her life and into adulthood. Here she shares which symptoms led to her multiple diagnoses, what it’s like living with three distinct conditions and the advice she would…
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Jo, Who Lives with Multiple Conditions, Focuses on Quality of Life

Fifty-plus years of significant health challenges might break anyone’s spirit. Jo, however, emphasizes the practical and positive despite the adversity of a lifetime of managing a host of issues and conditions including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes and psoriasis. Jo’s story…
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Beth lives with polycystic kidney disease (PKD)

In 1996, Beth was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which causes cysts to grow inside the kidneys. Over time, this genetic disorder affects the organs’ function, causes chronic kidney disease and leads to kidney failure. Beth’s evolving response to living with PKD…
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bipolar disorder

Jamie, who has managed multiple mental health conditions — and HIV — for many years, reflects on the importance of support and self-care. Growing & Learning Growing up, I knew I was a little different than other kids. When I was a teenager,…
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Isabel M. from Chaps, New Mexico is living with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, or hEDS. At the age of 22, she’s already seen a lifetime of diagnoses. She’s spent half of the past 2 years recovering from 5 surgeries and at the time of…
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positivity is my super power

Heidi P. from Ohio, sent us the following story. Like 3,000 other community members, Heidi has multiple sclerosis (MS), and was diagnosed 29 years ago in 1992. Her MS story reflects what so many  others who have chronic autoimmune conditions have told us….
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Community Insights Are Valuable Our site will never be a place to come and get every fact or the latest piece of news about any health condition. However, we will continue to share results from surveys you generously respond to. Last year, we…
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