“I spent the better part of a year inside a hospital with a Stephen King-level freaky, highly life-threatening autoimmune disorder.”
“This is a world I know well.”
by David Stewart
“The odds are that you or someone you love will be hospitalized at some point. My sincere hope is that you will never have to use any of the suggestions in this article. We recently learned from her NYTimes editorial that our friend and AGEIST profile Annabelle Gurwitch is having a very tough time and, because of her illness, stage 4 lung cancer, she is highly engaged with the medical system. Her particular illness is not something I have knowledge of, but the medical system at that level is something I do. Annabelle, you are in our thoughts today as I write this.
“At about 50 years old, I spent the better part of a year in a hospital as a ‘science project’ due to my having contracted ITP — idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. That is the Latin for ‘you seem to have a problem bleeding and we don’t know why.’ One thing about autoimmune disorders, and their inverse disorder, cancers, is that there is no run-of-the-mill average occurrence. They are all weird, all unique, and all special. You can have an average broken arm, but I have yet to hear of an average, regular old autoimmune disease. Modern medicine is fantastic at things like hip replacement, it is much less so with things like cancer and autoimmune. Which is not so say they don’t do incredible work, they do; I’m still alive! It is just that it is all sort of an experiment on a group of one, you, to see what works.”