Author Archives: Lisa Weber

Fighting Chronic Illness With a Positive Mindset

The machine monitoring my vitals beeps annoyingly to alert the nurses that my blood pressure has dropped again. My limbs ache from the frigid air conditioning, and my body is sore from being held hostage in the hospital bed. Fear, loneliness, and pain begin to consume my thoughts once again,…

Living With Scleroderma Means Living With Grief, Too

My little girls sway back and forth in their ruffled dresses. My face is fixed with a glowing smile as I watch the home video of these sweet babies. They are both saying the word “marshmallow” at my request. Their mouths fumble the multisyllabic word, producing the cutest versions. I…

An Open Letter to My Late Friend With an Invisible Illness

Decades ago, you passed quietly through the background of everyone’s busy lives. My heart still aches for you, even more now. You see, I didn’t know what you were going through for all those painful years. Your invisible illness was just that — invisible. I didn’t understand it, and…

Pandemic Panic Is Real for the Immunocompromised

As the meeting doors open, I’m met with the coolness of a windowless, air-conditioned room. Normally, I would welcome this gift on a sweltering summer day, but today is different. I immediately question the purity of the air I’m about to breathe in. I reluctantly enter and scan the room…

Don’t Settle When Choosing Your Team of Doctors

Many books have been written about finding your true love. Yet, there’s not much guidance about finding the right doctors. I suppose this didn’t matter when I was healthy. Now that I’m chronically ill, the right doctor means life or death. However, when scleroderma forced me to seek out care…

4 Strategies That Ease My Gastroparesis Symptoms

Date night with my husband resulted in mounds of clothing piling up on the bench in my closet. I was having a meltdown similar to that of a teenage girl with a zit on prom night. Nothing fit. I couldn’t zip up skirts or button pants. My stomach had suddenly…

Managing Medications With the Perfect Pill Organizer

“Did I take my pills?” I wonder as I hold three giant capsules. I stare at them and try to backtrack through my day, but I have no idea. All my mornings collide together. Now I’m faced with the choice between skipping my lifesaving medicine or taking an extra dose,…

Wearing a Fake Smile to Get Through the Day

Can you recall a time when you smiled so much that your cheeks became sore? Perhaps it was a day of joy and celebration — one you’ll happily remember forever. Or maybe you have a chronic illness and wear a smile all day to avoid ruining the party for everyone…

Should I Go to the Emergency Room or Wait It Out?

The pounding of my heart echoes clearly in my ears. I can see the thumps through the skin on my chest. It’s erratic, beating slowly and calmly one minute, and out of control the next. It’s like a toddler is in my chest playing a new set of drums —…