Annette Leonard went from being an able-bodied advocate for disability rights to a woman struggling to make it through the day after being diagnosed with a slew of chronic illnesses: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Sjoren’s Syndrome. She thought she’d recover, only to be hit by a cluster of serious, potentially deadly autoimmune diseases.
Now she helps others, through speaking and her only daily podcast to realize that although they may be living with chronic illness, they don’t have to be defined by their diagnosis. Here she describes her journey to accept her new life and as she puts it, finding “wellness in the midst of illness.”
For Annette, what started out as mono, morphed into CFS, then fibromyalgia, then a life-threatening cluster of autoimmune diseases called antisynthetase syndrome. She writes, "living with pain and uncertainty have been unwelcome educators. My illnesses do not define me. If health is the absence of disease and wellness is the presence of wholeness, then no matter what our disease status, we can work toward our wellness, our wholeness."
Learn more about Annette here
Read more from Annette in her blog on The Mighty.
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What is The Patient is In?
In the “Patient is In,” the StuffThatWorks podcast, community members recount their personal stories about dealing with chronic illness and disease, and share how a mix of strength, courage and science helped them through.
Hear stories showcasing what’s possible when people are empowered to advocate for their own health, or the health of their loved ones.