Lessons From A Chronic Life - a Column by Leslie Rott

Lessons from a Chronic Life Leslie Rott

Leslie was diagnosed with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis in 2008 at the age of 22, during her first year of graduate school. After being diagnosed, Leslie went on to earn a PhD in sociology from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in health advocacy from Sarah Lawrence College. She authors the blog Getting Closer to Myself, where she shares her experiences coping with and living with multiple chronic illnesses, candidly and with humor. She is a professional patient advocate living in Michigan.

When Lupus Rears Its Ugly Head

I have been lucky that my diseases have been relatively stable over the past few years. Most of the flares I have had were situational, typically when I put myself in strenuous situations. For example, I traveled from Michigan to the East Coast and back again in 36 hours. However,…

I’m Getting Married and My Fiancé Hasn’t Seen Me Flare

Over the past two years, my diseases have been relatively stable, which is great. I am grateful to be on a medication regimen that keeps my diseases in check. However, what’s scary is that as a result of this longed-for stability, my fiancé has never seen me have…

Weathering the Storm

One thing that affects my illnesses profoundly is the weather. As temperatures have started to drop, my body already is feeling it. So, I only can imagine what anyone feels like who has survived the recent onslaught of severe weather that has impacted our country — especially those with chronic…

‘Vacation, All I Ever Wanted, Vacation, Had to Get Away’

This past weekend, I went on vacation for the first time since I started working full time a year-and-a-half ago. I have used all of my paid time off for doctors’ appointments, which has been very frustrating, especially when I hear about all of the wonderful things that my similarly…

Summertime, Summertime, How I Miss Summertime!

After getting two masters degrees and a PhD while dealing with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, the reality of what it means to be a chronically ill student was transformed into the reality of what it means to be a chronically ill worker. I have been in my current job since February…