Author Archives: Brittany Foster

Getting Stuck when Asking for Help

There is an inner dialogue that often goes on in the mind of someone who is chronically ill when asking for help. Ultimately, the outcomes of these inner conflicts are feelings of guilt, shame, and uselessness. It is hard to break out of this…

Staring Etiquette for Supplementary Oxygen

It’s inevitable. The stares from strangers will happen. It isn’t every day that someone sees a young, otherwise healthy looking woman carrying supplemental oxygen around in a backpack. I understand why people will give a double glance in my direction, but, when the stares are…

‘When Will I Learn?’ A Poem

“When Will I Learn?” is a poem I wrote to express my feelings about my own denial over my medical condition. In it, I write about what I have gone through medically as a result of my own denial. Toward the end, I move to what “I am starting…

Body Image and Chronic Illness is an Inside-Out Issue

Many people in the chronic illness community will talk about how their illness affects their mental health. They talk about grief, depression, health, anxiety, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder. What is not talked about as openly is the effect of chronic illness on our body image. I…

Fear Change, or Adapt to Change

“Change. We don’t like it. We fear it, but we can’t stop it from coming. We either adapt to change or we get left behind.” – Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy When I started oxygen, I had to get used to staring at myself with a cannula…

Top 10 Ridiculous Comments I’ve Received in the ER

I have learned the hard way that some of my chronic illnesses should NOT be managed in an emergency room. Some circumstances, however, warrant immediate medical attention. It has been difficult to figure out what exactly is an emergency and what is “normal” for a life with chronic hypoxia,…