Author Archives: Brittany Foster

I’m 29 and Feeling Fine

The morning of my 29th birthday, on May 30, looked different than it did a year earlier. On my birthday last year, I rolled out of bed crying in pain. It was only a few weeks after I had a thoracotomy to repair a congenital heart defect. I…

I Need to Be Understood, Not Fixed

When a new doctor enters my hospital room and asks for a brief medical history, the best I can offer is a 15-minute overview of the last few years of my life. Realistically, for a proper understanding of my medical condition, my story should start…

Sleepless Nights Are Stressing Me Out

Taking care of my body requires getting the right nutrition, exercising in ways I can handle, and paying attention to my mental health. Lately, I have noticed that anxiety and fatigue have increased at the end of my day. When I brought this up…

I Found My Strength in Isolation

After so many years of struggling to find my voice in advocating for my healthcare, today I am proud of how far I have come. Speaking up for my needs and advocating for the best available care hasn’t been easy. Processing medical trauma…

My Nightmares Are Real-life Flashbacks

When I was younger, I had recurring nightmares about a kidnapping. Usually, I was the hero chasing the kidnapper. These nightmares would spark panic attacks when, in my waking hours, I couldn’t quickly locate my sisters in public places. I had an irrational fear of…

My Rare Disease Intensifies My Emotions

Sometimes I think my emotions are too much to handle. I find myself wondering if I am overreacting or feeling things too strongly. However, chronic illness has taught me that I need to feel my emotions. I can’t bottle them up, hide…