Recharged and Rewired - a Column by Brittany Foster

Brittany is the HR associate for BioNews (the publisher of this site) and a columnist for Pulmonary Hypertension News. Brittany is from the smallest state in the U.S., Rhode Island. She manages multiple chronic conditions including pulmonary hypertension and congenital heart disease. Some of her illnesses are visible, but most are invisible. She hopes that her column, “Recharged and Rewired,” will show those reading that having a body that’s wired a little differently doesn’t keep her from being the best version of herself every day. Brittany is happy to work in the HR department at BioNews because she is passionate about advocating for herself and others who may be going through physical and emotional challenges of living with a rare disease.

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…