My name is Aubrey. If you came here looking to learn more about chronic illness, healthcare, science, and advocacy through real experiences, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve always had a passion for medicine, advocacy, and serving people, but these topics all became so much more personal to me in summer of 2016 when I started to develop signs of a chronic illness.
I am currently pursuing a diagnosis, but I present with a variety of symptoms that align with the presentation of Ehlers Danlos syndrome–most notably, hypermobile joints. I’m in a lot of pain most of the time, but even though my body hurts like it does, it bends – not breaks. I am trying to apply this philosophy to life with chronic illness, even though I believe it is applicable far beyond that.
Having to deal with the repercussions of a possible diagnosis with a lifelong and incurable disease in my early 20s has been incredibly challenging. And, quite frankly, painful. But although my pain might be written in my DNA, I can still use what I’m going through to help others.
I started this blog to shine some light onto my experiences, but I hope it informs and encourages about topics far beyond the scope of my own life. Chronic illness patients have to handle misinformation and stigma daily on top of their actual medical challenges, and I’d like to do my best to help dispel that. Often, healthy people and even our doctors simply don’t get it.
This blog will contain many of my own experiences, but I’d also like to call on others to share their stories as well – on both the patient and practitioner sides of the table. This concerns all of us, both ill and well. Hopefully “Bend, Don’t Break” serves as a light to other invisible illness warriors and a window into our world for those who have not experienced it.
Thanks for reading!