But you don't LOOK sick ...

“Squeezing droplets of life between the crevasses of pain, illness & disabilities. But I don’t look sick ..."

PsA & AS: The Challenges of Sero-Negative Auto Immune Diseases

With a constellation of symptoms that rivals several chronic illnesses rolled into one, and blood work that frequently refuses to fit neatly into "the box," the auto immune conditions umbrellaed under "The Spondyloarthropathies," can be tricky to diagnose and equally as challenging to live with. There are many troublesome and less than lovely symptoms which accompany both conditions, but the pain associated with these auto immune diseases may be the most difficult to deal with on an everyday basis. And, just like the majority of equally mysterious auto immune diseases, it is not uncommon to find one's body under attack by one or more additional illnesses at the same time PsA and AS is invading the body. I have certainly found this to be true for myself, and it most definitely makes functioning and living with these conditions an enormous struggle. While I have had both illnesses reeking havoc in my body for at least 5 years, I was not officially diagnosed until the Spring of 2011. I am a pretty experienced patient with several other chronic conditions, but I have a lot to learn in relation to these diseases. My hope for this blog is to share my personal challenges and experiences with others who deal with Psoriatic Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis, and hopefully gain new knowledge and support along the way.
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About Cat

I would venture to say that I have the classic redhead personality, as I am full of fire & passion. My astrological sign is Libra, and without question, I fit the various characteristics, both positive & negative, to a T. The Libra is typically someone who loves beauty, seeks harmony & love, thirsts for knowledge &  justice, is enticed by psychology, cares deeply for others (humans & animals alike), is both intuitive & highly sensitive, prefers the finer things in life, and, is thee best procrastinator you will ever meet! I, without a shadow of a doubt, own all of these character traits, many of which are reflected throughout my life. 



While I have a BA in psychology, along with some experience in the worlds of counseling, law, & various healing modalities, I am presently focusing my energies on two main topics: writing &  art. My interest for all things related to health & illness arises from my own struggles with chronic health conditions. I have found it most therapeutic & empowering to write about my many experiences within this realm. Through education, my own research, and personal experiences, I am teaching myself how to become my own best advocate. 
Reaching, and hopefully, helping others, is one of the main reasons I created this blog page. I want desperately to help those whom are facing similar challenges. Support, education/information, understanding, and compassion are all key to surviving and functioning with any given chronic health condition. 
I have learned a lot as a result of my long journey - nearly 20 years - with Spondylolisthesis (as well as my time spent dealing with the auto immune diseases Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Hyper-Mobility Syndrome, FibroMyalgia, Hashimoto's & PCOS  *note that FM is not considered an auto immune disease and PCOS is more relevant to endocrinology & reproductive medicine, although there appears to be some connection between the two worlds). My main wish and intention is to pass along all of the knowledge I've acquired to anyone interested and willing to listen. I encourage any readers who are dealing with this spine condition, or a chronic illness of any kind, to please feel free to ask questions and share your stories. That's why I'm here! 
If you'd like to learn more about me, or if you have any questions and/or comments regarding my history and related subject matter found on any one of my blog pages, please contact me through my Blogger Profile or contact me directly at healthandillness@gmail.com.
Blessings of health, energy, peace & joy!  Cat (Brenna)

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About Me

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My interest for all things related to health & illness arises from my own struggles with chronic health conditions. I have found it most therapeutic & empowering to write about my many experiences within this realm. Through education, my own research, and my ongoing personal challenges, I am teaching myself how to become my own best advocate. To learn more about me, please see the page entitled "About Cat" located at the top of the page. If you have any questions or comments, you are welcome to contact me through the "about" section listed above, or email me at healthandillness@gmail.com. Please note that this address is also linked through my profiles. Blessings of health, energy and peace.

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