Living with a chronic or undiagnosed disease is a grueling, endless battle that leaves you clinging to the remnants of your sanity. The symptoms are incapacitating, the financial strain is crippling, and the emotional toll it takes is a beast unlike any other. The emotional destruction is almost a rite of passage for the chronically […]
About Deanna Brownlee
My name is Deanna Brownlee, and I have an undiagnosed disease. For 10 years, my unidentified illness has yielded only futility and heartbreak. As much as it has stolen from me, however, writing has always remained by my side. I am truly honored to be part of the CrowdMed team.
Entries by Deanna Brownlee
As any patient will tell you, having a rare or undiagnosed illness is immensely difficult. Doctors don’t know how to help you, and there are very few resources available. It can be crushing. As you feel yourself fall apart every day, fighting for a diagnosis can become extremely discouraging.
When you stop and think about it, the human species is the ultimate variety pack. We embody a collection of physical features in a staggering array of combinations. In all their diverse glory, though, most people are dissatisfied with at least one of their features. Some want a smaller nose or a flatter stomach. Others […]
Imagine the sun’s scalding rays beating down on your back. As you will your legs to continue moving, every step threatens to betray you. Rivers of sweat streak your skin, stinging your eyes. As the blinding daylight obscures your vision, your heart hammers in futility. Your body weakens, and you question your resolve to continue. […]
Living with an undiagnosed disease is a heartbreaking battle that pushes you to the brink of madness. It drags on for years or even decades, eroding your life from within. When an unidentified illness invades your body, it also disrupts your life. No one believes you, no one can help you, and you have nowhere […]
“Same story, different day.” That’s my default response when people ask me how I’m doing. And it’s the truth. When I last detailed my grueling diagnosis journey, it had ended on a hopeful note. There was one remaining obstacle, however. I still had to confirm CrowdMed’s suggested diagnoses with my doctor. But I can’t afford […]
“But you don’t look sick!” Chronically ill patients hear this phrase again and again from friends, family, and colleagues alike. People assume they’re making a valid argument, when it is nothing more than a biting attempt to invalidate your illness and discredit your suffering. Rooted in ignorance, it does nothing but create resentment.
Diagnosis Spotlight: Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome February of 1996 was the beginning of the end for David Bowen and his family. When the 13-year-old began experiencing abdominal pain and vomiting, his mother Cathy drove him to the hospital. There, doctors diagnosed him with a perforation of the sigmoid colon with peritonitis. The surgeon performed a colostomy […]
Diagnosis Spotlight: Lipedema Imagine living with a disease that no one understands. Instructors do not teach it in medical school, and less than three percent of physicians are aware of it. It mimics obesity in the arms and legs, but creates pain, fatigue, easy bruising, swelling, and inflammation. It only gets worse over time, leading […]
Living with an undiagnosed disease is immensely difficult. It is an endless journey of hopelessness, confusion, questioning, abandonment, and destitution. It is physically, emotionally, and financially draining. In a living death that drags on for years, all you can do is watch your life spiral out of control. Your body is failing you, and your […]