The Spoonie Life Is Far From Glamorous

Travel is in my blood. I’m meant to be on the road, or by the beach, or exploring the city. I’m supposed to be travelling the world, making it more accessible for people like me, who have disabilities and itchy feet.

But I’m sick and broke and stuck at home and in doctors’ offices.

My disability has taken everything from me: My health, my travel, my career, and sometimes even my hope in the future.

Next month, I was supposed to be headed to Dallas for a mental health conference. The plan was to soak up as much Texas culture as I could (I’ve never been west of Nashville), learn how to better cope with my Trichotillomania, and write about how to navigate both the Southwest and BFRBs with a disability.

But with $7 in the bank and numerous appointments with a hematologist, an endocrinologist, a gastroenterologist, a pharmacy and an MRI machine, it’s just not going to happen. Not this year.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m grateful to have seen all the places I’ve seen. I’m grateful for what little health I have.  I’m grateful that things won’t be this rough forever. But it’s hard to be grateful at all when you’re being stuck with needles, swallowing pill after pill, hobbling along with a cane when you’d rather be working diligently at your dream job, helping people and making a living.

This is not what I expected my life to look like.

Tips for Spoonies with Colds

tips for spoonies with colds
Dealing with day to day chronic pain is frustrating enough; having a cold on top of it is just brutal. But it doesn’t have to totally suck!

Netflix is your friend. Take the day off and binge watch House or a travel documentary or something. You deserve a break.

Elevate your head. You’ll breathe easier. Literally.

Drink something fizzy and low in caffeine. I like Sprite Zero, because it’s sugar free and delicious, and excellent for settling your stomach and keeping you hydrated.

If you have a headache, take Mersyndol. I carry a few tablets with me everywhere because it works so well. It’s stronger than regular Tylenol, but doesn’t require a prescription. A single tablet is usually enough.

Don’t push yourself to do anything. You need your rest.

This is seemingly obvious, but keep Kleenex near your bed. When you’re already lacking energy, the last thing you want to do is stumble to the bathroom in search of something to blow your nose with!

Buy a Vicks VapoInhaler. I don’t know what I would have done without this thing when I had a cold earlier this month. The scent is soothing and is a nasal decongestant.

Being Jewish, I feel like it’s my duty to preach about the healing powers of matzoh ball soup. Seriously, it’s magical.

How do you take care of yourself when you catch cold?

Image is a get well card you can buy here.

Best of the Midwest #3

A photo posted by Chicago (@choosechicago) on


Welcome to Best of the Midwest! In each edition, I gather some of the most exciting links from (arguably) the best region of the United States.

I definitely want to eat at Toast Bar next time I’m in Columbus. And some of these brunch places, too!

This Grandville, MI Santa Claus made a little boy’s Christmas.

9 Midwest inns share recipes to make the holiday season delicious.

This Minneapolis pizza place sounds awesome!

Troll hunting in a little town near Madison, WI sounds exciting!

These Midwest pride shirts would make great gifts.

Looking for more links? Check out past Best of the Midwest columns, and my Midwest Pinterest board. Have a link to share? Post it in the comments below!

9 Things To Do In Toronto This Winter

toronto winter 2015

Toronto is incredible at any time of year, but it brings a special kind of magic come winter. Here are 9 fun ways to spend the season:

1. Taste gingerbread, gourmet chocolate and other holiday treats. Check out this list!
2. A Roaring 20s Christmas at Spadina Museum. It’s educational, entertaining and under $10 per person. Runs until 3 January.
3. Visit the Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery Historic District. Bonus: the European-style market is free of admission on weekdays and only $5 on weekends. More info here.
4. Go out for cocktails.
5. The TOCA Cheese Cave event series sounds delicious!
6. See The Phantom of the Opera at the Princess of Wales Theatre. I saw the show last time it was here, and it was incredible! It runs until 23 January.
7. Gaze at some holiday lights at Yonge-Dundas Square, in downtown shop windows or at Cavalcade of Lights.
8. Go ice skating at Mel Lastman Square or Harbourfront Centre.
9. Black Creek Pioneer Village’s Christmas By Candlelight is beautiful and interactive. Get tickets and information here.

Image Source

Upcoming Travel + Link Love

I’m cuddled up on the couch with the family cats in Lakeland. I leave in a few days for Atlanta and am excited to spend some time in one of my favourite cities. After that, it’s back to Toronto for November and part of December. I’ll be going to holiday events (can you believe winter is coming?!), hanging out in the Distillery District, and catching up on the work Florida has distracted me from.

Link Love

Now, here’s some stuff I’ve found on the web for you:


Brilliant ways to track your travel. I love the charm bracelet idea!

What it’s like to visit a real paper town. If you’ve read Paper Towns or seen its film adaptation, you’ll find this article especially interesting.


What’s your morning routine?

The 3 easiest ways to discover your passions.

Being a Spoonie

Selena Gomez came out about having Lupus.

What to do if you’re considering going to the emergency room.

Where in the world are you, and what have you been reading?