I’m Rachel Allison, a 21-year-old author, photographer, newlywed, and admirer of furry friends. I have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Neurocardiogenic Syncope (NCS), and a slew of secondary conditions associated with those two, including Gastroparesis and Mast Cell Activation Disorder (MCAD). I began my chronic illness journey at the young age of 15, going from a happy, healthy, and active teen to an exhausted, light-headed, nauseous mess. My symptoms continued to spiral out of control, sending me into an intense depression. After years spent jumping from doctor to doctor, trying desperately to find answers, my full diagnosis finally came six years later in December of 2016.
In 2015, while still searching for my full diagnosis, I self-published my first book, The Reality of Chronic Illness. As I struggled through severe depression due to my health and unanswered questions, I began to realize that many of the other chronic illness warriors I knew didn’t really speak openly about their lives. So many of them suffered in silence, tucked away behind closed doors feeling the full weight of isolation and frustration that chronic illness brings. And so I started to talk about it, for myself and for them. I posted on social media, I wrote blog posts, and eventually, it turned into a book.
This blog isn’t wholly dedicated to chronic illness, however; I also share my thoughts on faith, photography, allergy-friendly recipes, marriage, writing, and current issues. This is the place where I share my heart and I hope you’ll find encouragement in following along.