I’m a family physician who left my career in medicine and as an assistant professor because I wanted to understand what causes chronic illness. And to find better approaches for healing and treatment. I never realized there was a chronic illness trauma connection back then.
I called my blog “Tumbling the Stone” at the beginning because that’s how it felt to be sick. It took me a few years to gather the courage to call it what it is, a summary of research that shows how life events shape our health. It’s not because it’s psychological, it’s because our experiences interact with our genes to affect both mind and body.
I developed a debilitating chronic illness along the way and have learned what it’s like to be sick for a long time (it’s been 20 years). Having a chronic disease has offered me opportunities to test and explore what I learned. And it’s helped me find myself.
When I went back to school, I discovered the science explaining how adverse life events affect risk for all kinds of chronic diseases, including my own. The research has helped make sense of my life changing levels of fatigue and other symptoms as well as flares and why I responded well to some treatment approaches and not to others. I found, over time and through a practice of mindfulness and other practices, that my symptoms originate from the seemingly ordinary, invisible traumas I never realized I’d experienced.
I made this introductory video when I first started my blog in May, 2014. I was already doing much better than when I’d been mostly bed-ridden and house-bound for almost a year. I’ve made a lot of progress since then, both in my understanding of the chronic illness trauma connection, and in my health.
You can learn more about my story and how understanding trauma has helped make sense of my symptoms, my history and begin to heal here.