Living Obliquely

Approximately 1400 people are diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis (TM) annually.
Similar to Multiple Sclerosis, it attacks your myelin, leading to painful and debilitating side effects.
About 33,000 Americans are currently disabled as a result of this rare neurological disorder.
Not one person with TM will ever know their prognosis.
I happen to be one of them.

I am a neurological soup. Since my TM diagnosis, I have developed encephalitis, MS, RSD/CRPS, Osteoporosis (I am 34, no 35, eek), and Chronic Anemia. sucks, but I still rock.


Sickos. Glamour. Giving. Ain't that what it's all about...

You all know by now, I like to shop - online, in line, in tiny shops, and medium-sized shops - but not big corporate chain stores and malls - yikes - they give me the creeps and aren't so good for a gal sans immune system.

I'm currently going through plasmapharesis treatment - it brings out the "best" sicko in me - but makes life a danger because it removes every single antibody from my system, i.e., I am immune-less (don't you love made up words!), i.e.#2, as long as I'm receiving plasmapharesis, there isn't anything my body can do to fight off whatever popular germ floaters pass my fortress of hand sanitizer.

All of you are potential medical enemies. Since I believe that getting sepsis once is enough, I'm choosing to spend my disability dollars (what few are left after life's expenses) online.

Don't ask me how I find these pleasant little shops - as you know my memory has a 30-second limit - so when I find a fabulous virtual store, it's like stumbling into a "pleasure chest." Just like when I was a choreographer - it's my job to make it up and your job to remember it.

Appropriately branded, Lavish Giving, this boutique's plush to posh array of unique, practical, or just plain pretty gifts for everyone from your boy toy to your pampered pet is for all of you gimps and givers.

The Ohio-based owner, Jane, is a gracious cancer survivor with a mission. In recognition of the value of medical research, when you spend $100 she donates 10% of that to the charity of your choice. Even you frugalistas will find this user-friendly site a breeze to navigate, and your cart will arrive gratefully to the $100 finish line before you know it - full with gifts for all, even yourself.

If you have the urge to give the gift of giving to me, I'll gladly accept your philanthropy on behalf of all the worthy medical research charities. Just email me for my address, size, or favorite color, and I'd be happy to oblige. And although I'd love the $800 foldable bike, my neuro-body isn't quite ready to take on a two-wheeler, let a lone a tricycle, or a car.

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If you're a Philly-region person with TM, please consider joining the Transverse Myelitis Philadelphia network (, a new social networking group that I started for people with TM so that we can meet and chat casually. It's only on Facebook for now, so, if you haven't already, join. It's easy.


In Pictures

Please Note: Some photos may contain partial nudity or depictions of medical procedures. Though I am in many of these photos, my reason for sharing these personal photos is to promote awareness, understanding, and advocacy for people with TM and other rare diseases.
To play the slide show, click the big play button in the center of the screen, then the small one in the bottom left corner. Click here for more advanced viewing instructions, and select "Help."

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