Category: Inspiring Personal Stories

PhoebeMD Medicine Poetry Blog Depression PTSD

Suicide: A Personal Journey from Trauma to Triumph

By John Gregory Evans | Featured Contributor


Life can be quite demanding.

One may find themselves trying to overcome childhood sexual abuse and jump from the frying pan into the fire by volunteering with the USMC during the Vietnam War from 1971 to 1972; subsequently, sexually molested by a mid-level NCO while serving active duty through Combat Training. As well, with combat related scenarios one may also be injured upon a field training exercise after three consecutive explosive blasts are detonated, hurling an M-60 spent cartridge to its potential target, a young seventeen – year-old male’s cervical spine, thus, inducing a permanent nerve damage that could potentially one day paralyze him from the neck down, including the larynx. Hence, my patriotic chore that led a confused, dazed, and mystified young man to serious suicidal attempts and further ideation. This continued for many years.

Will there ever be relief?

Will the suffering end?

The answer to this is yes. Give yourself time.

Continue reading “Suicide: A Personal Journey from Trauma to Triumph”

PhoebeMD Health Blog Dating Chronic Illness

Why Dating a Woman With a Chronic Illness Is the Best Decision Your Heart Can Make

By Klyn Elsbury | Featured Contributor


I can have a conversation with you about your stressful day while infusing antibiotics straight into my heart through a port-a-cath. I pay attention to your every word when nausea kicks in, asking intelligent follow-up questions, and when you’re relaxed after your stressful day, just ask that you hold my hand. Bonus points if you can bring me a Starbucks en route to the hospital.

I am 32-years-old and have been hospitalized 67 times, ranging in length from one day to six months. The diagnosis is cystic fibrosis and diabetes. The prognosis? Nobody really knows.

I am happily engaged to a healthy man. In fact, he’s so healthy I don’t know if in five years I’ve seen him eat a vegetable that I didn’t force him into. And yet, dating was extremely difficult for me as I grappled with questions on when to tell him about my condition, navigating extended hospitalizations, and yes, even losing my bowels without warning one night.

It’s not uncommon for those with chronic illnesses to be shunned from the dating community. Many have given up entirely and left to feel like ‘used goods’. Even as I researched the article, polling my friends with chronic illnesses, many were reluctant to share their names because if a guy on an app googled them, they would face rejection before they felt it was time to disclose. And I couldn’t help but remember what it was like for me the moment the hot guy I was getting to know decided to type my name into Google, and decided if he was up for the adventure.

Our love story lasts and here are five other reasons that if you’ve been given the news or been contemplating taking the next step with someone with a chronic condition, to give it a go!

Continue reading “Why Dating a Woman With a Chronic Illness Is the Best Decision Your Heart Can Make”

PhoebeMD Health Poetry Blog Infertility

Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 3)

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


[Click for Part 1 and Part 2]

The bandage torn
From new flesh
Releases wails
The wound still
Imbibes air
The scab hides
deep repair
Let it rest. Wait
In time the scar
Records a fate

I learned that healing is a deep process. We may heal a physical wound, but to become whole, we need to heal emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. We need to dig into the old grout of our deep being. Moreover, we must trust help is available.

Continue reading “Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 3)”

PhoebeMD Medicine Poetry Blog

Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 2)

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


[Click here for Part 1]

Depression developed and flourished because I grieved so much over loss of fertility.

Women who are childless miss out on a great deal. They never feel what it is like to have a life growing, kicking and wiggling inside of them; to cry out during the birth of a baby (a rite of passage to celebrate with girlfriends); to watch over and even to grow with a child through sickness and health, all the milestones of birthdays, graduations, marriage, and the births of grandchildren. I have even grieved not being able to be the tooth fairy, help my kids find Easter eggs, read them bedtime stories, take them to the zoo.

Feeling apart from and not a part of the tribe still saddens me. I find I am left out of conversations about all those life passages women around me have. I feel I have little to contribute. I have attended and hosted many baby showers, but my mind always wanders to my losses, making it difficult to be fully present to the joy young mothers feel. Women form strong bonds with each other and share in all the rituals around birthing and raising children. I feel like an outsider at times, like I am more an observer than a participant in these sacred passages.

Continue reading “Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 2)”

Avoiding the Tragedy: A Look into Disease Prevention

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


Part 1 – Hope Was Not a Loss: A Story About Measles Encephalitis
Part 2 – Learning How to Walk Again: Barbara’s Story


Back in 1958, the year I almost died from the measles, my parents—unlike the parents of today—did not have to face the choice of vaccination, because there was no vaccine in existence (it wasn’t introduced until several years later, in 1963).

Therefore, it was important for me to share my experience with this condition because of the great controversy that currently exists over vaccines in general, and particularly the measles vaccine. Far too many children are not getting vaccinated against measles and other diseases owing to perceived risks, so now measles has returned as a virulent threat worldwide.

Continue reading “Avoiding the Tragedy: A Look into Disease Prevention”

Learning How to Walk Again: Barbara’s Story

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


[Part 1 – Hope Was Not a Loss: A Story About Measles Encephalitis]

My experience with measles encephalitis taught me a great deal. The greatest realization was that I could change my destiny. I had every reason to remain in the wheelchair because of the attention, sympathy, and love that not only I but also my parents received because of their poor little girl. But the attention from others could not offset the loneliness, the feelings of being diminutive and helpless, and the boredom.

Continue reading “Learning How to Walk Again: Barbara’s Story”