To start with, let me explain the title of this blog. “Needlin to be Normal” refers to my need for needles. Each week I take a set of 2-4 needles, and I jab em into my skin. For about two hours “medicine”- actually antibodies separated from human plasma suspended in a solution- flow into my fat through those needles, causing a nice big, swollen lump to form. Then I take the needles out, stick a bandaid over the needle-stick and go about my life. One week later I do it all again. I call it my infusion night, aka movie night.

Still confused? Understandable. Here’s the missing piece of the puzzle: I have a primary immunodeficiency. Which in my case, means that although my body produces the right amount of antibodies, it pumps out some seriously messed up ones–so I get sick over and over again with the same things and every little virus leads straight to a bacterial infection. At least, that’s what happened before I developed my weekly needle habit- now with the help of the IG infusions I do much better. Despite my need for needles and my sizable collection of prescription meds, when I leave the house (with my infusion lumps carefully camouflaged) I get to portray the enjoyable part of “average college kid.” Thanks to my infusions, I get to be (almost) normal. Get it?

So that explains the name and a bit what this blog is about, but really this blog is about more than PI or any one illness(and trust me I have a few to choose from)–it’s about trying to live a “normal” life with any chronic illness(es). It’s about wanting to be able to be real about life with less-than-perfect health without the stigma that chronic sufferers so often get stuck with. It’s about showing that you can be sick without being “the sick one”–that your illness doesn’t own you–that my illness doesn’t own me.

Really I’m still figuring it out. I definitely don’t have all the answers. I’m not starting this blog because I think I know it all. I’m starting it because I want to share the adventure of figuring it all out–the ups, the downs, the loop de loops–with others also riding the crazy chronic coaster.