The Sick Days 23 results

Shelley Page chronicles her struggle to rise in the ranks of journalism while hiding a serious autoimmune disorder in The Sick Days, a continuing series in The Ex-Press (ex-press.ca)

The Sick Days: Part 3

Who's afraid of the wolf? An aspiring reporter gets her first shot at daily journalism, along with a diagnosis that demands a daily dose of prednisone By Shelley Page If home is where the heart is, what about the hurt? Would it follow me there, too? Upon my return from university, I sat in my straight jacket of pain watching my parents take action. My dad pulled out the plaid sofa bed in the basement so I could sleep upright by leaning on the back of the couch. He moved the TV close, pushed the shuffleboard out of the way. My mom brought me warm towels to pack around my chest. When that didn’t ease the hurt, she wrapped her arms around me, trying to minimize the ripping pain that came with each breath. They’d booked me an appointment for the following day with our family doctor, but I was without hope. After five doctors and 18 months, I already viewed the medical profession with doubt and disappointment. But as I unspooled my story to our GP, he didn’t ...

The Sick Days: Part 2

Emergency pit stop: the search for a cause continues The first consult with a physician starts with a psychiatric assessment and ends with an overnight admission, anti-inflammatories and a prescription for sleeping pills By Shelley Page The guerrilla attacks of pseudo paralysis continued, random and stealth. Like when my left arm — I’m left handed — went completely limp while playing pick-up, and I couldn’t dribble a basketball or take a shot. That lasted for a few days. Or when I was door-knocking for a candidate in the federal election and I had to use crutches because my legs felt like they’d run a marathon. I worried my friends thought I was crazy. I worried, too. In the late fall, six months after my Easter episode, I was hunkered down in the Charlatan, the student newspaper at Carleton University, working on the next issue. I’d quit basketball to become co-assistant news editor, obviously drawn by the title. We were a polarized group of junior ...

Journal: The Sick Days

What happens when you wake up one morning unable to move and no one knows what's wrong with you? You begin a whole new life trying to heal, and hide the problem. Working with serious autoimmune disease (or surviving journalism on 80 mg of daily prednisone) Mystery Illness: In search of an oil can (Part 1) By Shelley Page On Easter Sunday, when I was 19, I awoke from panicky dreams of missed j-school deadlines and failed foul shots to find that I was encased in a body bag of pain. Before I consciously understood that I couldn’t move, my first thoughts were of a feature story due the next day, an air ball I doinked in the last basketball game of an inauspicious season for Carleton University, and a gnawing hunger for carbs. I imagined crumpets, discounted and day-old, from the thrift bakery around the corner. My roommates and I survived on its discards. It was like having a beer store on the block if we were a house of 18-year-old guys with new fake  ID, instead we ...