December 2023 Zebra Spotlight: Allison

admin@michigancreativeZebra Spotlight

Hi! My name is Allison. I’m a Medical Laboratory Scientist. I enjoy cooking, all things Harry Potter and spending time with my family.

5 Invisible Symptoms

  1. Chronic pain.
  2. Ehlers Danlos Syndrome 
  3. Vocal Cord Dysfunction 
  4. Hashimoto’s
  5. Chronic Fatigue

4 Things That Help Manage My Pain

  1. Knowing my limits. I’ve had to learn that it’s okay to step back and admit that I can’t do it all. Everything I’m able to do is an accomplishment, no matter how big or small.
  2. Movement, movement, movement. I used to think I could better manage my pain by doing less. I’ve come to learn that keeping my body moving (within reason) helps with the aches and pains, especially in my joints. This past summer, I started taking WERQ Dance Fitness classes weekly taught by Katie and Allie. I make modifications when necessary to do what is best for my body. 
  3. Taking time to “do nothing.” I enjoy reading books, playing the piano and coloring to give my mind and body a chance to slow down and relax. 
  4. Laughter. It really can be the best medicine.

3 Ways My Life Has Changed

  1. I’ve had to learn and become comfortable with speaking up for myself. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is still something a lot of people in the medical field are unfamiliar with. I’ve had to learn how to advocate for myself, which has not been easy for me just based on my personality. There are still times I struggle to explain all of my medical history because it’s just a lot.
  2. Accepting I can’t be active the way I was before my diagnoses. Being a dancer and an athlete was taken away from me while I was trying to get healthy again, which felt like the end of the world as a high schooler. I ended up having the amazing opportunity of participating in sports as a student athletic trainer, which helped me realize I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field.
  3. Learning to ask for help. Some days are better than others. I don’t like asking for help, even if I know I need to. I have a hard time not feeling like I’ve failed myself and those around me. I don’t like feeling like a burden.

2 People Who Inspire You and Give You Hope

  1. My Grandma VP. She always found joy, even in the smallest of things. She was kind to everybody and was always willing to lend a helping hand. She was such a great example of living life to the fullest.
  2. My husband. He pushes me to be my best every day. He knows when I need encouragement, or when I need tough love to get myself out of a rut. His perfectly timed humor provides me with endless laughter. He knows when I need a couple minutes to break down and let out all of my frustration. Most of all, he is there with unconditional love and support.

1 Thing You Want People to Know

Give yourself grace. It takes time to adjust to a new normal.