Author Archives: Leah Leilani

Joining a Support Group Can Make a Difference

As a kid, I found it difficult to bond with other children with muscular dystrophy (MD). As a young teen, I often compared myself to others — including those living with MD. The invisibility of my disease often made me feel like an outcast. The rarity of my type of…

Regaining Control of My Life with The Happy Planner

Most people with a chronic illness inevitably learn to expect the unexpected with their health. No matter how meticulously I attempt to plan around my body’s needs, mitochondrial myopathy sometimes has a different agenda. I lose control over my body and feel as though I must bend to the…

Gift Ideas for Your Loved One with MD

Finding the perfect Christmas gift requires listening intently to the recipient’s wants and needs. This year, the social media team at Muscular Dystrophy News Today asked followers what would be on their wish lists to make their lives easier and more comfortable. These recommendations are sure to put a…

Finding Relief for My Dry, Flaky Winter Skin

A recent cold front has swept through the U.S. As the snow and rain arrive, they bring problems for my skin. The epidermis, the outermost layer, becomes dry, cracked, and irritated. If like me you experience issues with your skin in the winter months, I’d like to share my go-to…

Improving My Digestion with Enzyme Supplements

It’s over a month since my gallbladder surgery, and I couldn’t be happier with my healing process. I previously wrote about adjusting to life after gallbladder removal and mentioned using supplements to regulate my digestive system. In this column, I share a review of my experience with those supplements.

Attack of the Bloodthirsty Mosquitoes

Fall and winter have always been my favorite seasons. I eagerly await the cooler weather by prematurely washing my sweaters and drinking warm beverages. This year, I’m particularly excited for the changing of seasons because of some maddening mosquitoes. This summer, a non-native mosquito species terrorized me and other…

I Won’t Give Up My Positive Attitude for Others

Sometimes life with a chronic invisible illness can feel backward and upside down. As if anything that I do, whether positive or negative, could come back to bite me in the butt. It’s dizzying to try to predict people’s reactions to something as simple as a photo of me showing…

Adjusting to Life Without My Gallbladder

“That’s right. You’ll be able to resume your regular diet after gallbladder removal.” My surgeon’s words ring in my ears as my television airs food commercials and I chomp on carrot sticks. Two weeks after my operation and I’m finally back to my old self. I can flaunt my skinny…

Honoring Serena Lawrence: How Her Life Changed Mine

In the summer of 2017, I received an email from a woman named Serena Lawrence. She had discovered me on Instagram, and had learned about my past ambassadorship with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and my blog “Millennial On Wheels.”  She told me about a job opening as a columnist…

My Asthma Flare Inspired Me to Buy a Vogmask

For most of my life, I’ve suffered from viral-induced asthma. While coughing and wheezing are often a constant with standard asthma, viral-induced asthma is triggered by infections such as the common cold or the flu. My first asthma memory was during my first-grade year. I missed a month of…