Unhappy 47th Birthday

I thought I'd continue the tradition of posting an entry on my website on my birthday, only to find out I never actually did that. Weird. Since I'm already three days late, it works out just fine. Still, I think it's time to start a new tradition and take stock of my life, which currently sucks big time....more

End of Year 2013 Update

My web hosting service sent me a renewal notice for my website "Sleepless in Vienna" recently and I had to decide if I wanted to keep it and continue to write my blog, or quit. Writing my blog gave me focus for a long time - it helped me deal with my illness. But I've been living with Sarcoidosis for almost ten years now, and after a few years there was only one thing I wanted: to lead a "normal" life. Constantly writing about my illness didn't help. So I abandoned my blog....more

Falling Apart

Things are falling apart, and I haven’t got the money to fix them.Last June I wrote about the challenge of job hunting with a chronic illness, and how happy I was that I found a job that pays very little but which allows me to work from home. I’ve been trying to get by on very little money for several years now, ever since I was diagnosed with a chronic illness in 2004....more

Why I Deleted My Facebook Account

I deleted my Facebook account a few weeks ago and don’t miss it at all.I was late to the party to begin with. I joined Facebook in March 2010 (I think), and only logged on to my account once every few weeks. I never quite got the hang of it. Too many people, if you ask me....more

Job Hunting with a Chronic Illness

I recently decided that it was time to get a job. I’ve been self-employed since early 2009 as a writer, but I’m not very good at promoting myself. I write a weekly newsletter for an NGO, and write other stuff as well, but it’s just not enough. I knew that I needed to find an additional source of income. ...more
 @Work Experience Blog  Thank you so much - it took me "only" eight years to get here. I used to ...more

Losing 70 Pounds: Day Three ( - 6)

I’ve lost another three pounds, a little over six pounds total so far. It’s nothing to get excited about, really, as this is most likely all water weight. Still, it’s an excellent start to what will undoubtedly be a very long diet.I was still quite exhausted in the afternoon from the previous day’s walk, but decided to stick to my plan (daily one-hour walks) and went for another stroll in the afternoon. I live in one of the outer districts of Vienna, which is dominated by parks, trees, and vineyards. It’s a great place to live and I don’t really take enough advantage of it....more

Losing 70 Pounds: Day Two ( - 3)

After one day of dieting, I’m down almost three pounds. This is not altogether surprising. As I’ve said before, after seven years on steroid medication, I know how my body reacts to certain foods.Steroid-induced cravings for carbohydrates is something I will have to deal with as long as I have to take my medication; but I’ve learned to keep them to a minimum. I eat most of my carbs mid-morning, then some more mid-day, and that’s it. It’s only fruit and (vegan) yoghurt in the afternoon, and I skip dinner altogether....more

Losing 70 Pounds: Day One

Day One: I step on the bathroom scale and am not surprised to see that I have gained nine pounds during the last three and a half weeks. This weight gain is caused by a change in the dosage of my steroid medication. Any change – regardless if it’s an increase or decrease – has nasty side effects. Joint pain (quite bad on the first day, but it decreases and then disappears after two or three days); headaches (occasionally), fatigue (more than usual), and considerable weight gain due to intense cravings for carbohydrates....more

Ready, Set, Go! The Start of A New Diet

I’ve dreaded this day for a while now, knowing that it would come eventually, that it had to come, but tried to ignore it all the same. No use. It’s finally arrived: the start of a new diet.I’ve been here many times before, as have most women. We lose a few pounds, then gain them back and add a few extra, just for fun. I think I’ve been on a dozen different diets in my life (I’m 45 years old). Like most women, I went on diets even when I didn’t need to....more

Talk to Me! (Doctors and Patients)

I see my doctors more often than my family and friends (combined). In the last three months, I have seen an ophthalmologist (the autoimmune disease Sarcoidosis and the steroids, which I take to keep it in check, can both damage the eyes) and a dentist (the steroids draw calcium from the bones and therefore damage the teeth). I’ve been to the hospital twice for my quarterly check-ups (January and April, for lung function tests, blood works, and x-rays), and had to return for an EEG and an echocardiogram....more