Why Weezy?

At this point some of you may have become curious or even confused with regards to the name of my blog, asking yourself:

  • WTF does the illest even mean?
  • Wait…isn’t that like a rap lyric?
  • Hopefully today’s post clears up some of your curiosities, and you can understand the method behind the madness.

    “[Bitch] I’m ill, not sick”, was first uttered by Lil Wayne or Weezy, in the song A Milli, on my personal favorite album Tha Carter III. (Actually it was motherfucker, but I’m trying to tone it down just a touch). This line for whatever reason has always resonated with me.
    When I think of sick, I think of weak, helpless, and needy. I also think of acute problems, tissues, cold medicine, “get well” balloons. None of those things match what it really means to be chronically ill. For a person with a chronic illness a “get well soon” can feel like a slap in the face or punch in gut. It’s at that moment I want to say “Bitch, I’m ill not sick.”
    Everyone finds wisdom in different pockets of their lives, and for me Lil Wayne really did say it best, being chronically ill is so more than being sick. So I’m just out here trying to be the illest, to thrive where I can. It almost feels like one of those reclaiming the word used against you kinda things. And whatever your views on Lil Wayne and Young Money as a whole may be, it sure as hell is a nice change of pace from the royal bummer that is being sick.

    Find my titular muse here.


    From the Hermit in Apartment 65 B

    When insomnia is a huge part of your symptom/side effect cocktail it gives you a fair amount of time to think about things, (especially when you’re out of lives on candy crush, but that’s a whole other post in itself). Lately ye olde chronic illness has me knocked on my ass, which obviously sucks, but for whatever reason it’s hitting me harder than usual and leading to some reflection of sorts.

    My very favorite Momma’s garden, we built and tended together.

    I’ve always considered myself a little “crunchy” as my production executive older brother would say. I love being in nature, gardening is one of favorite things to do, and I’ve taught my way through a few countries to be able to experience what our world has to offer. Aside from all the clogs, my second signature trait was never staying put. The past few months, well I guess years, have really made me think if I’m still that person.

    The clogs have obviously remained if not expanded, but I find myself more and more sedentary as the months and years go by. Why? You guessed it: my chronic illness. I’m afraid to leave my doctors, my care team, and when you’re at 30+ pills a day the exploratory travel that defines my early twenties just isn’t possible. More than that, spending time outside long enough for a hike, or to tend the single square foot garden outside my apartment feels like Russian roulette. Will this trigger flare or not? Who the fuck knows?

    Sure I have just as many potted plants as I do pills, but at a point I start to feel like that hermit, that home bound person that boasts JOMO (joy of missing out) rather than FOMO (fear of missing out) as a coping mechanism. It’s a new identity I never really thought I’d have. Thank goodness for sarcasm because without it I don’t know what the fuck I’d do in these situations. If someone invited me on a hike 5 years ago, no problemo, but now it’s a sarcastic, “wait you want me to leave the house to climb up hills? hard pass. ” I fucking love hiking, but my body can’t handle it, and saying that is a giant bummer. So you know what? I don’t.

    Once you reach a certain level with your diagnoses your favorite things can become a field filled with land mines of flares and triggers. In short it fucking sucks. Lately after reflecting on staying put for three years in the same job same city, mostly because I need the health insurance, I find myself struggling to hold on to the pre-land mine identity I had and grappling with what things will look like moving forward. Here’s to hoping with all this insomnia I have the time to figure it out.

    So this is new…

    Welcome to my rambling thoughts, and hopefully some entertaining or even uplifting tidbits. Being chronically ill sucks, so might as well generate more content on the internet for you to read when your insomnia is keeping you up at night, right?

    Instead of diving into the nitty gritty of my chronic illness journey, we all have them, most are long, frustrating, long, complicated, did I mention long? For those curious I have a whole page dedicated to my diagnoses etc. that you may peruse at your leisure or not.

    Anyway I’m Alex, a plant loving, middle school teacher, living chronically ill in Washington D.C. I have been unsure about writing about my experiences for quite some time because who gives a shit? But alas here I am tip tapping away on my keyboard so let’s see how this thing goes!

    I always say, I like to think to I’m funny… jury is still out.

    Yours truly with my home healthcare aide, I mean fiancé, taken about 3 diagnoses ago