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Writing a book with a chronically ill protagonist

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I wanted to share a huge milestone with everyone on this forum. In 2009 I got sick with dizziness, light-headedness, fatigue, brain fog--you name it--and couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. After a few years, I began to suspect I had POTS and discovered this forum, which helped me eventually get a diagnosis. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that the information on this website practically saved my life. Aside from the advice about symptoms and treatments for this disease, people here reminded me that I wasn’t alone--even though I felt VERY alone in almost every other way. I’d had to quit my job and had gone from being very active to spending most of my time on the couch by myself. I did a lot of reading at this time--especially mysteries since they kept my attention despite my brain fog--and I realized that as a sick person with a poorly understood illness, I was like a detective every day. I was searching for answers (often on DINET) to my own medical mystery! That’s when the idea came to me for a mystery where someone is trying to find answers to their own illness while also solving a murder mystery. 

I don’t know how many years ago that thought occurred to me, but after many highs and lows with POTS and Lyme disease, I was actually able to write the book I’d been thinking about for years. Not only that, after a whole lot of revision, I found a publisher who was interested in it. Now, I can finally say that my book is coming out this week! 

As much as I read, I don’t often encounter main characters with illnesses, and when I do, they tend to jump out of their hospital bed to save the day and don’t really reflect my experience. My hope is that people with chronic illness will read it and see a bit of their own experiences reflected in my main character.

When I was at my lowest--sick, isolated, doubting myself, and feeling worthless--this forum reminded me that I wasn’t alone and that there was hope to get better. I wanted to thank the awesome people here for that and share how you helped me find a path forward to some place better.

P.S. I hope this post isn’t too self-promotional. I’m happy to edit if so. Or, if people are curious and I'm allowed to share the name of my book, I’m happy to do that. 

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Thanks so much! The book is called Hidden Rooms, and my name is Kate Michaelson. I was actually on the local news this morning talking about it, and the interviewers were pretty interested in the illness component: https://www.wtol.com/video/entertainment/television/good-day-on-wtol-11/local-author-pens-mystery-novel-talks-inspiration-good-day-on-wtol-11/512-8d52eae9-b804-4cdb-a747-9aaa3b565466 

One of the reporters at the station told me he actually has a family member about to have a tilt table test for POTS--amazing how many people are affected by it! 

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