A Brief Note for My Readers

Since you might be wondering where I’ve been.

Today I published my first story in months, about my recent hysterectomy in the context of abortion bans sweeping the United States. If you’ve been keeping up with my stories, you might already have been aware I was diagnosed with endometriosis back in December. Around that time, my symptoms took a turn for worse and I was suffering on a daily basis. I gave up virtually everything that wasn’t necessary for my survival and wellbeing during that time, which included Medium, while I pursued treatment.

I was extremely fortunate to have had access to a clinic here in Oregon where two of the best endometriosis surgeons practice. In February, I had a major surgery which involved the removal of my endometriosis along with a hysterectomy. It’s not a cure, but it was my best possible chance at relief of pain and symptoms. The result was almost immediate. I’m six weeks post surgery and I feel virtually no pain, aside from the chronic bladder issue I was diagnosed with during my surgery. I will have to continue managing my health, but I am much better equipped for that now.

As I’ve been reckoning with my health issues and the way my life has changed, and I’ve been on the fence about whether to continue writing on Medium for various reasons. The algorithm does not favor infrequent writing and I can’t manage much more than that. For now, I’m not sure what my writing future will look like, but my plans to write articles and books haven’t changed. I just haven’t had the spare energy or time to invest in writing. I suffer from intense brain fog from the inflammation of my illness and I will return to writing as I get that under control.

I decided to resume one form of social media in order to connect with the online endometriosis community as well as share updates on my horse, who is my source of happiness and wellbeing during this awful experience. You can find me on Instagram at @ LifeWithAlula if you’re interested in following those subjects. I mostly share what it’s like owning and training a horse while dealing with chronic illness, and advocate for science-based ethical horsemanship. Also, I’m training my rescued filly Alula to be a therapy horse. It’s been awesome and she’s already excelling at it. Not only will she be my therapy horse, I hope to help other people with disabilities and chronic illness spend time with these magical creatures with Alula’s help.

I am back to working in the laboratory now that I’ve recovered, and my enthusiasm for science has not dwindled. I hope and fully intend to return to science writing as I get my health (and everything else) under control. Feel free to leave questions in the comments, and I do intend to write more stories soon.

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Feminist, scientist. Battling chronic illness. Horse crazy. (she/they)

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Sarah Olson Michel

Sarah Olson Michel

Feminist, scientist. Battling chronic illness. Horse crazy. (she/they)

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