15 icons-06.png

The Endometrio-Fibro-Hypothy-ian

For Ivy

By Rachelle

I have far too much been acquainted with linoleum

and vinyl almost feels like home

is a sanctuary with my art, my craft—my daughter

tells me she loves me, the way my

vials, capsules, tablets fill me up, through

and through and through and through


these needles, silver, splintering

ceaseless aches—this flickering fluorescent fatigue will not leave me

alone, this unsolicited sedation shackles me, reduces me to rest

(and no, you may not reduce me).


My body will always be occupied by the

ghosts of my duty

calls, and I will answer, and so would you

understand that I will grasp onto anything to stop the

flares, my distress signal may be

visible but trust me when I say my pain is not


going to stop me from giving my all

shines through on the days this roulette shows me mercy

is what I deserve

(and no, that is not pity).


I do not expect you to understand how to live with

the birds, have all this freedom to leave but they stay

with me, though I understand if you cannot, because like you

I am a daughter Mother artist storyteller hard-workerentrepreneurintrospectiveover-thinking

will not help you listen,

I am just as much a person


to be there, is all I really want journeying through

life, may be miserable but I have these flowers, trees, rainbows

to hold onto, to be sure of, to be happy about

(and so, do not be sorry for me).

Author's Note:

When Ivy shared with me her thoughts regarding workplace discrimination and the vulnerabilities that came with living with fibromyalgia and other chronic health conditions, we veered into a long discussion on ableism. From the conversation, the one thing she said that struck a deep chord within me was that people often forget the quality work she produces when she is feeling her best, and only focus on the times when she might have not been able to perform as well due to her condition. This sentiment, accompanied by the trajectory our conversation took, inspired the run-on lines in the piece that quickly transition from one thought to another, each line spilling over to the next. A reflection of Ivy’s frustrations, tenacity and dedication towards the people and things she loves, this piece hopes to leave you breathless, provoked, and above all, empowered. (And do not forget, this is not a cry for help).