Author Archives: Annie Dixon

Can You Keep a Secret?

Medications come with warning labels. Maybe rare diseases should, too. Warning: Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome may cause secrecy in patients and caregivers. aHUS is a rare and life-threatening condition, and there are many reasons not to share a diagnosis or prognosis. Within the family, patients may want to shield loved…

Prayers + Life Lessons = Attitude Adjustment

The Serenity Prayer Most people know about the Serenity Prayer. It is a favorite among people with alcohol or drug addictions or those struggling to stop blaming themselves or others for the happenstance of life. Many people have memorized it: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things…

Investigative Questions Are Essential to Caregiving

My husband’s general practitioner, hematologist, and nephrologist each care for the same number of patients with aHUS as I do: one. However, these doctors all handle a few hundred other cases with various ailments and concerns, whereas this is the entirety of my practice. Therefore, I am a specialist. I…

Caregiving and Convenience: If the Shoe Fits

One of the first casualties of taking on the role as my husband’s caregiver was high heels. That’s ironic, since he is the one who convinced me to wear them. From flats to heels Before we met, I always wore flats. It was sneakers and loafers on my own…

My FAQs for aHUS

I like that series of Books for Dummies, authored by experts in various fields. Written for the masses with no experience required, they employ a straightforward vocabulary in an easy-to-follow format. Shakespeare, calculus, cooking, quantum physics, beer, and Ireland are among the subjects tackled in these paperback…

It Could Always Be Worse: My Husband’s Journey to Diagnosis

Five years ago, my husband, Ronald, and I were overwhelmed with financial worries. Our business was struggling thanks to four broken contracts, a leaky roof, and an impatient banker. We worked long hours, juggled credit cards, sold the convertible, chased every lead, and hoped we could save what we…