autoimmune disease, look it up.
I am blind.
In 2003, I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO). It is similar to the more widely researched Multiple Sclerosis in that the overactive immune system causes nerve impulses to misfire, often resulting in vision loss and paralysis. While MS tends to affect the brain, however, NMO mainly interrupts the optic nerves and spinal cord. The course of NMO is also more progressive than that of MS; full recoveries from acute attacks are less likely. After several bouts of optic neuritis, the network of nerves connecting my eyes to my brain atrophied, and my vision deteriorated to what the doctors call “counting fingers.” What I see can best be described as shadows and extreme blurriness like I’m eternally walking through a cloud. Or imagine staring into a mirror foggy with steam right after a hot shower–that’s my world.
So what do these four things determine about me and my blog? I write what I eat. I write what I cook. And I write what I taste and feel throughout these experiences, not only with food but with life in general as a sight-impaired individual. Food and words are my two loves–the culinary and literary arts are both means through which I connect with others. I hope you enjoy the blog and find it, at the very least, interesting and entertaining. I invite you, too, to feel your way through food and taste your way through life.
For all things “MasterChef,” visit my MC3Christine Facebook page and follow me on Twitter at @MC3Christine.
You can find my writer persona at www.christineha.com
, complete with my [very minute] list of publications. And follow me at @ChristineHHa on Twitter.
Last but not least, for more information about Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO), visit NMO Diaries, a blog entirely dedicated to NMO and its effects on the lives of three ambitious women (yes, I would be one of them). Another great resource for NMO is the Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation which funds research to find answers for the prevention of and potential cure for NMO.