Welcome to my blog! My name is Stefani. I was just minding my business, working on a PhD, living the dream with my husband and my cats, when suddenly POTS and Dysautonomia entered my life in 2011. In 2013, Myasthenia Gravis also decided it wanted to join the party. I write about the very personal side of chronic illness and to give voice to the often invisible struggle and triumph of illness. I discuss my personal battles and offer what I have learned over the last few years as I work toward making sense of this chaos, all while trying to make chronic illness look fabulous. My dream is to write a book about these adventures someday.

I used to be an English professor at a community college and consider myself a recovering academic. I'm crazy about jazz, Led Zeppelin, the Harry Potter series, dark chocolate, Sci Fi/Fantasy, and vinyl records. I'm a singer-songwriter and working on an album of all originals, and you can find my soundcloud page here. I have degrees in literature but sometimes think politics was my true calling. I write "musings," poetry about illness and the mysteries of life. I spend most of my time on my couch buried under cats, half-finished books, and chocolate, while playing video games or watching Star Trek with husband.

I named this blog "kind of broken" because one of my closest friends also lives with chronic illness and we joke that we are "kind of broken," and we see this as a source of pride. Being "kind of broken" implies living with humor while putting on a brave face while ill.

I am not an expert, just a full time patient, wannabe health advocate, and cultural observer. I do not offer medical advice; I'm only sharing my journey, making sense of this strange ride, and hoping that what I've learned is useful to others. Every day is a battle, but I'm a warrior.

I have a list of diagnoses. An impartial list:

Dysautonomia, specifically the POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) subset
Myasthenia Gravis
IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome) and Dumping Syndrome (related to autonomic dysfunction)
Autonomic Neuropathy
Degenerative Disc Disease
Depression/ Anxiety
Possible Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Feel free to comment or contact me at stefanieshea@gmail(dot)com. Thank you for reading :)


  1. Hi there, I'm Lindsey! I have a question and would love to speak with you. Please email me when you have a chance, thanks so much!


  2. Have you ever been tested for Lyme disease with an Igenex Lab western blot?

  3. Hey Stefanie, Annie Bakaleinikoff just sent me the link to your blog cuz I posted about my dysauto and pots. Small world, I also have eds, fibro, ibs, depression/anxiety, scoliosis, etc. Your intro sounded a lot like me, although getting a PhD feels like distant dream these days. Look forward to reading your blog more :) -Dasha


Comments are much appreciated!