IMG_3201Hello, and welcome to East Coast Cripple! My name is Stephanie MacFarlane. I’m 24 years old and I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. Not only have I lived in Nova Scotia for my entire life, I’m also one of those dweebs who’s only ever lived in one house, so needless to say I’m pretty attached to where I’m at. I’m a homebody with salt water veins and all that.

I’m also a Ford-driving, snapback-wearing, poetry-writing, guitar-playing nerd with a passion for making people laugh. You’ll learn quickly that I’m fluent in sarcasm, an expert at funny face-making, and a professional dog-cuddling selfie-taker. When I’m not writing for ECC, you can find me curled up in my recliner watching Gilmore Girls, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, or pretty much anything else on Netflix. Did I mention I’m a binge-watcher extraordinaire?

I have my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. I’m passionate about social justice and community development, and that’s, y’know, kind of why I’m here. I want to make the world a better place, and I want to make people laugh while I do it.

I have been a medical mystery for the vast majority of my life. Since I was about 10 years old, I’ve been dealing with a slew of chronic health problems, none of which my doctors could understand or explain. It took about 12 years for them to have their ‘aha’ moment, at which point I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome at the age of 22. In the time it took for me to be diagnosed, my life changed pretty dramatically. I’ve experienced a lot of things that most folks my age don’t have to, and that I certainly never expected to. Some of those things have been really crappy, and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t found ways to laugh about it all.

I’m not a miracle worker. It won’t always be sunshine and rainbows, and I don’t expect this blog to completely change your life overnight. I hope, though, that sharing my experiences can shed a little light on what it’s like to be disabled. I hope I can teach you something new, open your mind, and remind you that you’re not alone. At the very least, if you’re taking the time to read this and share in this journey, I hope you can laugh along with me.