Hello, and welcome to my blog!
My name is Zara Pickel, and I am a 25-year-old Canadian (sorry!) who has just started these fancy internet journal-ing shenanigans. I was pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Cellular Molecular Biology. In November 2015, I had to withdraw from the degree I was more than half done. This blog will mainly be about my health concerns, namely a neurological pain condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). It’s a new life I am living with this. I know putting it out there will help me, and hopefully it will also give my support system a better look into how I feel if they choose to read it. I was diagnosed with CRPS on January 12, 2016 remotely through a third party private service called Best Doctors. The initial injury that incited the CRPS was a knee sprain that happened at work on the night of July 3, 2015.
Before I lost some mobility, I was a Fierce Twerker and had just started offering Twerkshops to my friends. Point blank, I’m trying to get back to twerk…heh heh. I dearly miss cooking, something that is a huge part of my identity that I am unable to do. Other fun travel-related items I am trying to get back to include: the family vacations to the American Southwest, the Mojave Desert, Burning Man, the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, California, B.C. camping, and more. The best decision I made throughout this whole ongoing saga was going to Burning Man in 2015 for my ninth year. I was in pain there, and things were just about to go severely downhill beyond what I could have ever anticipated. However I cooked, danced, twerked, bartended, drank, counselled, and had a really great time with my dad and my lovely friends. I am so glad I convinced myself a vacation would do more good than bad. The best meal I prepared there was probably the jerk chicken on the charcoal grill. No, it was *definitely* the jerk chicken on the charcoal grill.
I live with my parents, fur children. My parents take wonderful care of me right now, especially my legendary mom. My sister is no longer in the house, but she still supports me in a big way. My family are all amazing caregivers and I am incredibly lucky and grateful to have them. I am an amazingly fortunate individual, and I have to note that without their support this situation would have decimated me financially, mentally, and spiritually. We have always been a wonderfully close family, and have dealt with numerous serious health issues between all of us in the past. My sister and I were raised in a hands-on type of way, where we were encouraged to experience things for ourselves to learn from. I credit these types of experiences for the conviction I felt that something was wrong in my body, despite little to no empirical evidence supporting my claim. I love you guys.
Please enjoy my blog and feel free to contact me if you have any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org). I do enjoy some colourful language at times, and some of the content may be frightening, or graphic in nature. I would not generally recommend my blog as a bed-time story for tots. Just so you know.
Thank you so much!
[This photo was something I submitted for an Instagram contest for Astral Harvest Music & Arts Festival tickets in 2014. Yes, I have a butt mould. I told you guys, I’m in the category of Fierce Twerker.]