Tag: chronic illness

What’s the one message about life you would share with your family?


I recently packed up the suitcase, left Cindy and the kids behind (with her permission, of course) and met up with a bunch of long-time friends in Puerto Rico for our buddy Marc’s wedding. It was a stunning little ceremony, staged outside on a horse farm nestled in the lush Puerto Rican rain forest. My […]

The four words that changed my life forever (or all the motivation you need right now)


For me, this whole writing business began when a doctor looked at an MRI of my brain, then at the floor, then hard into my eyes and said, “You should be dead.” He then told me there was nothing he, or anyone could do for me. “I’m sorry Mr. Armstrong, you should be dead.” I […]

Having fun with injection drugs (or growing goat horns)


For the last three years I’ve been a bit of a pin cushion. Most doctor appointments involve the rolling of a sleeve, an alcohol swab across the crook of my arm and a little pin prick and a lot of blood giving. And you know what, I happily give. Blood and needles have never really […]

Passing Through: A Reflection


Last Thursday night, after I finished the final edits for “The Day I Learned I Couldn’t Jump (or Learning to Fly)” I couldn’t sleep. While writing that story, I felt like a guest at a reunion of sorts. Bill and Denise and the two chatty Cathys on the treadmill were in attendance. Although brief, it […]

The Day I Learned I Could No Longer Jump ( or Learning to Fly)


This week’s post was inspired by writer Victoria Griffin’s  Flooded: A Creative Anthology of Brain Injuries. Victoria was kind enough to invite me on her blog tour to further educate on the realities on brain injuries. I encourage you to checkout Victoria’s Kickstarter Campaign and support her awesome cause! The Day I Learned I Could […]

In Good Company


A student recently asked me, “Hey Mr. Armstrong, what do you think about before you write?” I curved my eyebrows inward, adopted a deep, contemplative look, held a silence for a second too long and replied,  “Words.” The student rolled their their eyes, shook their head as if to say “Sorry I asked, you pretentious jerk” then […]

20 Things My Chronic Illness has Taught Me


  A few days after a muscle biopsy procedure my doctor called and delivered the name of my mysterious internal antagonist–Sar-coy-something. As I scratched down its letters on the back of a Chinese take-out menu he explained the intimacies of my disease, offered some reassurance and outlined a plan of attack. When the call ended […]