About Duncan Cross

Like it says, Duncan is my real name, Cross is not. I was switched at birth briefly, in the hospital, with a kid who had that last name. I hope that kid’s life turned out better than mine.

I grew up in Florida. I now live in the Washington, D.C. metro area. I am presently semi-unemployed, and one of the reasons for keeping my identity secret-ish is the precariousness of my career. A lot of my difficulties in that department are due to illness. I had to drop out of grad school because of my health.

My senior year of high school, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. I had a mild-to-moderate case, initially. I did some clinical trials at NIH in my 20s. In 2003, I had a bad flare that led to a semicolectomy in 2006: that’s where they remove your semicolon. I wear an appliance now, and still take some meds.

I started blogging in 2008, when health reform was a big deal. I felt like there weren’t a lot of voices talking about health reform from the patients’ perspective. Still aren’t. Since that debate died down, I’ve become more interested in the social aspects of illness, and how sick people find meaning in their lives.

I write some pretty terrible things on my blog. Sometimes, I’m trying to be funny. More often, I’m trying to be honest. You won’t find “hang in there, kitty” optimism here — I won’t tell you that denying what’s wrong with your life is any way to live.

The thing is, I know I’m a monster. But I wasn’t born a monster: I was formed into this, by two decades of illness, pain, and loss. So now I try to be the best monster I can be.

If you want to any better sense of where I am coming from, read League of Mortals for me, and tell me what you think. Like every sick person, what I really want is to know I’m not alone.