Autoimmune disease occurs when the body attacks the very thing it was supposed to protect — you. Meghan O’Rouke found herself grappling with what remains one of the most mysterious categories of disease.
It was my mother who had long ago planted in me the habit of writing things down in order to understand them. When I was five, she gave me a red corduroy-covered notebook for Christmas. I sat in my floral nightgown turning the blank pages, puzzled. “What do I do with it?” I wanted to know. “You write down things that happened to you that day.” “Why would I want to do that?” “Because maybe they’re interesting and you want to remember them.” “What would I write?” “Well, you’d write something like ‘Today I saw a woman with purple hair crossing Montague Street.'”