Author Archives: Frankie Perazzola

Find Peace and Harmony This Holiday

It’s hard to believe this is the last column I’ll be writing in 2020. I am looking forward to somewhat of a fresh start with the new year coming in. No matter the circumstances, I truly enjoy Christmastime with my family. However, that may not…

Practicing Gratitude This Holiday Season

With the holidays approaching, it is a popular time to look back on the year and reflect on life. It’s safe to say that we all have had one of the strangest years ever. No matter where you stand on the political or religious spectrum, the world…

A Broken Bone Won’t Lead to a Broken Spirit

I tend to focus on self-reflection and growth in my column, “Fighting FA.” I love having the ability to look at previous columns and pinpoint exactly where my headspace was at the time. Doing this validates a generous amount of growth, gently nudges self-reflection, and offers…

Reflecting on My Life Before FA

Oh, selfies! What a wonderful way to waste time, learn the best facial angles, and finally get a good picture of ourselves, because the ones we are tagged in usually misrepresent us completely. Ha-ha. As I stood in front of the mirror the…

Will We Ever Accept FA?

I was recently interviewed about my diagnostic journey. I am used to answering a lot of the questions but one stuck with me. It was a very simple ask: “Without mentioning Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), what do you do?” The thing is, almost every aspect of my life…

Healthy Distractions and Keeping Busy

During this pandemic, one of my most important goals is to keep busy and throw in any available distractions. I need to keep my mind from dwelling in negativity. So many things can shove me into a negative rabbit hole so I’ve had to fight hard to stay…

My Diagnosis Changed Many of My Friendships

Thanks to Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), I have experienced the stress and turmoil of trying to hang on to strained friendships. After my diagnosis, friendships and romantic relationships were put to the test. It took me a long time to identify who was in my corner.

Periods of Isolation Allow Me to Thrive

I have been in many social situations where I have blown it. Almost every encounter, actually. I plan to relay a certain message, and my words come out differently than I’d intended. It’s ironic that I majored in communication but lack the skills to express myself.

Rare Disease Day Is Our Chance to Be Heard

I can’t believe it’s February 2020! This is an important month for the rare disease community as we unite and acknowledge one another’s illnesses. Rare Disease Day falls on the last day of February — a rare month with its fewer days. It’s even rarer this time because 2020…

What Kobe Bryant Meant to Me

The world is still in shock over the loss of NBA legend Kobe Bryant. A heaviness lingers over Los Angeles, along with an overwhelming sense of, “What do we do now?” I can’t believe I am writing this column. I won’t talk about Kobe’s accolades or his accomplishments as…

FA Is Taking Away My Ability to Write

Being a writer without the ability to write is a conundrum. I think about it often, especially when I write these columns. I never realized how much I wrote until that ability was slowly taken away. When I was younger, I loved to write. I would use every colored…

Sticking to New Year’s Resolutions

It’s the end of a decade and the beginning of a new year. At this time, many of us make New Year’s resolutions and set our goals for the year ahead. In the past, I have made resolutions that weren’t realistic or achievable; whether it was losing a lot…

I’m Done with Making Myself Feel Bad

It has always been a challenge for me to remain in the present. I frequently reminisce about the past and think about what I should have done. Does your brain remind you of your embarrassing moments when you are about to fall asleep? Same with…

I Went to Italy and Left My Anxiety at Home

My anxiety kicks in when I go out. Between choosing an assistive device, worrying about the accessibility of the venue, and anticipating stares from others, it can be overwhelming. The anxiety is so debilitating at times that I simply choose to stay home. I didn’t…

Birthdays Stir Mixed Emotions

My 27th birthday is this week and I don’t know how to feel about it. I am definitely not one of those people who dislikes getting older — yet. Until I was diagnosed, I always looked forward to birthdays. Now they are markers of my disease’s progression. I thought time would…

I’m Trying a Different Approach to Fitness

Lately, I’ve been finding it difficult to go to my local gym. It’s accessible, so that’s not the problem. The issue is that I’ve stopped enjoying the experience. While I love to exercise and the gym scene in general, navigating this fitness club, one of a large chain,…

Using Both a Walker and a Wheelchair

“Weren’t you just in a wheelchair? Why are you using a walker now? Are you getting better? If you can walk, why do you even have a wheelchair?” I love when genuinely curious people ask me questions. With multiple assistive devices and an invisible illness, I have learned…

New Year, Same Me. Just a Little Bit Better

Let the New Year’s resolutions and “fresh start” cliches pour in to overwhelm timelines and news feeds. Ringing in the new year has always been a favorite time of mine — the energy shifts. Many people, including me, desire to change and become “better.” When thinking about resolutions, I…