Through her work as a chronic illness and disability activist, she has a reputation for tearing down barriers while mindfully causing constructive trouble. She recently founded Chronic Sex, which openly discusses how illness and disability affect our relationships with ourselves and others, including — you guessed it — sex! You can learn more about Kirsten and Chronic Sex at chronicsex.org and follow her on Twitter.
Brief history with the conditions
"My asthma was diagnosed in 1993 when I fell ill with Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA). It has been mild for most of my life and only becomes a major issue when I'm exposed to certain triggers - especially heavy scents, cigarette smoke, and rapid temperature changes - or if I have an upper respiratory infection. Depression has been a nearly constant battle for me since childhood. I was seven the first time I began to contemplate suicide after struggling to get my SJIA diagnosed. For the bulk of my life, I assumed that death was close by. Because of that, I never really planned out a lot of my life. My husband - who also has depression - and I both struggle with planning, especially now that we're far older than the ages we assumed we'd live to be. Due to a lack of care in childhood, my depression wasn't diagnosed until I was out of college for a few years.
In addition to asthma and depression, I also live with multiple chronic conditions, including: allergies, anterior basement membrane dystrophy, anxiety, chemical sensitivities, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, gluten intolerance, migraines, patellofemoral arthralgia, plaque psoriasis, PTSD, seborrheic keratosis, and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis/Still's Disease. I also struggle with a bulging disc at L5 S1, frozen shoulder, pelvic floor issues, and undiagnosed neurological issues."