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    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of, and finding treatments for, complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia, long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

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Cloudyskies
5 min read
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688
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3
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7
User Blogs
Unfurnished apartments in Germany come equipped with next to nothing. That means no closets, no kitchen sink, no cabinets, no oven, and no refrigerator. So, mostly it means empty rooms. The bathroom, however, does come with your standard European toilet, shower, and sink. I’d never valued the...
Cloudyskies
3 min read
Views
255
User Blogs
Ever since Grandpa shoved that first glass of vino under my schnaz, and Grandma scratched together that first scrumptious batch of homemade ravioli, the land of my family’s ancestors had been patiently waiting for its precious grandson to arrive. The day had finally come. Move over Don...
Cloudyskies
4 min read
Views
303
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2
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Publishers and media companies throughout the world came galloping into town on their respective horses to become players in the Frankfurt International Book Fair. With a long lasting tradition that goes back more than five hundred years, it’s a veritable pissing contest between publishing...
Cloudyskies
5 min read
Views
438
Reaction score
2
Comments
2
User Blogs
Of all the great songs on my album of survival at those innumerable family sleepovers, there’s that especially creative yet shameful one that shall forever be stuck in my head. It’s true. There are times when I still have difficulty with the guilt from that evening. And even the slightest...
Cloudyskies
3 min read
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1K
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2
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18
User Blogs
In America, everyone carries his or her own personal water bottle or coffee around. You’ll see people with them on the streets, in cars, on public transit, and in shopping malls and supermarkets. That’s not the case in Germany. A personal pack of tissues (or snot rag) is the norm; one must...
Cloudyskies
2 min read
Views
554
Reaction score
3
Comments
4
User Blogs
I came across an ad on Facebook for a book about The Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island, USA, in 2003 that killed 100 people and injured many more. Among them was one of my co-workers named Stacie. I remember talking to her on the phone just hours before she was to attend a concert there...
Cloudyskies
4 min read
Views
273
Reaction score
2
User Blogs
Another travelogue … Impressive. Panache. Enchanting. Beau monde. Artistic. Paris is all of these things. Its attraction is undeniable. It had me at Bonjour. I’d arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport on a Friday evening, excited to meet Kathleen for a weekend getaway in the City of Light. She...
Cloudyskies
6 min read
Views
517
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1
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3
User Blogs
A travelogue … The culturally bloated, artistic, and liberal city of Amsterdam, with its eight hundred thousand bicycle population, copious coffee shops, and infamous Red Light District, had us undoubtedly intrigued by its kooky character. We were assiduous walkers during our two-day...
Cloudyskies
3 min read
Views
479
Reaction score
4
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2
User Blogs
A raw account, the year, 2009 … I barely slept last night. Weak as a week’s worth of ill-begotten aims, I’m drained, emotionally, having suffered panic attacks all day the previous day. The day will be hot, though certainly not the hottest day of a long summer in Europe, but I prepare myself...
Cloudyskies
3 min read
Views
705
Reaction score
3
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7
User Blogs
We’ve all had those moments when life feels like too much to handle. With all the demands in our modern world, it’s no wonder that we often feel stressed-out and overwhelmed. I’m certainly no stranger to life’s challenges either. In fact, I’m frequently the victim of my own prowess, and I always...
Cloudyskies
4 min read
Views
766
Reaction score
2
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8
User Blogs
The following dialogue is not make-believe. It is real. The ensuing anecdote is also real and has not been fabricated in any way. “This is my culture … not yours!” Door slams. Man enters room moments later. “It’s not the end of the world, I’ll cook the meat … it’s just gonna take a little...
Cloudyskies
2 min read
Views
609
Reaction score
4
Comments
6
User Blogs
My 9th grade (age 14) journal writing I submitted to class … It was December 24, 1991, Christmas Eve. I was in the car bobbing my head side to side as I listened on my Walkman to the pulsating sound of the drums on my new Tesla tape. “Mom, what time is it?” I asked. “Are we ever going to get...
Cloudyskies
4 min read
Views
543
Reaction score
3
Comments
4
User Blogs
“I vill betz two hundred,” said the well-groomed German man. His movements were methodical; this newly acquired courage at the stroke of midnight caught my attention. I secretly watched like a proud father as he took down pot after pot. With a calm, unwavering determination, he battled from...
Cloudyskies
3 min read
Views
655
Reaction score
4
Comments
5
User Blogs
An email, which may or may not contain hyperbole, that I sent to my brother-in-law in Germany some years back … American sensibilities and the nuances of American English are a complicated matter. So the guy you met is nice, funny. Many Americans are, but they also are, for lack of a better...
Cloudyskies
4 min read
Views
496
Reaction score
2
Comments
5
User Blogs
It was our home away from home, our shoulder to lean on. It filled the void in our depraved apartment-furnishing existence. It was nothing other than your friendly neighborhood home goods store. In reality, it was the assemble-it-yourself Swedish furniture store that we could not escape. It...
Cloudyskies
4 min read
Views
258
Reaction score
2
User Blogs
In the third month of the Obama Administration’s first term, I fulfilled a rather dutiful obligation. I signed up for a long-anticipated German class in my newly adopted home of Frankfurt, Germany. Having been an expatriate for just over a year at the time, most of my experiences were uncommon...
Cloudyskies
4 min read
Views
588
Reaction score
3
Comments
3
User Blogs
“Dave, you have a call on line one,” Patti whispered into the phone. “Any idea if it`s a client?” I asked. This time, “Neil Muh-call-ee” was on hold. “Thanks, I’ll take it,” I said. Evidently, LJ’s voice eluded all recognition. Falling victim to the same fake names—DeNiro’s in the movie...
Cloudyskies
6 min read
Views
793
Reaction score
4
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9
User Blogs
Chivalry was alive and well in my world. Staring destiny in the face, and despite the complicated nature of my intentions, my greater self prevailed by refusing to go down in history as the man who proposed with a Cracker Jack diamond or popped the question with a resounding, “I thought it’d be...
Cloudyskies
4 min read
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1K
Reaction score
4
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20
User Blogs
Disclaimer: I’m embarrassed to even post this. It could have been written by a teenager. But what better place to showcase a piece of teenage-quality writing than on PR. Honesty is the best policy. That’s what we’re all taught as children, right? But what if we turned that on its backside and...
Cloudyskies
3 min read
Views
366
Reaction score
5
Comments
2
User Blogs
When I first moved to NYC in 2010, I arrived without a job. I was, of course, the trailing spouse as my wife, on the other hand, had arrived to Manhattan with a lucrative banking job downtown. Every day I would wake up late, shower and eat breakfast, and then walk two blocks up the street to my...