Life in the Grey – a Column by Bailey Anne Vincent

breaking up, doctor mistakes, mask, body image, walk, pre-existing condition, perspective, slowing down

Bailey is a Deaf 34-year-old with atypical cystic fibrosis. She has been a journalist, columnist, and novelist for almost two decades, but is also an altruist, feminist and narcissist who likes to ask for “fatty sushi” that’s not on the menu (it’s cream cheese, egg and avocado, respectively). She is artistic director of the body-positive dance company Company 360 in Virginia, as well as a professional dancer, choreographer, and homeschooling mother of two girls. As a formally misdiagnosed mutant, she hopes to raise awareness of atypical CFTR disease and help anyone who isn’t genetically in the black or white feel less alone. For more on her activism or art, please see

Here Is Why Saying I Have a Dancer’s Body Is Not a Compliment

Someone told me I had a “dancer’s body” the other day, and I pretended it was flattering. “Thank you,” I said, since I hate refuting compliments (and believe intent matters more than execution), but inside I felt conflicted. Gross. Sad. I felt conflicted-gross-sad because the term “dancer’s body” should mean…

How My Pain Could Make You a Better Person

I’m starting to doubt the reasons why I doubt myself. Let’s start this column in a weird place: constipation. If one of my best friends is constipated (I bet you didn’t think we’d drop BMs into your DMs that fast, did ya?), she might complain a little to me,…

If You Need a Miracle Today, Read This

“What should I write my column about?” This is what I asked my Tiny Dancer the other day, while mass-prepping as many columns as possible before having surgery on my cervical spine. This is my third spine surgery in less than a year. You’ll likely be reading this…

Take a Breath — This Column Won’t Be Easy to Read

I wrote an entire column this morning and then threw it away. All 800 words — or 790, if I don’t want to annoy my editor. I wrote it, reread it, and thought, “This doesn’t feel right.” It doesn’t feel right because nothing feels right — because something is terribly…

If You Do Anything Today, Get a 2nd Opinion

Get the second opinion. I used to think second opinions were for privileged celebrities who dared to defy the doctoral hierarchies of the world. Those who don’t mind being branded as a “doctor hopper” or an “inconsistent patient” because they can pay for whatever bills or bylines that come their…

Featured Column

Don’t Overlook Emotional Wellness When Dealing With Chronic Illness

A banner for Lara's column, depicting a car on a road trip winding through a forest.
Living with a chronic illness can affect emotional wellness, writes columnist Lara Govendo, who offers up some ideas for managing both.

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