Allison Wallis

Essayist and Freelance Reporter

Location icon United States

I write about pain, the opioid crisis, mindfulness, parenting, disability, chronic health conditions, Judaism and life in Hawai'i. I am working on a memoir about how I self-diagnosed my genetic conditions and cerebrospinal fluid leaks after doctors insisted there was nothing wrong with me.

What It's Like to Be Immunocompromised During the COVID-19 Outbreak

As the COVID-19 outbreak grows in the United States, people who are immunocompromised are put in great danger simply living their lives. As a majority of Americans are now under some sort of shelter-in-place order, we talked to two people who are immunocompromised about their lives amid the pandemic.

Talk Poverty
I Ate Lobster On Food Stamps. It Was Delicious.

The first time my family shopped with our food stamps, we bought grapes, Roman Meal bread, cheddar cheese, romaine lettuce instead of iceberg, peaches, and a lot of hamburger. And a lobster and a pound of butter and some lemons. The lobster was on sale since they tended to hang around the tank for a long time at the H-E-B in southeast San Antonio. I remember exactly what we bought, even 30 years later. We feasted that night. I remember cracking open the claw, startled at the creaminess of the...

Electric Literature
Why Aren't Writing Retreats More Disability-Friendly? - Electric Literature

Once a year, I fill out an online application for Hedgebrook, a writer's retreat in Washington State. I attach a writing sample and send it off into the ether. Seven or eight months later, I get an email with a denial. In the past, this hasn't been too upsetting; Hedgebrook is incredibly competitive.

My Body Isn't Made for Sex Anymore

My body doesn't feel like it's made for sex anymore. The body I had when I first met my husband, the body that lifted 50-pound bags of flour and kept up with the men in the kitchen, running a station solo during the busiest of Friday nights, has morphed into a body that can't quite keep itself knit together.

We Need to Take the Pain of Teenage Girls Seriously

...It’s not a breakthrough. Both other patients and parents have publicly spoken against Sherry, calling his treatment torture and alleging that he kicks out anyone who doesn’t work in the way he wants. There are no double-blind studies or large peer-reviewed studies that show this “therapy” works. There’s no way to tell if these girls leave the program with less pain, or if they just learn to lie to cover it up.

Living with Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks

The dura serves an important purpose in the body–it holds your cerebral spinal fluid, which is the fluid that creates a buffer between your brain and spinal cord and your body. CSF fluid is clear and colorless and bathes and soothes your brain and spinal cord, transporting nutrients and eliminating waste. It also serves as a shock absorber and helps to protect the brain and spine from trauma. It flows in and out of ventricles in the brain, soothing nerves and the lining of the brain. One way...

I learned what kind of mother I am during the false nuclear alert in Hawaii

What do you tell your child when you're pretty sure you're about to die with her? How do you comfort your child when you're terrified yourself?Last Saturday morning, a ballistic missile alert was sent to Hawai'i residents. Thankfully, it turned out to be a false alarm, but during the 38 minu...

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