Author Archives: Claire Richmond

The 5 Questions I’m Most Frequently Asked About Porphyria

Four years ago, I was diagnosed with acute hepatic porphyria (AHP), and it’s complicated. It’s a liver disease affecting my blood; it’s also an inherited metabolic disorder with neurovisceral effects. I’m still figuring out how to dumb down the mechanics. For this column, let’s skip the medical jargon. Porphyria…

Using Mindful Self-compassion to Enjoy My Good Days

Like many with chronic illness, I can function in high pain and with low energy. Living with acute hepatic porphyria (AHP), I’ve grown accustomed to carrying its weight around with me, to showing up in the world as if discomfort and fatigue haven’t colonized in my body. Every…

Fighting for My Last Vice: My Morning (Decaf) Coffee

I love coffee, but it doesn’t play well with my acute hepatic porphyria (AHP). Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, and in recent years I’ve grown more sensitive to its effects. My AHP already causes me anxiety, irregular blood pressure, and insomnia, and as much as I may…