The Image: Rachael Jablo, "Pile"

When you're chronically ill, many things fall by the wayside. You do only as much as your body lets you do; anything more can risk triggering a major setback. The mound of tissues in "Pile" is representative of so many more things that pile up and feel insurmountable when you"re sick. My mantra for a long time was "Just get one thing done today." It was either groceries or cleaning or cooking or laundry, but not all. My one constant was photography. It kept me from feeling completely isolated when I was stuck at home for weeks at a time. Today, I am lucky in that my health is a lot better than it was, and I can do a lot more than I could back then.

"Pile" comes from my series about my experience with chronic migraine, My days of losing words, which will be published by Kehrer Verlag in December. I've been dealing with chronic migraine since June 2008. One of the side effects of my migraine medicine is that I forget words. I've kept a list of forgotten words, and when I see something that reminds me of a word on my list, I shoot it. In this case, I had a nasty cold on top of my constant migraine, and I had amassed a sizable mound of tissues next to my bed. Sniffly and migrainey, I got my camera out, knowing I'd found my pile.

My days of losing words will be exhibited at UCLA's LearningResource Center Gallery from December 3- February 19.

- Rachael Jablo