It’s a bright and warm autumn day outside, but in Elani Leonard’s bedroom only a sliver of light peeks through the curtains. She’s lived like this for nearly three years, rarely leaving her room. Bright light feels like needles piercing her eyes, and the smallest task leaves her exhausted.
The 30-year-old mother of two would love to do anything other than spend her days in a dark bedroom and having to take hundreds of pills.
“It’s not easy to live like this,” Elani says. Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder, has enlarged her heart, caused rheumatoid arthritis, made her eyes bulge, her hands and feet swell up, and brought on anxiety, depression, mood swings, fatigue, and light-sensitivity.