Saturday, October 1, 2011


Hello and welcome!

My name is Shauna. I'm a university student interested in a variety of topics, but am currently majoring in English and Music. I love many different kinds of arts, including but not limited to photography, music, writing, and dance. On this blog, you'll probably find bits and pieces of projects I'm working on, although this is not primarily an arts blog.

The reason I started this blog is that I want to share and record my experiences with disability, and specifically with Sjogren's syndrome, which is the auto-immune disorder I've tentatively been diagnosed with. Symptoms for me include widespread joint pain, muscle pain, and occasional dry glands (ex: my eyes get really dry) or painfully swollen gland (the parotid gland in my left cheek, twice). I want to make this blog a place to discuss symptoms, treatments, doctors, emotional aspects of disability, and plenty of other things as I think of them.

Unheard Melodies, the title of this blog, is a play on both the fact that I'm a musician and the fact that the disability I have is in the category of "invisible disabilities,"* which are disabilities that are not immediately obvious because one doesn't use a wheelchair, or other visible means of support (or doesn't use it all the time). I actually first heard the phrase "unheard melodies" in my film music class, in which it was a reference to "Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music" by Claudia Gorbman. I believe she took the phrase from Shakespeare, but I wouldn't be shocked to discover I'm wrong on that count.

*See also: But you don't LOOK sick!

Anyway, here I am, and hopefully I'm here to stay. I look forward to working on this blog. Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. I would appreciate constructive feedback on any and all aspects of this blog.


  1. Hey Shauna! I'm so looking forward to reading along. I'm a university student also and I've got ehlers danlos hypermobility syndrome. It's a strange sort of isolating experience. Anyhow, I would love to hear about your art and anything else as well. (I took dance recreationally for most of my childhood and I love watching still.) Take care!

  2. Hi aforalpha! Thanks for stopping by.

    What kind of dance did you take? I've taken a mix of classes, ranging from informal in someone's living room to university classes--bellydance, modern, contemporary, and a couple random ballet lessons. It's so much fun!

  3. I took ballet mostly. Then at my first university I did some modern, belly dance, random hip hop/african/jazz/improv/tap etc. workshops. I loved all of it. I don't think, with the notable exception of square dancing in middle school gym class, I've ever met a form of dance I didn't like. (And even the square dance was probably more a function of disliking gym class.) I just really love moving.