An x-ray from behind of my mid-spine, showing four clips and slight curvature
An x-ray from behind of my mid-spine, showing four clips and slight curvature
An x-ray of my spine showing the remaining surgical clips from my gallbladder surgery

I sprained my ankle in November and solved the three-year mystery of why I got so sick after having surgery to remove my gallbladder.

Yes, you read that right. Twisting my ankle while turning around — in bare feet completely sober on a totally flat floor — is how I uncovered the reason I’ve hurled hundreds of times in the past three years.

I had emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder in 2017 and the recovery did not go well. In fact, you could say it was non-existent.

For four months after having surgery, I vomited every single day. I…


Several yellow labs, a few golden retrievers and two black labs lay calmly in green puppy vests on a stone patio
Several yellow labs, a few golden retrievers and two black labs lay calmly in green puppy vests on a stone patio
Puppy Pile: Guide Dogs for the Blind puppies in training. Photo description available. (Madi Alexander)

It’s happening! We’ve filled out applications, signed forms, studied pages and pages of the manual, gone to training classes and meetings, puppy-proofed our apartment, and so much more.

In the next few weeks, I get to start something I’ve wanted to do for years: raise a guide dog puppy. My partner Tony and I are becoming puppy raisers for Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB), a non-profit guide dog school. Guide Dogs provides its services to clients completely free of charge, including transportation to and from the two-week team training at one of their two campuses in California and Oregon…


What I’ve learned about getting sick and not getting better

A few minutes before heading into the operating room. Photo: Tony Hoehner

I am sick. And I hate saying that because it doesn’t really feel true. I don’t consider myself a sick person, but the thick file of medical bills, office visit summaries, and test results from the last year indicates otherwise.

I am 26. I’m supposed to be young and healthy.

People put a lot of time, energy, and money into learning how to be healthy. For me, health classes were required in middle school, high school, and college. There are the basics: eat right, exercise, get an annual physical, go to the dentist, take your vitamins. …


Automobile Alley in Oklahoma City. Image: By katsrcool via Wikimedia Commons

In the wake of Aubrey McClendon’s death, he has been hailed as the leader of the Oklahoma renaissance. Various journalists, businesspeople and elected officials have credited Aubrey with single-handedly transforming Oklahoma into what it is today.

Oklahoma (and Oklahoma City in particular) has been lauded as a place where community thrives, where jobs are good, where people have carefree fun and where there is relatively little worry about the economic perils the rest of the country is experiencing.

I am not here to talk about Aubrey. I am here to talk about how Oklahoma City is not the bustling, thriving…

Madi Alexander

Oklahoman. Journalist in Dallas. I like dogs, tacos, hiking and sweaters. Follow me on Twitter: @MadiLAlexander [she/her] 🏳️‍🌈

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