Why I no longer feel that New York City is my forever home

I've loved living here, but with Cushing's, my needs and wants have changed

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by Noura Costany |

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I grew up in New York City, which has continued to be my home. My parents have a gorgeous house on Staten Island. I went to high school and college in Manhattan. I spent endless time at my best friend’s house in Brooklyn. Eventually I moved to upper Manhattan and, later, settled down with my husband in Queens. That’s four of the city’s five boroughs.

I loved New York City, and it’ll always have a special place in my heart. Being chronically ill, however, has changed my perspective on living in the city. Cushing’s disease has caused major issues for my body, including the need for mobility devices. With that, New York City hasn’t felt like home.

I can’t travel on my own here, for instance. The NYC subway system isn’t as disability-friendly as you might think. A lot of the train stops don’t have elevators to the street, and the ones that do? They’re either shut down a lot of the time or they’re poorly maintained. Because of that, I need a car service if I want to go somewhere.

Not only is it expensive to take a car everywhere, but a lot of places are difficult to navigate with my mobility aids. I can enter lots of restaurants, but then they’ll have a bathroom that isn’t on the first floor. My arms are weak because of my Cushing’s symptoms and osteoporosis, so I can’t even wheel myself around half the time. Since an electric wheelchair is out of my price range, I’m trapped in my apartment most of the time.

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What I’m hoping for

My friends and family are all in the city, and I love them dearly. It’s one of the reasons I’ve stayed so long. Don’t get me wrong; I love my apartment, and I love how homey we’ve made it. But I’m a social person, and being around my friends has always made me happy.

Lately, though, it’s just not enough. I’m desperate for a yard where I can sit outside during the day. I’m yearning for more space, for a place that I can make my perfect sanctuary. I’m longing for a giant bathtub that’s in the ground, so I don’t have to worry about getting in and out of it. Some of these dreams are less obtainable, but I’m mostly looking for space, and for a more accessible home.

I’m terrified of moving, and buying a house in this economy is an uphill battle. But I’m itching for an escape. The life I wanted before I got sick is totally different from what I have now. I fought it for a long time, fought for the life I had before, the life when I went out all the time and was at different museums or meeting up with friends. But that person is long gone, and my wants now are completely different.

We all grow and change; that’s inevitable. For me and others with chronic illnesses, however, change is thrust upon us, and we’re forced to adapt. I’m sad that the city isn’t my forever home anymore, but I’m excited to see what’s next.

You can also follow my journey on TikTok and YouTube.

Note: Cushing’s Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cushing’s Disease News or its parent company, Bionews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Cushing’s.




I live in a gated community in country. It has a lake, pool and rec center. The lake is stocked good fishing. Air is clean and easy living. Have had Cushing's since the 80s. No hustle or bustle which is good for low stress. By the way what is crime like there? Here we have public safety every 10 min. On cooler nights you can just sit out and enjoy the stars. Would suggest this if there are any around you.

God Bless


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