Welcome to The Checkup, a blog that takes a first-person look at the latest health news. I've been writing for the Post's health section since 2000, covering everything from my own laparoscopic gall-bladder surgery to female incontinence and the health benefits of Crocs. For a time I was the section's go-to girl for tooth-whitening stories.

I'm also a work-at-home mother of two: a girl and a boy, a teen and a pre-teen. And I've had my share of personal health issues, including multiple sclerosis, with which I was diagnosed in 2001.

With a master's degree in English, I never thought I'd become a health writer. But I've found health to be a fascinating beat. It's infinitely varied, and it's often complicated and challenging to write about. It changes daily as new research is published and medical discoveries are made. Best of all, it has to do with real people, their lives, the things they struggle with and the things that make their lives better.

I blog with gusto, and encourage readers to respond in kind.

So: To your health! Let's get the conversation rolling.