A Pandemic Diary

  Gradually, over the last week, the reality about COVID-19 has seeped in. A week after I started a new job (I am a long-term substitute teacher at a local high school), school was closed, and instruction was switched to online. I was bummed out, because I actually really enjoyed working with the students and teaching again, as teaching is something I like to do, and I something I am good at. I guess this is a fast-track to learningRead more

COVID-19 and IBD

COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind. My family in Germany is safe, but there are areas that have seen big outbreaks. Three hours away, in Seattle, there has been an outbreak. And people with Chronic Illnesses, often taking immunosupressants, are wondering whether they should go into panic mode, buy lots of toilet paper and disinfectant, or go about their day as usual. Probably all of it? The news on TV, Twitter etc. are not exactly helping, so I was happy toRead more

Fitness instructors: Stop saying these phrases

I like exercise. I haven’t always liked it, and I have written about why. I am far from being an athletic person, but going to yoga and barre and running occasionally are fun and contribute to my overall feeling good. I have also observed a noticeable shift from how fitness instructors introduce themselves. Instead of drill sergeant attitude, instructors in the places I go to tell you to listen to your body, don’t overstretch yourself and do what’s good forRead more

Earthquake Supplies for People with IBD

Throughout the years, I have lived in several places that were prone to natural disasters. New Zealand is earthquake territory, so was California (even though to a lesser extent), and Indiana has tornadoes (thank god, I never had to experience one). The earthquakes I did experience were really small, a little rumble. Now however, I live in the Pacific Northwest, where within the next 50 years, a major quake (around 9 on the scale) is about to hit, another great Cascadia Earthquake.Read more

May the Force be with you: My twenty years and twenty days too late review of Episode I-III

On Dec 30, 2019, I flew back to Portland, after a lovely break with my family in Germany. During my 12 hour flight to SF, I wanted to make my Disney+ subscription pay for itself, and also to fill my knowledge gaps, so watched Star Wars episode 1-3 (aka prequel trilogy, consisting of “The Phantom Menace”, “Attack of the Clones”, “Revenge of the Sith”). They are truly awful movies, and I hope no one sends the die-hard Star Wars afterRead more

My 2019 Lists

It’s the last day of 2019. I thankfully was stable health-wise, so there isn’t much to share about my health year. I can share books, podcasts, and TV shows that I consumed though, in the hope that they may be entertaining to some of you. Books I’ve read (sometimes re-read) and enjoyed in 2019: “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman. I read this with students, and truly enjoyed it, especially the outside perspective on the US, from 20 years ago. “TheRead more

Twelve Days of Crohn’s-Mas

On the first day of Christmas my Crohn’s gave to me- An annual colonoscopy. On the second day of Christmas my Crohn’s gave to me, two rounds of steroids and a colonoscopy. On the third day of Christmas my Crohn’s gave to me, Three bloody stools, two rounds of steroids and an annual colonoscopy. On the fourth day of Christmas my Crohn’s gave to me- Four referrals to other doctors, three bloody stools, two rounds of steroids and an annoying,Read more

Am I Disabled? On Chronic Illness, Disability, Self-Identification & Internalized Ableism

Originally posted on Chronic Illness, Coping & Critiques:
The relationship between chronic illness and disability – including critical disability studies & the disability justice movement – is something I have actively been trying to understand for years, as my illness has continued to reshape my life. Invisible illness is a strange and alienating thing, and it has been a confusing process. Part of my confusion stems from the fact that there isn’t a consensus within the field of Disability Studies itself. There…

If you wear sweatpants, you’ve lost control over your life- or have you?

  Karl Lagerfeld died on February 19. A controversial figure when he was alive, the obituaries were equally divided. From a twitter feud between Jameela Jamil and Cara Delevigne, to how should we deal with horrible geniuses (I say you bury the concept of the genius, but that’s just me). For me, most important was: “what will happen to Choupette Lagerfeld?” and “who will inherit the bookstore that he bought for himself?” To me, the cat and the bookstore areRead more

New Year’s Resolutions for People with Chronic Illnesses

If you’re anything like us, you probably spent a good chunk of 2018 dealing with your chronic illness, adjusting to new developments and learning from the hard knocks along the way. We’re not big believers in New Year’s resolutions, but we like to make lists and bring visibility to chronic illness, especially of the invisible variety. These New Year’s resolutions are an accumulation of some insights and hopes for the new year. We know that different conditions require different handling and that not all of these resolutions will work for everyone. We all have different experiences and life situations and that’s cool! But we want to share these resolutions to show solidarity, help allies support friends and family and let others with chronic illness know: you’re not alone.Read more