Half-time?

I had my Remicade infusion yesterday. It’s the fourth Remicade infusion in the times of the Corona. Instead of the Panoptikon, I was in a separate room, with another person. Everyone was masked, gloved and as always, it was an eerie feeling. As I was sitting there, I got a news notification on my phone, that the US had crossed the 200.000 deaths mark. 200.000 people died of the Coronavirus. That’s a city. Still, in the everyday craziness of tryingRead more

You’re not a burden

The New York Times has done it again. First, they invited a racist senator to write an op-ed, didn’t read it before printing it, and were surprised that a) it was racist, bellicose, and badly written; and that b)  people were actually upset. Then, on June 9th, The New York Times magazine’s column “The Ethicist” ran a story  with the title: “is it ok to dump him because of his medical condition?” The questioner had met an amazing man, whoRead more

A Pandemic Diary: Stay home and keep your distance. Please.

It’s been roughly two months since we started social distancing, working from home, wearing a mask, staying home. And everywhere, the calls for opening back up the economy become louder. Because not as many people are getting sick after all, right? It’s as German virologist Christian Drosten says, “there is no glory in prevention.” For now, in my workplace, things are staying the same. The school decided early on to close until the end of the school year, and IRead more

Interview: Nigel Horwood, Author of “Wrestling with the Octopus”

Tell us a bit about yourself: When and how were you diagnosed? In October 1977 I was at college and started having to make frequent dashes to the bathroom. When I eventually plucked up the courage to see my GP he put it all down to “nerves”. It wasn’t until he went on holiday, in July 1978, that I saw a locum. He took one look and sent me to a gastro consultant. Within 3 days I was in hospitalRead more

Pandemic Reading: Travel Writing

It’s week 3 of the social distancing. I am still working, doing what my school calls “Distance learning Delivery”, that is something of a hybrid form of online teaching. I usually drop a recorded power point, or a screencast for my students, together with exercises and check in with them on Thursdays. There have been bumps in the road, but I think all in all it has been working as good as it could have. Still I wish I knewRead more

Remicade in the Time of Corona

I had a remicade appointment this morning. Driving through Portland to get there was eerie- barely any cars, barely any people, in a city where one of the favorite complaints of people is traffic. I got a parking spot right in front of the clinic- most of those are usually taken by 7am, I was there at 11, in a record time, without me speeding (believe it or not). When I entered the Oregon Clinic, what struck me was theRead more

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