Dentists…

I hate going to the dentist. Not because of the pain (not a fan of it, but it’s not awful), but because of the air of moral superiority I encounter every damn time. Through a miracle, I have had fairly good teeth throughout my life. No root canals, a few fillings, two wisdom teeth pulled. So I have been lucky. IBD can manifest orally as well: Mouth ulcers and swelling of the lips, often due to malabsorption of nutrients andRead more

Remicade Protocol 4859

Monday was Remi day- I had it scheduled around my upcoming South Africa trip (you want to have it in advance but not the day before). I usually take the first appointment in the morning, because I hate waiting. It was 7.30 am sharp as I walked up to the counter, only to be reprimanded by the guy behind it. Apparently check-in time was 20 minutes early. I gave him a sharp and nasty look, and said, “nobody is hereRead more

My 17 in 17 challenge

I have been going back to exercise classes after Thanksgiving. During my childhood and youth and well into my twenties, I hated any form of exercise with passion. One, I was shit at it, and very often just too sick to do anything. Second, German PE teachers are assholes. #notallgermanpeteachers you want to say? No, all of them. One of my favorite writers, Arnold Stadler once wrote that there were two types of PE teachers at his High school. ThoseRead more

Hey, FDA

  Hey, FDA: I am tired of being infantilized as a patient. I am really tired. With the increasing number of people being addicted to painkillers and other drugs, you have decided, that it’s best to crack down, to make it harder to obtain these products, and to monitor emergency rooms. You’re overlooking that most opioid people addicted to opioids actually did not get them prescribed, but had them illegally- they stole from a friend etc. As Maia Szalavitz ofRead more

World IBD Day: In celebration of community

Throughout the day, I have posted about IBD, and IBD awareness- there are many blogs and foundations that provide support, education and connection among the IBD community. They give me ideas for blog posts, they give me feedback on blog posts, and while I am all about educating people about symptoms and treatments (and warn them of quacks), I think another aspect of the disease that often is underestimated is the loneliness that many people feel with it. And IRead more

How does your garden grow? (Self-care)

My friend Harriett and her fencing coach have a lovely expression when people ask them why they fence:” keeping the crazy howler monkeys in your head at bay.” I’ve heard “fighting your demons”, “being mindful”, “the mind-body balance”- call it what you want, but everybody needs something for themselves. I prefer self-care. Some people are crazy about the coloring books for grown ups, others do Yoga, Meditation- what have you. You need to have something that reminds you of yourself,Read more

Insomnia- I can’t get no sleep

Deep in the bosom of the gentle night Is when I search for the light Pick up my pen and start to write I struggle, fight dark forces in the clear moon light Without fear, insomnia, I can’t get no sleep Me quoting  Faithless lyrics of course shows my age and that I am a true child of the nineties. Oh well. Having insomnia however, is a (fairly) new one for me. You see, I can’t remember not having anemia,Read more

Nation of Pill-Poppers part II

In the early days of this blog, I wrote about my perceived overprescription of opioid painkillers, how chronic disease fits in there, and why doctors often don’t have much choice in the matter. It turns out the CDC thinks the same. “More than 40 Americans die each day from prescription opioid overdoses, we must act now,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Overprescribing opioids—largely for chronic pain—is a key driver of America’s drug-overdose epidemic. The guideline will give physiciansRead more

Depression is hurting everyone around you, too

Lately, clinical depression, and mental health in general, has gotten more of the media attention it deserves. Brave patients have come forward and described what it feels like. Artists have visualized depression, and about a year ago, several articles about semi-colon tattoos made the rounds (evoking the ire of parts of the IBD community, but that’s another story). Here are the issues that I have: a) depression has many, many faces, yet, articles tend to focus on sadness and beingRead more