Online Groups- the double-edged sword?

When I grew up in the 1980’s, I was the only one with Crohn’s far and wide. It was not a very common disease for children (or it was not diagnosed very often, who knows?). The internet wasn’t around yet. The German DCCV e.V was around, but at the time only through print publication, and again, mostly for grown-ups. And while I did indeed feel lonely at times, I can see the good in this too- I was simply forcedRead more

Nurses Appreciation Week: Thank you

  This week (May 6th to May 12th) is Nurses Appreciation Week. I am always torn about xx Profession appreciation week. The cynic in me says that if we paid teachers and nurses and caregivers better, we would truly show our appreciation as a society. But, we can still show our appreciation on a personal level. One way is to vote in local elections, and look at the candidates- what do they say about health and care givers? Is itRead more

Focus on Art: Yayoi Kusama

When I was in New Zealand last month, I went to the Auckland Art Gallery. I love art for several reasons- it triggers an emotional response, that I, who reads and writes for a living often cannot express in words right away, it pushes me to explore my feelings, thoughts and reactions, and ultimately teaches me about myself. For my academic self, I am always interested in the how and the what. How does the curator use the space available,Read more

Friday Fun: a commentary 

Today’s post is from my brilliant friend B. He has cerebral palsy, and his humor is a constant inspiration. Post-Event Cerebral Palsy Adaptation Report #8748373-6D Scenario: overcrowded department party. Human density: 3 elbow-endowed humans in wool suits per square foot. Problem: greater than zero chance of cataclysmic spillage of staining liquid and/or sauce due to jostling or critical loss of balance and/or maxillofacial injury at the hands of gravity. Solution: ordered white wine instead of red to minimize staining potentialRead more

Word Warrior Wednesday: “Oh the Places you’ll go” (Dr. Seuss)

Growing up in Germany, I did not know about “Green eggs and Ham” or “Yertle, the Turtle” and other things. I am alive people, I am breathing, it’s ok. I find Dr. Seuss books cute, I admire the artwork, but they don’t evoke that childhood feeling of your parents reading a book to you, or you slowly figuring out the words on the page. I have my Euro equivalents, no need for pity. There is one exception however. In 2004-5Read 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

Word Warrior Wednesday: Whatif (Shel Silverstein)

It’s been a while since I posted one of these- mea culpa! Life has been super busy. Today is a poem by the amazing Shel Silverstein. I first got introduced to this poet when I was an exchange student at Concordia College in Minnesota. I was working the late shifts at the library (one of the best jobs I have ever had by the way), and I was shelving education books. “oh, this is one of my favorites!” cried oneRead more

Being your own person

I recently read Sara Ringer’s post on dating a man with Crohn’s Disease. In the post, she elaborates on how, yes while her partner can relate to her Crohn’s, it’s not why she’s dating him. The piece really resonated with me, because it is something that I often see in the IBD community- letting your disease take over and define you. Of course, when you are in pain, running to the bathroom 40+ times a day, fighting with ill-fitting stomas,Read more

a change in perspective

Remember how in the last post I wrote that the worst that could happen had already happened? Yeah, scratch that. There should be separate categories for “the worst that can happen to yourself” and “the worst that can happen to someone you love.” So, January 24, 2016, my dog needed emergency surgery because of a bowel obstruction. Yes. Exactly one year after me. If you are of the opinion that pets aren’t as important as humans and somehow feel offendedRead more