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

About that semi-colon tattoo…

This year, Mental Health Awareness month is May. And for a few years now, I have seen articles and blog posts about semi-colon tattoos pop up in my timeline. People get them to raise awareness for mental health and suicide awareness, because a semi-colon continues a sentence that would have ended otherwise. Usually the words “powerful” are somewhere to be found in the article. In my corner of the internet, that is IBD groups and Instagram, every year, people getRead more

Minimalism and my Discontents

Does item x bring me joy? Does its energy weigh me down, or is the chi trapped in the room? If so, get rid of it. Box it for a while some say, then get rid of it.

Simplicity. Clarity. Think of what you need, not what you want. What could be wrong with it?Read more

My Quest with Quest, part II

You can read part I of my rant about Quest Diagnostics here. The next day, I had dog training, in Northwest Portland, then drove back to my house, dropped the dog off, and went back. Because 84 East is always busy, I decided to drive down Burnside street, which of course was full of construction, so that it took me 30 minutes to get to the lab (inside safeway) instead of 20.  I get in, prepared to wait, as IRead more

Looking for lost time…

I wish there was a way to keep track of the time we spend dealing with health. Even when I am doing well, as I am at the moment, it still takes time. Time that I don’t really have. Example: My doctor wanted me to have my remicade levels tested. A simple blood test, done about a week before your remicade appointment. So I ask whether I just go downstairs to their lab. No. Because this specific test has beenRead 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

Crohn’s and the academic job market- a tale

The abysmal situation of the academic job market has received a lot of coverage in recent years, with not much changing, sadly. You can separate academics into different camps: adjuncts and job seekers, the tenured who have compassion but feel helpless, and those who think that everything is amazing the way it is, and who should just shut the hell up and take it. Let me backup and explain the types of academic labor: Tenure-track: This is the unicorn amongRead more

When you can’t go to Marches…

I have said it before, and I have said it again: if going to be on the street is the only activism you value, you’re pretty ableist. While I am glad to have been able to have gone to both the Women’s March and the March for our Lives, I have also not attended many others. There are different reasons not to go, from being physically not able to do so, to actually fearing for your safety. So, what canRead more

WHAT’S IN MY BAG: Protest Edition

This saturday, March 24, I went to the March for our lives. I had been back and forth about going, because quite honestly, I don’t like crowds, I was worried about violence, I worried about restrooms… Then, I pushed myself, and I am glad I went. I can assure you that standing outside in Portland in March is fun, but I was in great company- my neighbor and her sweet, sweet daughter came too.  Also, it was the first timeRead more