Progressives, you have ableist privilege.

I would consider myself a progressive liberal, by all means and definitions. I have written about how the election has upset me and left me reeling. And of course, instead of showing a unified front, the left has nothing better to do than tearing into each other. While the orange man silently worked to foster his business interests and dismantle freedom of the press, we discussed whether wearing safety pins is the way to go or not. We discussed whoRead 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

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

Resilience and Determination- a guest post, part two

This is James Gunter’s story, part II.  You can find Part One here.   When I awoke I did not find what I expected. They had told me that an appendicitis is a quick and easy operation these days which can be done through keyhole surgery. This would involve making 3 small cuts in my lower abdomen to remove my appendix. When I awoke in the recovery ward and managed to stay awake for more than 30 seconds, I decidedRead more

Resilience and Determination- a guest post, part one

Today’s guest post is from James Gunter. He lives in Sheffield, UK, and he loves fitness. He was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in December 2014. This is his story. Fitness has always played a big role in my life. I was very active, I did parkour, climbing, squash, was about to get into the national squad for the aikido martial art and had never even drank alcohol or ever tasted it. I was the healthiest person I knew and mostRead more

Speaking at the CCFA Nurses’ Education Program

Last week, Mark from the CCFA support group sent out a call for panel members for a CCFA education event for nurses. I wasn’t sure whether I should participate, because, what should I say. Yes, I have a blog where I tell the whole wide world about Verena and the Crohn’s and yet, it’s not the same- I can rethink my words, I can re-write, edit, and work on blog posts. And still, I felt I needed to put myRead more

I heart colonoscopies- Tips and advice

There is no way around it: Colonoscopies are important. Even if you are not a Crohnie, don’t smoke, don’t have a family history of colon cancers, if you are older than fifty, you should have one every five years. A 2013 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found out that you can lower your risk of developing colo-rectal cancer by 40% through colonoscopies. How? Cancer doesn’t come overnight, and pre-cancerous cells or polyps can be found via colonoscopies.Read more

Putting yourself First

In the classical Bildungsroman, the hero undergoes several challenges and hurdles through the course of his (because there are too few heroines in classical Billdungsromans, and don’t get me started on dickens) life. They grow with each challenge and end up being this all around good person. Did I just describe 98.6% of all of Hollywood movies? I generally don’t subscribe to the life-is-a-Bildungsroman view. People don’t become better people by having stuff happening to them- otherwise I’d be allRead more

Crohn’s, Weight and Body Image (and a dash of feminism, for good measure)

I have always had weight fluctuations. Spoiler alert: All of them had to do with Prednisone…. In the eighties, there were not a lot of options to treat Crohns- steroids and Azulfidine was it. When I was about ten, Imuran came on the market. It helped, but usually only in conjunction with….drumroll… prednisone. So over the years, I’ve had my fair share of steroids, tapering etc. With every steroid cycle, I gained weight. You see, I was HUNGRY. And thenRead more

Chronic illness and making an academic career/working life – unjustified judgements

Originally posted on Improving Vocational Education and Training:
      Despite the challenges they face, people with chronic illnesses can be highly productive, high-functioning members of the academic community. The key to their success lies in institutional policies and practices that ensure equity and support their productivity. By Stephanie A. Goodwin and Susanne Morgan One of the things I find difficult is that many of my colleagues do not know of my illness. I can only assume what they might…