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

Word Warrior Wednesday

This is another one of my Mississippi Street Fair pics, you can see the artist in the right corner! I love Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher king (actually Emperor). He is a stoic, and his work is mostly about the philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration. Lee always says I would be the worst spy in the world, because myRead 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

The “Big Pharma” Conspiracy

I love living in Portland. I love its alternative culture that brings forth great art, culture, and just a  lot of fun quirkiness.   And yet, this lovable city with its lovely inhabitants at times frustrates me to no end, especially when I am being told that I let myself be lulled by “Big Pharma.” The narrative is, in variations, the same: Nature knows best, the pharmaceutical industry is in cahoots with the government (and probably the Vatican too) soRead 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

One year surgery anniversary

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my stomach perforation. One year ago, I was writhing in agony on the floor. One year ago, I fought for my life. One year ago was the beginning of a long journey of recovery that was officially over in September. People cling to these anniversaries, reflect on everything and try to move forward somewhat. In a way, I was offended by the mundane way the day started. Snuggled with the dog, breakfast, andRead more