Earthquake Supplies for People with IBD

Throughout the years, I have lived in several places that were prone to natural disasters. New Zealand is earthquake territory, so was California (even though to a lesser extent), and Indiana has tornadoes (thank god, I never had to experience one). The earthquakes I did experience were really small, a little rumble. Now however, I live in the Pacific Northwest, where within the next 50 years, a major quake (around 9 on the scale) is about to hit, another great Cascadia Earthquake.Read more

Things I am tired of hearing about not having kids….

why don’t you want kids?  (none of your beeswax) oh, one day, you’ll change your mind (one day I may just kick you) if you don’t want kids, why are you teaching kids? (I am their teacher, not their mom!) is it because of your health? (no, there are plenty of women with IBD who have kids) I guess you don’t want to burden a child with that kind of genetics (err, who are you? the head of the eugenicsRead more

Medication TV Commercials

I remember the very first time I saw a commercial for Remicade on TV in 2004. I was shocked. In Germany (and most other western countries), only over the counter products can get advertised on TV. So, I was familiar with Aspirin commercials, or cough syrup. But Remicade? I didn’t have TV for a long time, so I haven’t paid attention much, but recently, it was discussed in a bunch of forums and it got me watching, and thinking. MyRead 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

It’s Tuesday, and I am tired…

Even though I am a lapsed, non-practicing Catholic, there are certain ways that this belief system has shaped the way I think. I associate my grandfather with Catholicism, and how his fierce beliefs in justice often brought him pretty close to liberation theology. The whole flipping tables and whipping people thing that Jesus did? Tots okay in my grandpa’s book. If there was an injustice, he called it out, and it was a way to articulate his catholic identity toRead 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

The ABC of IBD: “A” is for Anemia

Many people with IBD have a hard time conveying that their disease is more than just “a bathroom disease” (whatever that may mean). While digestion and its products certainly do play a big part, they are a fraction of everything that happens to you in the grand scheme of things. So, my newest project is to go through the alphabet and explain symptoms, medications, procedures- things that have to do with IBD. I’ll give you a brief definition and tellRead more

Today in side-effects: nasty infections

  On Friday, I was out for dinner, and felt a bug bite me. I swatted it away, and may have scratched it. On Saturday, I woke up with a swollen face that progressively got worse. My doctor put me on anti-biotics right away. How could it get infected so fast? From one time scratching? I don’t have much of an immune system these days. And I have always been prone to develop abscesses. In spite of my antibiotics, myRead 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