Interview: Nigel Horwood, Author of “Wrestling with the Octopus”

Tell us a bit about yourself: When and how were you diagnosed? In October 1977 I was at college and started having to make frequent dashes to the bathroom. When I eventually plucked up the courage to see my GP he put it all down to “nerves”. It wasn’t until he went on holiday, in July 1978, that I saw a locum. He took one look and sent me to a gastro consultant. Within 3 days I was in hospitalRead more

COVID-19 and IBD

COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind. My family in Germany is safe, but there are areas that have seen big outbreaks. Three hours away, in Seattle, there has been an outbreak. And people with Chronic Illnesses, often taking immunosupressants, are wondering whether they should go into panic mode, buy lots of toilet paper and disinfectant, or go about their day as usual. Probably all of it? The news on TV, Twitter etc. are not exactly helping, so I was happy toRead more

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

Here’s why people who “don’t look sick” use the disabled toilets

  This one is for the bathroom police, that is, those who feel compelled to tell others that they can’t use the disabled stalls, because they don’t deem them disabled. One would think in the year 2018 and with 117 Million Americans suffering from a chronic disease, this shouldn’t happen anymore, but it happens. All the time. It has happened to me (and ended badly for the other person), it has happened to friends of mine, and while I don’tRead more

Dentists…

I hate going to the dentist. Not because of the pain (not a fan of it, but it’s not awful), but because of the air of moral superiority I encounter every damn time. Through a miracle, I have had fairly good teeth throughout my life. No root canals, a few fillings, two wisdom teeth pulled. So I have been lucky. IBD can manifest orally as well: Mouth ulcers and swelling of the lips, often due to malabsorption of nutrients andRead more

Remicade Protocol #237472

It was Remi-Day on Monday. Praise the lawd I guess, because I sure had flare symptoms. I didn’t sleep well and thought I could take care of that at the practice. But no, this didn’t happen because they must have booked several people at once. So as I get my chair, I overhear that Travis’ ex got engaged, only a year after their break up (tut tut), I hear another man describing his golf adventure in painful detail, and IRead more

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

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

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

The infection saga II: MRSA

I was put on two different antibiotics, and about a day after the last blog post, my abscess started to drain. I’ll spare you the yukky details. On Monday, the cultures had finally gotten back to my doctor- it was MRSA indeed! So the cephalexin that I had been taking had pretty much been useless, and it was discontinued.  Bactrim, the other antibiotic however, was the one that had been helping. Awesome, finish that round, do the hibiscin showers, andRead more