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

Nation of Pill-Poppers part II

In the early days of this blog, I wrote about my perceived overprescription of opioid painkillers, how chronic disease fits in there, and why doctors often don’t have much choice in the matter. It turns out the CDC thinks the same. “More than 40 Americans die each day from prescription opioid overdoses, we must act now,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Overprescribing opioids—largely for chronic pain—is a key driver of America’s drug-overdose epidemic. The guideline will give physiciansRead more

Depression is hurting everyone around you, too

Lately, clinical depression, and mental health in general, has gotten more of the media attention it deserves. Brave patients have come forward and described what it feels like. Artists have visualized depression, and about a year ago, several articles about semi-colon tattoos made the rounds (evoking the ire of parts of the IBD community, but that’s another story). Here are the issues that I have: a) depression has many, many faces, yet, articles tend to focus on sadness and beingRead 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 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

Nation of Pill-Poppers

I perceive a lot of cultural differences when it comes to dealing with pain in the US and in Germany, and as in so many ways, I am split in the middle. I don’t believe in sticking out pain. When I don’t feel well, I take something. I also like being in full possession of my mental faculties though. With the regularity of a Swiss clockwork, NPR and other reputable news sources cover stories about pain killer abuse, and attemptsRead more

What to wear…. with a transrectal drain and other Tipps

As I wrote in a previous post, I had a huge infection after my first two surgeries, that required two more surgeries, in which they extracted about a liter of pus, washed me out and tried to get the environment as sterile as possible. In spite of targeted intravenous antibiotics, I kept developing abscesses in my stomach. This is apparently not unusual- I mean, my stomach perforated, all the bacteria had new room to grow, and my body was ratherRead more

Surgery Frequent Flyer: When going forwards is the only way to go

Apparently it’s common after stomach perforations, that the wound gets infected, or as in my case, your stomach fills with internal abscesses. According to my case file, they extracted about 1.5 liters of pus before they could wash out the rest of my stomach (in a second surgery). Then I was put on antibiotics. That was in February. I am still on them. I have something called a  PICC line, which also can be used for drawing blood- something practical,Read more