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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s in my bag? -Post-op Crohn’s Edition

As a German, you get culturally conditioned to be prepared. We are a people of planners and what-iffers.  This can be debilitating, but it can also be empowering. In my case, it empowered me to leave the house after my surgeries, wound vac or not, trans-rectal drain or not. So, I packed my bag and went. Here are the absolute essentials that I have in that bag. Not everything is Crohn’s-related, but still useful. Sunglasses. Having lived in CA forRead more