New Year’s Resolutions for People with Chronic Illnesses

If you’re anything like us, you probably spent a good chunk of 2018 dealing with your chronic illness, adjusting to new developments and learning from the hard knocks along the way. We’re not big believers in New Year’s resolutions, but we like to make lists and bring visibility to chronic illness, especially of the invisible variety. These New Year’s resolutions are an accumulation of some insights and hopes for the new year. We know that different conditions require different handling and that not all of these resolutions will work for everyone. We all have different experiences and life situations and that’s cool! But we want to share these resolutions to show solidarity, help allies support friends and family and let others with chronic illness know: you’re not alone.Read more

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Word Warrior Wednesday: Desmond Tutu

I have been reading a lot about South Africa lately, namely because I will go there next year, for a wedding nonetheless! Desmond Tutu seems to have always been on the right side of history, and I loved this little reminder that I saw last Saturday, at the Mississippi Street Fair. Especially in times like these, when the pain of the oppressed and of those often overwhelm me and I feel I can’t do anything, his words can provide someRead 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

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

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

Microaggressions and IBD

“Crohn’s? Oh, that’s ok to have, it’s treatable.” “So and so has had kidney problems, you just have a dicky tummy” “You can’t feel that bad, if you are still wearing make-up” “But, you are so young! Isn’t RA only for grannies?” “You got a PhD and you have Crohn’s?” “But you look so good” If you suffer from IBD, these utterances probably sound familiar in one way or another. I will go ahead and call them microaggressions. The termRead 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