My 17 in 17 challenge

I have been going back to exercise classes after Thanksgiving. During my childhood and youth and well into my twenties, I hated any form of exercise with passion. One, I was shit at it, and very often just too sick to do anything. Second, German PE teachers are assholes. #notallgermanpeteachers you want to say? No, all of them. One of my favorite writers, Arnold Stadler once wrote that there were two types of PE teachers at his High school. ThoseRead 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

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

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

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

Happy 2016!

This year’s resolution: write more. When I left my university job in 2014, I gave up what I had thought of as my career. After a few visiting stints, I’d get a tenure track job, I’d work, do my research, be happy- except for that I was not. There was no tenure track job on the horizon, and the thought of starting out somewhere, and leaving the friends and connection you’ve made hurt me. The visiting position I had paidRead 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

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

Review: NYT in-depth report on Crohn’s Disease

I love the New York times. Not only does it have a LOT of their information for free online, it also covers most aspects of modern life. Their health section is truly to be recommended, the writers manage to break down complex matter for interested lay audiences, just as myself. I prefer them over wikipedia most of the time, because of quality control. Anyone can edit a wikipedia article, and I simply trust the NYT more. I just found outRead more

10 Things to take to the Hospital with You

IBDers often are hospital frequent flyers. While I don’t keep a packed bag around, over the years, I have gotten a routine down, and so have my loved ones in case I am not able to pack my bag. Here is what I find essential to take to the hospital- for practical reasons and because I need them for my mental well-being (which is equally important). Update Oct 29: I have included feedback that I got from the members ofRead more