Advice That Sticks With Us

Advice That Sticks With Us

The night before my colonoscopy a couple of weeks ago, I woke up drenched in sweat. The extra blanket I had added before I went to bed now seemed like a terrible idea. I looked at my phone. It was 12:30, which meant I had just passed the cutoff for having anything to drink before my procedure until the second round of prep in the morning. (It was close enough to midnight that it probably would have been ok, but I didn’t want to risk it.) I got up to use the bathroom and was so sweaty and shaky and lightheaded that I thought I might pass out. Even though there was nothing in my stomach, I felt nauseous and wondered if I would throw up. It was my fifth colonoscopy, but for the first time I doubted whether I could get through the prep.

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On Running, and Running My First 10k

On Running, and Running My First 10k

The idea that I should take up running first seriously came to me during the safety drill during the first and only cruise I’ve been on. I stood on the deck of the cruise ship, in the front row. A crew member with a French accent said, “If you hear the alarm bells, bring warm clothes, bottled water, and all medications and come to this spot. It doesn’t mean we’re going to evacuate, but be prepared to wait a long time while the captain decides what to do.” Even though I knew it was a routine drill, panic rose inside me. My heart started racing and I started to sweat. We hadn’t even left the shore and I felt trapped. Someone behind me made a Titanic joke. Then a thought crept into my mind. “Maybe I should take up running,” it said.

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How I Decided to Start a Biologic

How I Decided to Start a Biologic

I’ve always been scared to take medication. I’m the kind of person who reads all of the side effects and then imagines I have all of them. When I was first diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, my gastroenterologist prescribed Rowasa enemas and then Colazal. I was scared to take those, even though I’ve since learned that they are among the mildest medications used to treat IBD.

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Tips for Falling Asleep

Tips for Falling Asleep

I’ve struggled with falling asleep for most of my life. I’ll lie awake thinking of all of the things I have to do and worrying about whatever is going on in my life. But inflammatory bowel disease comes with its own sleep-related challenges, including waking up throughout the night to run to the bathroom and sleep problems caused by Prednisone. Here are a few tricks I’ve used throughout the years to help me fall asleep.

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Ups and Downs

Ups and Downs

The end of 2018 brought some unexpected possibly colitis-related symptoms. I guess that’s how it goes with these chronic illnesses: things are going smoothly and you get lulled into a sense of stability, and then your body starts doing weird things again.

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Traveling with an Autoimmune Disease

Traveling with an Autoimmune Disease

Traveling with inflammatory bowel disease is stressful. Not only do we have to deal with digestive-related symptoms, but our immune systems are often suppressed from the medications we’re taking. The New York Times recently published a guide to traveling and eating safely with an autoimmune disease. It has advice about traveling with medications, what to eat, and apps that can help make life easier while traveling.

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8 Gift Ideas for Someone with Crohn’s or Colitis

8 Gift Ideas for Someone with Crohn’s or Colitis

I love holiday shopping. I’m almost done with my Christmas shopping and it’s barely December. But for those of you still looking for gift ideas for your loved one with inflammatory bowel disease (or other chronic illness), here are some ideas.

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Five Reasons Why I’m Grateful for My Ulcerative Colitis

Five Reasons Why I’m Grateful for My Ulcerative Colitis

It’s easy to complain about inflammatory bowel disease. The constant worrying about where the nearest bathroom is, what you should and shouldn’t be eating, and side effects of medications – it’s not fun. But strangely, I don’t wish for a life without it. Having ulcerative colitis has changed me, and I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t been through all of the challenges I’ve faced. So with Thanksgiving coming up, here are five reasons why I’m grateful for my ulcerative colitis.

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