Fecal Matter Transplants: Link Round-Up

Fecal Matter Transplants: Link Round-Up

I’ve been curious about fecal matter transplants (FMT) since I first read about them a few years ago. As the name suggests, a fecal transplant is a procedure where stool from a healthy person is transferred to a sick person. It has been used as a treatment for Clostridium difficile (c. diff), a bacteria that can take over your intestine, and is increasingly being studied for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.

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Seven Lessons I’ve Learned from Five Colonoscopies

Seven Lessons I’ve Learned from Five Colonoscopies

When my primary care doctor told me seven years ago that I might have Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis and would need to see a gastroenterologist, my first worry was that I’d need to have a colonoscopy. Now that I’ve had five colonoscopies, I can say that it does get easier. It’s not fun to know that you’ll need one every year or two for the rest of your life, and I still get anxious before them, but I’ve learned a few things along the way. 

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From Infusions to Pills: An Update

From Infusions to Pills: An Update

At the beginning of the year, I wrote about some strange, possibly colitis-related things that happened to me in December. I had an infected abscess that could turn into a Crohn’s-related fistula, some digestive symptoms, and a swollen ankle. I also saw a new gastroenterologist, who ordered tests of my Entyvio levels and antibody levels and a flexible sigmoidoscopy for January.

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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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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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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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