You Get Tired With Shawntel Bethea and Brooke Abbott

Episode 21 – You Get Tired With Shawntel Bethea and Brooke Abbott

The healthcare space isn’t a level playing field. Minority populations face complex challenges when it comes to accessing and receiving care, which is why April is designated as National Minority Health Month. In regards to inflammatory bowel disease, it’s not well known that Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis also affect minorities. Shawntel Bethea of Chronically Strong and Brooke Abbott of The Crazy Creole Mommy Chronicles discuss how they’ve been affected by healthcare disparity and offer concrete ideas on what can be done to start addressing healthcare gaps in their communities.

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Meditation Journey With About IBD

A Meditation Journey – Week 3

I fell off the wagon in a big way in the meditation department. I broke my streak and have not meditated in several days.

Progress is never linear: there are always setbacks. I’m certainly used to this phenomenon but it’s also true that it’s easier to keep going with something than it is to start it. Quitting is so, so easy. I’m not going to say that I quit, but rather that I had a pause. The family schedule was in flux and I was hyper focused on other aspects of my life; mainly my work, which has become more than a full-time job in recent weeks. Continue reading

April IBD Moms Twitter Chat

April IBD Moms Twitter Chat: Planning Your Family

What’s a Twitter Chat?

A Twitter chat is a way for Twitter users to gather together at the same time and talk about a particular topic. In this case, we’re moms who have IBD and we want to discuss options for family planning such as in-vitro fertilization, adoption, and surrogacy. By searching for, or clicking on, the hashtag, #IBDMoms, you can follow along with all the posts using that tag. In this way, you can see the conversation and also take part. Continue reading

It's OK If You Haven't Found Your Voice Yet

It’s OK If You Haven’t Found Your Voice Yet

When I still had my colon, I was at the pharmacy on a regular basis. Like most people with IBD (ulcerative colitis, specifically), I was always taking several medications in an effort to keep the inflammation down. I also usually needed over-the-counter things as well — witch hazel and wipes and antacids.

Once when I was in my mid-twenties, the young man behind the pharmacy counter tried to talk to me about my prescriptions. He then questioned my use of that particular location of the pharmacy.

“You know,” he said to me, “there’s a store in [town that I lived in] that’s closer to you.”

We have slang now to describe what this man was doing to me. He was mansplaining it to me. For some reason he thought he knew better. Continue reading

Episode 20 – This Is Just the Beginning with Michael Tresca

Take a journey back to 1999, when cellphones were a rarity, dial-up internet access was still in use, and Amber had her first surgery of the 2-step j-pouch process. Amber’s husband Mike, a writer and communicator, journaled his thoughts on the day of the surgery. This journal was recently uncovered and Amber reads it to Mike and gets his reactions and further recollections of that challenging day.

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IBD Moms March Twitter Chat

March IBD Moms Twitter Chat: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby

What’s a Twitter Chat?

A Twitter chat is a way for Twitter users to gather together at the same time and talk about a particular topic. In this case, we’re moms who have IBD and we want to discuss how to be healthy enough for pregnancy. By searching for, or clicking on, the hashtag, #IBDMoms, you can follow along with all the posts using that tag. In this way, you can see the conversation and also take part. Continue reading

5 Keys to Uncovering Poor IBD Information Online

Just as not all healthcare professionals provide the same level of care, not all health websites are equally trustworthy. Most people know by now not to believe everything published on the Internet. However, it can be difficult at times to determine whether or not a health website is giving out accurate and credible information. In the journey to learn more about inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), it is vital to use critical thinking and become a savvy information consumer, as these skills will help in sifting through websites to find the ones that can be trusted.

How can anyone tell the difference between an IBD website that is worth coming back to and one that should be passed over? There are several different clues that help in understanding if the author of a website or an article is providing quality information that is useful in understanding IBD and in coping with the challenges of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or indeterminate colitis. Continue reading

Meditation Journey With About IBD

A Meditation Journey – Week 2

This is the second week of my attempts at meditating on a regular basis. I fail, of course. But I also succeed. At some point I know a regular meditation is supposed to be something to look forward to, like a good meal or the perfect cocktail. However, I’m still struggling to fit it into my day and not to see it as another box that needs to be checked along with other items like taking my medication and returning phone calls (two things I also fail at almost daily). There’s a host of issues that come up in the second week of this experiment, most of which don’t have any answers.

Remember, this is my journey and no one should take my missteps as absolution from trying meditation. I’m still going to recommend that everyone try it. Continue reading

Episode 19 – Amber Answers the IBD Advocacy Tag Questions

Megan Johnson of The Front Butt YouTuber has presented 5 questions for people with IBD to answer and then tag someone else using #IBDAdvocacyTag. It’s a great way to get to know people in the community better and hear different perspectives. My answer to the form of IBD I have is not going to be what you expect and my socially awkward moment is pretty epic: I remember every detail about it, even though it happened almost two decades ago. And who did I tag? Well, I do that in my own way, too.
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A Meditation Journey – Week 1

Meditation Journey With About IBD

Most people find meditation to be helpful and a worthwhile undertaking. I do recommend that people try it, especially people who have IBD. But for me, however, it hasn’t been quite the experience I expected.

I recommend that people with chronic illness meditate. I even did a podcast with Dr Tiffany Taft, a behavioral psychologist, that focused heavily on getting started with meditation as a tool for stress relief.

But me? Yeah, I don’t meditate. Or, I didn’t.

I have my time when I’m running or walking, either outside or on my treadmill, that I consider my meditation time. It’s a moving meditation. That’s what I tell people. I get quite cranky if I get interrupted or if I don’t get that time. But it’s not really traditional meditation, and I know that.

The time came when my friend and colleague, Dr Barbara Bolen, had an offer for a free trial of a meditation app. So I asked her if I could have it, she graciously gave it to me, and I downloaded the app. This is my journey through the first week, having never done any formal meditation in the past.

This is not a typical meditation blog post, but read through to the end to fully understand the challenges that are specific to me. I’m still going to recommend that everyone try meditation. Continue reading