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

Episode 18 – You Have To Be Happy Within Yourself – With Brooke Abbott

Pregnancy and birth are different for women with IBD. There are not only challenges that come from the disease itself but the lack of awareness about IBD during pregnancy can lead to less than optimal treatment. Brooke Abbott of The Crazy Creole Mommy Chronicles describes how she coped with ulcerative colitis during her pregnancy and a birth that did not go as she’d hoped or as she’d expected. Learn how everything turned out in the end and find out what Brooke and Amber think pregnant women with IBD should do to prepare for birth and for those first few weeks with a new baby.

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When Your Body Image is Crap

Amber Prom

This is what prednisone did to me prior to my senior prom. It hurt to smile, my cheeks were so big.

Many people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) will admit to having a body image issue. The  research shows that people with IBD who have a healthy self-image are in the minority. And after all, how could we not have issues with our bodies? Our bodies fail us without warning, not to mention the symptoms of IBD which are often so distressing and personally upsetting to oneself and to others.

It’s funny, now as an “over 40,” I think back on the days when I was younger and I have to laugh at my skewed sense of self. The facts that support my internal monologue on body image will surely upset those who were closest to me when I was a child and a teen. We didn’t discuss things like body image in the 70s and 80s and there wasn’t anyone who told me the things I tell my daughter, that her body is strong and beautiful and that we will do our best to take care of it.

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Episode 17 – When IBD Gets Married With Jaime Weinstein

Getting married is a joyful time in one’s life. Until you have to bring your IBD along when you shop for your wedding dress, that is. Learn how Crohn’s disease affected Jaime’s perceptions about body image throughout her life and how it all culminated in a trip to a bridal shop that left her angry and frustrated. Plus, we share our best tips for making the dress shopping, and eventual wedding day dress wearing, go more smoothly if IBD decides to make make an appearance.

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We Are Not Unique With Christy Stone of Crohnie Bologna

Episode 16 – We Are Not Unique With Christy Stone of Crohnie Bologna

Are you unique? Do you represent most patients with IBD? Christy Stone of Crohnie Bologna tells the story of her disease journey, how she feels that she’s not unique as an inflammatory bowel disease patient, why she chooses kindness, and why these things make her a better advocate.

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