How do your pets help you with your IBD? I speak to Meredith Mangold, “The Bowel Battling Badass,” about the role her dogs have played in her life. She became seriously ill with ulcerative colitis, which progressed into a rare complication called toxic megacolon. As her journey with IBD progressed, she eventually needed colectomy surgery, and has since been diagnosed with other immune-mediated conditions. Her two dogs, however, have become a big part of her advocacy work and they help her manage the pain and loneliness that come with chronic illness.Continue reading
The back to school period is already a time of so much change but once again in this pandemic, parents and school systems are also facing difficult choices. The experiences of families during the pandemic has been diverse, which means that individual needs need to be addressed. But how do we manage that? Dr Brad Jerson Pediatric Psychologist in the Division of Digestive Diseases, Hepatology, and Nutrition at Connecticut Children’s, puts some framing around these issues and how we might approach them. Topics discussed include making the decision to go back to school in the building, 504 plans for kids with digestive conditions, and helping kids to transition to school in a difficult atmosphere.Continue reading
This is the second part of my conversation with Kathleen Nicholls, author of “Go Your Crohn Way: A Gutsy Guide to Living with Crohn’s Disease” and “My Flare Lady: A Handbook for Today’s (Diseased) Dame.” Hear the first part in Episode 97, where Kathleen tells us about her Crohn’s disease diagnosis and how blogging became the way she process her disease journey.
We talk about how to answer when people ask us how we’re doing. Which leads to another topic, and that’s how providers can ask patients about whether or not they want to pursue parenthood. Kathleen also gives blogging tips, including a hard truth, and offers advice to anyone who is newly diagnosed. However, I think her wisdom is important for long-term patients as well.Continue reading
Life with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) brings challenges and many life changes but it can also sometimes bring unexpected opportunities.
Kathleen Nicholls, author of “Go Your Crohn Way: A Gutsy Guide to Living with Crohn’s Disease” and “My Flare Lady: a handbook for today’s (diseased) dame” was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in her 20s. She started a blog as a way to process her disease journey. She was stunned when people started reading it and when publishers became interested. Two books later, she shares the lessons she learned along the way.Continue reading
Contained below are mild spoilers for the Season 2, Episode 4 episode of Farscape, “Crackers Don’t Matter.”
In 1999, my husband and I came home to his parents house after a night out. We found my mother in law watching the Sci-Fi Channel, as she often did in those days. The show that was on was Farscape. It was everything that the other sci-fi shows of the era were not. It was intelligent, bright, messy, sexy, funny, and relatable. I immediately fell in love with it.
The premise of the show is that John Crichton, astronaut, is testing his ship, called a “module,” in low Earth orbit, when he’s catapulted out of the galaxy through a wormhole. He winds up in deep space, immediately pisses off a high-ranking military officer, falls in with some escaped prisoners, and is off on an adventure.
Oh, and there’s no way to get home because nobody knows where Earth is located.Continue reading
Men face particular challenges when it comes to their health. Looking at health statistics in the United States, men are less likely to have health insurance than women. They’re also more likely to have high blood pressure, smoke, and drink alcohol. Men also see a doctor less often than women. There are a variety of reasons for these disparities but the end result is that men might face more health problems.Continue reading
The patient advocacy space is lacking the voices of men and especially men of color. The result is that the IBD community is not diverse enough to provide the kind of support that they need.
Jordan McConnell, the founder of Crohn’s Veteran, is looking to change the dynamics of the online IBD space. Jordan served in the military and was eventually discharged due to his Crohn’s disease. It was a shock and changed his career plans unexpectedly. His disease journey showed him that he needed to be the change and he developed his podcast and his brand to support men and the larger IBD community.Continue reading
What is the next innovation in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)? Is it the microbiome? Stem cells? Or, is it the emerging field of bioelectric medicine?
IBD is a complicated disease to treat and can bring complications and other, related conditions. The problem is the immune-mediated nature of the disease and how it affects the entire body. For Kelly Owens, who lives with Crohn’s disease, bioelectric medicine has bumped her into remission and changed her life in several ways. Today she goes by “Vagus Nerve Girl” because she had a device implanted in her chest that stimulates her vagus nerve. For her, this treatment has been a resounding success.Continue reading
Motherhood comes in all shapes and sizes. The intersection of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and motherhood is often left out of the discussion and single motherhood and IBD is pretty much ignored altogether. That’s why I asked my close friend and co-founder of IBDMoms, Brooke Abbott of The Crazy Creole Mommy Chronicles, to tell me about her challenges and her successes living with IBD, a j-pouch, and being a single mom of a young son.Continue reading
It’s one thing to talk to your physicians about becoming pregnant when you live with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. But what about getting the benefit of experiences from the mothers who have been through a pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding journey? Former news anchor and current blogger and Crohn’s patient Natalie Hayden gives her experiences with pregnancy and receiving biologics, as well as how she has participated in research during her pregnancies and the benefits it offers her family.Continue reading