Whether in remission or not, the day-to-day of life with IBD can be challenging. Living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, even when feeling well, might mean making lifestyle changes, going to doctor’s appointments, and taking medications. Many people are diagnosed young, at a time when their friends aren’t going through anything similar. To understand how people might deal effectively with these changes, Amber talks with Dr Sandra Quezada, a gastroenterologist who specializes in IBD at the University of Maryland Medical Center and Varada Srivastava, a Crohn’s disease patient and biotechnology major who is also a 2022 Crohn’s and Colitis Young Adults Network fellow.Continue reading
How does being diagnosed with a chronic illness affect your path in life? For Mariah Leach, a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis came out of the blue and put her at a crossroads. She decided to take the road towards patient advocacy. What started as a way to process her feelings and keep family and friends updated about her condition through her writing has evolved into a calling. Today, she has become a tireless advocate for people living with rheumatoid arthritis and as a resource for parents with chronic illness. It’s Mariah’s goal to ensure no one feels alone in their parenting journey. To that end, she has developed Mamas Facing Forward to support parents and foster the connections she was missing in her first years as a mom.Continue reading
Recently, during an interview, I was asked to talk about what I couldn’t do because of my IBD or my j-pouch. I may have visibly bristled at the question, though I tried to mask this initial negative reaction. I did think about how to formulate an answer–probably for a good solid minute. In the end, I couldn’t come up with anything.
The interviewer made a few suggestions, but they were things that I don’t dwell on, such as dietary restrictions. Having some dietary restrictions is not something I think about often. I can absolutely still eat all kinds of healthy food as well as not so healthy, yet tasty, food like chocolate, and also have a cocktail. I no longer see food as an obstacle or a problem, because I’ve worked out my diet and I pretty much stick with what I know at this point. Therefore, this is not something I ruminate about or concern myself with too much.