All posts tagged: Crohn’s Disease

The Soundtrack of Life – and Surgery

Most moments in life have a soundtrack, if you think about it.  From iconic movie moments like Judd Nelson raising his fist in the air as the sound of “Don’t You Forget About Me” plays while the credits begin to roll in The Breakfast Club to Matthew Broderick lip synching “Twist and Shout” in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, music recalls a specific time, place or moment for many of us, good or bad. Music has been used in medicinal arenas going back thousands of years, when ancient Greeks identified Apollo as the God of both Healing and Music.  One of its more recent proponents, Dr. Evan O’Neill Kane, supported the use of music in the operating room, as he felt it helped “to calm and distract the patient from the horror of the situation”.  And he should know.  This man operated on himself not once, not twice, but three times, in order to better understand the experience of surgery from the perspective of the patient.  In 1919, he performed a self-amputation of one of his …

Do No Harm

Another week, another hospitalization.  It had been a somewhat bumpy week after my discharge from the hospital mid-month, and after struggling with what felt like a partial obstruction this past Monday night, I woke severely nauseous on Tuesday morning, and was in the car driving myself back to the ER by 10am that morning while my husband was at work.  It says something that I felt comfortable enough to do this, as a hospital is supposed to be a place of respite and recovery.  Vomiting twice on the 15 minute trip over, I shuffled back into the ER, grateful that I would soon be relieved of my horrible abdominal pain and nausea by the staff there.  So as not to worry my husband, I waited until I was hooked up to IV fluids and had received some anti-nausea meds and happy juice before I called him to let him know I was back in and doing just marvelous.  Everything is marvelous on morphine.  I told him I was fine on my own for a while …

Latest Hospital Stay, My Thoughts on Hospitalists, and Why I Am a Pain in the Ass Patient

So I had another post all ready to go up, but then I was hospitalized again last Monday night due to another bowel obstruction and a few things came up during that visit that I thought were a bit more important for the time being.  I can’t really say that this hospitalization came out of the blue, as I unfortunately missed my weekly dose of Humira at the very end of January because my husband and I were stuck in Boston for five extra days due to the blizzard that struck.  We had flown out there for the annual memorial service for my father-in-law, and at the time we left, no storm had been predicted for that weekend.  With my pills, I normally bring a few extra days worth in case of emergency, as I did this time, but traveling with injectable medications that need to be refrigerated at all times is a major pain in the ass.  Specialized kits tend to only keep the medication cold for a limited amount of time, and airlines …

Coping with PTSD

A bit of a delay from the last post; my husband came down with a bad cold just after returning to work in the New Year, and despite my best efforts (sleeping in the guest room, wiping down everything with Clorox wipes and practically hosing him down with Lysol every day), less than 24 hours after he was feeling human again, I woke up with a fever of 103 and it turned out to be pneumonia for the third time in just over a year.  It’s taken me over a week to kick most of it out of my system, and now I’m just left with the residual exhaustion and coughing fits. Anyway, now that I’m back, I thought that it would probably be a good time to discuss PTSD, given everything in the news lately with the premiere of American Sniper and the upcoming trial of the man accused of killing the movie’s real-life subject, retired Navy Seal Chris Kyle.  Many people are familiar with the acronym, but most tend to identify it with …

Relationships, Marriage and Obamacare

I’ve been sitting here stewing about this post for the better part of a week now, and though I know it is something that I need to talk about, it is something that makes me uneasy, as if somehow recalling or mentioning it will bring me right back to where I was that fateful November day seven years ago.  Seven years ago, not eight.  As I’ve mentioned before, November 2nd, 2006 was the day of my emergency colectomy due to Toxic Megacolon and the beginning of my surgical journey, which commenced a bit more than eight years ago.  What few people know is that exactly one year later, on the chilly afternoon of November 2nd, 2007, I got married. While far from a perfect solution to our country’s healthcare crisis, I often wonder how the course of my life would have changed had Obamacare come to fruition that year.  A big believer in fate, I’m fond of the saying that everything happens for a reason and while I am grateful for where I am at …

Getting Fit in the New Year

With the New Year fast approaching, lots of people will be making those often ill-fated “resolutions” in the eleventh hour, promises that they will better themselves in every possible way, eliminating any bad habits for good.  For many, one of the top resolutions is some variation on the theme of getting in shape, losing weight, etc.  Such a goal is often difficult for many, particularly for those with a chronic illness and possible physical limitations.  The inclination tends to lead more often than not to the extreme, the dramatic and the not-very-sustainable category, one that can be particularly detrimental to those whom are already working from a physical and nutritional deficit. Gyms and other fitness centers will hop on this all-in-or-bust attitude, and discounts on memberships and personal training sessions abound during this time of the year.  It is certainly tempting, and can be a great thing if you use your head.  I am all for getting in shape and using exercise to help combat stress and enhance one’s mood, but there are a few …

A Little Holiday Laugh

My first holiday season after having my total colectomy wasn’t a fun one.  By the time the holiday rolled around, I had only had my ileostomy for less than two months, and I was still working out the kinks with it.  There were leaks, and I vividly remember having a “blowout” at my stepmom’s house during a family dinner and bursting into tears.  She brought me into her bathroom and helped me clean up, reassuring me that it was no big deal.  That was such a difficult holiday – everything that was happening to me was still so new and unfamiliar.  I didn’t really feel human. One of my other memories from that first holiday season was a visit from my best friend, Nicole.  Many of my friends had kind of vanished over the last really bad year with the disease, but she still came to visit me, undeterred, whether it was in the hospital or while I was recovering at my mom’s.  True friends are hard to come by, and I’m proud to say …