For months, I had suspected that stress had helped trigger my disease. This thought was based mainly on personal experience–I had been incredibly stressed in the two years before colitis. Then I read Donna Jackson Nakazawa’s The Autoimmune Epidemic, and found a satisfying scientific narrative that fleshed out my vague knowledge.
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It’s time to tell you what first prompted me to create this blog. In June 2014, I already had a blog, katiesonger.com. I wrote there about my writing–my book about my Dad, lessons learned as a new writer. But I didn’t feel comfortable writing there about my illness. It was too much of a tangent from the blog’s topic, and besides, it was embarrassing. It also felt professionally vulnerable. Ron … Continue reading →
Judaism considers food a visible manifestation of the covenant between man and God. ~ Rachel Naomi Remen As soon as I opened Andrew Weil’s Eating Well for Optimum Health, I knew I had a lot to change in my relationship with food. I thought I’d been cultivating a better relationship with food. In the last two weeks, through my new diet, I was learning to eat new things and wean … Continue reading →
As a physician, I was trained to deal with uncertainty as aggressively as I dealt with disease itself… “I don’t know” had long been a statement of shame… In all of my training I do not recall hearing it said aloud even once. But as I listened to more and more people with life-threatening illness tell their stories, not knowing simply became a matter of integrity. – Rachel Naomi Remen … Continue reading →
Since my meds weren’t working, in mid-May my doctors prescribed a sigmoidoscopy to see what was happening inside my colon. The sigmoid colon is the colon’s last segment before the rectum. Unlike a full colonoscopy, which traverses all six-or-so feet of the colon, a sigmoidoscopy just goes up several inches. You’d be surprised how excited I was to get this procedure. I had just finished Mary Roach’s Gulp: Adventures on the … Continue reading →
The day after my colitis diagnosis, I began to wonder: Should I perhaps start eating differently? It was a reasonable question. My symptoms were diarrhea, bloody stools, and abdominal pain. Something was obviously wrong in there; the least I could do was not make it any worse. I’d had my colonoscopy the day before, but afterwards I’d been too drugged to think. Now I did a perfunctory internet search. Perfunctory … Continue reading →