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.
Continue reading →
Arriving in Portland and settling into our new house while Ron worked, I found myself alone most of the time. My solitude gave me time to take stock of my life: my two careers, writing and ecology; my new home, my relationship, and my health. Each realm of life seemed to be in flux these days. I struggled with too much uncertainty, and I wrestled with myself.
Continue reading →
An entry from my journal, July 24, 2014… Early morning again – this time 5:25 am, unable to sleep. I finished my course of prednisone, tapering completely off it a few days ago. Today will be my third med-free day since about March 6, when I was diagnosed. The pred helped…for two weeks, then I had an awful flare. It seemed to be triggered by more fiber in my diet, … Continue reading →
Despite the ordeal with my colitis, the rest of life was moving inexorably forward. I wished I could put it on pause while I sorted out my disease. After eight years in Madison, Ron and I were moving to Portland this summer. For years, I’d been envisioning this move, and now the time had finally come. It was early July, 2014. Our lease ended in mid-August. Soon we would pack … Continue reading →
When I met with Alison to talk about our mutual illness, she asked me a powerful question: “Did you have a lot of stress, leading up to the time when your symptoms began?” Others had asked this too, but it felt different coming from them. Up to now, whenever someone mentioned the possible connection between my emotions and my illness, it had always made me angry. I hid this from … Continue reading →