Category Archives: Crohn’s Disease

My New-ish Expertise

Being a fake medical expert has become a bit passe, frankly.  And that expertise came after my rarely discussed time as environmental science expertise honed as a lowly paralegal/legislative & regulatory assistant/lobbyist.

So I figure I’m ready for a new challenge.  And just in time for World IBD Day, I’m takin’ on physics!

The Physics of Poop, of course.  And I think you will agree that I do have the expertise.  And the, ummm, credentials.  And I don’t have to go far for sample collection.

You see, there’s an article I read.  (Of course there’s an article.)

The Physics of Poop

You know it’s a good article, because this is the photo that accompanies the article:

Elephant Poop

This critter has nothin’ on me.  Except maybe on my shoes  Credit: Barry Kusama Getty Images

The authors, David Hu and Patricia Yang, studied poop every which way but Sunday.  Well, maybe Sunday, too.  Because there are some chores that simply must be done 7 days a week.

They discovered that herbivores produced “floaters” and carnivores plopped “sinkers.”  And apparently “stinkers” too, as tigers apparently have the stinkiest poop and panda poop is positively precious.

Bigger animals, not surprisingly, are more prodigious poopers, but interestingly, the speed of poop production is similar regardless of the size of the animal:

Assuming a bell curve distribution, 66 percent of animals take between 5 and 19 seconds to defecate. It’s a surprisingly small range, given that elephant feces have a volume of 20 liters, nearly a thousand times more than a dog’s, at 10 milliliters.

In all honesty, the attraction of the article wasn’t the significant increase in my already vast knowledge and understanding of poop.

Nope. There were two reasons.

First, it’s the fact that this article alerted me to the existence of NASA’s

Space Poop Challenge

I think you will admit that I should be an automatic contender.

More importantly, this article gave me something to write about to celebrate World IBD Day.  And while I personally celebrate every day, you, personally can have fun with poop on World IBD Day.  Don’t say I never gave you anything.

***

But WAIT!  There’s MORE!  After this post went to press, I found this article.

When Birds of a Feather Poop Together

Golly.  Studying poop has become a 24/7 commitment for me.

You’re welcome.

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Why No, Thank You

The art of letter writing is dead, and it makes me sad.  Whenever I read history or biography, I think of the loss to mankind and to history of all of the letters we never exchange — emails aren’t the same.  And even still, it is likely that only Hillary Clinton’s emails will be kept.

Greeting cards are few and far between too.  I used to love to spend time searching stores for just the right one with just the right message.  Today, though, good ones are hard to find, and it just never seems that I can get to one of the three stores left in the continental U.S. that sells good ones when I need one.

Thank you cards too.  I once read that the key to George H.W. Bush’s success was that he always sent thank you notes.  But nobody ever sends those any more.

Or so I thought.  But today I go this in the mail:

Thank You Georgetown

A thank you card from the hospital where I let them shove tools up my butt. Inside it thanks me for letting me have them abuse my body.  (Or something like that.)  Not something you hear of every day.

You see, on Wednesday, I had my annual tuneup, a sigmoidoscopy, performed in the hospital so that Dr. C can check out the plumbing.  They aren’t really so bad, and they give me good drugs so I’m asleep and wake up refreshed.  I usually feel quite good afterwards in fact.

This time I felt even better, though.  Because my doctor told me that she thinks I’m in remission!  That means no active disease!  Whoo-hoo.  Even without a poop transplant or drinking worm larvae.  Cool.

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Filed under Advice from an Expert Patient, Assholes, Crohn's Disease, Health, Health and Medicine, Holy Shit, Humor, Oh shit, Poop Power, Poop transplants, WTF?

Have You Thanked a Nurse This Week?

As a professional patient, I deal with nurses regularly.  And believe it or not, just yesterday when I was having something embarrassing done to my butt, I remembered to say thank you to the nurses who helped me.  Well, except for the one who was there when I woke up from anesthesia.  I think I said something weird to her, but I don’t think she’ll recognize me with my pants on.

Anyway, it’s National Nurses Week.  Say thanks, now while you’re feeling good.  Because usually when they’re helping you, you don’t feel so good.

And I’m rerunning this post.  Because I can.  And to say thanks, again.

***

Nurses, The Beauty of Seamless Teamwork

Naturally, I was just settling down in my recliner for a nap when the commotion started.

Yesterday I had my Remicade infusion in the outpatient infusion center at the hospital.  I was in one of my favorite spots — near the nurses station and the bathroom.  The room is a bay of about 15 vinyl recliners designed for easy cleaning.  Unfortunately, once the leg rests are up, getting out is nearly impossible.  That’s why I like being by both the nurses’ station and the bathroom.  No need for a change of clothes.

Anyway, as I was settling down for my nap with my curtain partially drawn when another patient walked towards me from the other end of the corridor.  As she neared the nurses’ station, she looked up at the ceiling, and I saw her legs buckle, her arms flap out birdlike, and in slow motion she started to faint.

Luckily for Mrs. Smith, a nurse was there to catch her.  That nurse, Brittany, called out for help, and I then witnessed one of the most professional exhibitions of teamwork I’ve ever seen.

Google Image

Google Image

Immediately, Molly, my nurse ran to help, calling out, calmly for assistance, and specifying the location.  Brittany and Molly gently lowered Mrs. Smith to the floor, with Molly saying “Mrs. Smith, open your eyes,” repeatedly

Other nurses went different directions towards strategically located equipment which was quickly and efficiently brought to the aid of Mrs. Smith.

Within 1 minute, Mrs. Smith had 6 nurses as well as equipment protecting her privacy surrounding her.  Each nurse had a role.  Molly got Mrs. Smith to open her eyes, then to squeeze her hand, then to speak.  Another nurse contacted the ER to send EMTs with a gurney to get Mrs. Smith to the ER.  Another started her on a fluid IV while still another nurse took an EKG and yet another set up and constantly monitored vital signs, calling them out to the team.

Within 4 minutes, Mrs. Smith, awake and groggy, was wheeled out to the ER with Brittany, the nurse who originally caught her fall, holding her hand and walking with her.

*****

I can honestly say as an expert patient, that being sick sucks.  Often we grouse at our doctors and nurses and other caretakers.  We bitch about the hospitals, the costs, everything.  Because we don’t want to need these services.

But, like Mrs. Smith (not her real name), I’ve been in need of help before.  And when it’s you on the receiving end, it’s hard to appreciate the artistry.

I saw a the most amazing demonstration well-trained staff of caring professionals.  I have a lot of faith in my healthcare professionals, but it was fascinating and wonderful watching when I’m not on the receiving end.

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How I’ll Protest the AHCA

It’s all been said already.  The GOP bill, TrumpDoesn’tCare, sucks.  And frankly, I am unable to find the funny in the fact that the current leaders just sold us down the River Styx, on our way to hell.

I feel it personally, deeply.  I honestly fear for the future of myself and everybody like me with a preexisting condition.  Everybody with a chronic condition that requires expensive medicine.  Mine costs $26K every six weeks.  Over the 5 years of the “pool” the GOP added to the AHCA, I’ll use $1 million just by myself.  Because of poop problems.

Folks keep telling me that I’m over-reacting, that this bill will never pass the Senate.  And that’s true.  But I have no faith that the Senate version will be much better, only different.  After all, it is run by the folks who literally stole a supreme court seat.  Does anybody really believe that these guys will do the right thing?

So clearly there is only one response that I have to Donald Trump and the House GOP.

If you hear about somebody doing this at the White House or on Capitol Hill, just pretend you don’t know me.

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Earth Day / Science / Judy

Earth Day.  The Science March (which I sadly can’t attend until Science gets around to curing my damn Crohn’s Disease).  My late sister Judy’s birthday.  So I’m reposting this.  Hey – Jude believed firmly in recycling!

***

She’s been gone now for 17 years, Jude.  Not a day has gone by since that I haven’t wanted to talk with her, laugh with her, or, alternatively because she was my sister, smack her.  There really isn’t a relationship like you have with a sister.  Even long after they are gone.

*****

Today, April 22, is Earth Day!  It’s the Anniversary of the very first Earth Day.  Here  is Walter Cronkite’s report on the first Earth Day, 1970:

It would also be my late sister Judy’s 65th birthday.

Whoever made the decision to turn Judy’s birthday into Earth Day chose wisely.  Judy was a born environmentalist and recycler.

On the first Earth Day, Judy was a new, very young mother who believed in saving the planet.  She was the first “environmentalist” I ever knew personally, and well, I thought she was nuts.  There was a recycling bin in her kitchen for as long as I can remember.  And this was back when recycling took effort.  She believed in gardens, not garbage, and she made life bloom wherever she was.

I’ve got kids,” she’d say.  “It’s their planet too!”  

But years later, Judy took recycling to a whole different level when she helped people recycle themselves.  In the 1990s, Jude, who was then living in Florida, began working with the Homeless, assisting at shelters.   Then she actively began trying to help homeless vets food, shelter and work — to enable them to jump-start their lives.

When she died in early 2000, the American Legion awarded her honorary membership for her services to homeless vets.  A homeless shelter was named in her  honor.  So she’s still doing good works, my sister is.  That would make her wildly happy.

Jude also gave me the Beatles.  So it is very appropriate that they wrote a song for her.

You see, the night the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, it was MY turn to choose what we were going to watch.  And we were going to watch the second part of The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh starring Patrick McGoohan on the Wonderful Wide World of Disney.  My four (all older and MUCH cooler) siblings were furious with me.  But I was quite insistent.  You might even say that I threw a Class I temper tantrum over it, but I wouldn’t admit to that.  Hey, I was seven.  And it was my turn to choose.  Fair is fair, especially in a big family with only one TV.

Somehow, Judy talked me out of my turn.  She was always very persuasive.  Thanks Jude.

Hey Jude, Happy Earth Day-Birthday.

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You’ve been waiting for this, haven’t you?


April Fools for normal folks.  A must have product for folks with poo problems.

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Filed under Advice from an Expert Patient, All The News You Need, Assholes, Chronic Disease, Crime and Punishment, Crohn's Disease, Curses!, Disgustology, Farts

I Can Change The World!

It will come as no surprise that I would personally love to save the world.  But like most folks, well, I just couldn’t figure out how.

 

When the Women’s March happened, my hopes dwindled.  How could I save the world and still be within reach of the bathroom?  Ditto all the other spontaneous and planned demonstrations that have taken place since January 21.

But then I learned that Yes. I. Can!  Really!  I can save the world from climate change single-handedly.  Really!  Me!

You can’t though.  Sorry.

You see, I just read this article that says that the city of Portland, Oregon has come up with a terrific way to produce electricity through poop.  And pee.

I can do that.  In fact, I often can’t NOT do that.

It’s true!  They installed toilet turbines to generate power with every flush.

I volunteer to power the East Coast.  Except for the White House and Mara Laga.  Because I don’t give a shit about Trump.

 

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