On bearing the burden of being very sick

Lifting weights is oddly mindful. The weights never change; they look the same, feel the same in my hand, and (almost always) sit in the same place on the rack, untouched by men who deem them too light. Every day, however, they feel different, sometimes easy, sometimes unbearably heavy, sometimes painful. Frequently, lifting each dumbbell makes my heart race and sweat pour down my back, and other times something within me refuses to initiate movement, my body stalwart and defiant.

Bearing the weight of uncertainty, of a body bent on self-destruction but a mind who lives in happiness, is similar. Quite often, smiling is effortless and joy abundant. Other times, I break through with effort, although it doesn't feel quite as natural. Occasionally, as it was last night, I feel like a...

Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

A Few Words on Uncertainty

Many conversations have been had within the community about living with a disease that has a pretty darn good way of making its own edits to our best-laid plans. This is what I've been thinking about the matter lately.

As a child I fell, and my scraped knee wept drops of blood. The wound was cleaned and covered; the scab itched, then disappeared, dissolving into life’s folds.

My disease, by contrast, is insidious by design, affecting me so profoundly, yet so furtively. I feel its weight, I bear private witness to its effects, but I never can see it, never touch the part that hurts. My doctor views it fleetingly with a tiny light on a black snake scope as I sleep in chemical twilight, evidenced by grainy pictures I examine through the haze of Versed. It gives me...

Monday, Jun 24, 2013

Greetings and Introduction

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I'm Jessica, and welcome to my blog. I'm honored to be a voice in the Crohnology chorus.

I feel like in settings like this we tend to, for lack of a better word, lead with our guts, so I'll do my best to break from tradition. I'm originally from south of Richmond, Virginia, and I've been living in San Francisco for about two years. If I had my way, I'd almost never be inside (not coincidentally, in this scenario the sun would almost always be shining). I read voraciously, and I have a strong academic interest in biomedical ethics. I am obnoxiously perky in the morning.

Now to put the "Crohn" in Crohnology. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2002, and I underwent a total colectomy in 2006. I continue to receive medical care for IBD.

In the past, my identity as...

Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013