Book Review – The Directive


Lately I have been seeing a lot more books about IBD.  I decided since I love reading to start reading some of these books.  I have been impressed by the stories and I decided that maybe I should post some reviews.  So, here is my first one for the book The Directive by Rosa Fontana.The Directive

I will start by quoting the synopsis from the back of  the book. “Lynne McKay is a peculiar twenty something college student.  A boring essayist with limited social skills, she is woefully unaware that she’s a recluse in the making.  Having experienced life vicariously – only through the books she has read and over-analyzed – she is unprepared when her life is interrupted with the diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease.  After being admitted to the hospital, Lynne must shed her introverted shell in order to survive.  With an IV pole in hand and a VIP pass to the marble throne at the ready, she reaches out to an unexpected and insistent comrade, Peter, who suffers from the same disease but has penchants  for mischief and empathy.  During their time in the hospital together, Lynne must consider: is this diagnosis a second chance at life or is it her death sentence?”

My first thought when I saw this book was that it was written by a woman and is told through the eyes of a woman…so would this just be a mushy love story.  Thankfully, I was wrong.  The book focuses a lot on Lynne and her disease.  It deals more with her battles while in the hospital.   As I read the story I couldn’t help but feel some of the pain.  She describes the disease, treatments, med reactions so perfectly.  The author has Crohn’s disease so she was definitely using her experience.  However, reading the story I almost felt like this was an autobiography.  After talking to Rosa on twitter I would find out it was only based on some of her experiences and people she has met.

I thought this was an excellent read.  I had a hard time putting the book down and found myself relating to the characters a lot.   I didn’t want this book to end and I really hope she decides to write more about Crohns.

If you want to buy the book you can buy it here.  Also, check out Rosa’s page and follow her on Twitter here.  Out of 5 stars I give this book 5.

My First Real Attempt at Advocacy


 

For the past year I have been doing my blogs, talking to people online and even participating in the CCFA’s Take Steps.  Late December I decided to kick it up a notch. 

I was reading a lot of stories online about people with IBD having to pull over on the side of the road to immediately relieve themselves because there were no rest rooms in sight.  Now, this is of course dangerous and illegal.  It can cause problems on the highways and can even get the person stopping killed by getting hit by a car.

So I am sitting there reading these stories and I start to think of my experiences travelling on the interstates.  I think about how you can go for miles without any exits or rest stops.  The wheels in my head started turning and I had an idea.  I started first by emailing my state representatives.  Of course I got no responsive.  I asked for assistance from some people on line and they helped me with thoughts and getting a letter drafted.  Lastly, I started a petition online.

You are probably now wondering what I am talking about.  Well, I am now starting a campaign to get port a potties put on the side of interstates and thruways.  The petition can be found here and if you live in the USA, please go ahead and sign your name to it.US DOT - Federal Highway Administration: Create Port-A-Potty rest stops on side of Interstates and Thruways

Now, if you have stopped and read the petition, you probably have a lot of questions about it.  Yes, there are security issues, sanitation issues, etc etc etc.  I know there is a lot that has to be worked out with this project.  I don’t discredit all that.  This petition isn’t meant to be a simple solution fix.  I meant for this to be the start of something.  It is made to get the ball rolling and make people see that there are major issues on the roadways for people with IBD.

If you can, write your congressmen and senators.  Let them know of the petition.  Let them know that we are no longer going to sit by and be ignored.  It is time for us to raise our voice and be heard.

My Take on the Escape The Stall Ads


Slide 9

 

Yesterday I read a blog by another blogger, Marisa, which can be found here.  This lead me to a post written by Sara found here

The reason I mention these two blogs is because they kind of opened my eyes to the new campaign going on by The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) called Escape the Stall (http://www.ccfa.org/escapethestall/).  The face being put to the campaign is Amy Brenneman who is known from such shows as Private Practice, NYPD Blue, and Judging Amy.

First, I applaud Amy for coming out of what I call the IBD closet.  It is great to have another face to the disease.  I am also very happy that the CCFA is finally putting ads and stories out there nationally.  IBD is usually talked about quietly in dark corners.  CCFA is now bringing out into the open and I am very happy and thankful for that.image

I had read the reason for why they went with this campaign and at first it didn’t bother me.  I admit I have used bathroom humor in the past as I have a page on Facebook called Bathroom Talk.  But as I look into myself, I know I did it as a way to cope.

Over the past year I have learned so much about IBD.  Crohn’s and Colitis is no laughing matter.  Yes, a lot of us use laughter to cope with our chronic illness, but in no way should the illness be looked upon in a funny way.  As the ads show, we spend a lot of time in the bathroom.  Anyone with IBD knows this is a reality..but it is a small part of the disease.  And this is where I come to the realization that the CCFA ads are not a good idea. 

So many people with IBD are sick.  They have no energy.  They can’t do simple things like get out of bed.  Some people are in constant pains.  Belly pains, joint pains, muscle pains…just overall pain.  There is nausea, fevers, rashes, and eye problems.  We take horrible medicines that give us really horrible side effects with some of those being untreatable cancer.   Many people with IBD have numerous scars from many surgeries.  Some people spend months in a  hospital bed hooked up to tubes.  Many suffer from drastic weight lose and look like walking skeletons.

Now you are probably thinking,  “Wow, people with IBD have it bad”.  Well, yes we do.  But looking at the new ads, all you would think is that we spend a lot of time on the toilet.   When people put out ads for cancer we see bald people hooked up to chemo.  When there are ads for emphysema we see broken down people hooked up to oxygen tanks.   The no smoking ads in NYC show people with amputations, trach tubes, and just looking horrible.  So where is our graphic ads?

When it comes down to it, seeing an underweight person with IV’s and an NG tube laying in a hospital bed with some surgical scars would be more effective than saying “Hey this person poops a lot.  Help them out”.  I recall when I first got diagnosed as a teenager with Crohn’s that my doctor told me that I would most likely have at least one surgery in my life due to the disease.  Where is that fact in the ad. 

I am grateful for all that CCFA has done and continues to do.  I will be volunteering this year for their Take Steps walk and hopefully for Camp Oasis.  But I have to say that I am shamed by their new and first national ads.

The Great Experiment Part 2


Last January I was in a nasty flare.  I was going to the bathroom 30 times a day.  I was obese with high cholesterol and high blood sugar.  My body was a mess and I wasn’t treating it nicely.  So, I decided to make some changes as many of you already know.  I joined Weight Watchers to lose weight, which I was pretty good with.  For the year I lost about 30 lbs.  I also went Gluten-Free to help with my Crohn’s.  I wanted to give my intestines a rest from the harsh fiber of wheat.  Also, this was supposed to help in reducing my blood sugar levels.  Lastly, and this happened later in the year, I switched meds.  I went off Humira and started Low Dose Naltrexone.

For the most part everything was working well.  I achieved what seemed like remission.  I lost weight.  I feel good and healthier.  I was finally on the right track.  And then it all came to a crashing halt.  The Dreaded Holidays!!!   Anyone that knows me knows I like to eat.  Well, the holidays give me that opportunity.  Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate covered anything.  With New Years Eve, there is a lot of eating, then some drinking, then some more eating and yes, more drinking.

Well, it is now January 2013.  My weight has been fine and I don’t think I have gained too much weight back as my clothes still fit.  However, the past week or so I have been going to the bathroom more.  I am not feeling as healthy as I should and I know the reason.  I have been putting garbage into my body again and have completely looked away from eating right.  I am now paying for it.

So now I know that diet most definitely plays a part in IBD.  Today is Friday night.  This weekend is my last hurrah.  As of Monday I start up my experiment with nutrition and IBD and get back to eating correctly.  I am going back onto the Weight Watchers plan.  I am going to stop putting nasty chemicals into my body.  I am going to start treating my body like it should be treated.

A lot of people still say that nutrition means nothing when it comes to IBD.  I think I might have proven this past year that it does.  When I ate healthy with all natural products I was doing great.  When I started eating junk again, I felt like I was on the verge of a flare.  I have learned a lot in 2012 and I know that I need to stop NOW.  I need to practice what I preach.

So I will continue on my journey come Monday.  I won’t look back.  I won’t second guess myself and I won’t regret it for one minute.  I want to be completely healthy.  I want others to look and me and say, “If he can do it, then anyone can” because I couldn’t do it for so many years.  I denied the nutrition connection and ignored my weight. 

The holidays are done.  My denial is over.  I had my fill and now I need to continue my journey and my experiment.  Welcome to Jeff 2.0.  Time to take all I have learned and put it into practice.  And there is nothing better on a journey than some company…so Who Is With Me?

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013


 

As we close the door to another year, I look back to see if I have grown this year.  Of course I don’t mean physically, but mentally and spiritually.  Every year I treat New Years Eve like any other day.  I haven’t made a bid deal about it in years.  This year I have changed inside and I now sit here reflecting on the person I have become.

I went into this year in the biggest flare that I have ever had.  I was depressed, in pain and living in the bathroom.  I was alone with my disease and felt like I had no one to turn to.  I now exit this year in remission, running a blog to help others and feel like I am part of the best community out there.  I am part of a group that no matter how they feel, they will still give all they can to help out others.  It is a very unselfish community and one I am proud to be in.

This past weekend I was able to contribute to this unselfish community.  An online friend who runs an ostomy cover company alerted a lot of people about a 9 yr old that was in the hospital.  He had 2 ostomies and was having a hard time with them.  Originally I was just going to donate a little bit to help cover the cost of the covers she was making for him.  When I spoke with this friend she mentioned that he was in a hospital fairly close to me.  I thought she wanted me to bring him the covers but she mentioned that maybe I could visit him.  I don’t have an ostomy so I didn’t know how much of a help I could be but I put out a call online.   2 wonderful people stepped up to the plate.  One, Michael A Weiss, is a seasoned hospital patient and is very big on patient advocacy.  The second, Marisa Troy, is an ostomate and would be able to give any information that she could. 

I was hesitant to go when I heard the kid didn’t necessarily have IBD, but after Michael and Marisa still were going, I knew I had to.  It was the right thing to do.  So Sunday, we all met at the hospital and visited one of the bravest 9 yr olds I have ever met.  It went through so much with blockages, septic shock, seizures, surgery and just the mental anguish that goes with this.  When we got there, he was sitting on a couch with his family.  He was very shy but I could see the life in his eyes.  I knew he was going to get through this ordeal.  I could see the fighter in him.  His mom’s told us his whole story and he has not had an easy life. 

After our 90 minute visit, I knew I did the right thing by going.  It felt so good.  He might not have said much and didn’t interact with us but I think we helped out his mom’s a lot.  I think we eased their minds a little and gave them not only some answers but hope.  They said that he felt so alone and now both him and his mom’s will know that no matter what, he is never alone.  There are tons of us out there willing to help….no matter what.

So I sit here looking back and I see that this year I definitely grew.  My heart and mind are bigger now.  I understand the whole “holiday spirit” thing.  Doing good things unconditionally feels great and makes me want to do more.  I ended 2012 on a great note and I hope to continue going into 2013.  I don’t know what this year will bring but I know that I still have room to grow….and I look forward to it.

 

You only get 2 feel #Humanity when U GIVE of urself.  Visit a kid in a #hospital.  http://bit.ly/UhiWFg   #26Acts

Chicken Soup – Not Just Good For The Soul


Yesterday started Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week and what happens…I get sick.  Ok, it is just a cold, but still feel like crap.  The weather has cooled down a lot and I am constantly feeling cold now.  So what better thing to do then to make some nice hot chicken soup.  Recently someone asked me how to make it.  I sent them my recipe and now that I am making it I figured, let me take some pictures and share the recipe with you.

I know a lot of Crohnies like soup for when they aren’t feeling well and it helps to settle a stomach and rehydrate you.  Also, I grew up hearing it called Jewish Penicillin so how bad can it be for you.  The great thing about this soup is that it is naturally Gluten Free so I don’t have to worry about that.

So, without further delay, here is my chicken soup:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Whole Chicken
  • 3 Carrots
  • 3 Stalks of Celery
  • 1 Turnip
  • 1 Parsnip
  • 1 Onion
  • Fresh Herbs
  1. Take chicken and wash it off.  But into 1/4 ers and place in large soup pot.
  2. Peel carrots and parsnip.  Place into pot.  Trim celery and turnip and add to pot.  Peel onion and slice into 1/4ers.  Add to pot.
  3. Add any fresh herbs that you like.  Some ideas are thyme, marjoram, oregano, parsley, basil and rosemary.
  4. Fill pot with water and cover.
  5. Place onto medium heat until water boils.
  6. When water boils, add 2 tsp of chicken bouillon (I use the loose instead of cubes).
  7. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for an hour.
  8. When done, turn off heat.  Remove chicken to a plate. Remove any vegetables you don’t want to serve with the soup to a bowl.  Drain any soup in the bowl with the vegetable and discard the veggies.  Drain any soup from chicken.
  9. Serve.

Now how you serve it is all up to you.  I take my chicken and back it off with some spices.  As for the soup, I make some gluten free pasta and serve the soup with that.  I keep the carrots only.  Some ideas are to add rice to the soup, chop up the chicken and add that back, or even make some matzoh balls for a traditional jewish soup.

Use a fresh clean chicken

Use a fresh clean chicken

1/4ered chicken

1/4ered chicken

Veggies...yum

Veggies…yum

Cut up veggies and chicken in pot

Cut up veggies and chicken in pot

Add Water

Add Water

Finished Soup

Finished Soup

Soup without all the veggies

Soup without all the veggies

Soup without all the veggies

Soup without all the veggies

 

Finished product with Gluten Free pasta noodles.

Finished product with Gluten Free pasta noodles.

 

Crohns & Colitis Awareness Week – Dec 1 – Dec 7 2012


Ok, I lied in my last post.  Here is another one, but this will be short and sweet.

Starting tomorrow, we celebrate Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week here in the US.   So how is everyone going to show their support.  Here is one site that explains it best .  Everyone should wear something purple this week.  You can also wear one of your “Ask Me” shirts from The Great Bowel Movement, which is what I will do as I don’t really own anything purple.  If you don’t have one, come here to buy one.

Go out, have some fun, and spread the love.  While you do that, take some pictures and send them to me.  I will post as much as I can on here for everyone to see just how great we are at advocacy.

Day 30 #NHBPM – What a Journey


Here it is.  The last day of National Health Blog Post Month.  It also means the end of another month.  Seems like just yesterday I was sitting here thinking about what to write for my first post and wondering how I was going to do 30 in 30 days.

Looking back over the month I see I have come a long way.  I used to post about once a week and sometimes less than that.  I would look at my screen and not really know what to write.  It was definitely nice to have the topics given to us for the month so I didn’t have to worry about thinking about what topic to write about.

This past month has really opened my eyes.  I have read a number of stories on other blogs and have gotten to know some fellow IBDers a little better.  I also got to meet online some new people who really have some amazing stories.  One of them, Sarah, did an interview for me which was posted 2 days ago.  Sarah has come a long way in her journey and hopefully her little trip down the road will be easier now that she has our community behind her.

Speaking of journeys, I am thinking about the posts that were written about travelling with IBD.  I touched on the subject in 2 posts and actually had a lot of people without IBD reading them.  One response I got from my post on travelling was from someone with IBD and how on his bike ride through Spain he mentioned how he had to constantly stop on the side of the road.  I have heard so many of these stories lately that it has inspired me to start to help make a change in the USA. (See yesterdays post).

Not everything was happy with the posts.  I think about how open I became with my feelings.  I let out how I am still torn up inside over the loss of my father in law.  Writing about it helped me to realize that we all carry burdens with us, even when we aren’t thinking we are.   Accepting these burdens and acknowledging them help make us stronger in the end and it helps me to be a better activist.

Being an activist.  Something I never thought I would be.  In the past year though I have had the urge to help others.  My letter to new care takers is something I wish every new parent of a child with IBD would read.  It came from the heart and experience.  I was in such a dark place and no one knew it.  I had so much going on in my head that I didn’t want to share with anyone.  Now, I put it all down here for everyone to see and it truly makes me feel better.

Living stress free and free of burdens is something we all need to strive to do.  We all need to find an outlet to release our stress and my dog definitely helps.  Little Sable is such a great dog.  I don’t know how I ever lived without one before.  She can’t take away the burdens but she makes the stress just melt away.

And all of this brings me back to the first post of this series  –  Why I write about my health.  I write to relive my burdens.  I write so I can see my problems on paper and it makes it easier to tackle them.  I write to tell my story.  But most important, I write because of you.  I write for anyone that reads these post and realizes that they are not alone.

Thank you, whoever you are, for reading and possibly sharing these posts.  I hope I have eased your mind of your problems and taken some of your burdens.  I have come a long way in 30 days and have shared so much.  In 31 days, we have a new year.  Hopefully, we can lean on each other more for support and really bring our community together.  I look forward to the day when we can come together in a large crowd, stand tall, raise our hands in the air and say ” I have IBD and I am proud of it”.

Now that the month is done, I will probably take a small break from writing.  Holidays are coming and work is busy.  Life doesn’t stop though regardless of the times and if something pops into my head, you know I will be back here.  I look forward to the upcoming year and the challenges that it brings.

Day 29 #NHBPM – “If I could accomplish one thing (anything) in 2013 it would be…”


2012 is almost done and what a roller coaster ride it was this year.  I started the year in the worst flare of my life yet and I am ending it (hopefully) completely out of a flare and feeling better than I have in years.  So now that I am feeling better, what do I want to accomplish in 2013.

Wow, so many things cross my mind, but to pick one thing….for 2013 I want to help make a difference in the lives of people with IBD.  There are a number of ways to do this, but I have one big one that I am working on and I need the help with as many people as possible.  Sadly, this one thing will be limited to just the people in the United States, but for everyone else, feel free to lend some support.

I have talked with some people about my idea.  It started when I started reading stories from fellow IBDers.  I saw a pattern emerging of people having to stop on the side of the road to poop.  I myself have experienced this problem of driving on a long road to have to bathroom in site.  I know in more rural areas it is hard to have a bathroom in the middle of nowhere.  So, I got to thinking and already contacted my state senators.  I asked if it would be possible to get port-a-potties put on the side of the interstates and thruway’s.  Of course it isn’t as simple as it sounds.  A small rest area would need to be created so no one causes traffic.  But for those roads where you can go 20 miles without a rest stop or exit, this would be great.

What I would love is for anyone in America to start emailing and contacting your state representatives.  Let’s get the ball rolling.  Now I am not sure who exactly is in charge of doing something like this and would love any feedback if anyone knows.  This is a project that I can’t do alone and would love any help.  And this would be great to accomplish within 2013.  I know it is a slim chance that it will happen within a year, but I would love to show just how vocal we can all be for something we believe in.

Day 28 #NHBPM – Interview with a community member


For today’s post, I chose to interview someone I recently met in the IBD community.  She has a great website and I wanted to help spread her word around.   I won’t spend much time talking about it.  Instead, you can read the interview and explore her sight.  So without further adieu, here is Sarah from www.myjourneywithcrohns.com)

1. What is the name of your blog and how did you come up with that name?
The name of my website is called My Journey with Crohns (
www.myjourneywithcrohns.com) and what inspired me to come up with the name
was my last visit to the hospital. I was laying in that hospital bed and
was talking to my mom about it, and I said to her “Wow this is going to be
with me forever, such a journey to go through.” And from that I came up
with the name :).

2. What/who inspired you to create your blog?
My last flare/attack, which led me to my first “real” hospital stay,
inspired me to create this website. I had wished for a place I could go to
that obtained, not only a western medicine approach to treatment but
eastern, as well as stories of others who were diagnosed with crohns,
recipes, news updates, funny stories (always good to try to laugh) and more
. I also wanted a place I felt I could connect to someone who knew what I
was going through. I also had such an urge to help others who are going
through what I was going through. My heart goes out to everyone who suffers
with it because I understand how unfair it can be and I just have so much
compassion for my Crohns Community, so if I can help in any way then I will
do it. So with that, I began this website, but with that I also discovered
so many others that share their stories and tools through their own blogs.
That is the amazing thing about Crohn’s Disease, the community behind it is
incredible. That is why I also share on my web site others who have
website/blogs of their own and have their take on their experience with
crohns and things they feel they would like to share.

3. When were you first diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and how did it
affect your life at the time?
I was diagnosed at the age of 14 but had suffered from symptoms since I was
12, after returning from a trip to Lebanon where I had got a horrible
stomach virus. If there is a connection there, who knows, but I think that
virus woke up this autoimmune disease with no off button.
In terms of it affecting my life, it definitely made being a teenager in
high school a bit more difficult. I would miss a lot of school and be asked
why I would appear to fluctuate in weight all the time. I am pretty sure
some may have thought I had issues with eating. Little did they know, but I
also never shared that I had Crohn’s Disease. I think I never shared for
two reasons. One, I was a teenager and it was tough enough dealing with the
issues that come with that, let alone to share that I had a disease that
made me poop a lot and gave me a lot of pain. Second, I didn’t really
understand what I had to begin with or how serious it was, so how can I
explain something to some when I did not even really know what I was
talking about. Back when I was diagnosed, there was still little studies
done about Crohns and it was not something ever talked about in society.

4. When was your Ah Ha moment when you decided to start speaking up about
IBD.
My Ah Ha moment was this year actually. When I got sick (again, but this
time really bad) and realized that this disease can really impact the rest
of my life if I don’t take it seriously. One of the ways for me to do that
was to open up about having it, because as crazy as it sounds, half my
family STILL had no idea that I had Crohn’s Disease till this year, 14
years after being diagnosed (let alone half my friends). I never shared
because I never thought it deserved to be shared because it was not a big
deal. I had it under control, at least I thought I did. The last 6 months I
dropped 20 pounds, going from 125 to 105, which is very noticeable and hard
to give excuses for. I became pale, lost all my energy and just wanted to
move back to LA to be near my family because I could tell something bad was
coming. I was right, I got an obstruction and I was hospitalized and at
that moment I realized, I have Crohns. Not my version of Crohns, where it
was a normal to go to the bathroom after every meal and have these mini
attacks, but CROHNS, the one that, if I don’t take seriously can really F
up the rest of my life! I hope I am explaining that right, hard to express
that eye opening moment but maybe some of you can relate to it.

5. Who are your inspirations in the IBD community and what makes them
special?
My inspirations are all my twitter friends and Facebook friends I have met
who have Crohns. That community is a combination of moms, dads, sisters,
brother, students, bloggers, teenagers and so on, who help support one
another and show compassion to those who are struggling with their Crohns.
This community has touched my heart and the work I do and hope to
accomplish, I do for them!

6. If you could meet anyone in the IBD who would it be?
I would love to be able to have a huge party with all my twitter and
Facebook friends who have Crohns, and meet them all! Sounds silly, but I
feel it would be a great party. I can not just pick one to meet!

7. What advice would you give someone who is recently diagnosed with
Crohn’s?
I would say that I know it may seem daunting and scary BUT you are not
alone and to reach out to others who have it, it helps a lot. Also know,
you will be ok. Especially during those scary/painful flares, to remind
yourself, that it will pass. I would also say that it is ok to feel all the
emotions that come with it and share it, it is important to have a good
support network that you can talk to about it. If you can not find that
support at home, you will definitely find it on twitter, Facebook and so
many other great websites that have great forums just for that.

8. Has Crohn’s Disease ever stopped you from doing something?
Only once, it stopped me this last time from continuing to work but it
became a blessing in disguise because then I would have never found the
time to create www.myjourneywithcrohns.com and this has become my heart and
love!

9. What is your biggest pet peeve about myths people believe about Crohn’s?

The most annoying thing I encounter is the common thread of people
thinking, “oh crohn’s is the pooping disease, that is why you are so
skinny.” It is the ignorance of others not knowing that it is way more then
“pooping” and that being “skinny” is not a plus from it (as it is usually
said in a way that implies, “oh that is why you are so lucky to be so
skinny.”) That is another bit of a pet peeve (going on a tangent for a
minute), because this past year, before I got sick, I was “fit”, I went to
yoga and palates every other day and was eating right. For the most part my
Crohns was under control, and the second someone found out I had Crohns, I
would always here “Oh that is why you are skinny” (in a way that sounded
like they got their answer as to why I looked the way I did and the world
made sense) and all I wanted to say was, “No, I actually work very hard to
take care of myself, this is not from Crohns. I do this to help prevent me
from getting a Crohn’s Flare.” There are two types of “skinny” with Crohn’s
in my opinion, and people do not get this. The “sick” skinny and the “fit,
I actually take care of myself” skinny. Sorry this just annoys me because I
have heard other friends with Crohns get that taken away from them, the
credit that they take care of themselves and thus may be “fit” from it.
Bottom line, people need to stop commenting on every pound you lose and
gain, especially because you never know the true story behind that person.

10. Do you think there will be a cure in your lifetime?

I hope so