The Foul Bowel – A Book Review


I recently finished reading The Foul Bowel: 101 Ways to Survive and Thrive with Crohn’s by John Bradley and I have to say, if you suffer from IBD, especially Crohn’s Disease, then you must read this book. 

First let me say that it took quite awhile to read this book but that is no reflection on the books part.  I usually read my Kindle going to and from work and at night I wind down by watching TV.  So I basically read this book in some spare time or before going to bed if nothing was on TV.  So it was my own fault for taking a long time to read it. 

I actually thought this book was interesting.  It is a recap of John’s journey with Crohn’s disease from his young adult life to the present.  He talks about his numerous surgeries (13 of them) and how he deals with the disease in his life.  He learned to tailor his lifestyle around his disease instead of letting his disease run his life.  He stays upbeat throughout his struggles and always looks on bright side of life (couldn’t pass on the Monty Python reference since John is British). 

What really got me about John is that even when he was near death, he focused on the good things in life.  John is inspirational to so many people.  Even though throughout his life he suffers, he manages to hold a job, find love, and live his life.  He deals with tons of incompetent doctors all the time and still doesn’t let that slow him down.

Throughout the book John gives his words of wisdom…all 101 of them.  They are his versions of how to deal and beat this disease.  They are usually right on the money and I found myself thinking…why didn’t I think of that before.    John also uses humor to liven up his story.  Without it you would look at his life and cry for all his pain but he looks at his life and chooses to laugh.  Laughter is a source of healing and it is no wonder why John has continued to beat this disease.

Check out the website , read the reviews, then order your copy.  Then go to Twitter and let John know how much you loved the book.

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Day 5 – Write a #ListOf3 Things that you’re thankful for / excited about / or inspired by


National Health Blog Post Month!

 

For today’s post I had the choice to write about a Health Activist Soapbox or this…and I think a lot of people will choose the soapbox so I am going with this one.
List of 3 things.  Oy.  Where to start.  I think of talking about 3 of one topic I will talk about one of each topic.

Topic 1 – What am I thankful for?  Very strong question and with Thanksgiving just around the corner this is on my mind.  I have gone through so much this past year and there is so much to be thankful for.  The most recent thing is that I made it through hurricane Sandy without major issues.  I can say I am still alive and in pretty good health.  I have a job in times when unemployment is high.  But my answer to this question…I am thankful for my doctor.  First..if you haven’t yet, go read my previous blog on day 3……….ok, your back.  Now you know where I am going.  I am thankful for my GI doctor.  So many patients have doctors that don’t listen and worst off don’t care.  A lot of docs just seem to go through the motions and don’t seem real invested in your health.  My doctor though is different.  He listens.  Not just to what I have to say but he listens to my advice.  He doesn’t spew advice from medical books.  Instead he bases his thoughts on current research.  Recently I wanted off Humira and wanted to try out Low Dose Naltrexone.  He had no experience with the med, knew nothing about it as a treatment for Crohn’s, yet he did his own research, listened to my concerns and decided to work with me on a solution to healing my Crohn’s.  I don’t know if the medicine will help or even if I will be able to tolerate it long-term but my doc is letting me experiment with it and he is learning at the same time.  He is great for all that he does and I can tell that if he takes the time to do research for me then he is doing it for other patients also.  And for these reasons I am very thankful to have found him.

Topic 2 – What am I excited about?  This up coming year I am excited for so much.  First, instead of walking in the Take Steps walk I want to volunteer.  I want to be able to give back some.  Also, I am not great at fund-raising so this is my way of helping out my cause.  I am excited to work at the walk and talk with others affected with IBD.  But my excitement doesn’t end there.  In 2013, for the first time, I want to volunteer my time at Camp Oasis.  This is a camp that is held for a week in the summer for kids with IBD.  Most of the staff and medical team have IBD and the kids can look up to them and see that there is hope to living a normal life.  This is the reason I became a health activist.  I grew up alone with my disease.  This year I said to myself that I didn’t want anyone to have to go through what I did.  I wanted to help people, especially the kids know that they are not alone.  What better way to do this than to talk directly with them at Camp Oasis.  I hear so many stories from people on how much fun it is working there.  I want to finally experience this joy and if all goes well..I will.  Just thinking about it now gets me excited.

Topic 3 – What has inspired you?  For me it isn’t a what but who.  Again, if you read my blogs, you probably know this answer already.  So go ahead and look back over my previous blogs.  If you don’t have time, just look at the guest post I did for WEGO Health.  All the names are there.  Sara, Kelly, Maggie, Charis, Jackie.  These were just the first batch of people to truly inspire me to speak up and do what I now do.  As time goes on, I have met other people and heard their stories.  Now I have other people inspiring me….Alyssa, Pat, Amanda, Michael, Peter, Claire, and so many others.  Now, I don’t want to put last names because I don’t know who wants their name out there..but if you run in the circles I run in, you probably know these names.

Inspiratation – Where do you find it?


Recently, I watched a video from a fellow IBDer and she was talking about seeing other people do amazing things like running races and she was at a point in her life where she couldn’t do those things because of her fight with IBD.   I wrote her a letter to help cheer her up and as I was writing it, I realized how much of an inspiration she really had been to me.   She was one of the first people I watched on YouTube when I started flaring last year.  She showed me that even though we have a chronic illness and it can affect us greatly at times….we should still live our lives.

When I wrote her, I also came to another realization.  I have never had a mentor in my life.  Whenever I had started a new job, so one ever took me under their wing.  I never really had anyone I could say that I truly looked up to.  But, she really changed my life and I always find myself looking at what she is doing and try to be a little like her or more specifically, try to be like her in helping people with IBD.  To this end, she has kind of been like a mentor to me even though she didn’t know it.

Now, she isn’t the only one that has inspired me.  There are so many people out there and if you look back over my blog, you will see who they are.  Some of them I have written about.  Others, I have included in my “Follow Friday’s”.  There are so many great people out there advocating and giving me inspiration to get on with my life.

Recently, I have been starting to flare again and I felt some depression setting in.  As usual, I started to withdraw within myself like I used to.  But then I saw that video and wrote my online friend.  I wrote her to cheer her up but it also was very therapeutic to me.  I was able to get some things off my chest.  Realizing how much of an inspiration she was in the past, helped to inspire me again.  So, I am back fighting again. 

Next week is a big part of the battle for me.  I see my GI and I will be asking him to switch my meds from Humira to LDN.  Since this isn’t a typical treatment for Crohn’s just yet, it will be a battle, but I am ready.  If I let the depression sink in, I wouldn’t be able to have the conversation with my GI and argue it effectively.   But thanks to my inspiration..I am going in guns blazing.

So, now I ask…..who are your inspiration.  I would really love to hear back from you on who inspires you.  Whether it is just to continue your fight with IBD, or someone who pushes you to blog, or helps you to get out and about with your life.  Is your inspiration a person, a group of people, or a website? 

I want to leave you with a quote I found online about inspiration:

“Inspiration is like picking up one of those blinky things in a video game that makes you invincible for a while. You can do anything, go anywhere, and you don’t have to worry about it.

Those blinky things exist in real life too. It may be a picture, or some words, or a sound, or an idea, or a mistake, or a moment. Whatever it is, pick it up and run with it. Run with it like you stole it.

You can’t bottle up inspiration. You can’t put it in a ziplock, toss it in the freezer, and fish it out later. It’s instantly perishable if you don’t eat it while it’s fresh.

Inspiration is a magical thing, a productivity multiplier, a motivator. But it won’t wait for you. Inspiration is a now thing. If it grabs you, grab it right back and put it to work.”

 

And just incase you are reading this and trying to figure out who my inspiration is…I wasn’t going to say because I don’t like to mention people’s names on here …but it is Sara from Inflamed and Untamed.