Archive for the ‘C3Life Blog’ Category

h1

C3Life Blog: Camp Oasis: Supporting one another is the most important work we can do

August 30, 2012

Earlier this month I was a cabin counselor at Camp Oasis, a summer camp for kids with inflammatory bowel disease. This is by far my favorite program offered by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, and the support these kids get is some of the greatest work the bowel disease community does.

Fundraising for research into cures and treatments is fine, and has some success here and there, but bowel disease research is a slow and labor intensive endeavor, the fruit of which is not readily available.

Read more

Keep fighting,
~Dennis

h1

C3Life Blog: Camp Oasis: A refreshing return to a familiar community

August 24, 2012

Part of my trip home this summer consisted of volunteering as a cabin counselor for a week at Camp Oasis, a summer camp for kids with inflammatory bowel disease.

This was my fourth year as a counselor. Some things were the same; some things were different. No matter what activity we were doing, or who we were with, each camp is a new experience, and it felt right to be there again.

Read more

Keep fighting,
~Dennis

h1

C3Life Blog: A journey of 2,000 miles begins with…90 miles?

August 15, 2012

At the end of July, I booked a trip back home to North Dakota. I hadn’t been home since Christmas, and was super excited to see my family and friends again. I was also volunteering as a counselor at the Camp Oasis, a summer camp sponsored by the CCFA for kids with inflammatory bowel disease.

My trip home, though, ended up being an adventure in itself! What should’ve been a relatively easy (though long) series of flights home, crossing nearly 2,000 miles of countryside, ended up being so much more.

Read more

Keep fighting,
~Dennis

h1

C3Life Blog: Be courteous when dealing with annoying people

July 28, 2012

Last week I talked about the common frustration people with inflammatory bowel disease have with those who say “You don’t look sick!” when really they feel terrible inside.

When people say stuff like this to us (or the positively framed, “You look great these days!”), we get frustrated because they don’t understand what we go through. They don’t understand how difficult a chronic illness is, or how it really affects our lives, or the great lengths we go to hide the illness and live a normal life.

We easily get frustrated when people don’t even consider that we have an invisible illness. However, how often do we treat others the same way, not believing them when they have an illness, or not even considering that the way they act, however annoying, might be related to some invisible illness that we can’t identify with?

Read more

Keep fighting,
~Dennis

h1

C3Life Blog: You don’t look sick!

July 19, 2012

It’s a phrase people with inflammatory bowel disease hear constantly. After getting diagnosed with the disease, or getting out of the hospital for a flare-up, or having a procedure done, or starting a new medicine, friends will often respond to your medical stories by saying something along the lines of, “You don’t look sick!”

Many people get upset when this. Some see it as an insult, or they see it as people casting doubt on the validity of their medical experiences.

Read more

Keep fighting,
~Dennis

h1

C3Life Blog: Enjoying life’s blessings in times of bad and good

June 21, 2012

When bad things happen, people tend to get some perspective on life. If something bad happens to somebody I know I tend to think, “My life could be much worse than it is.” When bad things happen to us, and we make it through, we are especially appreciative soon after the trial has ended.

For example, I really, really appreciated food after my second flare-up when I was in the hospital for 12 days, unable to eat for most of that time. I was on TPN for about a week, but it didn’t really help with the hunger. When I left the hospital, it didn’t matter if the food I ate was mediocre or exceptional: it all tasted like the best food I’d ever eaten.

A dear friend of mine was recently in the hospital for 39 days, and I know several others who are about to have bowel surgery. Seeing how sick some people are really makes me appreciate my health and life.

In the case of my close friend, we’re really thankful for all the blessings we have right now, especially little blessings. The trick is: how do we remain thankful for this life continually, rather than just in the bad times?

Read more

Keep fighting,
~Dennis

h1

Don’t second guess your medical history: It’s too late to change it!

June 13, 2012

Those of us who’ve had a chronic disease for many years have probably amassed a large collection of medical memories by now: numerous doctor visits; too many phone calls to schedulers, insurance companies, and billing departments; treatments involving a variety of pills, injections, and suppositories/enemas; test after test and medical procedure after medical procedure; perhaps a hospital stay or two, or emergency room visits; and maybe a surgery or three.

For those of us with a chronic illness, chances are our condition has not remained static during this time. There are ups and downs, and there are periods when our treatments work really well and periods when nothing seems to work at all.

All of this fluctuating causes an interesting reaction in some patients: second-guessing of their medical history. We look back on this medical history, and can’t help but say: I wish I would’ve done things differently!

Read more

Keep fighting,
~Dennis

h1

C3Life Blog: Where are all the male voices in the bowel disease community?

June 1, 2012

Three and a half years ago I started UCVlog.com. I had seen a handful of videos on YouTube of people who had had colectomies, and was encouraged by their stories. Wanting to help others the same way I was helped, I made my own videos and shared my story with anybody willing to listen.

Not many videos existed on YouTube back then for inflammatory bowel disease, though there were blogs of course. The few videos that were on YouTube told stories mostly from men. I was on the lookout for stories from women, which were far more infrequent.

How things have changed since then! Now there are far more women posting videos, and their blogs are much more active and interactive. So many women are blending videos, blogs, message boards, Twitter, and Facebook support groups and creating a multifaceted community for people with bowel diseases.

Read more

Keep fighting,
~Dennis

h1

C3Life Blog: Take Steps Dallas

May 25, 2012

Last weekend was the real Take Steps walk that I was excited about. Take Steps Jacksonville earlier in the month was fun, but Take Steps Dallas was even more so.

My co-host Nadia, our mutual friend Hannah, and I have been organizing our team for months. We set a goal of raising $3,500, which was significantly higher than the previous walk Nadia and I did in which we raised $1,500. As it got closer to the walk, it was looking less and less likely that we’d meet our goal.

But inflammatory bowel disease is never static, and even though all three of us were feeling pretty decent when we started the team, by the time of the walk, all of our health situations had changed.

Read more

Keep fighting,
~Dennis

h1

C3Life Blog: Surviving the heat of Take Steps Jacksonville

May 15, 2012

Last weekend I took part in the Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis walk in Jacksonville, Florida. I’ve never been to Jacksonville before, so what better time to visit than for a CCFA event? The walk was held at the University of North Florida, a very beautiful campus.

For months, I’ve been signed up for a different Take Steps walk, the one in Dallas, Texas. However, in February, I assumed leadership of the CCFA support group in my area. The support group had been in a period of decline, so this year’s goal has been to get the group running again.

Read more

Keep fighting,
~Dennis

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 150 other followers