#WorldIBDDay: My Experience With Crohn’s

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Today is #WorldIBDDay. I’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease since 2002, though I’ve probably had it a couple years longer than that.  Despite periods of pain, running to the bathroom, diarrhea, long trips to the toilet, and what sometimes feels like very unproductive days because I’m in and out of my office chair, I consider myself pretty lucky. My case is quite mild compared to some people I know. I haven’t had to have surgery (yet), hospital visits for it other than for blood work and when my doctor was based in a hospital, or needed to have ostomy appliances installed. I’ve had to work from home more often than the average employee (thanks for your understanding, TicketNetwork!) and there have been times where, well, the bathroom just wasn’t quite close enough, but not anything worse than that. Not anything physically, anyway.

I don’t say this to put up a “strong soldier” face, I just know that others have it worse than me. Actually, there are some things I’ve long sought to change in my case. The worst thing for me in all of this hasn’t been the physical damage to my GI tract, or the constant bathroom usage, but the psychological cost. I’ve always tried to not let the disease get in the way of me doing things and going places, but sometimes I’ve caved in and let it. I’ve had to cancel appointments and decline invitations, and have closed myself off to simple things like a good walk, all because I feared I wouldn’t be close enough to a bathroom when it came time to go, if only because there’s nothing worse than having to gingerly make your way back to the dorm/apartment/condo.

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A Revelation on Breaking Into a Conversation

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Social CircleI’m sure this is nothing new for most people, but I had an experience the other day that was completely mind-blowing and gave me a bit of a social development lesson.

For a little background, anybody who knows me even a little bit knows I’m not one to talk much, and those who know me a little better know that I’m never exactly the life of the few parties I attend.  This is not uncommon for introverts like me, but I find it particularly hard to initiate conversations and usually only contribute to existing ones if I really have something to say.  Among other problems, this has led to some uncomfortable situations on my part when I’m with large groups of people, where I’m not entirely sure how to fit myself into a group’s conversation.

Friday afternoon was one of those times.  I was at a little going away party for a co-worker, who is leaving the company I work at for another job. Everything started out pretty well. Though I didn’t have much to contribute to any particular conversation, I was at least part of a group. By the time I finished my cake, everyone has gathered into the several little circles you often see at a party. I briefly left to throw away my plate, but when I came back there was no circle with a big enough gap to fit me.

I was a little worried, as this has happened to me many times before.  It’s something that usually leaves me sort of awkwardly standing there, alone, and I hate that.  Not sure what to do, I decided to stand a bit outside one group, in hopes of at least catching a glimpse of what they were discussing.  I forget exactly what it was that prompted me to speak, but I finally had something to say, so I did.  The co-worker came over to address me, and lo-and-behold, I was suddenly part of the circle.  I was kind of astonished at the turn of events.

So, to all introverts out there. You know how all the literature describes us as good listeners? Well, put that skill to good use and jump in at the first available opportunity. You’ll be rewarded for it.

 

A Quick Thought on Crohn’s

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Normally, I don’t complain about my condition. As for as Crohn’s cases go, I have a pretty mild one. I’ve never been to the hospital for it, except when I was diagnosed. Never needed medicine via infusion. Never needed surgery (and hopefully never will). Any pain is bearable and the gas, though while a nuisance, has pretty much become part of everyday life. I have to work from home every once in a while because of it, but that’s no big deal. So in my case, things are pretty good.

But you know what really sucks about it? Bathroom trips. Today I took, count ’em, five. Five. Makes it really hard to do anything when you’re in the bathroom for a total of a couple hours a day every now and then.

You know what I’d like someday? To not have to make five bathroom trips within a normal day, and three within an hour and a half of each other.

That’d be really nice.

 

Fighting a Cold the Right Way

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So I’ve had a cold going on more than two weeks now.  This is nothing new to me.  As a sufferer of Crohn’s Disease, taking the immosuppresent Imuran to combat it, I’ve grown to accept that whatever I get is typically a magnitude worse than most people and lasts longer as well.  Yet, about two weeks seems to typify my colds.

This apparently either isn’t a typically cold, or I’m doing something wrong.  That’s because it took a turn for the worse yesterday and around noon today I woke up sweating under my covers, and then shaking as if I had been outside for an hour when I went to the kitchen to take my medicine.  So the problem could be a mix of both severity and improper treatment, but the fact that I haven’t been perfect in treating this could say a lot.

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Jobified 2

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I’m starting a job tomorrow, and realized yesterday that I don’t know who I’m reporting to first.  Guess the old standby will do and report to my direct supervisor!

That is all!

 

Jobified

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Well, good news has arrived.  I have been offered a job and have accepted it.

About a month ago, I was contacted by the CEO of TicketNetwork, a maker of software for secondary market ticket sellers that’s based in Vernon.  He was looking for a video editor.

Well, fast forward a month and I have a job!  All in all, roughly three months isn’t a bad amount of time to wait.  Sure, it would have been nice to have one right out of school, but it wasn’t like I wasn’t doing anything in the mean time.  Between helping my parents at their store, and moving said store (see this category for more), it’s been a busy almost three months so far.

So, I’m happy that I finally have a job, and one that’s doing work in the field I studied for seven years.  I look forward to starting on Monday!

 

The Sick Middlefield Brother and Sister

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If you get the Courant, it’d today’s top story.  If not, the story is also here.  Basic premise is that a brother and sister from Middlefield left their dead mother’s body to rot in their Middlefield home for eight years, and visited her body bi-yearly for the entire time.  I might have normally written about it, anyway, since its a crazy story in itself, except that there’s a personal component to it.

In December 2005, Diane and John Simmeck Jr., the brother and sister, were portraying themselves as poor and homeless to the congregation of the Church of the Nazarene in Keene, NH.  The family (bro, sis, and mother while still alived) had lived in NH for a few years after the mother divorced her the kid’s father in 1996, so there was a residence connection in NH.

Well, my father’s aunt and uncle (my great-aunt and uncle), the good people that they are, hosted the brother and sister in their home for a year.  My dad’s aunt and uncle are pretty poor themselves, so they essentially ended up being used by the two.  In December 2006, the Simmeck siblings got kicked out of the house because John stole some tools and gutted the house to the point it was structurally unsound.

I knew all about that part of the story, since my family learned about it at Christmas that month.  But nobody knew everything, apparently.

Truth really is sometimes stranger than fiction.

 

Writing at Poligazette

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I’ve had Poligazette [ed: removed dead link] in my blogroll (right ->) for a while, and they’ve become one of my favorite blogs.  Now I have even better news!  I have been accepted as a writer at the site.  What does this mean for Dymersion?

Not much.  It’s easy for me to say this since I’ve always set a one-post-a-day goal here.  If I’d been posting more regularly, it’d be a problem.  But, with one a day, that makes it easy to post some entries here, and some there.

Not to say things won’t change in the future.  But, for now, Dymersion is here to stay, content and all.  So, take a look at Poligazette.  It’s a great blog with writers who have a diverse range of viewpoints on politics.

Now, off to make a film!

 

Graduation Redux

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Well now that I’ve officially become an alum of ECSU, I suppose it’s time to briefly describe my actual graduation.

I say briefly because, to be honest, it won’t be the most memorable day of my life.

First, I only got three hours of sleep, so the entire day is one big blur that I can’t remember well.

Then, the actual graduation was laden with audio issues! The initial speakers made the person’s voice sound like an alien, and the replacement ones brought up (my old department to the rescue!) were better, but kept getting this pulse sound through them for the rest of the event.

So, a graduation with long gaps in people talking, audio issues, and little sleep combined to be kind of sucky.

The speakers were good, though, and that beach ball was a laugh, if a little disrespectful at times. I thought it worked to break up the long wait on the speaker replacements, but not so much when the speakers were talking!

Oh well. There will be other events to remember.

 

Graduation

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I’ll post more about it later, but damn, it’s something to have gotten to this day. I’m so excited, I can’t get back to sleep!

Blast!

I’m trying for a few more minutes…

More later, and probably pictures, too.

 

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