That’s right, a 12/12/12 12!  Yes, I actually did this on the 12th, but between life and studying for my anatomy finals this past Monday, posting has been neglected until I stumbeld upon Mike’s 12 this morning!  Time to roll this out, finally!


7:12 am – basement. So, I’m a lefty overpronator and a neutral right? Interesting.


7:23 am – car. On my way to work. Why is December so freaking dark?


7:27 am – work. One of my favourite things is walking into work and seeing this sign. Serious Good Things.


8:05 am – work. I sincerely hope this is not counted as a dairy product.


12:46 pm – school. This is what the university looks like in December. Kind of a hazard.


2:07 PM – athletic centre. My friend Elaine and I did a pre-exam week swap–she spent some time helping me with anatomy, and I got to be her “patient” so she could assess my “upper limb injuries”.  This one made me laugh.


3:17 pm – bathroom. University bathroom graffiti entertains me. Possibly too much.


3:17 pm – bathroom. Truth!


4:03 pm – downtown. The bridge of a thousand nicknames…


6:01 pm – mongo’s. Went to dinner with my friends Jess and Tara.  This ordering dessert thing is becoming a bad habit, but look at the DELICIOUS.  Confession: I ate half the brownie and got the rest packed up, but then we ended up sitting there another hour so I ate it. Oops. I TRIED ROCKING THE MODERATION. I TRIED.


7:41 pm – kitchen. My phone died on the way to dinner. It requires charging about seventy times a day.


11:21 pm – bedroom. This is what happens when I do dishes on not my dishes day at work. And, I didn’t notice ALL DAY. I’m classy.

12 of 12 was created by Chad Darnell, check out the other 12 of 12s for December here!

you let it all go / so no, nobody knows / what’s breathing teaching me to believe? / as times goes they’ll know / that you let it all go.

so long, farewell / that’s what i said to you / bring on the stories, because i’m pulling through

you will not stay, michael jagmin

The discovery of this song a little before midnight last night is what prompted a late-night blog redesign. I’ve been meaning to do it for awhile, but that first bolded lyric grabbed me so hard and wouldn’t let me step away. In the last 24 hours, I’ve listened to You Will Not Stay sixty times. Michael Jagmin’s vocal range is absolutely incredible, and I’m often a sucker for the piano.

What’s breathing teaching me?

The important things.

There’s an unfortunate reality in living in “automatic pilot”. And if only a few times a day, it is because of breathing, because of asthma, I am forced to step back from being on autopilot and check in with myself.

It’s beyond that. I know that I need to do this in other areas of my life, too–pause and check in with how I’m feeling. Breathing is my reminder of that. Breathing . . . my heart beating . . . keeping me alive.

What’s breathing teaching me?

It’s teaching me about friendship. About loving people where they’re at. About spreading my metaphorical wings. About stepping out of my comfort zone. About movement. About hope. About really being alive.

About making each breath, each moment count for something . . . even if it is just in getting past the moment before it. To not take the moments for granted. About not being complacent in this journey.

That together . . . we will make it through this. Everything. Life.


(I’d also like to thank Mike for his feedback on the redesigning. I knew something was off and we couldn’t figure it out. After redoing the header, changing some colours, and adding the border, I’m a bit closer but still might do some tweaks over the next few days!)

In September at Medicine-X, I was blessed with the opportunity to meet many ePatients who I’d been in contact with online over the years. One of these beautiful people was Carly, a Masters of Business Administration student from Virginia.  The coolest thing about meeting people “from the internet” in person for the first time is that it already feels like you know one another, you go in for that first hug, and then you talk and hit it off like you’ve known each other forever.  Carly also provided me a ton of support, even if she didn’t know it, throughout the whole respiratory situation/prednisone ordeal, because she knows first-hand just how miserable it can be.

Carly lives with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel condition that can wreak a lot of havoc on a person’s digestive system, with treatments that can ease but not cure symptom flare-ups at the cost of a lot of side effects throughout the rest of the body.  Today, she’ll be sharing a bit of what Crohn’s is, and how you can be supportive to a friend living with IBD.



December 1 through 7 is Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the two diseases that are also referred to as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is not the same as IBD and is in fact a different condition. Combined, 1.4 million Americans suffered from these diseases, although the numbers may be much higher because in some cases it can take years for individuals to be diagnosed. Crohn’s and UC are autoimmune diseases that generally attack the digestive system, although many patients have joint pain, depression, anxiety and other symptoms as well. Crohn’s disease can affect the entire digestive tract, from mouth to rectum, while UC affects the colon only. These diseases typically involve chronic inflammation of the intestine (or other digestive area) and can be very painful. The treatments range from steroids (commonly Prednisone) to newer biologics just as Humira or Remicade. Patients may undergo surgery to remove highly inflamed parts of their digestive system, or even their entire colon. Surgery is not a “cure” though and can present its own problems, such as an ostomy, nutrition problems, or fecal incontinence. Most people with IBD are diagnosed in their teens, but children and older adults can also develop the disease. There is currently no cure for Crohn’s or UC.


Do you know someone with IBD? Here are some tips for being a supportive friend:

  • Like many other autoimmune diseases, IBD can cause fatigue and pain. Your friend may need to cancel plans, often at the last minute. Be understanding and above all, don’t take it personally. Keep inviting her to events, she’ll hang out whenever possible.
  • People with IBD may have varying dietary needs. This can be different for each person and can change depending on how active their disease is at the moment. Don’t be offended if your friend doesn’t eat something you prepare. If you are inviting them over for dinner or out to eat, take an opportunity to ask gently if they have any preferences or foods they absolutely cannot have. Don’t assume that the diet they were on a year ago is the same one they are currently on. Don’t be offended if the friend doesn’t want to do an eating-based event, they may be on a liquid diet or IV-feedings to rest their intestines.
  • Your friend with IBD is probably on medication that compromises his immune system. If you, or someone in your household is sick please let your friend know before you hang out. They may choose to wait until you are no longer contagious. It can be much harder for people on immune-suppressing medication to fight off illness like the cold or a flu and they’ve probably used up all their sick leave on IBD-stuff anyway.
  • A person with IBD is a person first. If you knew your friend before they got sick, remember they are still the same person. They may be more depressed from time to time, but they still have the same general personality and interests. If your friend can’t make it out to the movies, maybe hang out with them at home and watch Netflix. If your friend isn’t up for a visit, be sure to send emails and texts to let them know what you’ve been up to. Your friend does not want to feel left out or like a person who is only a medical specimen.


For more information about IBD check out CCFA ( and Crohnology (


Thanks Carly!

Carly is a graphic designer, student, health advocate, Medicine-X ePatient, and bunny lover. Throughout the week, she’ll be blogging about life with Crohn’s at ChroniCarly, so please check out her posts to explore more about what living with Crohn’s can really be like.  You can also find her on Twitter at @CarlyRM and @ChroniCarly.

Also, Carly . . . when are we going to Chicago? :]