Trickster, Dancer, Healer: Life Lessons in Chronic Medical Condition Management

I’ve checked my wireless continuous glucose monitor and adjusted the basal insulin rate on my pump accordingly for the activity level that I anticipate over the next 2 hours. I change from my running shoes into my weathered, muddy barn boots, grab the halter, a lead, a couple of treats and a dressage whip. The sky is silver-gray this morning as I approach the gate to the paddock, and the ground is wet. I call his name and he lifts his big white head and turns it to face me. The rest of him doesn’t move, just that long sinuous neck. He looks at me for a moment and then drops his head and goes back to eating hay from the flake at his feet. Knowing he will not come to me today, I open the gate and set out across the field to him, squishing through a mixture of mud, shit, weeds and straw that is wet from this morning’s rain, sinking to my ankles at every step. You can’t always have what you want when you want it, and sometimes you have to work harder for it.

The smell of barn swells up around me as I make my [...] continue the story

Hepatitis C

This video is about living with a serious, chronic illness. Hepatitis C is a viral disease of the liver which affects nearly four million Americans. There is no vaccine for it, and no definite cure. Yet, although about 10,000 people die each year from diseases associated with Hepatitis C, and others will need life-saving liver transplants, it is not an automatic death sentence. The majority of cases are not life threatening; in fact, many people who have the disease experience no symptoms.

Mike McCready’s Life with Crohn’s

As lead guitarist for Pearl Jam, Mike McCready has lived the charmed life of a rock star for a long time, or so it seemed to fans. But rock star status couldn’t change the fact that Mike was also living the life of a Crohn’s disease patient. More than once, a Crohn’s attack forced him to run off stage in the middle of a concert in a desperate search for a bathroom. In a HealthTalk interview with Rick Turner, Mike shares his good and bad moments with Crohn’s disease and offers advice, encouragement and a lot of heart to others living with Crohn’s.

Rick: You take a straight-up approach when talking about a disease that many people are ashamed of, frankly, and pretty secretive about. Why are you so out there with your Crohn’s disease?

Mike: I was not always that way. I was quite embarrassed by it and ashamed and wanted to not talk about it and hide. After years of doing that and living miserably, my wife got tired of me complaining about it, and said, “Hey, look, you should try to lend your voice to this and promote awareness. Do something positive with this experience.” And so a light went off [...] continue the story