Are You IBDAware?

I think it’s very brave of patients to publicize their stories. It allows us to walk in their shoes, if only for a moment…

I wish every day that I could’ve dodged the genetic bullet that gave me Crohn’s, and I’m still learning how to live life this way. Some days are better than others, but I do know it has made me a more compassionate and patient person, so sometimes the bad comes with a tiny bit of good…


“Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.”  L. Frank Baum

“Artists can color the sky red because they know it’s blue. Those of us who aren’t artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we’re stupid.”  Jules Feiffer

(Photo taken 11/25/2015.)

“I have lost all respect for my family doctor and the entire medical system”

(November 20, 2015) Marian S. from Albuquerque, NM writes:
… I was referred to a pain clinic, but they refuse to return my calls when I tell them I am 80 years old and suffer constant spinal pain. I don’t know what to do next.

(5 hours ago) Someone from Salem, OR writes:
After 10 years I was recently told my pain contract was ending even though I had done absolutely nothing wrong. I have multiple sclerosis. Fibromyalgia. Brachial nerve palsy. Double failed the spinal fusion with instrumentation and screws Diabetic neuropathy. Diverticulitis. Chronic obstructive lung disease. Are used to have a good quality of life with pain management. Now I rarely come out of my bedroom because I’m in so much pain I’m secluding myself from everybody I love and care about. I wake up in pain. I go to bed in pain. I hate that the medication I need in order to survive and have good quality of life has been stripped away from me. I am a legitimate patient. My problems are real. I have lost all respect for my family doctor and the entire medical system

(6 hours ago) Someone from Bedford, IN writes:
My grandma who is 83 years old gets turned down for pain medication at the pharmacy.

My brother in law who is an active duty guardsman (staff sergeant) in the U.S. Army and a combat veteran who is DRUG TESTED repeatedly as a part of his job was given aspirin at the local ER and refused opiates when he had a bone infection in his inner ear / jaw. He was crying from the pain and the guy DOES NOT CRY – EVER.

I am on a watch list because I’ve been prescribed “too many” anxiety pills which I have been taking for years via prescription, which I only take as needed and even though I’m allowed up to 3 a day according to the RX, I only take one when things are bad and I’m having a panic attack because god forbid I run out when I really need it, like having to fly for work travel. I have a full time job in electronics as one of the posters above and I’m considered a stellar employee…

(10 hours ago) Andrew from Prescott, AZ writes:
I now have Lupus (SLE) and cancer (S3/4 Glioblastoma brain cancer) from years of physical and emotional stresses directly resulting from under-managed pain due to an accident… One of my doctors who saw the state I was in recently… teared-up and just hugged me, because he couldn’t properly medicate me for pain because the DEA had recently “laid down the law again” by threatening to take away licenses if they did not see more progress (i.e. forcing patients to use less and less medication).

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS, as I have to wait until I am dying under hospice care to be treated for pain, and I am dying due to over 12 years of under-managed pain and the horrendous stresses it placed on my mind and body. THE DEA SHOULD BE ABSOLUTELY ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES.

(1 day ago) Someone from Fort Myers, FL writes:
I have had progressive MS for years and believe me it IS painful. I have lived on Vicodin for years. It is the only thing that allowed me to work everyday and not be in horrible pain, 24/7. I had to change neurologist because mine retired. I had to to a new one who was so scared she would not even mention narcotics, so I asked her what she gave her MS patients for pain she said MS patients did not have pain, just spasms as she stood there sweating and lying. Se told me to try advil, Was she kidding?

(2 days ago) Someone from Billings, MT writes:
My brother was allowed to lay there and die of a heart attack because someone thought it was a drug overdose. The autopsy revealed NO drugs of any kind in his system. Now two children are left without a father…

(1 day ago) robert f. from Fayetteville, WV writes:
doctor,refusing to treat crontic pain.after i proved positive for cannabis ,dr.knew i had glycoma and had been using it for treatment also have chronic pain in lower back pain and he had been treating with hydrozone for 6yrs. dr.stoped treatment cold patinance have any rights.i am liveing a mizeryable life.please help.

(3 days ago) jim b. from Jacksonville, FL writes:
Can’t live in this pain much longer. It appears my death will be my only relief.

(4 days ago) George G. from Pittsburgh, PA writes:
I suffer. Then you have the nerve to say not to commit suicide? Up yours!

Reese’s Christmas ‘Tree’ Peanut Butter Cups Are A Massive Failure

Social media is abuzz with horrified and disappointed consumers who purchased a holiday version of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups advertised as being shaped like Christmas trees, rather than the traditional disc.

But a tree shape is not what they found…

Under comments:

Penny Dunn
They look exactly like the Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs they sell at Easter. Eat it and hush, it’s still candy.

Robert Crawford · Northeast Missouri State University, Kirksville, MO
Send them to me they look delicious.

Paul Koch
Let Robert try it, Robert likes everything.


If you’re seeing fewer fireflies each summer, you’re not alone. Anecdotal evidence suggests that firefly populations may be on the decline, most likely due to a combination of light pollution, pesticide use and habitat destruction. For example, according to, if a field where fireflies live is paved over, the fireflies don’t migrate to another field, they just disappear forever.

And indeed, a world without fireflies would be a very sad place. Give them a hand be ensuring that your garden is firefly friendly, for more information see: How to attract fireflies to your backyard.

Yes, it may be one of the joys of childhood, but collecting fireflies in a container can lead to accidental death — not to mention bug trauma. Instead, enjoy them as they flit about freely.

I remember catching lightning bugs when I was little… Oops!

Joke Central

Sid and Irv are business partners. They make a deal that whichever one dies first will contact the living one from the afterlife. So Irv dies. Sid doesn’t hear from him for about a year, figures there is no afterlife. Then one day he gets a call. It’s Irv. ‘So there is an afterlife! What’s it like?’ Sid asks. ‘Well, I sleep very late. I get up, have a big breakfast. Then I have sex, lots of sex. Then I go back to sleep, but I get up for lunch, have a big lunch. Have some more sex, take a nap. Huge dinner. More sex. Go to sleep and wake up the next day.’ ‘Oh, my God,’ says Sid. ‘So that’s what heaven is like?’ ‘Oh no,’ says Irv. ‘I’m not in heaven. I’m a bear in Yellowstone Park.’

It’s the World Cup Final, and a man makes his way to his seat right next to the pitch. He sits down, noticing that the seat next to him is empty. He leans over and asks his neighbour if someone will be sitting there. ‘No,’ says the neighbour. ‘The seat is empty.’ ‘This is incredible,’ said the man. ‘Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the Final and not use it?’ The neighbour says, ‘Well actually the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first World Cup Final we haven’t been to together since we got married.’ ‘Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. That’s terrible….But couldn’t you find someone else, a friend, relative or even a neighbour to take her seat?’ The man shakes his head. ‘No,’ he says. ‘They’re all at the funeral.’

A young boy enters a barber shop and the barber whispers to his customer. ‘This is the dumbest kid in the world. Watch while I prove it you.’ The barber puts a dollar bill in one hand and two quarters in the other, then calls the boy over and asks, ‘Which do you want, son?’ The boy takes the quarters and leaves. ‘What did I tell you?’ said the barber. ‘That kid never learns!’ Later, when the customer leaves, he sees the same young boy coming out of the ice cream store. ‘Hey, son! May I ask you a question? Why did you take the quarters instead of the dollar bill?’ The boy licked his cone and replied, ‘Because the day I take the dollar, the game is over!’

South African Artist Spreads Good News by Posting Funny Street Signs

If Pain Was A Color, It Would Be Red

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Red is the color of extremes. It’s the color of passionate love, seduction, violence, danger, anger, and adventure… Red is one of the top two favorite colors of all people…

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The color red can stimulate the appetite, often being used in restaurants for this purpose… Being surrounded by too much of the color red can cause us to become irritated, agitated and ultimately angry. Too little and we become cautious, manipulative and fearful…

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“Blue is the male principle, stern and spiritual. Yellow the female principle, gentle, cheerful and sensual. Red is matter, brutal and heavy and always the colour which must be fought and vanquished by the other two.”  Franz Marc

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“I came out of the womb waving red lipstick.” Rose McGowan

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“An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight… the truly wise person is colorblind.”  Albert Schweitzer

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(Photos taken 11/22/2015.)

Well, it figures…

The comment period for the proposed regulation “Definition of the Term ‘‘Fiduciary’’; Conflict of Interest Rule—Retirement Investment Advice” (RIN 1210-AB32) and proposed exemptions (ZRIN 1210-ZA25) closed on September 24, 2015. The Department no longer is accepting comments for consideration…

Department of Labor Proposes Lowering Bar for ERISA Disability Claims, Requests Public Comments

In order for the DOL to move forward with enacting the proposal, it is crucial that it receive comments from the public in support of the proposed changes. Even just a few dozen public comments could tip the scale. If there is no expression of support from the public, that will substantially decrease the likelihood of the proposal being put into place because it is a near certainty that disability carriers and representatives of employer organizations will provide comments opposing these regulations, lobbying to retain the status quo that favors them so heavily. The easiest way to provide comments is by email to Comments have to include “RIN-1210-AB39” (best placed (also) in the subject line) and the agency name, “Department of Labor.” Comments need to be submitted within 60 days. Please note that all comments will be published online without redactions; therefore, do not include any sensitive information…

Sun, Nov 29, 2015 12:03 am

Re:  Department of Labor, RIN-1210-AB39
To:  e-ORI

Dear Department of Labor,

I’m going to start by saying that I don’t have a complete understanding of the ERISA law. But ever since Unum terminated my LTD benefits (after 7 years), I’ve been trying to learn about this law. Unfortunately, everything I’ve learned has pointed to the fact that since I can’t afford an attorney to fight Unum, there’s nothing I can do.

What’s ironic is that Unum terminated my benefits because I also couldn’t afford to pay doctors to provide updated reports for Unum’s files. All perfectly legal under the contract — even though Unum could have chosen to pay for these updated reports instead of terminating my benefits. If Unum thought it could find a doctor to prove I wasn’t disabled, I’m sure it would have been glad to pay for these useless medical reports. And I’ll just point out that, as a 30-year intractable pain patient, tests like a Functional Capacity Evaluation are not beneficial or healthy for me — in fact, they’re quite painful, as well as being expensive.

All this to say that I find it sadly ironic that I’m too poor to be disabled.

I’m going to rely on the expertise of others who say these changes to the ERISA law will be good for disability claimants. But these changes won’t help me, or the thousands (millions?) of other disabled people who have been kicked to the curb by insurance companies like Unum.

Experts also say that Attorneys General should perform a market audit on the disability insurance industry, but it appears that politics and apathy for the disabled will keep that from happening. Perhaps this is something the Department of Labor can request?

If ERISA was meant to help someone like me, it has been a miserable failure. And I am miserable because of its failure. Thankfully, I’m not as miserable as those who have chosen suicide to rid themselves of both their pain and this whole process. But I think it’s important to add that I’m an advocate for right-to-die laws.

Johnna Stahl
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(Also posted at

EDIT:   The correct email address is, not .com.

Inside the Tortured Mind of the Man Who Killed American Sniper Chris Kyle

The VA records note that during a follow-up visit five days after his discharge, Routh exhibited no signs of hallucinations or delusions. It was an encouraging snapshot, but it only captured Routh’s state of mind on that particular day. The hospital evaluated Routh to see if he qualified for Mental Health Intensive Case Management, which would have provided him with a host of resources, including regular at-home visits from a caseworker. But the hospital concluded he did not meet the criteria for the service. Despite the knife incident and his history of homicidal and suicidal thoughts, he was not considered a high enough risk.

The doctor did increase the dosages of Routh’s medications, but the new prescriptions, the records state, weren’t sent out until “on or about Feb 2, 2013,” the day Routh went to the shooting range with Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield…

Nut Roll Heaven

Nuts are expensive, and with my TMJ, I’m not supposed to eat them. (I really miss nuts, especially chocolate-covered ones.) The holidays are a good reason to treat myself, so yeah, I bought some nuts. 🙂

I’d like my nut rolls to look like this:

But the great thing about nut rolls is that no matter what you do, they always taste good. 🙂

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Can you smell the yeast?

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Needs more powdered sugar.


Crumbs 🙂

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For breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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If I add too much filling before baking, it spills over, so…

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I use the leftover filling on the finished product.


I know, I know, stop playing with my food.

Now, let’s hope that Daffy the Duck (and my local squirrel) like my nut roll.

(Photos taken yesterday.)

In my search terms:

when can i purchase another box of psudoephdrine after my yearly limit is reached?

It looks like I’m not the only one having this problem. I’m guessing the answer to that question is January 1, 2016. I’m also guessing that I’ll have this same problem at the end of next year.

The other question is “where can I purchase another box?”  I thought about looking for an online Canadian pharmacy that would sell me some Claritin-D, but it just sounds like too much trouble. But if anyone knows where one might buy decongestants in some underground market, perhaps you’ll share that information in the comment section.