Living with a chronic disease is difficult. Living with a chronic disease, working a full-time job, keeping a relationship healthy, having a time to see friends, and everything else life requires is near impossible. It’s really easy to get overwhelmed by all of your time demands, which in turn leads to more stress, which leads to flare-ups and feeling sicker. Managing your time is crucial to keep yourself healthy. Here is an example of a schedule I make with some helpful steps I’ve learned over the years of living with a chronic disease:
- Create a Schedule, and KEEP with it! – It’s easy to create a schedule, but it’s even more challenging to keep to it. I usually have a general plan created the first of each week. My general week plan usually looks like something like this:
- 6:30 AM- Wake up and get ready (breakfast, morning emails, etc)
- 8:00-4:00-PM work my day job while making sure lunch is fit somewhere in between
Usually after work I have some flexibility to get some things done of my choosing like seeing my GF, working on MEDI+SWARM, going to the gym, and getting some time to relax. I know that getting at least 8 hours of sleep is crucial to maintaining my health. That puts my bedtime at 10:30 PM, leaving me with 6.5 hours to things that I want. I can have some flexibility on the order I do these items, so instead of saying the actual time I will be doing things, I plan on how much time I can spend on doing each item, like this:
- MEDI+SWARM work- approx 1-2 hours
- Gym- approx.1 hour
- GF/Relax/Dinner- 3 hours
- Everything else- .5 hr
Granted, I unfortunately don’t see my GF everyday so that gives me extra time to do various tasks and errands. I always make sure to eat dinner somewhere in between and to have regular snacks.
Whenever I create a schedule and list the tasks I need to complete I can usually always see time I can use to get them done. I know everyone’s schedule has different demands and availability, but always try to make some time for you to de-stress and relax.
Let me know what you think about my schedule, and what you do to manage your time 😊
Using MEDI+SWARM’s machine learning to better healthcare outcomes.
One of my passions in life is helping to create MEDI+SWARM. MEDI+SWARM is a social health network that connects people with similar health conditions into communities to easily allow them to see top-rated solutions for their condition, ask questions and get real answers, and to post helpful ideas. While there are quite a few “social health networks” MEDI+SWARM is unique in that it leverages modern technology like machine learning to actually learn from users and improve their health. For example, if in a community of Crohn’s Disease and Arthritis, a user says that by eating salmon it reduces their joint pain and Crohn’s Disease symptoms, and other users agree with this, then the suggestion of eating salmon to reduce joint pain and Crohn’s Disease symptoms is analyzed by our learning machine. Our learning machine will then analyze that statement to realize and identify the components in salmon to see if there’s something known to reduce these symptoms. Bingo! The system will realize Omega 3’s and the fatty acids in salmon are known to reduce these symptoms. This information is realized back to the user and to researchers. This is just a simple example of what the learning machine can do! Just imagine the information it can learn from people who actually live with chronic disease on a day-to-day basis.
Another incredible feature we are working on is the capability of using IBM Watson Health to help answer questions asked by users. Imagine the ability to ask any and all of your health questions to IBM Watson Health, who will then reference medical journals and other information to bring you a real answer. It’s like having the power of a physician at your fingertips!
While MEDI+SWARM is still in development we hope to launch into our Beta soon. If you visit the site today you’ll notice the site isn’t quite ready yet. We are working diligently to bring MEDI+SWARM’s Beta MVP to production soon. If you have any feedback on our planned features, or something you would like to see happen, please feel free to share your feedback as it’s much appreciated.
I share two important goals as I celebrate my 25th birthday!
Welp. I’m officially in my mid-twenties now. Yesterday, July 2, was my 25th birthday which is hard for me to believe—It’s crazy looking back and seeing where I’ve been, and just how much I’ve progressed. Ten years ago, I had rampant, undiagnosed Crohn’s Disease which has changed my life forever. I’m eternally grateful I’ve been able to heal and recover and get to the point of health that I have today. Looking forward to the next ten years I have multitude of goals that I want to accomplish, but specifically two really stick out to me:
- Maintain My Current Level of Health and Continue to Heal- Ask anyone with a chronic disease, every day is a battle to maintain your health. There are so many things that could trigger a flare up or a setback. It’s so important to take care of your body and listen to it’s needs. I also want to make significant improvement the condition of my ankles. As many of you know, I have severe avascular necrosis combined with arthritis in my ankles which prevents me from running, jumping, and lifting heavy weights. I’d love to prove the doctors and everyone else wrong and make progress in my fight against avascular necrosis. One day I’d love to be able to run!
- Help Others With Their Chronic Disease Battles- I feel extraordinarily blessed in my fight against chronic disease that I’ve had the best of the best doctors and resources to help me get better. I’m aware that not everyone has had the same resources and opportunity to get better like I have. I’m working on mediswarm.com to help others dealing with chronic disease to find a support group that can actually help them get better along with finding answers to their questions, sharing ideas, and being able to see top-rated solutions. I’m always available to talk about ways of living with chronic disease and serious life hacks to make things better. If you ever want to talk, chat, IM, whatever, just let me know 😊
I know I only shared two goals, but I feel like they are so very important. If I can continue to take care of myself, then I will be able to help others in their journey even more. Here’s to the best yet to come!
Five Steps to Beat Crohn’s Disease
- You Can’t Cure Crohn’s Disease- Unfortunately, Crohn’s disease is an incurable, chronic condition which means it really can’t be “beat”. However, you can manage your Crohn’s disease and put it into remission- remission is a state with little to no symptoms and it’s almost like being cured. If anyone tries to sell you a magical supplement, holistic treatment plan, special diet plan, etc., that will cure your Crohn’s disease you should run the other way! There are substances and supplements that can help alleviate symptoms and help your body heal, but they can’t cure I’ll write another post about my experiences with different supplements like Redmond’s Clay, Chinese healing oil, and etc.
- Manage Stress- Stress is a huge exacerbator of Crohn’s disease symptoms, and it’s one of the hardest things to manage. When you start having a flare up it’s all too easy to start worrying about missing school and work. On top of that, you can start to worry about paying for your medical bills. The stress of worrying about all of these things can worsen your symptoms and make it harder to recover. You can even be in remission and extreme stress can trigger a flare up! Finding strategies to manage your stress is crucial to beating Crohn’s Disease!
- Eat Healthy- When your body is dealing with Crohn’s disease it’s imperative that your body has the proper nutrition so that you can start to heal. It’s common to be anemic and malnourished when going through a Crohn’s disease flare-up which makes it even harder for you to start to get healthy again. Each person’s body reacts differently to different foods so it’s important to track what you eat and how your body reacts. It’s common for people with Crohn’s disease to generally have adverse side effects to raw vegetables, nuts, popcorn, etc.
- Get Exercise and Plenty of Rest- Getting exercise while experiencing a flare up is one of the hardest things—your body is exhausted, you have literally zero energy, and you are weaker than ever. However, simple exercise can help stimulate healing and help you recover faster, but be extra careful not to overdo it! Too much exercise while in flare up can exacerbate your flare-up. While it’s important to get exercise, it’s just as important to get plenty of rest! Your body can only start to heal when you are have plenty of rest. Many experts recommending getting at least 8-10 hours of sleep when you have a flare up.
- Follow Your Treatment Plan- It’s more than likely that your doctor will prescribe medications to help you manage your Crohn’s Disease. I can’t stress how important it is to follow the treatment plan your doctor recommends! If you have any concerns about your medications or dosage, talk to your doctor about it! Most of the time there are answers to your concerns if you just talk to your doctor about it. Never skip doses, or take more medication than prescribed without first talking with your doctor. Don’t forget your GI doctor has at least 14 years of schooling and experience—most of the time they know what they are doing!
Follow these 5 steps and hopefully before you know it you’ll find yourself in remission!