Crohn’s End: A Reflective Stream of Slow Medicine

Posted on Posted in Original Crohn's End Network

(Featured the original ”Crohn’s End” blog: Daniel’s stay in the hospital during his recovery from an emergency surgery due to a ruptured intestine)

Greetings my fellow crohnies, friends, and family,

I hope you’re having a beautiful Spring!

Crohn’s End has been taking a break. We’ve had several new members join us in the past few weeks and I want to thank them for expressing their support by creating profiles.

I think we all realize that life is a busy endeavor. At times we flow through life like a raging river with a rapid pace. At other times, life is like a quiet and gentle stream.

Crohn’s End functions as a place for me to slow down and reflect. It is not a highly active social site and probably never will be, but the social media here still serves its function as a reflective stream of slow medicine for all seek to end disease.

I’m taken aback when I hear of friends and family who have been diagnosed with diseases. The causes, components, and conditions that led to their diagnosis are not always understood. This lack of answers can often cause distress. Distress cannot stomp out disease. Slowing down and taking time to reflect is another type of medicinal approach that I’m proposing here.

When I come back to this site from time to time, I’m reminded of how both spontaneous expression and deep introspection can serve to produce one’s own slow medicine.

Slow medicine is not anything tangible. It is more of a concept. It is cultivated within yourself. My slow medicine involves this website and the insights that it offers me when I come here.

Let me explain how this site came to be and how it has helped:

If you were here from the beginning, you’ll remember how this website emerged from my confusion and desperation. Something had literally been “eating at my gut” and the unexpected flare-up brought me to the emergency room. Both the pain medication and my need for communication triggered a purge of mania that produced quite a bit of social media, as well as some good.

I captured video of my stay at the hospital. I tweeted and made connections. I had great conversations with my family and friends. My brother Todd wrote a song about the site. My sister-in-law Karen spread the word and raised money by doing a Crohn’s walk. People who I had never met before were showing up and sharing beautiful insights into this condition. I ended up being featured in a campus newspaper, with a headline, “Networking for Hope”. For a brief moment in my life I had become a micro-celebrity.

One of my cynical friends joked that he knew I enjoyed attention, but that Crohn’s End was taking it “a bit too far.” It’s funny because it was partially true. I realize that some of the content is pretty revealing, but I was doing it for a good cause. I sincerely wanted to reach people who were going through similar experiences. My goal in creating this site was to give other Crohnies, and everyone else, hope and healing.

When I come to this site, I reflect upon that goal, as well as my health.

Today, the website has gathered some dust and many profiles lay frozen in place. As we approach the one year anniversary of Crohn’s End, I plan on freshening up the site with some new content and hopefully we’ll feel a little more warmth here. I don’t expect it to be anything too grandiose, but I’d like it to help it become a thirst quenching stream of “slow medicine”.

P.S.

After Googling “slow medicine”, I found that a respected geriatrician at Dartmouth Medical School named Dr. Dennis McCullough, originally coined the term. From what I found at at this article on PBS.org, it is defined as: “trying to let nature take its course rather than aggressively fighting the ravages that sometimes accompany old age.”

I think the idea of “slow medicine” should extend beyond geriatrics and include all of us who seek to harmonize with the healthy flow of nature. I agree that slow medicine is not about fighting for a cure. It is about taking small insightful steps involving trusted doctors, ancient wisdom, self-reflection, and every-day appreciation of all of life’s magic.