My Official List of Band-Aids
When you have a chronic, incurable disease, treatment is an interesting thing. A lot of people find treatments that put them in remission –– sometimes for months, sometimes for years. I haven’t found that magic drug yet, but because of that, I’ve found a hell of a lot of band-aids.
Band-aids are what I call the things that aren’t going to put me in remission –– they’re not a new biologic or a fancy new pill, but they’re the little products and behaviors I use in the meantime to make life bearable (or great, depending on how good the given band-aid is.)
So in honor of Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week, here are some of my favorite band-aids. Feel free to seek them out yourself, send them to a loved one in pain, or just add this to your list of “Things I am Buying Sam for Christmas,” since everyone clearly has a list like that.
Just imagine I'm Oprah and everything in this post is like, two thousand dollars.
David’s Tea - Detox Tea
I will swear by this tea to my grave. I think it may be intended for people with hangovers, but it calms my stomach like no other beverage available. I used to drink a ton of ginger ale in a quest to “calm my stomach,” but I think I was really just ingesting a ton of sugar. This tea is a bit pricey, like all specialty, loose-leaf teas, but I find it to be worth it because it gets me through so many terrible moments. It doesn’t have a strong taste –– it’s a green tea with some other mellow things thrown in, and it truly subsides a stomachache like nothing I’ve ever encountered.
Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salts - Eucalyptus & Spearmint
If you’ve ever done your research on Epsom salts I’m probably not telling you anything new when I say Dr. Teal’s is the best. One common extraintestinal symptom of Crohn’s (and a common symptom of many other autoimmune diseases) is joint pain. Epsom salt baths work wonders to temporarily –– remember, band-aid –– relieve that pain. They are also not the kind of bath salts that make you eat a guy’s face off. Grab a bag , a pretty smelling candle, and a playlist full of Sara Bareilles and get your relaxation on. Fancy bathtub not included if, like me, you live in a city apartment.
Microwaveable Heating Pad
I have a wide variety of heating pads. I have an electric one that I love –– it provides the most heat for the longest. But sometimes you need something more portable to soothe your aches and pains, and that’s where these little microwaveable bean bag types come in. The best part? They’re all over Etsy in cute patterns and ~relaxing~ scents. I got mine here, and it's fantastic.
When I was in the height of my latest flare, I was a blob who couldn’t do much of anything, let alone work out. That being said, if you don’t want to develop bed sores at age 24, you find a way. My way was yoga specifically for IBD, because you can find yoga for any specific purpose on YouTube. Not only is it gentle, easy movements, it also helps you gain flexibility and encourage healthy digestion. When I do it, my cats roll around on the floor next to me.
Anyone who spends a lot of time at home –– do yourself a favor and get a Hulu membership. I also have Netflix, Amazon Video, and HBO Go. There will be days where, in spite of your best intentions, you can’t do much than zombify yourself on the couch with several heating pads. On those days, you will want a way to watch Broad City and Jane the Virgin with ease.
Something that I used to think was just a joke but has actually improved my overall health immensely? Meditation. Insight Timer is a fantastic app with tens of thousands of meditations to choose from, so you can devote as much or as little time as you have. Anxious? There’s a meditation for that. Feeling a lack of confidence? There’s a meditation for that. Need help falling asleep, or waking up? There’s a meditation for that, too.