Last month I shared an update on my return to TPN, IV nutrition, due to severe weight loss, despite making huge strides in food intake and what we thought was a life beyond GP. Not only did this feel like a big, fat blow to my confidence and hope, but a physical and emotional roller coaster of once again accepting that my body does not function properly. Followed by hospital visits, procedures and once again managing daily medical intervention has been challenging to say the least. Enough to cause random panic attacks out of nowhere, fear of what might go wrong next and confusion about how to plan for the future.
Why is this happening?
How did I get here?
What can I possibly do?
I know I'm not alone with these feelings and unanswered questions. There are so many of you out there who feel the same, understandable and completely normal for anyone living with a serious, chronic digestive illness. When your body doesn't perform its basic functions of processing food how can that not be overwhelming?! Food is not only necessary for survival but is intertwined with so much of life. Eating to maintain our nutrition and energy, eating as a family or with friends as normal, social functions, eating because it's fun and delicious and satisfying. Eating because we are hungry! These are reasons we just can't easily walk away from as though we don't need the nutrients or crave the interaction, bonds, traditions, and normalcy it can bring. But how do we process a different way of being, how do we survive the stress and trauma it can all bring??
On Thursday, May 3rd, ThriveRx will be hosting a live audio broadcast to discuss these ideas. This will be our first on the topic and available as a podcast afterward. I'm excited to introduce Dr. Tiffany Taft, clinical psychologist and research assistant professor at Northwestern University, who specializes in trauma related to digestive illness. She will talk about her own experience, current research on PTSD due to inflammatory bowel disease and then dive into the title of our discussion, PTSD, Tell Me What it Means to Me. Topics include:
How to tell the difference between trauma and PTSD?
What are the signs to look at for?
In what ways does a chronic condition like being on TPN complicate things?
What are the common treatments used and where can we seek help?
How can we prevent or prepare for future trauma (knowing this may come when living with a chronic condition)?
Does social media hurt or help us on this journey?
Are there ways to better communicate with our care team to help them understand what we have been/are going through?
Anything we can do from home to help manage trauma?
At the end of our talk, there will be a 10-15 minute live Q&A so be sure to come with your questions! If you cannot make it at the time we air just register at the link below and a link to the podcast will be sent to you. I'll make sure to post this on the blog as well.
Hope to see you there!
1 p.m. ET, May 3, 2018
Do you feel anxious or overwhelmed? Join our audio broadcast us as we explore the trauma, stress, and grief that often accompany chronic disease and nutrition support. We will explore self-help techniques, when to seek help, and practices that foster resilience. Followed by a question and answer session with the speakers.