Crohn’s Disease

Remembering Cliff Burton, Metallica’s Original Bassist

by Bill Brenner September 27, 2015 Coping tools

I couldn’t let the day go by without acknowledging a grim anniversary. Twenty-nine years ago today, Metallica bassist Cliff Burton was killed when the band’s tour bus flipped over on a lonely road in Sweden. Mood music:  The band’s first three albums had a huge impact on me. In fact, Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” album helped me get through my last major attack of Crohn’s Disease. It might seem bat-shit crazy of me to intertwine these…  [Read More]

Superman Was There When I Needed Him Most

by Bill Brenner June 13, 2013 Crohn's Disease

Tonight I’m doing something I never do. I’m going to a midnight movie premier, for Man of Steel. I’m no night owl, so this ought to be an adventure. But Superman has always been important to me. It seems ridiculous, having such devotion to a fictional superhero. But to be honest, the Man of Steel came into my life at a time when I really needed a superhero, even if he was from a world…  [Read More]

Don’t Mistake Remission for a Cure

by Bill Brenner March 8, 2013 Crohn's Disease

As someone who suffered badly from Crohn’s Disease as a kid and still deals with the effects today, I find the story of Ari Meisel inspiring. The NYC resident tells Fox News that he found a way to beat the disease, which is considered incurable. Mood music: [spotify:track:5yH11HAtcLVaZ63t8HPlBR] A friend sent me the article and asked what I thought of it. The headline thrilled me: “Curing Crohn’s? Man says he found way to beat incurable disease.”…  [Read More]

My Crohn’s Disease Is Doing Push-Ups

by Bill Brenner January 31, 2013 Crohn's Disease

Recovering addicts have a saying: “My disease is doing push-ups in the parking lot.” The meaning is that you can be years into sobriety, but you’re never cured. The disease is ready to beat you down as soon as your guard slips. I’ve learned that Crohn’s Disease does the same thing. Mood music: [spotify:track:6nDqFWB9MtQ9rTjmm3gDAD] As violent and damaging as my childhood Crohn’s Disease was, I haven’t had a full-blown attack since 1986. It would be…  [Read More]

A Legal Victory for Crohn’s Sufferers

by Bill Brenner August 13, 2012 Crohn's Disease

Though Crohn’s Disease has mostly left me alone in my almost-middle age, there’s one thing it still does to me on a regular basis. It strikes me with an out-of-nowhere urge to use the bathroom. It has hit me while driving, while sitting in work meetings and while standing in the supermarket cereal aisle. Mood music: [spotify:track:264rftGXMqqN31AZiurLAX] When the urge hits, the worst thing is being in a store where the restrooms are for employees…  [Read More]

Four Tips for Prepping for a Colonoscopy

by Bill Brenner June 21, 2012 Crohn's Disease

I wasn’t going to write about going for a colonoscopy. Not because I’m embarrassed or because I’m worried about grossing you out. But because it’s been done so many times by so many other people. What could I possibly add to the discussion? Mood music, in honor of my only nutrient for the next several hours: Since most of you will have to go for a colonoscopy at some point, let me help you make…  [Read More]

For A Girl Recently Diagnosed With Crohn’s Disease

by Bill Brenner May 3, 2012 Children's issues

The daughter of close friends just found out she has Crohn’s Disease. She’s suffering a lot right now, and I know exactly what she’s going through. This post is for her. Mood music: [spotify:track:3l4L10OL1gbfypzTwjvINb] Hello, my young friend. I’m sorry that you’re hurting so much right now. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when I was around your age, and spent many weeks in the hospital between ages 8-16. It stinks. But if there’s one…  [Read More]

A Crohn’s Disease Attack, Put To Music

by Bill Brenner April 24, 2012 Coping tools

During a severe Chrohn’s Disease attack in the mid-1980s — around the time I was discovering Van Halen‘s older albums — I found one song that really personified what I was feeling. It’s the final song on the band’s debut album from 1978, which is also the year I was first attacked by this disease. As I’d spend the early-morning hours sitting on the toilet in the upstairs bathroom of 22 Lynnway, Revere, losing blood,…  [Read More]

When The Going Gets Tough, I Disconnect

by Bill Brenner April 17, 2012 Addiction

I’m leaving my weekly therapy sessions with a headache these days, because I’m working through another deeply embedded flaw in my soul. Mood music: It’s not nearly as bad as the therapy I had in 2004-2006, when I had to endlessly churn the sewage of my childhood memories in search of clues on what was wrong with me and how I got that way. Back then, I didn’t know myself very well. Now I do….  [Read More]

RIOT Guitarist Dies From Crohn’s Disease

by Bill Brenner January 26, 2012 Crohn's Disease

I’m sad to report that Mark Reale, founding guitarist of the legendary metal band RIOT, died yesterday from Crohn’s Disease complications. Mood music: Here’s the news from Blabbermouth, a heavy metal news site: Reale died yesterday (Wednesday, January 25) in a San Antonio hospital due to complications of Crohn’s disease — an ailment he had battled for most of his life. He was 56 years old. Reale had reportedly been in a coma for the past…  [Read More]