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For all of you fighters out there... these diseases can't stop you! #GutItOut every day. It will be worth it. Thank you all for the support! Proud to be a part of this #ibdfamily 👊🏽

Taken while we were Recording a video for @we_are_wisdo about our journey with Crohns and Colitis and our advocacy work in the #IBD community. I couldn't of asked for a more amazing person to do this video with. Megan is more like family now and beyond thankful to have crossed paths on our journey with #IBD. #HealthEVoices17 #IBDFamily #Crohns #UC

9 months ago, when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis I thought the world I knew will not be the same anymore. There was (and still is) so many questions and things to learn. If I wanted or not I was in for a bumpy ride... Luckily my loved ones were all aboard with me to help me conquer this illness and did not allowed me to feel like the disease can define me.
I decided to join #TeamChallenge with @crohnscolitisfoundation , speak up and run a half marathon to make #IBDvisible , to be part of the support system for all those with IBD and most of all to prove that diseases can make you weak, but they cannot break you ! Thank You for all the sweet messages and sharing your stories for past 2 days. Stay strong ! 👊🏼♥️ #TCfamily #IBDwarrior #IBDfamily #colitis #invisibleillness #awarness #halfmarathon #healthyGuts

When I first got sick 6 1/2 years ago, I was so alone. I had love and support, but no one around me really knew what it was like to be sick. I was also new to all of this. I didn't even know what an ileostomy was let alone how to take care of one. 😬 I did my best to find other patients to talk to, but I only found two or three across the country. A few years later, I started using Instagram. 📷 I didn't talk much about my health problems for a long time, but I'm so glad I decided to share my story. Today, my account hit 4000 followers! ☺️💕That's 4000 people (mostly strangers) that care about how I'm doing. That's nearly the population of the town I grew up in! 👥 I receive direct messages and comments daily from people of all walks of life: a nurse that wants me to know I've opened her eyes to the receiving end of medical care, a 14 year old girl that told me I inspire her and make her feel more confident with her scars, completely healthy people that just want to learn more and people from all over the world that just want to let me know that they are pulling for me. 🌏❤️ It isn't my intention to brag about being an inspiration or to boast about the number of followers. I want to say THANK YOU and that I'm extremely humbled by all of you. I'm not sure that I believe in a god, but I believe that everything happens for a reason. I'm almost exclusively happy and optimistic, but I'm like anyone else - I'm not bulletproof. Every once in a blue moon, I'll break and wonder, "Why? Why me?" ....until I read a comment or message from one of you. If even one person feels more confident or if I can educate someone, this will all have been worth it. 😊💜 (Also, please know that I do read EVERY comment and message. I try to respond to as many as possible, but please know that I do see your comments and they matter to me - even if I don't reply.) ❤️
#spoonie #spooniefamily #IBD #IBDfamily #ulcerativecolitis #crohns #jpouch #nocolonstillrollin #chronicpain #chronicillness #invisibleillness #autoimmunedisease #jpouch #ileostomy #stoma #ostomy #surgery #girlswithguts #chronicallymotivated

How do you do the gardening when you're at high risk for skin cancer? A UV blocking shirt and a headband to cover the part in your hair. It really hurts to burn your scalp! 😎 Cover up in the sun my #IBDFamily! #IBD #skincancer #UC #Crohns

I've been away from this account for the past few weeks, so coming back to learn that this beautiful soul has left this world made my heart sink. #rememberingmartine
I had the honor of interviewing Martine on my blog 4 years ago, and I'll be making that the homepage for a while for anyone who wants to read. She gave some great words of wisdom and advice for coping with #chronicillness. She was one of the first people I connected with out here in the #ibdfamily cyber world and became a huge part of my support system. We shared a love of our furbabies, Henry and Sam, and I know Henry is truly missing his momma. She was the person who connected me to yoga to help heal my body, along with food and medicine. Martine was determined, funny, and caring. She shared her passion for cooking, love for her husband, her dog and learning with everyone out here, and was so kind. I will really miss her sweet messages of encouragement. My heart goes out to her husband and family, and I'll be keeping her in my thoughts for many years to come. For now, I'm playing some Vampire Weekend in her honor and will be snuggling my husband and dog a bit harder tonight. #restinpeace

Best weekend with the best people❤️❤️🎉🎉 #ibdfamily


Ok. Confession. I don't entirely have the confidence to flaunt my bag at the beach just yet. I admire those who do, and it's certainly on my 'ostomy bucket list' - so watch this space. But for now, I have fallen deeply and madly in love with high waisted bikinis. They make me feel a little like Audrey Hepburn...and who doesn't adore Audrey.

Hi, my name is Jess and I'm here to fight the stigma of the stoma. After surgery I struggled to accept my invisible illness as something that had now become very visible. I was frustrated and upset that life had dealt me what it had and I shy'd away from telling anyone what I'd been through...that was until I started being able to do all the things I'd once wished I could do again, and realised it had actually given me my life back. So I've come to realise that ostomies are actually kinda beautiful (in their own weird way), because they celebrate a life that could have been lost but wasn't. I've learned to embrace life as it is right now, no matter the circumstances, because it's actually our differences that strengthen us. Let's strive together to change the stigma of the stoma ♥️

Smiling because this popsicle was delicious and, more importantly, because we finally heard back from my doctor about the results from the PillCam! He said my small intestine, and more specifically my ileum, look much better than he had expected. I'm hoping this means a less extensive surgery, but regardless I'm always happy to get any kind of good news when it concerns my insides!

#lowfodmap #healthy cucumber salad! super easy recipe on my blog at: http://bit.ly/2wOfUCb, or just click on the link in my bio! .
#gethealthy #healthylifestyle #healthy #fit #fitfam #fitness #sibo #aip #autoimmune #autoimmunedisease #ibd #ibdfamily #crohnsdisease #crohnslife #crohns #weightloss #glutenfree #nutrition

You are my community. The only people who can relate to what it's like to live with chronic illness. You understand how difficult it is to plan because we never know what tomorrow brings. You get the fear and anxiety of the unknown. The inability to trust our bodies. The insecurities of scars and bags and prednisone face. You have all helped to normalize my life. To help make me feel less alone in a lonely disease. I've never met you but I love you. Thank you for following and thank you for being you. #600followers #thankyou #mypeople #mycommunity #ibdfamily #ibdsucks #uc #crohns #inflammatoryboweldisease #jpouch #autoimmunedisease #nocolonstillrollin #getyourbellyout #ibdwarrior #ibdfighter #findacure #chronicillness #chronicpain #community #invisibleillness #butyoudontlooksick

*WARNING* swiping right will show a gruesome picture of my #crohnsdisease intestinal stricture that was removed from this incision.

from the pathology report: right colon and ileum (segmental resection):
sections taken from the ileum show the presence of active chronic ileitis with fissuring ulcers extending into the wall of the ileum associated with severe acute and chronic inflammation and granulation tissue formation with pseudopolyp formation of the mucosa in between the fissuring ulcers.
sections from the previous anastomotic site show colonic mucosa with persistent active chronic inflammation which is mild and associated with formation of pseudopolyps with fibrosis of the underlying submucosa and muscularis of stricture at ileocolonic anastomotic site.

roughly 11 inches removed during this surgery which is my 2nd small bowel resection over the course of 23 years fighting this disease. the first surgery took 12 inches, so I'm now 2 feet short or almost a foot short / removed from both my small bowel and large intestines.

i have to say these last 3 days have been really really painful. i pride myself on having a high tolerance for pain. I'm crohn's strong, but I've literally cried 3 days straight. i can feel the titanium staples deep in my intestines when they're working to digest foods, and my bowels are still irregular as hell. it hurts to pee and even breathe most hours of the day. i don't recall it being this tough before, but i am twice that age now.
i started a probiotic to help rebuild my microbiome, and usually this coupled with a strict diet helps to balance my symbiosis. time will tell. I'm sure balance will take longer this time around, and patience and persistence will be my friends.
when faced with adversity, we have to be strong and courageous and fight for what it is we're trying to achieve. I'm fighting for #health, #fitness, and my #family, and I'll always fight for myself. #me
#nofilter #life #amazing #autoimmune #autoimmunedisease #crohns #crohnslife #crohnsdisease #sibo #ibd #spoonie #colitis #chronicillness #crohnsfighter #pain #uc #ibdfamily #ibdawareness #anxiety #purpleribbon #fit #fitfam #surgery #followme #motivation

Constantly dealing with fatigue is tiring to say the least (hello sleep puns). In addition to feeling exhausted and wishing I had more energy throughout the day, I've often found myself feeling guilty for constantly having to rest. Today, I had to miss one of my classes because I just felt too run down to stay on campus any longer. As I was driving home, I kept worrying that people would think I just wanted to skip class or that I was being lazy. But recently, I've been trying to remind myself that it's okay to take time just to rest. At the end of the day, my health and well being are far more important than the opinions of those who don't understand what it's like to have a chronic illness. So today, I made the decision to take some time for me and cuddle up with my kitten - and so far, it's been just what I needed. 🐱

Sam is wondering if you'll be joining him on a walk on Sunday, October 1st at #takestepslansing?? He'll be there on dad's back to help find a cure for mom. 😋💁🏼🐶 Link in profile to sign up! If you can't make it and want to donate, we really appreciate it! Let's stop this increase in people being diagnosed with #ibd and find better treatments for those who are fighting. 💪 #ulcerativecolitis #remission #remicade #inflammatoryboweldisease #takesteps #ccfa #ibdfamily #patientadvocate #findyourhappy #themighty #beinspired #chronicillnessblogger #thegoodvibetribe #hopesparker #hopewarrior #flareuphope #k9sportsack #hope #walk #dogsthathike #lovelansing

Pills! Pills! Pills! If there is one thing I could choose to never see again, I think it would be a pill bottle. As I'm sure many of you know, having an IBD and becoming and an expert pill swallower go hand in hand. My wonderful father, who has attended all of my doctors appointments for the last 16 years, has taken notes about each and every medication that I've been prescribed - and trust me folks, that is no small feat. I've decided to go through these notes and catalogue just how many different medications (pills and otherwise) I have tried since my diagnosis because honestly, I think it'll be a pretty impressive number. It may take me awhile, but I'm hoping to have a fairly detailed account of this on the blog this weekend! (Also, this cute little pill pattern was made by yours truly. 💁🏼)

love it when I'm given something that has been lovingly made @restlesstinyhands created this for me a year ago and it helps keep me motivated #running #thisgirlcan #throwbacktuesday #runningcommunity #runninggirl #crohnsrunner #crohnsfit #ibdfamily

the doctor cleared me for solid foods so i went big tonight! fried chicken skins with chili lime salt, fried chicken, greens, mac and cheese, chicken and white bean soup, and bread pudding for dessert.

will i pay for it? i have no doubt, but it was totally worth it! #winning
#love #hope #me #ibdfamily #ulcerativecolitis #chronicpain #chronicillness #invisibleillness #anxiety #autoimmunedisease #selflove #chronicallymotivated #gotguts #crohnsdisease #crohnslife #crohns #weightloss #fitfam #followme #happy #weightgain #mondaymotivation #food

I don't take breaks or pauses. It does take me time to turn out my passion projects, though, such as #AboutIBDPodcast. That's because in addition to the work I do in the #IBD space that you see, I do other editing and writing work so I can keep the lights on in my office. Today I'm editing a podcast episode, trying to bring my #IBDFamily a safe, welcoming space populated with people who understand what it's like to have #Crohns or #UC. I hope you've been listening and if you like my work, please share it with others who might like it too. That's going to help me keep going. I've learned a lot and I've had a ton of help from really smart people so I feel fortunate to be able to pursue this and see where I can take it! Link is in my bio, or search for About IBD in your favorite #podcast app. #podcastinglife

All these people came out to support IBD patients, families and walked for a cure! It's awe-inspiring! We will find a cure and we will keep fighting! #IBDfamily #crohnsandcolitisfoundation #TakeSteps #findacure #warriors

Here's a fairly accurate representation of how I feel knowing I still have one more day off before going back to school. 🙌🏻 We had about a week and a half break due to Hurricane Irma, but come Monday it's back to work! In other news, I finally got my second blog post up. So if you would like to learn a little more about my decision to pursue surgery and my experience with the PillCam, click the link in my bio!

If you've seen my insta story today you know what's up! I'm participating in an indoor spin🚴🏻‍♀️ relay in a few months. My team, Stormpoopers 💩, and I are raising money and awareness for Crohn's and ulcerative colitis cures! But I need your help. Please consider donating: link in my profile. Thank you so much! 🔗online.ccfa.org/goto/laurascavspins

WARNING: swiping will display a graphic photo of my incision the day after surgery.

as promised, here's a photo of my first steps after surgery or my first bit of exercise if you will. it was brutal getting out of bed and moving, but i did it! i think i walked maybe 30ft before i was too exhausted to continue. while I'm still recovering today almost 2 weeks later, I get winded taking a shower or using the bathroom. I never realized how difficult and core driven that all was.
the next photo will show you my incisions. if you look closely, you'll see my original scar from my first small bowel resection, and it was a fully opened surgery with bladder fistula repair. this time around, I opted for the lipriscopic version which is where they create one 4 inch incision surrounded by 3 smaller hole like incisions. recovery is roughly 4 weeks faster this way.
if you can imagine cupping your hand and pulling a phone cord through it, this is how they pulled my intestines through the larger center hole, and the smaller ones were used for navigation. when they're done, they poke it back in there like a whack-a-mole, and the pieces fall where they may! I hope it's all in the right place, and I have my first checkup in 2 days!

i just got a photo of the bad intestines that were removed, but I'm still debating if i should post that. perhaps it's too gross! anyways, I hope everyone is having a great day so far, and thank you for all the messages, dm's, and support! it means the world!
#love #hope #me #ibdfamily #ulcerativecolitis #chronicpain #chronicillness #invisibleillness #anxiety #autoimmunedisease #selflove #chronicallymotivated #gotguts #crohnsdisease #crohnslife #crohns #weightloss #fitfam #followme #happy

My Holter monitor with a cameo appearance by my ostomy - which I've named Steve. (Yes, Dr. T, I mean you.) I don't think I've talked much about this, but since the beginning of 2017 (at least), my heart rate has been increasing. I put my Apple Watch on before bed a few weeks ago so it would check my pulse while I was asleep, and my pulse jumped over 100 multiple times. 😬 I just got hooked up to this little machine and it will monitor my heart for 24 hours. Hopefully, we'll get something figured out soon! 🤞🏼 For those of you with a chronic illness, what other conditions or comorbidities do you have with it?
#spoonie #spooniefamily #tachycardia #tachy #holtermonitor #cardiology #IBD #IBDfamily #ulcerativecolitis #crohns #nocolonstillrollin #chronicpain #chronicillness #invisibleillness #autoimmunedisease #ileostomy #stoma #ostomy #girlswithguts #chronicallymotivated

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