“No challenge is insurmountable
when you put one foot after the other”
Navigating Life with Chronic Disease
In late 2005, after a scary few weeks of “what the hell is going on with my body”, and a scary two-week stint in the hospital bleeding from places we just should not bleed, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. For those that share this illness or have family members who have experienced the joys of frequent trips to the “personal space”, it is my hope this site will give you some peace knowing that you are not alone.
For those that are curious: Crohn’s Disease is a chronic auto-immune disease that effects anywhere in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, from mouth to anus, but is usually located in the lower part of the small bowel and the upper end of the colon. Inflammation within the affected area often include abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and not surprisingly, weight loss and lack of energy.
Following another two-week visit to the hospital 2010 to battle a Crohn’s flare-up, the site took a bit of a twist. As much of a sanity check for myself as it was for others, I began to use Making You Think as an avenue to vent frustrations and accomplishments, and to discuss important subjects such as medications and treatment ideas to helped me focus my thoughts towards a navigating towards a remission of my Crohn’s. As an added bonus – I also have Type-2 Diabetes to add a second ‘chronic disease’ to my mix. Today the site blends these two existences as well as an avenue to showcase a few of my favourite photographs. For those that are curious where my Crohn’s journey began? Take a read of my article, “What triggered your Crohn’s?” and hear my story.
A Photobomb of Who I am
There is the age old phrase that a picture is worth a thousand words. The same can be said for telling a story. Here is a glimpse of who I am and where I have come from.
A Little More About Me
My name is Mark and I live about an hour north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada near the shores of Lake Simcoe. If you asked anyone that thinks they know me, family members include, what I do for a living, they would reply “something computer related”, which is a half-truth, the other half is that I am a urban planner and Registered Professional Planner (RPP) specializing in roads and transit. I have an honours degree in Environmental Resource Studies from Trent University where I spent four years (ok, 4 1/2) with a academic interest in policy review and program development, however another large component of my studies included Information Systems, computer programming (Visual Basic, C/C++, and COBOL) and economics. Today I try to stretch my legs a little and constantly being schooled by my friends on life as a foodie, a passionate photographer (very rough around the edges, and humbled daily by the art), trying to make time in life to continue to run despite injuries and my body (up to a 1/2 marathon and trails), and above all else a dad to two incredible boys.
On the computer side of things, I run a small website design and publishing company (www.ithink.ca) that works with small business, not for profits, and website publishers to enhance their online presence and broaden their marketplace. In addition, I am the owner of several popular websites, some which have been in existence for over 20 years (Research Haven and Your Essay).