Making You Think blends my passions of running, cycling, photography, and inspirational thoughts with the challenges of living with chronic disease (Crohn's and Diabetes). I hope you enjoy my story.
About author Mark Hanlon and “Making You Think”
Hi everyone, My name is Mark Hanlon, and welcome to are we “Making you Think”, a website dedicated to exploring my passions: living life, health (Type 2 Diabetes and Crohn’s Disease), cycling (road and mountain biking), running, technology, and their influences on the “Everyday Joe”. As someone living with invisible illness, diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2005 and diabetes in 2008, I always have something to write about.
In 2009, I started this site to give me an avenue to explore “how technology is changing the world around us.” At the time MP3 players were as popular as cellular telephones and film photography was becoming a pastime for traditionalists. Society was certainly jumping full force into the digital era. More importantly, I was curious with questions such as “how do we best utilize technology” and more importantly “how do we protect ourselves from it?” As an example, how can you ensure that the digital memories we capture daily on our phones and tablets, and the growing collection of digital family photographs are there for the next generation when an accidental delete or failure of a hard drive is inevitable?
Life with a Chronic Disease
In late 2005, after a few scary weeks of “what the hell is going on with my body”, and an even scarier two-week stint in the hospital bleeding from places we just should not bleed, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness called 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 and more importantly how we cope with the mental struggles of living with a disease, day in and day out.
Crohn’s Disease is a chronic autoimmune 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 includes abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and not surprisingly, weight loss and lack of energy.
Following another two-week visit to the hospital in 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 used making you think as an avenue to vent my frustrations with life and equally my accomplishments, and as an avenue to discuss, medications, treatments, for Crohn’s Disease. All of this helped pass the time and more importantly help focus my thoughts towards a not-so-distant remission of my Crohn’s. Today the site blends these two existences as well as an avenue to showcase a few of my favourite pictures.
For those that are curious where did my Crohn’s journey begin? Take a read of my articles, “What triggered your Crohn’s?” and Drawing a Short Straw in Life: Fighting Back against Chronic Disease hear my story.
To add to this mess, guess what? I also have Type-2 diabetes (T2D). Wait, is it Type 2, Type 1.5, Type 1, all of the above? I was diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes in 2009. In the fall of 2018, my pancreas decided to truly be a pain and now I am insulin dependant (bolus and basal) and learning what that means to life and more importantly the accountability for my health. I am active in the diabetes community and Facebook groups (Diabetes Canada; Freestyle Libre Users Canada; and others).
Be sure to check out my posts about Crohn’s Disease and Insulin-dependent Type 2 Diabetes.
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 what has influenced me into the person I am today.
A Little More About Me
My name is Mark Hanlon and I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 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 an urban planner. I have a degree in Environmental Resource Studies where I spent four years (ok, 4 1/2) with an 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), a runner who enjoys both the road and the trails competing in various 5K, 8K, 10K races, and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 1/2 Marathon as well as an active participant in the 5-Peaks (Ontario) running series, cyclist, and most importantly 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 businesses, 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 of which have been in existence for over 20 years.
In the News
Here are some news articles and other perspectives from around the internet about me:
- Beyond Type 2 (March 2021) – Staying Ready with Baqsimi
- National Post (December 15, 2020) – How a nasal spray simplifies the treatment of potentially deadly low blood sugar crisis
- iRun (June 2020) – Dads Explain Where the Road of Parenthood Has Taken Them as Runners
- The Shakeout Podcast (September 26, 2019) – How Mark Hanlon redefined his limits at the Under Armour Eastside 10K
- Canadian Running Magazine (August 2019) – How running helped Mark Hanlon take control of injury and illness
Thank you for taking the time to visit my site. I hope you decided to favourite me, and always feel free to comment, criticize, or give kudos. To send me a personal message, please use the form below or contact me through any of my social media links.
Mark is an avid photographer, Starbucks addict, motivated cyclist, struggling runner, and rocking single parent living outside of Toronto, Ontario. Living with two chronic ilnesses, Crohn’s Disease and Diabetes, life for this Transportation Planner and RPP can be an interesting mix.