About Me

I’m Kelly Dwyer.

This blog is primarily about my journey through Crohn’s disease and how I balance my treatment and care with who I am outside of my disease. Finding my way to a definition of self that does not primarily revolve around my chronic illness is my current goal as I navigate the world of being newly diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.

My Crohn's Disease

My Crohn’s disease is primarily in my terminal ileum. Though I’d experienced gastrointestinal problems for many years, I developed a severe anal fissure in mid-2016 after the insertion of a Mirena IUD. The fissure abscessed while I was waiting and waiting to see a colorectal surgeon, and then turned into a perianal fistula. I had fistulotomy surgery in November of 2016, which was unsuccessful and lived with an unhealing surgical site and chronic infection for years. I experienced an acute flare during in June 2018 while on a vacation at the beach which put me in the ER with severe dehydration. After a colonoscopy, CT scan, MRE and lots of bloodwork, I was given a diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease. Lialda, Uceris and Entocort did not work for me, and I was started on Stelara in November of 2018, and Prednisone shortly after to manage ongoing severe symptoms. When my symptoms returned even on 45 mg of Prednisone, I was switched to Remicade at the end of December 2018, which seems to have been the drug that’s kick started my healing. I’ve still got a long way to go before I reach remission, but I’m getting there.

My Life

I’m a stay at home mom to two young kids in elementary school. They’re the biggest goof-balls of love and joy and curiosity and silliness. I’m their chauffeur, their source-of-hugs-for-bonked-knees, their homework study buddy, their ballet coach, their Tae Kwon Do practice target, their primary preparer of nutrition, their fashion consultant, their bedtime-songs-and-kisses-goodnight, all in partner with my husband. Many years ago, Dad was in a devastating accident where a car hit him while he was riding his bicycle. He broke several of his cervical vertebrae and had extensive surgeries on those and more major injuries. Though he will live with chronic pain for the rest of his life, he’s fully recovered from his injuries now, and is an avid runner, gamer, programmer, geek and all around brilliant partner and my love.

I’m also a writer in my spare time. I’m passionate about science fiction and fantasy, and have had several short stories published in anthologies and online magazines. You can read more about my writing life at DeviousDwyer.com.

Prior to having children, I lived in New York City for eight years and worked on Wall Street after graduating from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in Dramatic Literature, Theater History and the Cinema. I completed a Master’s of Education from the University of Minnesota several years later, and spent most of my professional career before children working as an Instructional Designer and Learning Technologist.

I currently live in the Washington, D.C. Metro area in a happy little lucky house that’s walking distance from school and the library, right around the corner from Gramma, just a hop skip and a jump from our sweet downtown where we watch music on the Town Green in the Summer and go sledding in the winter, in a neighborhood where kids bicycles are piled high on friend’s front lawns after school, and our neighbors ring a cow bell to call kids home for dinner. It’s a pretty swell place and a pretty amazing life…if I can just keep my shit together.

Credits and Disclaimers

Slider Photo Credit: Ablimit Ablet on Unsplash

I am NOT a doctor or medical professional. I provide links to information and research as best as I am able, but I do not endorse or validate the quality of the data or sources, unless otherwise indicated. I encourage you to take my experiences and resources suggested, and use them to open a dialogue with your medical professional to get the best care you can.