Medications
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The Misery of Prednisone Withdrawal

As of today, I’ve been more than a month off of prednisone. The withdrawal process was utterly miserable. I wish I could tell you that I found easy ways to manage the horrors and discomforts, but really, the only thing I could do was put my head down and get through it. After my first Remicade dose at the end […]

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Medications Pain Symptoms
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Non-Digestive Side Effects of Crohn’s

Having an undiagnosed chronic illness feels a little like playing Sherlock Holmes with your health. Months and years of symptoms and weirdness and issues pile up and you often don’t know what is going on until you finally get a diagnosis and everything just clicks. Hopefully. Sometimes it doesn’t, especially if you have concurrent or complicating issues or “co-morbidities” – […]

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Medications
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What to do before starting treatment: Health Checklists

Before starting Stelara, my gastroenterologist gave me the Cornerstones Health Checklist and walked me through it in the office. We made a specific plan to ensure that I had all of the major items on the list done before my first dose of Stelara. The checklist is a guide for patients that helps us know what to do before treatment […]

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Medications Pain Symptoms
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Making the Switch: From Stelara to Remicade

I was three weeks on 40 mg of prednisone before my flare symptoms returned, slowly and inconsistently, but enough that my doctor became very concerned. She’s understandably cautious about using steroids long term. When we’d first made our treatment plan, we’d discussed Stelara and Humira as two good options for biologics. But shortly after my first dose of Stelara, my […]

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Medications
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The Dreaded Prednisone: So far, so good

Steroids seem to be a fact of life for those of us with IBD. Uceris, entocort, prednisone. Enema’s, tablets or IV. They were the only line of defense against inflammation for many years before biologics and 5-ASAs came onto the market. And they’re a terrible, necessary double edged sword. The side effects, both short and long term, make some of […]

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Technology
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Apps That Make My Life Easier

I use two mobile apps daily on my iPhone that help me to track my medications, symptoms, and diet.  mySymptoms, on the App Store The mySymptoms app has been the cornerstone of data tracking for all of my Crohn’s issues for many months. I believe it is only available for iOS devices, and it’s currently $2.99 and doesn’t require a […]

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Life
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Welcome

Thanks for finding Keeping My Shit Together. I’m Kelly Dwyer, a writer, mother, and instructional designer living in the Washington, DC Metro area. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in the Summer of 2018 after suffering a severe, acute flare that put me in the ER for dehydration and severe pain and a total digestive breakdown. I’m still in the […]

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ABOUT ME

I’m Kelly Dwyer, and I have Crohn’s Disease, a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I was diagnosed in 2018 and am just starting to get a handle on the disease, my treatment options and my health overall. 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.

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