Jessica has worked in customer service for almost ten years, and strives to make everyone feel welcomed and well cared for, whether that’s in person or on the other end of the phone.
She studied Psychology at Carleton University and is half way through a Nursing Diploma. The experiences she faced in both areas of study has given her a deeper understanding of the repercussions of poor health in all areas of life, as well as the prevalence of disease in today’s world. She is passionate about both physical and mental wellbeing, and how one can so easily affect the other. Jessica grew up as a dancer, and has a special interest in photography and videography. She has worked as an assistant shooting various events, including weddings. When she’s not working, you can generally find her in the kitchen, cooking up some gluten and dairy free creations that (sometimes) turn out delicious.
Jessica’s interest in the health sector peaked after experiencing her own road bumps which lead her to find Living Science in the first place. She feels privileged to witness the health transformations of others as they too discover the benefits of a holistic approach to health.
This is my story, living with with Crohn’s Disease, and it’s been a tough one, to say the least. In the last couple years it seems as though I haven’t gotten much of a break from the throes of the beast.
BUT, after two surgeries in two years, an episode of pancreatitis, multiple abscesses, several lengthy hospital stays, NG tubes, abdominal drains, colonoscopies, CT scans, MRI’s, spending months on IV antibiotics, multiple painkiller prescriptions, trialing every diet out there, tears in doctor offices, and after living with an Ostomy for a year and a half (now reversed), I am incredibly happy to say that at present, my Crohn’s is controlled and inactive, despite being on no medication for it. Yay! Fingers crossed that it stays that while for a loooong while.
Despite things finally being on the up and up Crohn’s wise, I’ve still been hospitalized several times this year because of a complication from my last surgery at the end of October. I’ve got a tiny leak in the bowel where it was joined together after surgery that’s creating lots of problems and doesn’t seem to want to heal on its own. Last week on May 12th after 6 months of things not improving, we decided to do something drastic to allow that part of my bowel to heal. I gave up food and I’m currently living off of TPN (liquid food that’s given intravenously through a central line). I have to do this for 2-3 months (aaack!). This means, no more tasty burgers, no smoothies, no fulfilling lattes, and worst of all, no chocolate. I know. I love food more than pretty much everything, so it’s safe to say this will be up there on Jessica’s challenging times list.
It’s a daunting task but if it works, it will be so utterly worth it and the multitude of doctor appointments, picc dressing changes, IV infusions, will finally cease! Cross your fingers for me. RIP ice cream sundaes.
My twenties have been far from what I expected them to be, but I’ve also learned so much from the past years of struggle. I’ve always characterized success by finishing school and maintaining an exciting career, by checking off all the points on the “adulting” list. But now I define success so differently. I’ve learned not to sweat the small stuff. I’ve learned how to self advocate. I’ve recently learned when I need to lean on someone else, because I can’t do it all on my own. I’ve become more tender-hearted. I’ve learned how to be happy through suffering. I’ve learned humility. I’ve developed important relationships that have kept me afloat when I’ve felt like I’m drowning. I’ve learned that two years of hella bad struggle is just two years, and that is merely a blip in one’s lifetime. I’ve learned how to listen to my body, and that at the end of the day, I know my body best. That’s a big one. This disease has made me who I am today, and has lead me to some absolutely amazing people.
I’m pretty excited to walk in this year’s Gutsy Walk, with some other pretty gutsy people. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada has developed an awesome community and everyone extends a hand when one of us is down for the count.
Thank you for taking the time to read, and I appreciate any amount you can donate! Also, if you’d like to walk with us, come on out on June 4th and help us raise awareness to this vastly misunderstood disease!