More than two years after being diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), I have finally found a way to keep my IBS symptoms at bay.
I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in March 2018, i.e. 27 months ago. The mention of “ulcerative colitis” to the average layperson doesn’t usually elicit much of a reaction, presumably because they don’t know what the term means (nor do I expect them to). Therefore, I often refer to my ulcerative colitis (UC) as a “lifelong gut problem” when speaking to laypersons.
In contrast, when I tell healthcare professionals, especially medical doctors, I have UC, their reaction is very different—usually some combination of shock, empathy and concern—probably because of a presumption my UC is severe or life-threatening. By virtue of my line of work, I run into many healthcare professionals, which, in turn, means I often have to clarify any misconceptions of UC and describe how the disease actually affects me.
Although ulcerative colitis is my most serious active medical problem, and irritable bowel syndrome generally my most vexing on a day-to-day basis, the most prominent health issue I had to deal with since the start of the current local COVID-19 lockdown (aka Movement Control Order, MCO) period related to my urinary and erectile function—this certainly came from left field!
When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.
—James Whitcomb Riley (1849–1916)
Stata, a statistical software package by StataCorp, boasts an impressive suite of meta-analysis features. metan is the Stata module for fixed and random effects meta-analysis. metafunnel “plots funnel plots: graphical displays used to examine whether the results of a meta-analysis may have been affected by publication or other types of bias.” These two commands did not come with Stata 10 by default; users of this and a number of subsequent versions of Stata have to download and install these user-written meta-analysis commands themselves.