My name is Suzy Burnett. I am 41 years old, married to my wonderful husband, and have three incredible kiddos. I also happen to have Crohn's disease. I was diagnosed in September of 2008, and remember it like it was yesterday because the world seemed to stop on that day. I had never even heard of this chronic condition, let alone that it would forever change my life. My gastroenterologist sent me home with pictures of my colon, a few handouts and a prescription. Even though I have a great relationship with that same GI doctor now, I left feeling so scared, sad, ill-informed, and alone.
Were you diagnosed with one of many diseases that fall under the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) umbrella years ago like me, or did your doctor recently give you the news? All the same, it's a tough reality many of us face. . Do you have a million questions? Do you need a community to connect with? Do you have a list of medications, and don't know how to keep track of them? Do you enjoy reading tips, tricks and stories from others who are just like you? If you can answer YES to any of these, Gali is your solution. Gali is a free app available to download to your iPhone or Android.
The one thing I've learned as a crohnie, is that no two stories are the same. What affects one, certainly doesn't mean the next person will have the same experience. The food we eat, the level of exercise we can tolerate, our levels of support we receive and medical care are all different. Each individual is exceptionally unique, so why not have an app that caters to that concept? What if I told you there was one place where the IBD community can ALL come together on one platform to engage in conversation, but also have a personal space to ask questions, be given individualized content based on your needs, and so much more.
The Gali app supports IBD patients in all these ways! I love all of the Gali app’s features for different reasons. Here's a sneak peek as to why.
Chat with Gali: Do you have burning questions about IBD? Ask Gali directly, and she will do the research for you. As a stay at home Mommy, my main focus is my kiddos and frankly I don't have time to do my own research. Gali is efficient, accurate and she's backed by a team of medical professionals, so you know the information is vetted.
Surveys:: Gail checks in weekly, and wants to know how you're doing and how she can help you live your best life this week. She gives you the chance to break it down into categories, and then delivers different articles to your feed based on what you shared. For example, I wanted to know more about living my best life, my emotional health, parenthood and complementary and alternative medicine. With one click, she personalized my survey, and gave me articles on CBD and drug interactions: What you need to know, Ask a GI Doc: will my kids have IBD?, 5 reasons you shouldn't ignore mental health, and the list goes on.
Daily Health Monitor: This section serves as a place to track your symptoms, which is critical for people with IBD. Symptoms are a window and clue to know when a flare is coming, so I feel this has been helpful for me because I've never actually written it down. My hope is that over time, I might be able to notice certain patterns around when I flare.
Daily Treatment Monitor: As someone with Crohn's, my medication list can fluctuate depending on the variety of symptoms I might be facing on any particular day. For example, when I was pregnant with our 3rd kiddo, things started off rather bumpy. My GI doctor put me on a medical enema every night, creams, and additional suppository to the one I had already been taking. These were all on top of the 11 other pills I was already taking. My point is, that's a lot to remember, so to have it all in one place, and ready to ramble it off to the nurse, is critical. This section is great for historical purposes as well because as you know the medication lists are ever changing, and somewhat hard to pronounce, so it's helpful to refer back to when speaking with your doctor/s.
Submit an Insight: This is one of my favorite features because I personally feel we learn the most from each other's stories, and experiences. If you have something you want to tell people, or have a question to ask, there's a whole community waiting to engage. For example, there are many manifestations due to crohn’s, and one of them is arthritis. I’ve never been officially diagnosed, but pretty certain I have it. I was able to reach out to the Gali community to ask about arthritis, and how it affects other people with IBD. In return, I was flooded with comments, support, and advice.
Community: I saved the best for last. Gali provides a safe environment for all of those with IBD. A place where you can ask questions, share stories and connect with one another. I've just begun my journey with my Gali friends, but am already so excited to explore new relationships.
Well, there you have it. Gali is a one stop shop for all things IBD. As a stay at home Mommy, my days are packed with caring for my 3 kiddos, leaving me with a small window of personal time. This app helps me stay on top of my own health, so that I can be the best version of myself for what matters most to me in life. And their names are Ryan (husband), Lucy (5), Alice (2 1/2) and Guy (8 months). If you're just starting your journey with IBD, or were diagnosed years ago like me, I encourage you to check out Gali and see how it fits into YOUR life. You can find more information at galihealth.com Trust me, you won't be disappointed. Be well, be happy and be safe.