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HEY YOU!

About

I’m Shawn, I’d like to consider myself somewhat of an inspiration blogger. I share pretty much anything that inspires me, in hopes of it doing the same for my readers! I talk about everything from Lifestyle and Pescetarianism, to IBD and Ostomies. I hope you enjoy your visit! If so, be sure to Subscribe for More Awesomeness.

Another big part of what I do is Advocacy

I like to empower people to be more than just patients, but partners in their own healthcare. I like to think I serve as a voice to those who may not have their own.- I work with various healthcare companies, sharing my story and opinions with the goal of improving life for the chronically ill (one small step at a time).

My story is pretty long, but to sum it up for you:

Shawntel Bethea

My mother was diagnosed with Schizophrenia when I was only a few years old. My sister and I struggled to live a semi-normal lifestyle by being raised between two homes: my mother’s (who was in-and-out of mental institutions) and my grandmother’s. – For fear of being taken away from our family, this is a secret we kept until we were of age to make legal decisions on our own. After years of symptoms, at 17-years-old I was diagnosed with my own chronic condition: Ulcerative Colitis, a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I struggled with my diagnosis greatly. On top of being ashamed and embarrassed, I spent years on steroids and even went without insurance (and medication) for a while. Around 2013/2014 my condition began to spiral out of control (again). – It was at this point that I decided to take control of my health. I spent years trying various treatments: biologics, corticosteroids, you name it. Unfortunately, I never achieved remission. To-date I have had around 6 surgeries (small and large) related to IBD, 3 of which were for my Jpouch! – Meaning I had my Colon and Rectum removed and my small intestine surgically shaped into a “J” to essentially act as a Colon. To read more about My Journey with Ulcerative Colitis and IBD, click here.

I’ve always had a passion for writing. During my Jpouch surgeries (in 2014) I started my first blog. A lot of people think that UC/IBD is all about the bathroom. – But it’s not. I wanted to show people that. I began talking about my surgeries, life with an ostomy and the pain of living with active inflammation. – But the surgeries were extremely hard on me. I stopped blogging for a while and decided to focus on myself. – After a few years, here we are again! In 2016 I started this site (formerly known as More Spoons). I love having a space to create and just share my voice and small slice on life!

Donations

All donations received go to the upkeep of Chronically Strong and advocacy work associated with it. Any contribution is greatly appreciated.

Feel free to reach out via the contact page, social media or via email at: Contact@ChronicallyStrong.com

What They're Saying

"Shawn. I see what you're doing in the IBD community. You're doing phenomenal things! Prayers for your personal journey as well as I know it can't be easy."

Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017
2017-09-08T14:16:02+00:00
"Shawn. I see what you're doing in the IBD community. You're doing phenomenal things! Prayers for your personal journey as well as I know it can't be easy." Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017

"You're the best! So glad you joined (the Patient Advisory Council of ImproveCareNow) and I hope we can get to know eachother better! Looking at your blog girl it's amazing. You're a beautiful writer and fighter."

 

Natalie B, PAC ImproveCareNow, April 29 2017
2017-09-08T14:21:19+00:00
"You're the best! So glad you joined (the Patient Advisory Council of ImproveCareNow) and I hope we can get to know eachother better! Looking at your blog girl it's amazing. You're a beautiful writer and fighter."   Natalie B, PAC ImproveCareNow, April 29 2017

"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes."

Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017
2017-09-08T14:26:29+00:00
"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes." Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017

" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."

 

Sara R, Sep. 12 2017
2017-09-12T22:05:16+00:00
" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."   Sara R, Sep. 12 2017

Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.

 

Collin, Jan. 9, 2019
2019-01-09T22:11:58+00:00
Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.   Collin, Jan. 9, 2019