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Showing posts from 2010

The Last Day of 2010

This time of year I always spend reflecting over what has happened over the last 365 days. 2010 has been a good year. I started it with a new sense of well-being and have continued that attitude even with a few setbacks. I can honestly say, this has been a blessed year in so many ways.

In January of 2010, I made a goal to focus on my health, become stronger and incorporate fitness and healthy eating as a daily habit. I have pretty much stayed true to that goal too! 
In February I went to a fitness camp--Rancho Cortez--outside of San Antonio, Texas. I learned so much and pushed myself harder than I have in a long time! I realized I am capable of a lot more than what I thought. I over came many obstacles, physically and mentally. It was a HUGE challenge to my mindset. I hadn't realized that I put limits on myself physically that were very, very low. The first day at the ranch completely blew those out of the water! I came home more sure of myself and ready to take on physical fitness …

So Much To Say...

I can't believe I've gone this long with out blogging! No wonder I have all these thoughts running around in my brain. I haven't used my usual outlet!
Well, Christmas is here marking the near end of December as well as the year. 2010 has really flown by with the exception of December. It's been a very rough month for me. I had double ear infections and sinus crud hanging around for the first week of December which meant a round of antibiotics. UC and antibiotics are not friends. I think I took a whole bottle of probiotics this month alone trying to counter act what the Cipro would do to my gut while it killed the ear and sinus infections. Luckily the antibiotic only caused some minor irritation so I feel very fortunate. Before Remicade, a round of antibiotics would leave me in the hospital for a week with severe cramps and internal bleeding from the UC. I am so thankful Remicade has made such a huge difference in my life as well as my family's. The saying "If …

Is there anything a glass of wine cannot fix?

I've just finished a very long day on about 4 hours of sleep. I do not function well on 4 hours of sleep. At this point I'm not sure I even know my name...

The house is still a wreck and a lot, I mean A LOT, has to be done tomorrow morning before my amazing, wonderful, awesome housekeeper comes. But I am done, well done and probably crispy on the edges.

I've been fighting double ear infections since Thanksgiving and this darn cold wind is not helping! I spent last Friday in the ER of the Childress, Texas hospital. Black Friday for sure! The doc there listened patiently as I explained how many antibiotics I am allergic to or just can't tolerate due to the Ulcerative Colitis. He then gave me a steroid shot (hence the little sleep still) a round of antibiotics and some ear drops. Let me just say--I had forgotten how miserable earaches are! I have new sympathy for babies who can't tell you their ears hurt. Now, my biggest issue is taking care of my gut and praying the an…

What? What do you mean it's almost December?

Can you believe it? We are staring December right in the face! Geez, where does the time go? This fall has gone by at record speed! I have so much left to do on my 2010 To Do List! Of course, some of it is left over from 2009 and probably some of 2008 if I'm honest.

Thanksgiving went off without a hitch. We had a great time in  the hill country of Texas. We walked in the Turkey Trot--just the 1 mile--then made absolute pigs of ourselves during the Thanksgiving meal at my in-laws. I can honestly say a good time was had by all.

I am a little disappointed since I didn't run the Turkey Trot 5K like I wanted. I am happy that I felt good enough to get out there and do the 1 mile without breaking a sweat. I will not give up on my aspirations to do a 5K sometime. Maybe a spring or summer one will be a better fit for training with my joints. This fall has been rough.

Sunday, November 28th our oldest son turned 16! Crazzzzy! I remember being 16...
Anyway, sometime this week he will take…

There is more than what we see...

Getting ready to head to Austin for the Thanksgiving holiday requires a team and I seem to be the only one on the team right now. The day we leave the team will become 4 but until then it's just me. This is the only thing about leaving town that I dread. I want to leave the house in decent order because when we come back, everyone will be tired and the laundry will be HUGE and we will  be tired. The other thing is that with this stupid UC, my energy is zapped easily. Traveling really does a number on me too. No matter how much I try to prepare, it's still hard. And FRUSTRATING! But anyway-- I'm  in the middle of laundry and the usual maintenance when I decide to pull out the Christmas decor... yep, bad idea. I have just added 3x the work to do within the next 2 days. Brilliant. Sometimes I forget that my energy is limited. Oh well, I'll just do what I can because I'm sure it will still be here waiting for me when we get back. 


Today at church I was reminded that the…

intersting day...

Today has been a great day as far as feeling good. I skipped my usual cup(s) of coffee today. Unfortunately, I think this has contributed to my having a good day. I love my morning coffee. I could easily drink a whole pot all by myself. I decided to skip coffee today after noticing that on Sunday after drinking 2 cups I had to lay down and take an hour and a half nap! Who does that?? I thought coffee would have the opposite effect! So, weird as that is, I think coffee may contribute to my feeling bad. :( Maybe it's the acid? I don't know, but today I had more energy and my body did not ache like it has been. I shall try this again tomorrow...

Also, tomorrow I will start seriously training for that 5k on Thanksgiving day. I'm a little nervous as I really want to complete this thing. I know to most people running 3 miles doesn't seem like much of a challenge but when you struggle with an autoimmune disease, every single day can be a challenge. There are days I have a har…

Yeee Haaaaww!!!! So glad it's Friday!

Man, this has been a heck of a week! Most of it was spent in bed due to major hip pain. Went to doctor on Wednesday and she said the hip pain is Bursitis. Evidently, there is a little sack called "bursa" on the side of your hip next to the bone and when it is enflamed and filled with fluid it hurts like HELL! Just to wear jeans was excruciating! So, she whipped out a steroid injection with a very long needle and proceeded to stick it dead center in the sorest part of my hip to inject that little "bursa" sack. Thankfully she numbed the area first with a spray that freezes the skin, but I was still pretty sore all of Wednesday and Thursday. Today is the first day I have felt decent in a couple of weeks.  I even worked out with Killer today.

Now, the kids are busy enjoying their Friday night and I'm ready to do the same. Part of me wants to go paint the town red after being in bed all week but instead I'll be playing catch up with the laundry...
I did open a b…

Moving on...

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We are officially 27 days from Erik turning 16! So many emotions. I am always excited for that next new step in my kids' lives and this one is no different. I love seeing my children grow and bloom into who they are apart from us. It's an amazing process and I am so grateful to be a part of it.

Preparing for Erik to drive means I must grow a little too. 6 years ago I test drove a little white Mustang convertible and kept her. This was a rebound car for me. Not for the reasons you may think, though. "Mustang Sally" became my theme song, as I soaked up the sun in my little white stallion, wind whipping through my hair.

Mustang fever was brought on by a couple of life changing events that happened in 2004

A very close friend was told her breast cancer was back and she needed a miracle in early 2004.  We (her friends and family) watched her deteriorate as the disease consumed her shortly after her 40th birthday. She lost her battle in August of 2004 but is now forever he…

What a day!

WOW! Today was CRAZY!!!
Erik was up most of the night with major stomach issues but slept in and awoke feeling good enough to go to school at noon. By 2pm he was calling and asking to come home, complaining of right sided abdominal pain. Of course, that shook me so I picked him up and headed straight to the dr, AGAIN!
Thankfully, after a lengthy exam, belly xray, urine test and blood draw, appendicitis was ruled out. Let me tell ya, I thought for sure we would be in the waiting room of the surgical unit of the hospital tonight! So, so, so glad it's not so! After all this, it is decided Erik is just dealing with the symptoms of taking antibiotics for 4 weeks. This we can handle. I can't stand to see my babies hurt.
Tonight we went to Tascosa Tennis Center to watch Nina Lemar and Alex O'Brien in an exhibition match. Great fun! Shannon got to run around and hit a few balls with them too. The match was a fundraiser for Nina as she is trying to go pro. She has true talent and w…

It's been a while...

Forgive me fellow bloggers, for it's been a while since my last entry. 
The last month has been nuts around here. Our oldest son has been sick going on 4 weeks now. He has missed more school this month than he did in the last 2 years total! He actually likes going to school and hates to miss--not a trait from his mother who often faked to stay home... Anyway, the poor kid has had 3 rounds of antibiotics and a booger of a shot for this upper respiratory crud that turned into bronchitis and now he has a thrush infection in his mouth and throat from all the antibiotics. :(  This makes us so very sad! I just hate it, and have been a little worried about him having so many antibiotics but what else could we do? With my UC issue, I try to steer clear of antibiotics as much as possible and I am leery of giving them to the boys for every cough and sniffle. Sometimes though, you have to take them. I just hate that Erik has thrush now. I've been giving him probiotics the whole time too, …

Gut Rumbles & Liquid Diets

Wednesday I had had enough. For some reason, my gut rumbled nonstop all day. (I wish I could speak gut rumble then I'd know what to do) During my workout Wednesday afternoon, my tummy started to cramp. My trainer was showing me how to use a certain machine when he looked over at me and saw that I was crouching on the floor holding my stomach. It was such a strong cramp that I couldn't really talk through it. (Flashbacks of labor.) It let up pretty quickly and I resumed my workout but it wore me out. I ended up cutting my workout short.

This frustrates me on so many levels! For one, I am trying to get ready to do a 5K on Thanksgiving day. I spent the better part of Sunday through Tuesday in major joint pain. I lived on pain killers for 3 days straight and spent a lot of time in bed. Some training, huh. I really want to accomplish this goal. Surely, I can do this. Even if I have to walk it, I will do it.

So by Wednesday night I decided I wouldn't eat solid food, I would just…

J-Pouch

Seriously seeking more knowledge on the J-pouch. This surgery is an actual cure for UC. It's a HUGE step, not an easy one either, so that's why I'm investigating the option.
I've visited with my colon doc a little. I've read all about it on the internet. What I really want to know is what it's like personally. I would love to visit with or hear from anyone who has the J-Pouch...
I am curious where the best place to go for the procedure is. I'm thinking the closest place to where I am is probably Dallas. Where did you have it done? Or someone you know?
I would love to hear both the pros and the cons. I want to know how it has changed your life, what you like about it, hate about it. I need to know how many surgeries it took, how you felt, what you needed during that time. Tell me everything--the good, the bad and the ugly.

UHG!

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For the last 2 days I have done only what was necessary. I got up took kids to school, went back to bed, got up picked up kids, went back to bed, got up made dinner went back to bed. I bet I slept approximately 26-27 hours between Tuesday and Wednesday. This is so frustrating! Tuesday was a pain filled day and yesterday I was just exhausted from the stinking pain of Tuesday. I even got up and went to my scheduled work out yesterday afternoon hoping it would help. Nope. Instead, I came home and promptly went to bed.
Frustration level at it's highest right now.
http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4441007.aspx
I'm doing a workbook called "The Pain Survival Guide" right now. I've just finished the first lesson and although it was very insightful, I had to recount my pain history into a journal as an exercise of the 1st chapter. I was surprised at how emotional this was for me. Of the anger and sadness that surfaced during this exercise. I must have been holding a lot of this…

PINK month!

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October 1st signifies the start of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Unfortunately, breast cancer is something most of us are very familiar with. It seems like every time I turn around someone I know is battling this horrible killer disease. I hate it. Thankfully great strides are being made in the realm of treating it and the odds of surviving are much higher, especially with early detection.

I had a very dear friend pass away from breast cancer in 2004. She was a daughter, sister, wife and mother. Her absence is still felt to this day. She was a remarkable woman and when she died at 40 she had left quite a mark on this world. I loved her for her sense of humor and her amazing God-given wisdom. She fought this stupid cancer for 13 long years, never giving up on God's ability to heal her. When diagnosed at the age of 27, she knew she needed to live. She had a family to care for, kids to raise and husband to love. She should never have survived past the first year. It was a long and h…

Tweeting Twitterer and other things...

Call me slow...
I've had a twitter account for quite sometime now but until lately, I haven't used it. I a m now a tweeting twitterer! It's kinda fun and I'm finding others to follow that peak my interests. Took me a while to get the hang of it though.
So do you twitter? If so, who do you follow?
My following list consists of friends, UC organizations, health and women's interests, local and national news, as well as prophetic people of God. I've come across some helpful hints too. I find I can learn new things and be pretty entertained for some time.
Follow me @monnieab
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* About my last post, running the Turkey Trot 5K in Austin, I've got to collect some sponsor money for the cause.  If you'd be interested in helping out, please click the link below to donate. I really appreciate it! I actually hate asking for money but sometimes it has to be done. So here I am--asking.  http://thundercloud.com/index.php/beneficiary?kwoAdv…

Austin, TX Turkey Trot

I did it! I registered for my first ever 5K! To say that I am nervous--understatement! I am even reluctant to put it out there that I've signed up... NOW I'M ACCOUNTABLE!

http://thundercloud.com/index.php/trot-home

So now I'm getting serious about training. Told Killer, my trainer, today and he was pumped! Made me even more nervous! But I can do this, right!?!?!

Been doing a lot of soul searching over the last couple of weeks; I've come to the conclusion that my mind is more than half the battle when it comes to physical activity. I am so ready to be past this self doubt that I seem to hang on too. Why is it so hard to put this behind me?

I do still have chronic pain issues and working out seems to magnify some of them right now. I'm hoping the more weight I loose and the better shape I get into, things will settle down. I ordered a book today on living with chronic pain. I'm hoping this will give me some helpful tips as well as insight to deal with it.
http://ww…

Happy Vista makes me smile...

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Yesterday, I spent the afternoon at our ranch, Happy Vista, located on part of the Palo Duro Canyon called Happy Canyon. I am always amazed by it's beauty and vastness. Is that even a word, vastness? This place justifies making up new words to describe it.

Shannon is in the process of laying a water line through out in order to water cattle and supply our camper and one day, a barn-house. It's hard work in the heat of September, not to mention dirty! He hired a ditcher to ditch the ground and then we follow up by laying 2 inch x 20 foot PVC pipe, gluing it together and dropping it in the ditch. I can't tell you how many miles Shannon has done with the help of my dad and a friend, but it is a lot! I laid about 1,200 feet myself. Let me tell ya--my arms are so sore! those stinking pipes are heavier than you'd think!

I really enjoyed the work though. There's something about being outdoors with your hands in the earth that really connects you to the land. I cannot even i…

Epiphanies...

I am no good on my own...
I desperately need God.

Had an epiphany this weekend. I am a bit embarrassed by it too. Seems I've been trying to live life with out the help of my Creator. Very hard, wouldn't suggest it. I just thought I'd give it a go with my own wisdom, I know better than this.

It doesn't take long for things to spiral out of control. Probably because I never really had control in the first place. Geez, these are the hardest lessons to learn.
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Heard a message by Graham Cooke, a prophetic man of God, the other day. He was talking about struggling with illness and he said something that stuck with me.

"I am a whole (wo)man fighting sickness,  not a sick (wo)man trying to get well." 
Wow! This has become my new mantra! I have to keep reminding myself that God is bigger than UC. I am not UC, I am a person who is struggling with UC. UC does not own me.

Sometimes, I think physi…

The Simple Life

Where did our childlike wonder go? I was watching a toddler study the wheels on the grocery cart today as his mother pushed  it down the isle. He was completely taken with the whole workings of this wheel. I couldn't help but smile. He was so intent on those wheels and every time the mom would roll the cart forward his head would bob up and down until the wheel came to a stop. As I got closer, I saw that the wheel had a sticker or some piece of paper stuck to it and as the wheel turned the boy followed that paper with his whole head. He was oblivious to everyone and everything around him. His mother was oblivious to his infatuation with the wheel, she was probably just happy that he wasn't running wild or throwing a fit. 
While watching this little guy, I began to feel a little bit of a loss. When did we start taking life for granted? Kids are always amazed and amused by the slightest things. As adults, we seem to become immune to the little things that make life fun and intere…

To Do or Not To Do...

Scope is done and results are in: Remicade 1, UC 0. Remicade is definitely earning it's keep at 5 grand every 6 weeks. Thank God for insurance. Let's hope that any health care reforms don't screw this up for me...

As I write this, I am sitting in my favorite spot drinking coffee. I love to have this time every morning after kids go to school and hubby goes to work. I need it to get ready for the day. A little one on one with my Creator and a chance to reflect on my goals and prepare for the day.

Since I lost the first 2 weeks of school to feeling bad, I have a lot to do during this short week. I am also starting week 2 of my new medicine changes. I can already tell a difference. It looks like my UC wasn't flaring after all, but my meds obviously needed some adjusting. I am feeling less overwhelmed and sleeping much better at night too. My body aches are still there but the leg and foot cramps seem to be lessening.  In fact, my doc said that if he hadn't known my hi…

Awaiting the scope...

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It's Tuesday evening and I have just finished eating dinner. I will not be eating dinner tomorrow, instead I will be chugging down Magnesium Citrate Oral Solution, effervescent saline laxative. Don't you wish you could trade places with me! Which means I will then spend countless hours in the bathroom "evacuating" all waste from my intestinal tract. Then the next morning--get ready-- I will become intimately acquainted with two, yes the #2, fleet enemas. Seriously, wanna trade places??  (I wish they made a puffy leather reclining toilet, maybe even with a massage thingy like the pedicure chairs...) All this so I can be sedated for 30 minutes while my doctor shoves a camera up my rump to take a "peak" at the colon. After this "peak," my insurance will be billed for umpteen thousand dollars and we will spend the next 6 months receiving bills from my doctor as our insurance s-l-o-w-l-y pays out.
I am not looking forward to it to say the least. To sa…

Here we go again...

Starting out the week with a lovely migraine that threatens to take over. I have managed to ignore it all day but it's demand is growing by the hour. My doc suggested I drink tonic water for leg cramps, I wonder if I could add gin to it for headaches?

I'm on the count down to my procedure on Thursday. Went by the pharmacy today and picked up the prep kit. I LOATHE this part.

I have wonderful friends. They have kept me in their prayers and texted sweet words of encouragement during this low spot. I am forever grateful, not to mention very humbled by their outpouring.

I'll be glad when these new meds kick in. I am ready to have full productive days again. I think I've worn a hole in my side of the bed from spending too much time in it...

We are headed to the mountains of NM this weekend. I am so ready for the cool crisp air and fresh smell of pine and earth. We love to be up there this time of year.

i mean, really? part 2

Ok, so after church and a nap I've had an attitude adjustment. What I need to remember is that when I struggle with my health, my patience runs thin. This is not excuse, just a reminder to myself to keep things in perspective. I mean, really...

We went to Hillside Christian that meets in Canyon today. It's so good. I love the Pastor there. He shared his testimony today and it made me realize what a whiney butt I've been the last few days. I mean, really, I am grateful for the lesson this morning and plan to start this week off with a different attitude.

It may take a little bit for me to start feeling good again. I need to give the medicine adjustments time to work and my body to respond. I guess, I've gotten spoiled feeling so good that this minor set back kind of derailed me a bit. And not just physically either. My mind crashed and burned hard on this one. The fear of relapse swooped in and took over to the point that I was under water before I could take a breath.

I mean, really?

Just a few observations:
Is it necessary for people to assume they know you when they have never even met you face to face? And must they make judgements about you and announce them to the whole world? It's a god thing I have a sense of humor.  Just the other day, someone tells Shannon that his wife has been running around on him and then says, "But you know how it is, I heard your wife was cheating on you too." WOW! Of course this was news to both Shannon and me. If only I had the time and energy to even contemplate such an idea. I mean, really.

Why do some parents insist on living their lives through their children? As if kids, especially teens, don't have enough outside pressure, must they deal with their parent(s) "wanna be young again" syndrome? I mean, really.

Why can't people mean what they say and do what they promised? I have more respect for someone who tells me no than someone who says yes and then doesn't follow through. I'll admit, this …

I'm feeling "winey."

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Nope, that's not a spelling error. I am settling in with a glass of wine and venting by blogging. It's been a very long and disappointing week. This is why my standards are so low; I just have to live from day to day and relish the good ones.

Spent 2 1/2 hours seeing my two main doctors today. While I have mostly good news, I am still frustrated because I'm not feeling up to par. I feel like this whole week should be a do over. Basically, we are tweaking almost all of my meds and then next Thursday- a colonoscopy. YUCK. My blood work is all like it should be. No inflammation markers to be seen which is absolutely huge. That means the UC is still under control and in remission. But hopefully, this will help me feel better quicker.

We are changing my anti-depressant because the new one is supposed to help with the horrible body aches and nightly leg cramps. Also upping the arthritis med for the same purpose. Evidently, working out this often is actually causing me some more…

Halfway thru the first week!

It's Wednesday! This school year started off with a bang. Sunday night I hardly slept, not sure why. Then on Monday, a massive migraine set in and body aches that could reduce a grown man to tears accompanied the northern front that blew in with a vengeance. Tuesday was spent with a "migraine hang-over." I'm so glad it's Wednesday, not to mention that I woke up feeling pretty darn good. All my good intentions for starting off the first week of school with great strategy and "get 'er done-ness" flew out the window with that blasted north wind. After being forced to lower my standards, I am starting anew today. I actually got up when my alarm went off which is unheard of in this house. 
So. I've had a couple of days to think about what it would be like to have a job. As much as I would like to do something part time, after Monday and Tuesday--I just don't know how I could be a reliable employee. This makes me sad. I hate the way sickness someti…

School Daze, New Projects and A Thousand Words...

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School starts tomorrow and I couldn't be happier! We are implementing the structured school regimen much to the kids dislike. Bedtimes and phone curfews commence tonight. I love this time of year for so many reasons, most of them are somewhat selfish I must confess. I crave the routine we are forced into this time of year. I love the kids going to bed at a decent hour leaving a couple of hours for Shannon and I to just relax together. I enjoy the early mornings (very hard for me) because I am so much more productive during the day. 
The hint of fall in the air gets me excited for football games, concession stand nachos and breaking out the sweaters! I love the long sunny days of summer but am ready to welcome the early evenings of winter. The crisp smell of turning leaves makes me wanna snuggle up with blankets and start a fire.
One of my favorite things about the school year is the amount of time I have during the day to pursue my interests outside of chores and kids. After the kid…