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Showing posts from 2012

I'm a Pin Up Girl!

Who knew that at 39 and sporting an ileostomy I would become a calendar pin up girl!

2013 Ostomy Calendar by Hollister

Just call me Miss July...


A Year of Survival

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As I sit here watching the sun rise, I am reflecting over this year. Since we all made it through the Mayan calendar cliffhanger, I decided to post about a year of survival.

2012 has held many obstacles and it's not quite over yet; we still have to witness the famed ball dropping in order to ring in 2013.

Today, one year ago--December 23, 2011, I was released from the hospital to come home. This was very unexpected as I was in bad shape having just survived surgery #3 (removal of my rectum), medication overdose which lead to my near death experience (stopped breathing 3 times) and an infection in the wound site. Even after all this and needing home health care too, I was going home to spend the holidays with my family. It was what I needed in order to survive this horrible ordeal. I needed my home. My home filled with my family (and my own bed, to be honest) and my animals. I needed to be surrounded by their love so that I could heal and begin to live again.

In late January 2012, …

Race Training and Melt Downs

It's Thursday. Race day is Sunday.

I feel like I've lived a lifetime since Monday.

Over the past few weeks I've been struggling with depression. I'm talking about the chemical imbalance of serotonin in the brain. I don't know all the medical jargon but I can tell you this: I do not produce enough of it on my own. I need medication to keep those serotonin babies rockin'.

About 3 months ago my doc took me off Cymbalta (antidepressant) because he felt it was too strong now that I am doing well and cured of UC. He was right too, my energy returned and my head didn't seem foggy. He told me to pay attention to my body and come back if I started having signs of depression again.

Well, I've just been going along and not paying any attention and this just really snuck up on me. Of course, if I look back over the last month I see that I've been slowly declining. My hubby's been complaining that I've retreated into myself. He's right, that's us…

My prayer list runneth over

Today is already full of crazy emotions and it's only 6:45AM.

Last night a wonderful family said goodbye to their baby son. Both his parents and grandparents are beautiful people and have endured a lot during his short life that was filled with special needs and constant care. He beat the odds far longer than was expected making him their little "warrior." Our love and prayers are with them and hope that God's peace and comfort will help them through this very difficult time and those yet to come.

Another friend has been dealing with some thyroid issues. A biopsy coming back with the word "carcinoma" can be a bit of a shocker and world rocker. She will begin radiation soon and other treatments as well as surgery to remove the thyroid. She is an amazing mom to 4 little boys so these next few months will probably be very hard on her as she has to put her health front and center. This is a very hard thing for a mom to do as we tend to put ourselves last. She i…

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Awareness

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Did you know that roughly 1.4 million Americans suffer from an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?
IBD by wikipedia
^ Hit this to find out exactly what IBD is.

I am part of these statistics. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2004 after suffering symptoms for over a year. After many, many different treatments I was left with one solution to control the disease, an ileostomy. In 2011 I had my colon and large intestine removed permanently.
Ulcerative Colitis
^ Hit this to learn more about UC and other IBDs.

Ileostomy by wikipedia
^ Hit this if you wanna know more about an ileostomy

Ostomy
^ Hit this one to read about ostomies.

December 1-7 is designated as IBD Awareness Week. You would be surprised to know how many people suffer from a bowel disease and even more surprised to find out how many have an ostomy of some sort.

IBD is not a "glamorous" thing to have. No one runs around in t-shirts saying Save The Colon or wears bracelets proclaiming I Love Guts. I am not knocking…

2012 Turkey Trot & Other Thoughts...

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This is me, post 2012 Turkey Trot 5 mile Race. Yes, I'm a smiling goofball. So happy to have crossed the finish line!

It was CRAZY with hills!! I thought I'd die from those hills! They felt more like mountains to this flatland Panhandle girl! I managed to run the race with 20,000+ other people and averaged about a 12 minute mile. I had to really push through those hills and ended up "power walking" most of the uphill portions. I crossed the finish line at 1:02. It's not fast by any means but it isn't too bad either.

It was a total adrenaline rush! I loved being in the middle of all these people striving for the same goal. So many people with varying skill levels and different walks of life coming together to complete a singular task, to cross a finish line. Such fun!





These guys here, ------------------------------------> were my running buddies. Ben (with the beard) is my bro-n-law and his friend Adam is the other guy. Adam left us in the dust and Ben fin…

Presidential Election

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Oh the drama!!

Who will be the next president of the United States??

So tonight is the night. Today we will have decided who sits in the oval office answering to the coveted title of Mr. President. Will it be Obama or Romney?

The hubs and I were in Vegas during the Gore/Bush election. It was a strange feeling, going to bed NOT knowing who the next US president would be. When we woke up the next day, we were still amazed that there was still no final decision. We went weeks not knowing who would be our leader. And it was ugly.

This election may prove just as exciting...

I am not political, passionately anyway. I know where I stand and what I believe in. I know what is best for our personal welfare and I vote accordingly. I do not make a big deal out of it. I don't challenge my friends and family who feel differently. I think this is a privilege we should not exploit. I love that we have the option to choose our governing bodies. This is the beauty of being an American citizen. I d…

Emergency Car Kit for Ostomates

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It never fails, when I am on the run--this is when I will have a major ostomy malfunction! My solution to this is not to crawl under a rock and hide;  though that would be very nice sometimes, it is to keep a stash of supplies in my car at all times.

I found a small backpack (not even big enough to hold a school binder) that fits nicely under my car's seat. I love this little thing! It cost me about $9 at Walmart and it's worth it's weight in gold.  It has saved my butt (hee hee) more times than not. I can grab it and do a quick pouch or even, the whole ostomy change right in my car. I've also taken it in to numerous convenience stores, restaurants, and other public areas. It has everything I need in it. The nice thing is it doesn't shout OSTOMY either.

Here's how I fill my little back pack:

Disposal Ziplock BagOstomy PouchWaferEakin SealSkin Prep wipeFlushable Baby Wipes I take items 2-5 and I place one of each inside one disposal ziplock bag. This way everythi…

Chinese Throwing Stars

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Ever have a moment when you scream and yell, let the obscenities fly, hurl insults like chinese throwing stars? Act like you've told your kids never to do? Throw a fit like a spoiled brat?

I do.
I did.
Yesterday.
*cringe*

Not sure what got into me other than a moment of pure insanity. I said some terrible things in anger and now I'm left cleaning up the shattered pieces. Good job Monnie.

I lost my temper which is honestly pretty rare. Usually I am so laid back. I guess I've been letting some issues hide under the rug and then it was like the Titanic hitting the ice burg. I went down fast and hard taking everyone with me. Ugly, plain and simple.

Today is going to be a little rough with all the fallout. Here goes nothing...


High Road

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Um, yeah...

This is how I feel sometimes. Taking the high road is HARD but I never regret it. When I do act out in anger or frustration, I regret it every darn time.

Am I the only one who feels like this? Like punching and slashing? (You're lying if you tell yourself you never feel this way.)

Here's my experience in NOT taking the high road: I had to double back on my miles, apologize and do major friend maintenance. If I had only taken the high road, I would have eventually seen that the person who lashed out at me was actually not angry with me but having some major issues in her own life. Instead, I allowed my own hurt feelings to dictate my actions causing even more damage in the long run. It makes my stomach hurt every time I think about what I said. Thankfully, we are still friends but it will never be the same. I regret that.

Well, I'm headed out to run for the 1st time in 2 weeks after battling a sinus infection. I'm so ready but a little nervous, I know I wil…

Inspired

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After 72 hours in the canyon at a women's retreat, I am inspired to be the woman God has called me to be.

Sometimes when you step out of your comfort zone, the reward is far bigger than you can ever imagine. I went out on a limb this weekend and told a little bit of what I've gone through over the past year and how God was so faithful during that time to the women on this retreat. The idea was to help someone else who may be struggling with illness or depression. What happened was this: I was reminded of just how beautiful it is to be loved by God and how He was with me at every point during those dark days of illness and long hospital stays. And even now, He continues to be by my side faithfully.

I also realized that I've totally taken Him for granted as I've become healthier and healthier. Wow. (And not 'wow' in a good way.)  It made me sick to my stomach that I could be so stinkin' shallow and self-centered. How quickly I'd forgotten all those despe…

HaPpY WoRlD OsToMy DaY!!

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Did you know that today, October 6th 2012, is World Ostomy Awareness Day?

Until last year, I wouldn't have either. Honestly, I probably wouldn't have even cared before that. Ostomies, bowel disease and bowel cancers do not get the same appreciation as other cancers such as breast cancer. I'm not dissing on breast cancer by any means, it's just as horrible and I applaud the efforts of survivors and charities supporting it. I just want the same for recognition for bowel issue sufferers.

So today, I am going to be 100% on fire for my ostomy. Why? So glad you asked! Plain and simple: it gave me my life back. Yep, that's it in a bag (uh hum, cheesy, I know). This little bag on the right side of my belly has given me more to be thankful for than I could've ever imagined before. The old saying "You don't know what you have until it's gone..." Yeah, so true. A person tends to take their health for granted when there is nothing wrong. Throw in a bad ca…

That's What I'm Talkin' 'Bout!

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Tomorrow is World Ostomy Day and in honor of that I am going to be loud and proud of my ostomy and the quality of life it has given me. So get ready--

A year ago last fall I was in the middle of a horrible flare, the one that said Remicade (my drug of choice) was no longer doing it's job. Time for the colon to leave the body forever.

Now--it's fall time again and I am truckin' right along. Do you know what I did yesterday? I played tennis. Yes, I realize you may thinking "SO?" but, let me set the scene for you:

     It's early morning, the wind is howling at 30 mph from the north. The sky is overcast with thick grey clouds. The temperature reads somewhere in the 50's but the actual feel is more like the 30's due to the constant wind.

     After a great night's sleep, I get up, out of bed and stumble to the kitchen for coffee. Looking over my calendar for what the day holds, my eyes land on tennis. Looking out the window, I realize it's going …

Being Awestomy!

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I recently had the privilege of trying out a new product from Awestomy.com and have to say--I LOVE IT!
My product of choice:  women's wrap in the pink polka dot.

FIT: The cut is very form fitting with the hip part flaring a bit from the waist. I like this as I am a bit of an hourglass shape. I ordered a large and it fit wonderfully. When I first took it out of the package, I thought for sure it was too small. I almost sent it back with out trying it on. (Girls, you know how depressing it can be to try to shove yourself into something too small...) But, I gathered my courage and decided I would take one for the team and what do you know! It fit! Perfectly! I was so very pleased with the way it formed to my body. MATERIAL & DETAIL: The material is much like that of a swimsuit. It's a nice weight with out being bulky. It lays against the body with out bulging. There is a "stay" band along the top that keeps the wrap from sliding down as you are active through the day…

Battle Wounds

Today was my first attempt at running 60 continuous minutes. All I can say is that I'm glad it's over.

My running partner and I decided to meet in Amarillo at Medi-Park. A lovely little park in the hospital district that has a sidewalk winding around a little lake. It's a very beautiful place out here in the flatlands of the panhandle and it even has some elevation changes in it too. There are tons of ducks, geese and even a couple of swans to feed if you so desire. There is a nice playground located at one point as well so the park is always busy with people and kids. Lots of walkers and runners making use of the grounds too.

So back to the run-- We are making our way down the sidewalk about 10 minutes or so in to the run when my foot catches on a crack in the sidewalk...
Grace is not my middle name and I proved it here.
I pitch forward with my whole body. Bracing myself for the fall, I throw my right hand in front of me and catch the ground with my palm as my right knee …

38 Minutes

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38 minutes is what it took for me to run my first ever 5K.  *sigh*   I did it! I RAN IT! The whole way! The first 10 minutes were the hardest. My legs were screaming and whining, throwing a full on tantrum trying to get me to quit but I didn't. I just kept going and soon they got with the program and pushed through right to the end. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure holds this personal victory for me.

Breast Cancer is a cause close to my heart. Between my own family and several of my friends, I could have filled up several "Running For" bibs with their names. I would've run out of body to pin the bibs to so I chose not to wear one. However, the one person who always comes to mind when breast cancer is the topic is my late, great friend Jatawn. She was 40 when breast cancer claimed her life.

Her battle began late in 2003 with another occurrence and in early 2004, she received news that there was nothing they could do this time, all of her options were exhausted. T…

In A Microwave World

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YAY!!! That's right, I'm celebrating because it's Thursday evening and that means I am one day closer to the finish line of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K on Saturday morning. Which really means--I can have my usual weekend wine treat again!

I've been "training" for this little 3 mile jaunt like it's a freaking Ironman. It's the only way that I could wrap my mind around it. I have to be serious about the training or I'll not be happy with myself come race day when I'm dragging along the curb and shooing the paramedics away.

Plus, I really, really want to be in shape.

In this day of instant gratification, it's easy to forget that it takes time to meet goals. And in order to keep the goal in sight, dedication through thick and thin is a must. When I was finally released from "taking it easy" in March from my December surgery, I made a goal to be the healthiest I could be by the time I turned 40. Well, 40 is right around th…

Pound The Alarm Part 2

I feel totally vindicated now. :)

This morning's run was hard. 3 miles, outside, in the wind, with hills! BUT--I did it!! *happy dance* I ran the whole time with exception of 2 minutes where I walked up the steepest of the hills on the route. I was about to give up and walk the last 2 minutes of the workout as I had turned into the wind and was going up a slight incline when a new song on my playlist started. Chasing The Sun by The Wanted blared into my ears and gave me the push I needed to keep going. I stayed the course and finished my run huffing and puffing and throwing a few choice words at the dang wind and hills for screwing with my head. I did it. 
My running partner is always so encouraging. I love her like a sister and might not have stayed this committed if we weren't scheduled to run together twice a week. A shared goal has kept us both accountable and motivated. This has been a huge blessing for me. Someone to keep pushing me when I want to quit and I can do the s…

Pound The Alarm

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Nicki Minaj isn't the only one with alarm issues. I wanted to set fire to that dang alarm clock this morning but parental duties call.
So, I'm up and drinking my cup of joe. Kids are off to school and the laundry and other chores are staring at me with judgement as I flip through the photos from last night's Emmy's on People.com. I like to think I could pull off a few of those dresses but honestly, if I could--where would I wear it to? Friday night's Homecoming game? Wouldn't I look great sitting in the bleachers with 14 billion dollars of jewelry on... Never mind the fact that I would need to run from here to sunny Cali in order to fit in one, maybe... These people can't weigh more than a handful of grapes put together!
Day dreaming is over. Let Monday commence.
I'm running today with my friend who talked me into a half marathon in December. I say "talked" but truthfully, she asked if I'd be interested in running it with her and I jumped …

What Are You Waiting For?

All of my life I've tended to be a procrastinator. I have this weird lazy-perfectionist syndrome that has often kept me from moving forward out of fear of failure. When I was diagnosed in 2004 with Ulcerative Colitis, I was forced to change that part of me. I no longer had the energy to put things off until the last minute. I found it actually takes more out of you to procrastinate, so I began to do things differently.

First and foremost, I chose what was most important and stopped over committing myself and my time. The hubs kept telling me I needed to protect myself and I finally understood what he meant by that. I needed to prioritize what I spent my energy on because it was very, very limited.

Secondly, I began to look for ways to accomplish these priorities efficiently. I fell in love with my crock pot allowing for healthy homemade dinners on nights I was too tired to stand in the kitchen cooking (did I mention I hate cooking?). I budgeted better in order to have my housekeep…

Being A Lady

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I have been too busy during the day to blog and too tired when I finally sit down in the evening. I woke up at 5:30 today feeling well rested so, after throwing some chicken in the crock pot and having my (much loved) first cup of coffee I thought I'd type a little.

I really miss blogging on the days that are too crazy to whip out a few sentences. It helps keep me grounded and my mind moving forward. I have stacks of diaries and journals dating back to 1981 when I was given my first diary by my grandmother. I miss her. She was a remarkable woman and very beautiful both inside and out. She passed away, not long ago, after suffering from several years of Alzheimer's. I HATE this disease. It has wound it's way through this side of my family for many generations, probably more than we even know. Her mother suffered from it as well as each of her siblings. It is so very hard to watch this ugly disease take someone you love dearly and turn them into a complete stranger. That'…