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Showing posts from August, 2012

a step back

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Two step forwards, one step back. This seems to be the theme of  my running this week. Yesterday, I couldn't have run if I'd even wanted to, and I didn't want to. I didn't even want to see my running shoes. Every part of my body hurt, ached like the flu. I had no choice but to sit yesterday out and rest. I was so lazy and it was wonderful.

This morning however, was tough. The run started really good. I had a good pace and made it through the first 6 minutes with out any problems. I walked for 1 minute then back to running. This did not go as smoothly. I was running my usual stride but then started struggling around minute 3. My breath was coming hard and my speed was slowing down. I just went with it, determined not to stop running and kept moving even at a slower rate. Finally, the ding for the 1 minute walk sounded. Gasping for air, I kept moving forward. *DING* Time to run again for another 6 minutes. I didn't make the whole 6 this time. I ran as long as I could…

In The Flesh

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This is me. The new me. The me with the ileostomy.
Several people have asked what it looks like and so, here it is. Please note that I do not wear bikinis and have not in many, many years. I apologize for the blinding glare of my white, white skin.
Surprisingly, I was very hesitant to post this. After all, no one wants to see all their "glory" on display (especially on the www!) but, I feel like it's important. It's important for others to know they are not alone.  I have been so encouraged by others who have posted their photos that I knew I needed to do the same. It's really quite liberating now that I see it. 
Yes, I am imperfect. I have some extra padding that came with fighting disease for 7+ years. Lots of scars from various surgeries. A few wrinkles and gray hairs in the mix too. I am not as young and pretty as I once was. I am, however, ALIVE! And ALIVE trumps all the other stuff. So, this is me, in the flesh.
You know what? I am feeling more and more emp…

Bathroom Humor

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~~~WARNING~~~Material may be inappropriate for some viewers.
Wanna see the kinds of things my friends send me? I must warn you, they can be a bit crude and some have a little "French" in them. Read at your own risk...








Kicking Bootay!

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This morning, I downloaded some new tunage specifically for running. I read an article in Runner's World magazine about pacing your run and how music set to certain a BPM (Beats Per Minute) can help. This isn't exactly breaking news; however, I needed some extra umph this morning and this was it. Nothing, and I mean, NOTHING gets me moving better than some great butt busting music.

Wow!

I flew through my run this morning. The music is continuous so the songs go from one into the next allowing your pace to stay constant. I didn't realize how beneficial this could be. My momentum never wavered at all! I'm hoping this is not a fluke deal but more of how I will continue to run.

The hubs and I are trying out a new protein shake by Herbalife. I really like these products. The ones I'm most excited about, other than the nutritional shakes, are the Aloe juice which aids in digestion and a re-hydrating powder that mixes with water to help with dehydration issues. People wit…

Super Girl

I am woman hear me roar!!

Yes, it's Monday and, it's 9:30 and, I've been for a run and, I've got the laundry going and, I set out meat for dinner! I'm on a roll! Whoop whoop!

Today's run was my usual 30+ minutes but this time I added a little elevation change. Holy crap!! I'm not sure if this is a good sign or not but, at some point my legs went numb. I think my mind just flipped a switch so I could make it through the workout.

When I got up this morning, at what felt like the crack of dawn, I thought there was no possible way I could get myself into my runners and out the door. I took it slow, had some coffee and breakfast and stared into space for a while. Eventually, I did it though. I pushed through the haze of wanting to crawl back in bed and put my athletic bra on instead. I am convinced athletic wear, bras in particular, are made by Satan.

For more motivation, I changed into my "Super Girl" ostomy wear. These are smaller, closed ended pouch…

Domestic Goddess

Yeah, right.

This is a talent not given to me when God was artfully knitting me together in my mother's womb. My sister seemed to get all of that; therefor, I struggle considerably when it comes to cleaning and cooking.

Shannon and I agreed, many moons ago, to hire a person to clean for us. I was willing to go with out necessities like eating or toilet paper in order to afford someone once a month. We managed to continue eating and I did cut expenses else where but we have never regretted it. I think it saved our marriage! We now have an amazing woman who cleans for us once a week. She should probably come every day since we are such slobs but that's just a little over the top... i can dream though...

Cooking. This is a bad, bad word in my vocabulary. I think I'm intimidated by it basically. I don't enjoy it unless I am sipping a glass of wine and let's face it--sipping wine at 7AM is probably not a good idea. Thank God for Pinterest! This little website has saved …

A Good Run

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Sometimes a good run equals a good cry. Today, I ran for over an hour. Well actually I walked some too but I ran farther and longer than I have in many, many years. There was a lot of static in my head today. I was having a tough time staying focused on what needed to be done today. Maybe it's a girl thing, but my emotions seemed to be all over the place and with no real reason. My solution to this was to lace up the running shoes and head out to pound the pavement.

I knew the fresh air would do me good and I hoped the exertion would help me clear out the static. I usually only run for about 30 minutes; it's all my endurance seems to handle right now. I'm also a little conservative when running outside because of the whole heat exhaustion thing. Today was different though. The weather was cooler and there was a light breeze to help me stay cool. I made it through my usual 30 minutes in no time and realized I still wanted more. Needed more. So, I kept going. With out any th…

What I Know...

What I know to be true:

GOD is THE higher power and responsible for all that is creation.Jesus Christ is the Son of God and through His sacrifice I am saved in spite of my shortcomings.I am a sinner saved by grace.Love can be unconditional and last through hard and trying times.Peace is something found with in when I choose God over the chaos of the world.Happiness is a state of mind I have to actively pursue every day regardless of my surroundings.Health is a blessing.Wisdom is never attained easily.An object in motion tends to stay in motion.Words hurt much worse than sticks and stones and leave deeper, uglier scars.Forgiveness is not easy to give or accept but I try hard in both areas.Nothing is ever black and white. There will always be regrets but learning from them is what makes them worth it.I am not all-knowing.I am biased in my opinions but that does bot make me always right.I must get up when I fall down.Respect is earned when respect is given.Someone will always disagree wit…

Keepin' My Cool!

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I think I've finally figured out how to stay cool while running in the 90+ degree heat of West Texas! I know I look bundled like I'm headed to the ski slope but I'm actually in dri-fit clothes. Around my neck is a Frogg Loggs Chilly Pad. These are the BOMB!!! It's this funky material you wet down and then hang around your neck and it keeps you cool. Also, the bandana around my head is wet to aid in cooling. What you can't tell is that I actually wet down EVERYTHING I am wearing. No more heat exhaustion for this girl! I'm using a Camelback backpack, which I added ice water to, to help stay hydrated. I'm sure all of this helps me burn more calories, at least it better.

So--those of you who have ostomies or issues with the heat, how do you stay cool? What are your tips to beat the heat? I'm always looking for new info. Please share with me here or on Facebook:  West Texas Ostomy Support Group

This whole staying hydrated thing has been a real issue since h…

Whoop whoop!!

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I got a run in! A storm started rolling in which cooled the temp down allowing me to hit the ground running. Son #2 had football practice so while he was on the field I was taking laps around the school grounds.

I think it helped my attitude tremendously. I no longer hate every one! I'm kidding, sort of.

I always feel better after a good workout. Sweating out all the yuck from my body and mind. It forces me to focus on moving forward in all areas of my life. Am I the only one who gets stuck sometimes? Those of us who had records remember when the needle would get caught in a scratch, that's how I feel sometimes. A hard run will usually bring me out of it.

Well, maybe tomorrow will be better now. I didn't get a workout in Monday which is probably why I was all funky today. Yes, tomorrow will be much better.

Attitude check

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I'm tired today. Having a hard time getting motivated too. Could it be this stinkin' heat? Its too hot for me to run outside because of the risk of heat exhaustion and I can't get to the gym due to running a kid all over town for various obligations. Now that I've written these out and seing them in black and white, yep- sounds like stupid excuses...

Hmmm, guess I better re-evaluate my priority list today. My attitude obviously needs a check. Maybe I can carve out time for a work out in the cool of the evening, which might be midnight.

Well enough belly aching. I have a few minutes of peace before my next taxi service is due out. Think I'll close my eyes for a bit. Peace out.

Speed Bumps and Road Blocks

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Sometimes I feel like I'm stuck on a one way street with speed bumps every 10 feet and road blocks at every turn. Ever feel this way? It is so frustrating!

Just when I think I've got this ostomy thing figured out, along comes another mishap.

I ran to Walmart the other day after working out. Actually, I drove but that's not the point. I was grabbing stuff and rolling down the isles when I felt something wet on my leg, upper thigh to be exact. Well, I was having an ostomy moment. Thankfully, I caught the leak before it ran all the way down my leg! Also, I  was wearing black shorts which helped disguise the oops. Of course, I was mortified so I found a deserted isle to check out how bad it was and see if I needed to head to the bathroom or blow the whole shopping trip and head to the car. I was very relieved to see that the leak was very slight and wasn't even on my shorts so I headed to the ladies room. What I found was at some, point the bottom of the pouch had popped o…

Thoughts for the day...

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It can be so easy to get caught up in the negative of life's events. It is a daily choice to look for the positive; to turn the bad into the good. No one ever said it would be simple or uncomplicated. In fact, most things that are worth having or doing are seldom effortless! And, rarely quick! 

Persevere

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Having any kind of chronic illness takes perseverance. Perseverance to keep getting out of bed every morning and push through the darkness of unending pain. A strong desire to not let sickness claim one's very being. Sometimes it's hard to see past the constant reminders of not being whole.
Even after ridding my body of Ulcerative Colitis via an ileostomy, I still struggle to remember that illness isn't lurking behind every corner. Years of dealing with horrible pain and handfuls of daily pills took a toll on my psyche. I catch myself hesitating to plan too far ahead for fear of not being able to keep the commitment. My first thought of the future is often prefaced by "what if I don't feel good..." How do I break this because it seem so ingrained in me after so many disappointments through the years? 
It all comes down to perseverance. I must forge ahead and remind myself on a daily basis that I can do this! I have to get out of my own head and not think, do…

Ostomy Support Group (ONLINE!)

When I opted for my permanent ileostomy in September 2011, I really had very little knowledge about what this journey would entail. I found all sorts of clinical explanations but nothing from a personal and intimate view point. I have since come across various personal blogs and Facebook pages of other people dealing with many of the same issues I do. This has inspired me to make an ostomy support group page on Facebook because the Amarillo/Texas Panhandle area does not currently have one.


West Texas Ostomy Support Group

If you would take a few minutes to check out the link above and maybe "Like" and share it with a friend or two who might be interested, it would make my day! It's not strictly for people in the Texas Panhandle, I just wanted to reach out directly to those of us in this area since I don't know many ostomates in my own area.

The focus of this page is to give people a place to share their stories of life with an ostomy, j-pouch, bowel disease and other i…

Dedicated to a nameless nurse I had in 2004.

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I stole this pic from a friend's facebook because I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!! I'm coming up on the 1 year mark with my ileostomy in September and want to celebrate BIG like a monumental birthday. It is, after all, my 2nd chance at life--abundant life! This saying is exactly how I feel about life with an ostomy. 
When I was diagnosed in 2004, the thought of an ostomy scared the HELL out of me! I just knew that would be the worst possible thing that could ever happen to a person. (Shows how ignorant I was!) During my very first hospitalization, I had a nurse who told me I would eventually go this route; I wanted to punch him in the face but was too sick and weak from bleeding internally for several days. I told him, and probably not very kindly, that I hoped it would never come to that. He was very gracious with me and just smiled saying, "You'll change your mind eventually; I did and it was the best decision I ever made. It gave me my life back. I now work full time again …

Ostomy Design!

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I was art journaling earlier and decided I would take it to a whole new level!!!

I will flaunt what I got with my new ostomy designs! :)






Bag vs Pouch

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I guess the politically correct term for ostomates to use when referring to their appliance is Pouch not Bag. I was corrected by another fellow ostomate via a reply to a post I made on an ostomy website.

I had no idea using the term bag was offensive; so, I apologize if the term bag raises the hair on your neck.

I do not find the word bag to be offensive, disrespectful or degrading; after all, isn't it a synonym of pouch? Well, I looked it up and here's what I found:
 Is it just me or do these two words seem interchangeable? Maybe I could use the term pocket? Or receptacle?

Hmmm, I think I may have been a bit offended by being corrected...
It's pretty hard to offend me; I am one of the most easy going people you will ever meet.

Now, I'm wondering why this affected me so much? I guess I'm a little sensitive on this matter. I feel like if a person is wearing an ostomy, said person has the right to use whatever terminology when referring to the appliance.

There are so …

A Year Ago Today

One year ago today I began my ostomy journey. The Ulcerative Colitis reared it's ugly head in July of 2011 which signaled the Remicade therapy was no longer effective. My doc decided hospitalization was needed for strong IV steroids and pain management. Remicade was my last resort before surgery became a must, and now we had to start shopping for a surgeon.

After a week in the hospital, my doc wanted to do one last round of Remicade just to see if it would be effective. I normally went 6 weeks between infusions and this would make 4 weeks between my last one. My leash was shortening slowly. I was released from the hospital and went straight to my doc's for Remicade. It only helped for about 10 days. It was defiantly time for a new plan.

We opted for a permanent ileostomy. Long story short (more about it in posts starting in August 2011), I now have a little opening in my abdomen to attach a bag which collects poo.

Some would see this as the end of the world as they know it. I …

Dog Days

The dog days of summer are here and it is STINKIN' HOT!

Every year about this time I start longing for the cooler weather of fall. I look wistfully at my sweaters remembering the crispness of the changing seasons. I want to put pumpkins on my porch and drink hot chocolate at Friday night football games.

Fall is one of my favorite seasons and not just for the clothes. As a family, we tend to have more dinners at home and spend more time together. It's easier with the structure of school I think.

This will be my first fall in many years to be healthy! I am so very excited about this since I missed most of last fall due to hospital stays and surgeries. In the past, fall time usually brought on a flare of Ulcerative Colitis. My doc told me once that it's common for flares to happen in the fall though the reasons behind it are unknown. I am relieved to not have a potential flare hanging over me this year.

Our oldest son will be a senior in high school this year. To be able to f…

My Happy Place

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This is my happy place.  The place I go to when I need to ignore the world for a while.  A friend gave me some old hymnals and I am using this one to journal in.  It may not look like much, but this past-time brings me a lot of peace. 
I can take time to focus on my God and enjoy some creativity at the same time.   These are just a few of my pages. 
This escape provides me with a way to occupy my mind and my hands. 
It keeps me busy and helps to relieve nervous energy. It's fun! It gives immediate gratification. I never outgrew my coloring days of childhood. I love the feel of a marker gliding over paper. Enjoyment comes from changing something ordinary into something fun! Yes, I could do this for hours and have.
Life is for living and art journaling allowed me to do so during my darkest days of illness.
When pain set in and stole color from my days, journaling helped my mind cope. Something to shut out the screams of my body. A reminder of God's promises of healing and joy. …