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Showing posts from 2013

All pain, No gain.

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I need to vent. Reader beware, if you're looking for a happy go-lucky posting, this is not it.

I'm in pain. This is the most pain I've been in since my ostomy surgery in September of 2011. My bones ache. My muscles are tender to the touch. My joints throb. Even my skin hurts. This kind of pain was a daily occurrence before the removal of my colon and large intestine, it went hand in hand with the active Ulcerative Colitis. I really thought these kinds of days were behind me now.

I guess not.

The past few months have been miserable. I am popping pain medication (50mg Tramadol) like it's candy and it's not touching the pain. I hardly slept last night due to the pain which made the aching even more intense today. And now guess what, I can't sleep tonight because of the radiating thobbing in my legs. It's a vicious cycle. What I need is relief and sleep but one won't come without the other.

I rarely tell anybody about the pain I'm in. Mainly because the…

Life in a Bag

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I have an ileostomy which means I do not have a large intestine or colon.  I poop in a bag from a stoma located on my lower right abdomen. A stoma is a small section of the bowel that opens on the outside of the abdominal area allowing waste to leave the body. I will live with this for the rest of my life. My ileostomy is the result of battling Ulcerative Colitis for 7 years. It sucked.
I tried countless remedies, both medical and homeopathic. Eventually, nothing worked and my colon gave up the fight. But I'm OK. I actually like my stoma. Her name is Lilly for little ileostomy. Having an ostomy changed my life completely.  It gave me something I'd been missing for a long time. Quality of life. And probably quantity too. I have no problem discussing Lilly or the UC that caused her. I want to be asked about Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD. What I've found to be true is this: There are a lot of people out there just like me who are struggling with IBD. They are embarrassed…

Girls With Guts and so much more!

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Oops, looks like I've forgotten to blog for a while... Well, have no fear, I'm about to blog my pants off!

I just got back from a trip to Detroit, Michigan where I had the privilege of hanging out with some pretty gutsy girls, literally. This was a retreat for GirlsWithGuts.org, a non profit advocacy group created to unite people of all walks of life who share a common thread: Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Many of us suffer from Chron's, Ulcerative Colitis and other digestive disorders and diseases. Many of us live with Colostomies, Ileostomies, Urostomies, and J-Pouches because of chronic illness. We have spouses, significant others, children, parents, family and friends who walk with us daily on this journey. We are employers and employees, business owners, athletes, community leaders and members, parents, grandparents, and friends. We are people like you who just happen to live with chronic illness too and we are part of a group focused on bringing awareness to IBD and O…

The Evils of Aspartame

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I recently discovered that Aspartame gives me headaches. Let me rephrase--massive, skull splitting, eyesight blurring, speech slurring, thought impeding, crawl into a dark cave migraines. What I also discovered is that it is in SO MANY THINGS we put into our mouths.

The other day, I made myself a protein shake to help ward off the mid-day munchies. I took 2 sips--TWO--and immediately my head started to pound. I was not a happy camper. I should have read the ingredients of the protein powder before hand. Third ingredient listed: Aspartame.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty much shot after that. I took some Advil and laid down for a nap which helped take the edge off but not rid the headache completely. I opted for a glass of wine with dinner and that made things a bit more bearable.

Here is a list of things I used to eat/drink/chew that have this evil little ingredient:

Sugarless gum--I haven't found a sugarless gum that doesn't seem to have it.Diet sodas--Diet Coke being my …

Whale Watching

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It's July 2nd?! Already?! This summer is flying by!
I'm not sure how this happened, June seems to have disappeared completely. I have a few memories but seriously, how do 30 days slip past that fast? 
We spent about 10 days of June in Seattle, Alaska and Victoria, British Colombia vacationing in celebration of the oldest spawn's release from high school. The days leading up to this event are a mass blur of getting things in order and lots of yelling at teenage boys to do chores. Maybe, this is why June seemed so short--I've blocked those days...
I have come to the conclusion that in order to create fond family memories on such a trip, I must make the days leading up to it complete hell for all. This requires a lot of work on my part as well as a certain amount of yelling, hair pulling and slamming of doors. It's only after all of this mayhem that we are able to truly appreciate being on vacation and relaxing completely. I do hope that one day the children will cont…

Let's Make Some Noise!

We made it through May!! This was a cray-zee month! Graduation of our high school senior, end of sophomore year for our other high schooler and barn house built at our hunting ranch. We are now embarking on summer vacation with a trip to Austin for a family reunion on the lake. Whoop whoop!!
Of course, in order to be ready for summer I had to squeeze in a pedi/mani. No self respecting girl would accept less. This turned out to be a bit of an adventure... I ran several errands before the mani/pedi which resulted in me eating lunch late. So, I crammed some Chick-Fil-A down my throat with a Coke.
When I need to be in a setting like a doctor's office or a mani/pedi chair, I try to avoid eating on the run and ingesting carbonated beverages. Let me explain why. When I eat fast food now, it goes through my system much faster (probably because it's not real food) resulting in a full ostomy bag fairly quick. When I add a Coke to that, it adds air to the mix making my bag feel like a wate…

Ask Me Why I'm Blue

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I'm blue because in the last five days, colon cancer has claimed the lives of two beautiful and brilliant women. One was 56 and the other 40, too young to leave their family and friends behind. Too much life yet to live. It's not right. It's not fair. Cancer is a cruel predator that takes and takes, torturing it's prey until there is nothing left but loss and grief. It's robbed 2 sets of parents of their daughter, two husbands of their beloved wife and a combined 5 children, grown and small, of their mother. A set of grandchildren also mourn the loss of their grandmother, grandchildren yet to be will never know the love of a special woman. These women leave behind a legacy of love and friendship. They were women of integrity and they will each be remembered for their zest for life.

I HATE CANCER.

Life is short, make the most of everyday for each day is a gift that some do not receive. Growing old is a privilege some will never have.

I'm not sure if colon cance…

B12 is the BOMB! Obstructions are NOT.

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Saw my GI Doc a few days ago, first time in SIX MONTHS. Yep, I'm pretty proud of that little fact there. When he walked in he said he hardly recognized me because I look so much healthier. And thinner too--he said I looked skinny! Oh, and younger, like 10 years younger! He's my new BFF. I must have looked like a hag before...

My only complaint this visit was energy. I seem to run out of energy very fast. I'm doing all the right things--diet, exercise, sleep but I'm still struggling. We decided on B12 shots because all my blood panels look healthy and normal. With ostomies, especially ileostomies, the body doesn't always have time to absorb all the vitamins and nutrients it needs before food exits the body. The colon sort of acts like a sponge for normal people. It absorbs water your body needs as well as any minerals and vitamins that weren't absorbed during digestion. That means us colon-less people have to be super careful with hydration and nutrition.

Back …

Challenges and Maternity Pants

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So... I totally missed the whole Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge  by Wego Health... this is just par for the month I'm having. What day did I get to? Day 3? Obviously, it was too challenging for me. I'm a little disappointed that I wasn't able to keep up because I know I would have enjoyed it. Maybe next year.

Oh well.

Another challenge I am currently struggling with: exercise. I haven't been able to run outside because our weather here, how shall I put this... SUCKS. Yep, that sums it up nicely. I prefer to run outside, to be in the sunshine, to breathe fresh air. The last few months have been horribly windy, which stirs up the dirt, which gets in my eyes, nose, mouth and every single pore on my body. I loathe these days. Oh, for those of you not from around here--the wind blows nonstop in the spring, I'm talking minimum of 20mph to 40mph and even on not so rare occasions-- 60mph and higher. It's darn near impossible to walk to your car, let alone…

Day 3 Wordless Wednesday

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Day 2

#HAWMC Day 2

Day 2 of the 30 day challenge is about the disease I struggled with. In 2004 I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis an auto immune disease that causes ulcers to form on the colon and large intestine. It's mean, it's nasty and it's extremely painful. These little ulcers can cause quite a bit of damage and have lots of very cruel side effects. For instance: explosive diarrhea or constipation, severe abdominal cramps, bleeding (sometimes more blood than poop), internal inflammation of the intestines, joint pain (sometimes debilitating!), skin problems, eye problems, loss of hair, mouth ulcers, hmmmmm...what else? Oh, fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, weight loss or gain, nausea, depression... And that's NOT including side effects from the medications and treatments prescribed to help control the disease.
So after 7 years of various treatments: Asacol, Azathioprine, Corticol enemas, massive doses of Prednisone, and finally Remicade, my body stopped respond…

A Healthy New Challenge, Day 1

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I love to be challenged. It helps get me going, maybe I work better under pressure? I don't really know but I am very excited to start this new excuse to write.



Wego Health: The Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge

The above link is the challenge I have just committed to.

This is Day 1. This is my prompt: Why do I write about my health online and what got me started?

How it all began-- In February 2010 I went to a fitness ranch in the hill country of Texas where I met some amazing people and learned a lot about myself in the process. When I returned home I decided to start a blog journaling my journey with chronic illness, specifically Ulcerative Colitis and all it's perks. Having dealt with this disease for 6 years (diagnosed in '04), I wanted to share my experiences and I love to write so it was a good excuse to spend lots of time doing just that... It started out as a place to lay out my frustrations and triumphs but soon, the journaling became a necessary form of…

Potty Mouth

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No, I'm not going to throw fowl language around although, I could probably string a line of curse words together that would make a sailor blush. This seems to be a talent I am fairly good at unfortunately. One I'm not very proud of...

Moving on--

I wanna talk about poop. Yep, I said poop. Bowel movements, laying logs, crap, pooh, number 2, dump, dung, feces, toilet oysters, the dirty, stinky, and of course,  shit. (check out these: poop names) Whatever you call it, I wanna talk about it. We all do it. Don't pretend like you don't! If you really, really don't--go see a doc, now! Everyone should be well acquainted with how their body rids it's self of waste.

I am often asked how I knew I had Ulcerative Colitis. Well, this is not a simple question for me to answer. I think I had symptoms of the ugly monster long before a diagnosis was ever made. As far back as I can remember, my bowels have been a source of irritation and discomfort at various times. It wasn'…

S.A.D. aka: The Winter Blues

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Yesterday I went back to the doc to see about changing my depression medicine. Every winter I struggle, the worst months are December through March due to the really cold ugly days we tend to have. I don't function well when I'm stuck inside, I NEED to be in the sun soaking up it's mighty rays. (Not good for a pasty white girl but oh well) I must be part cat...

So, back to the doctor visit. The reason I went is because I've started withdrawing--just ask my hubby, poor guy, and you could probably ask my friends too. I received a text from a close friend last week asking if I was OK because she hadn't heard from me in a while. I've also been dealing with severe migraines due to the crazy weather and wind we've been experiencing. I've had a hard time getting out of bed too. No motivation to do anything, every task feels like I'm climbing Mount Everest.


Sometimes I feel all alone but I know this is not true. I am surrounded by my family and friends so w…

island...

Island

Island I see you in the distance 
I feel that your existence 
Is not unlike my own 
Island they say no man is like you 
They say you stand alone 
Sometimes I feel that way too 
It's the need for love 

Heart and soul accompaniment 
Seems to make me different from you 

Chorus: 
Well I tried to book passage, but you have no ports 
And I tried to sail in, but your wind and waters 
Tore my sails and broke all my oars 

Island I see you in the moonlight 
Silhouettes of ships in the night 
Just make me want that much more 
Island I see you in all of my dreams 
Maybe someday I'll have the means to reach your distant shores 
When the need for love 

Heart and soul accompaniment 
No longer makes me different from you 

Chorus: 
Well I tried to build bridges 
But they all fell down