B12 is the BOMB! Obstructions are NOT.

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 to the B12. I have never given myself an injection before. This is not something I looked forward to. Years of being poked and prodded, sliced and diced have left me a bit squeamish around sharp medical paraphernalia. Once I was home, I opened the syringe and vile of B12 and stared at it for about 10 minutes. I was trying to psych myself up. I filled the syringe and that's as far as I got for another 10 minutes. My son, Thomas, came in the kitchen and asked what I was doing. I told him "I need to give myself this injection" then asked if he'd do it thinking he'd run screaming from the room. I really didn't expect him to but he said yes rather enthusiastically. This was a bit disturbing. I cleaned the spot on my arm with disinfectant and handed Thomas the syringe. He froze, grimaced and said he couldn't do it after all. My faith has been restored, he no longer could stomach the idea of piercing the skin of his mother with a sharp instrument. There is hope for him yet. Of course, now I must do the injection myself... I took a deep breath and stuck that needle in my arm. Whadayaknow-- that wasn't bad at all! After administering the shot, I felt so empowered. I have overcome yet another obstacle in my life. OK--I know it was a baby needle and it's only once a month, no big deal to some of you--just let me have my moment, they are far and few between.

I am certainly enjoying the effects of the B12 now. I think it will be very easy to do next month's shot because I have so much more energy! I'm going to look that needle in the eye and own that baby.

With the added bonus of B12, I donned my running shoes yesterday and ran--outside. It was a gorgeous, semi-breezy day and I wanted to soak up all the fresh air and brilliant sunshine I could. I've been asked what I do with my ostomy pouch when I work out; well, I really don't do anything different with it. The only thing I do is where a closed bag--one that doesn't open at the bottom for draining. This is basically a one time use pouch, once it's full it's discarded. The reason for the closed pouch is this: I have this fear of the drainable pouch catching on my clothing during movement and then poo running down my leg as I run down the street or even worse--in the middle of the gym! Yes, this is probably irrational but the closed pouch puts me at ease and I can forget about it while running. I just tuck the pouch inside my bottoms and hit the road.

You know what I just noticed in this pic? My hips and my shoulders now line up! My hips used to be wider with all the steroid weight I carried for so many years. SO very happy I won't need steroids again! This is encouragement to keep running!

Obstruction of the ostomy is MISERABLE! This has only happened to me one other time when I ate mushrooms and last night it happened again. I ate a jalapeno and cheese bratwurst. I don't know if it was the peppers or the brat itself that caused me horrific pain last night. I suspect the peppers as they were extremely hot and in pretty big chunks. I've eaten brats several time and not had issues so that's why I'm leaning towards the peppers. Anyway, whatever it was, I was almost ready to call the doc.

I came across this very helpful piece of info last time I experienced a blockage: Ostomy Blockage
It's wonderful and very informative. I've printed it out and bookmarked it in case of future blockages which, let's be honest, will happen again. I followed Step One: At Home and within a few hours I was able to pass what ever was causing the problem. Whew, emergency room avoided.


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