today marks ONE FULL YEAR that I’ve been in remission. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

never in my #colitislife have I achieved that milestone. never before have I gone one full bleepin’ YEAR.

Holy POOOOP.

this calls for a dance party. and a glass of wine! ha. just kidding. better not push the envelope. I did have a whole bottle of wine and lots of cheese this past Saturday. insert monkey holding hands over eyes face here. i’m caught in an eating-my-feelings vicious circle. or it’s more like a tornado. Continue reading “today marks ONE FULL YEAR that I’ve been in remission. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)”

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Happy New Year and no new flare!

Happy 2018 peeps. I am already so thankful to this new year. It hasn’t brought me a flare. nor an unexpected guest IN TO MY BED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.  about this time last year, life was a big fat WTF!!! [read all about it]

but aside from that crappy January, looking back at 2017… it was a super great year:

  • I went through a terrible flare but then that. was. it. no other flares for 2017!!!
  • I received an incredible gift to take care of an unexpected financial burden. THANK YOU. (I need to write a post about what life’s like to have a chronic disease + own a home + be on my own. I should give myself way more credit than I do.)
  • I celebrated the big 3-0- ! ‘Bring it, THIRTY. I am ready.‘ (well, not at first I wasn’t. for a while I was dwelling on my original life plan that didn’t pan out. according to the path I was on…by 30 I was ‘married to my #illinoisboy, tag-teaming our own design/construction company together, with a couple of munchkins alongside.’ but then life throws a curveball and we must figure out how to readjust our sails. but I digress. )
  • my mom and I crashed a bachelor party in Duluth, Minnesota. LOL omg what a night!!!  we were in town for a wedding and after the wedding we googled ‘country bar’ and then there we were! we (mom and I and this group of guys) had the bar to ourselves and we shut the place down! I have the coolest mom ever.

bachelorparty_crashed

  • I finally completed the residential design and decorating certificate I’ve been working towards for the last 3 years,  √
  • I travelled across the country (O’ Canada) to work THE greatest country music festival. incredibly grateful for the opportunity and fun that was had. the amazing people I met. xo
  • I  learned that you can’t be everyone’s cup of tea. a healthy dose of heartache is probably needed every once in a while. right?… it made me hate myself but taught me to love myself.
  • I travelled to Mesa, travelled to Mesa and then travelled to Mesa ONCE MORE. (!!!) I love that place <3 Arizona is my second home. trying to figure out how I too can be a snowbird.
  • I gave ‘online dating’ a try for the first time. more specifically, Tinder (LOL. good god.)
  • I came to be good friends with VSL#3 (think I went through a total of 4 or 5 boxes) This has been my first year trying to use it as a preventative measure..  I start taking it as soon as I start feeling like a flare could be close.
  • my brother and I got in a lot of bro / sis time. (probably because of breakups and a bad shoulder injury. #silverlinings) family times = best of times.

 

 

  • I got my first corporate office design project. thank you ♥ Fort Rouge Glass ♥ for taking a chance on me.  so so so so grateful. exciting + scary + rewarding
  • I volunteered to take on the role of lead events manager for the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada Gutsy and Glamour fund-raising gala. (Manitoba Chapter)
  • and the last chunk of 2017 was hard. I went through a solid 2 month run of testing times at work.  which forced me to make some changes, set some boundaries, and learn to take care of me first.
  • most importantly, embraced the tough times and heartache and LEARNED from it.

Continue reading “Happy New Year and no new flare!”

colitis sidelined me on this vacation. but that’s okay.

colitis-eating
[it’s okay] because, it could be worse. > > > I could’ve been on an all-inclusive vacation!! I would’ve been SOL. I would’ve had to cancel probably. can’t eat ‘normal’ food and bevies are a DEF no. SO. I am very gratefuI that I was given the means to survive on this vacation. cause being here in Mesa, with papa Gordie allowed me to prepare and cook my meals the way I need to.. being in a flare-up. and the comfort of a home to rest versus a hotel, super good thing.
prior to my arrival dad was tasked with finding a farmer with grass fed cows to get me my organic beef marrow bones. for my [miracle potion] bone broth. (/a big\ MORE on that later.) and he was also tasked with making it for me. it takes 48 hours to cook and was done on my first morning here. woo hoo. merci buckets daddy-o. it also cost him a small fortune to feed me these past two week. organic / non-gmo everything. also suuuper grateful for that. the money I brought down to pay for my food instead allowed for a shopping spree. ha. YES.

since my ‘coming out post‘ things got a little worse for me here. gosh darnit hey. I’m not for sure certain that I wasn’t getting better but I definitely was paranoid (because I felt and saw some changes) about getting worse. and started thinking about the evil monster, prednisone.
prednisone and I go way back. and we are not friends. prior to last last January (2015) I hadn’t had to think about prednisone for probably about 7 years.
rewind to last January. that was probably my worst flare-up in 8 years. and it started about 4 weeks before my holidays. It was only a week before my trip (to Mexico, then Mesa) and there was no reprieve from that flare-up in sight. I was freaking out because I couldn’t be on holidays in that condition. my specialist gave me two options: either I sign up to participate in a new trial drug that would involve me going in to the hospital every 6 weeks to be injected intravenously  OR I go back on prednisone. (actually there was another stupid option that involved me injecting myself every 2 weeks. yeah hell no. God bless you diabetics) anyway. for those of you that have experience with this drug [prednisone] long term, you know how horrible it is. but what option did I have? I sure as heck wasn’t about to try out any new drugs (+ trial?!) only a week out from my trip.
frick.
so anywaaay.
I took the damn prednisone. [side note: the first 3 years of this disease I was on prednisone all the time. and it didn’t even get me out of flares back then. and the side effects are hell.]
long story short, I ended up getting out of my flare half way thru my week in Mexico. I was on the prednisone for a total of 5 weeks (the last 2 weeks were small small doses just to ween myself off). then after that I swore I would NEVER go back on it. but then hey look at me here in Mesa thinking about the devil again.
so here’s what happened. I had some left over pills from last year and  took them with me. just. in. case.
and I was thinking about them like a bloody drug addict. (not a drug addict.) I only had enough to last me like 5 days, at a small dose (20mg). and I had them in my hand ready to pop them down and I talked/guilted myself out of it. I had done such a great job at keeping this flare under control (this time around) that I really just wanted to get out of it on my own knowing that I could do it without succumbing to stupid prednisone.
then the next day I was pounding those pills back. cause it just felt easier. like a done deal I guess. a deal that I would get to fully enjoy my vacay.
but deal my ass. by the 4th day of me self-medicating I wasn’t seeing any noticeable signs of the flare taking a hike. and all my selfish-self wanted was that ‘guarantee’ that I could enjoy the rest of my vacation and for the love of God just FINALLY have a cup of damn freakin COFFFEEEE. how in the hell preggo people do it for 9 months is beyond me.

so last Wednesday morning I had a good little cry. and then dragged myself to an Urgent Care. to get me some more damn prednisone.
and guess freaking what. because she [the doc] wasn’t a GI Specialist (Gastroenterologist) she couldn’t/ wouldn’t give me more than a 5 day prescription (and at that point I had 11 days here left). OR. she could schedule me to come back for a list of a gazillon different tests that would reconfirm the disease I’ve had for the last 11 years. like FOR REAL. I already had my colonoscopy for this year, thanks. they are not fun.
So I begged her for the biggest dose she could give me. I knew I’d have to cut it down and make it last for the remaining 11 days of this trip. (I did not tell her this).

and here I am tonight, feeling like today was my first day coming out of this flare. WOO HOO. (!!!) betcha I’m 100% good-to-go by the time I board the plane home on Saturday ;-). but that is okay. yes, I was limited on what I was able to do and had to pass up an awesome hike up Superstition Mountain – super sad to have missed that. and having no alcohol on vacation is kinda painful too. *but* I still really did make the best of my trip. it was as great as it could be. and I made chocolate muffins out of QUINOA. I will share the recipe.
tomorrow I have some really exciting plans for my last day here. will tell you all about that + more, next time.

subconsciously I think I was worrying and stressing about not being well for my trip which in turn made things worse for me in the end. it’s unreal how crazy important the mind and body connection is. mindset is half the battle.

and I feel guilty for turning to prednisone this time around. but whatever. i’ll get over it.

bon nuit my peeps.

– j