Sunday, December 3, 2017

Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis Awareness Week: Day 3


I'm not going to share a lot of IBD wisdom today, except to say that not only is now a good time to extend gratitude for birthday wishes, but also for the support and kindness I receive from you as friends & loved ones. Thanks for helping when I've needed it, being there for my family when I'm hospitalized or am struggling, and for taking the time to listen & learn from my posts.
Gratitude also because I've found good providers who collaborate on my case, a good surgeon, meds that work, and have health coverage, I've had not only another birthday, but one in which I felt pretty good. Every day like that is worth celebrating!
So, thanks all. From the bottom of my heart, with much gratitude and love. xo

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis Awareness Week 2017: Day 2

For Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Week, Day 2, I'm going to discuss food. Of all the questions I get about my Crohn's, many of them center around food. I feel this is an especially important post this year, because we are currently also dealing with food trials fro Eosinophilic Esophagitis (more on that later) as well as an anaphylactic food allergy, so there is A LOT of time spent meal planning at our house.

Just like autoimmune disorders (and many other diseases) don't manifest in everyone the same, food does not affect individuals the same. There are many foods that work for some, that don't work for others (one of my trigger foods? pineapple. Yes, PINEAPPLE). There are foods I can eat one one day, and not the next (literally - it can change in a day!). What I eat or avoid may depend on how I'm feeling, what symptoms I may or may not be having that day, or even what meds I'm on.

I tend to be self-conscious about what I eat, lest anyone not understand the complicated equation that comes with what I chose to put on my plate. I appreciate people's curiosity and making suggestions. But please don't think I haven't researched or tried any of them. Some days I may take calculated risks and can afford to. Regardless, I ALWAYS appreciate loved ones asking questions and trying to be accommodating, and it's never an expectation (I'm good at eating in advance or bringing my own food, if necessary).

Making meals at our house is a very complicated proposition right now. Not only do I need to be cognizant of my own dietary concerns, but Wyatt has a tree nut allergy, and Sawyer has many restrictions as we move through a tedious 2-year process to understand what foods he can tolerate. Right now, every 8-10 weeks our recipe repertoire changes. So, as it changes, I plan one family meal that meets everyone's needs, triggers no allergies, and is nutritious, while we try and instill healthy eating habits and set good examples for our children. Executing this and grocery shopping for this is a challenge, but we're making it work and trying to make it fun. (Some days it's exhausting).

We're just doing the best we can.

P.S. As always, please ask questions about anything you'd like to learn about!

Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis Awareness Week 2017: Day 1


I took a hiatus. Did you notice?


I haven't written on this blog for 4 years, but my heart and mind have not moved far away from it.

Writing about my experience with chronic illness was very cathartic for me. Sharing what I wrote gave me a voice, and through speaking out I also found support, and not the criticism I feared.

I left this place because I began to feel overwhelmed. While I have written many things I haven't posted, I couldn't find all of the right words, or never felt "ready" to share certain experiences. In addition to the upkeep of a blog, my children grew to ages where they have homework and activities and are on the go - often requiring parental attendance or rides. Trying to manage a career, home, and children is challenging - and adding blog maintenance on top of it seemed to increase my anxiety, not reduce it.

And still, I think of my experiences, what I've written, and the chronic illness community I've become connected to often. And I remember my blog. There are days I grow frustrated with myself, my children, or my disease; even the news and the world. I sometimes feel that frustration building within me, and being unsure of what to do with it. And then I think, "my blog would be a good way to channel some of this."

Alas, when I finally have the time to write, I'm exhausted.

But I'm going to try anyway. December 1-7 is Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Week, and I've decided that I will share posts here that I've been sharing on my personal Facebook page. And after that, maybe I'll share some old ones. Maybe I'll dust off some of the things I've written, and that will inspire me. Even if no one reads any of it, sharing a little is better than none, if it at least helps me release what I need to.

The content won't always be about Crohn's, or educational. Some of it will be about the challenges of parenting. Or pictures of my dog. But still, this is my place, and you're still welcome to come visit.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Week, December 1-7

Hello! I'm back, after an unexpected 6 month hiatus.

Where have I been? Busy with summer, road trips, family affairs, and taking some time to heal. But I'll get back to that.

In 2011, the U.S. Senate designated December 1-7 as Crohn's and Colitis Awareness week, and I would like to take this opportunity to 1) Help raise awareness and 2) return to my blog.

I'll share here what I shared last night with my friends on Facebook:

Today is the first day of Crohn's and Colitis Awareness week, which was first established by the Senate in 2011 to encourage people in the U.S. to join in the effort to cure these diseases.

I was diagnosed with Crohn's in 2005. I've had one surgery, 4 hospitalizations, and several ER visits. I'm one of the lucky ones. I didn't "catch" it, nor did I do anything to cause it. "Eating healthy" won't fix me, nor is Crohn's limited to the digestive tract. Even when things are going well, I can suffer from pain, fatigue, and malnourishment, among other symptoms. Crohn's can present life-threatening, and even fatal, complications.

This photo was taken in 2011, when I was hospitalized and Chris brought the boys to visit. It was a bittersweet moment, but given the complications I suffered, I was glad to be alive.
If you have questions, I am happy to answer them, and am always thankful for people who inquire or provide support. Thanks for listening - Carpe Diem!

I hope this finds you well!