Time to get fully healthy!

My colon is finally healthy which is a cause for celebration, but I feel like I haven’t had a good workout in over a year. I took a biking class a couple of weeks ago and my entire body was sore for days. I was so sore that I tried to throw something in the trash and it did not make it to the trash can, so I let it to sit on the floor for another day.  I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get back up if I reach down to pick it up. lol I am 30 years old not 60!!  I gotta get back in shape. I am claiming a different lifestyle for the remainder of this year, and by writing my plan I am “speaking it into existence!!”

Physical Health

  • Like I stated before, I am 30 not 60 and I never want to be that sore again. Before it gets too hot, I plan to start walking for lunch even if means taking a walk in the nearby mall. I cannot sit for 8 hours and unfortunately my work environment doesn’t help. I have a horrible desk chair, no windows, and our office is literally off the highway, it doesn’t encourage me to be active.
  • At my new place I plan to start commuting via public transportation, might take longer but its better than sitting in my car. Also, there is a free gym in my building, a trail, and many public places within walkable distance, I look forward to it!

Reducing Stress

  • My first step will be for my new place to be an oasis. Everyday I come home I want to walk into a relaxed environment. To me that means lot of pillows, smells good, plants, and I’m thinking about buying a mini waterfall, like the kind at a spa? lol. I’m pretty sure I can find an affordable one on Amazon :).  All that plus some chill music and a glass of wine, I will be good! I’m asking a couple of friends to help me decorate on a budget, and I for sure will have a house-warming, its time to make my home a home.
  • Working 8-hour days is a necessity. If work doesn’t get done after 8 hours it is not my concern because I need to go home not feeling so exhausted. Maybe doing this will encourage my boss to hire additional staff or I might get fired, who knows! lol I really don’t care at the moment. If I plan to be here for another 30+ years I have to reduce this stress. At my current rate with my sleepless nights lately, I’m trying very hard to not induce a flare-up. I would like to stay in remission!
  • Looking for a church home, I have not always been the most religious person, but I think it’s healthy to be in a positive environment. I think it will be another place to escape to, and help me to look at life in a different, more positive perspective.

Social Life

  • Luckily May will be my busiest month, got so much going on I’m slightly stressed lol My mother and a good friend are both celebrating getting their Master’s, I’m surrounded by smart people 🙂 Another friend is getting married let the festivities begin! I’m moving on May 12th that should be an exciting and exhausting weekend! And taking a much needed mini vacation to Jamaica in early June for a friend’s 30th! I’m going to try to make it to all events but I am 30 no longer a youngin lol
  • If my job pays for this coding program, that will greatly enhance my coding skills and will expose me to many different people. I hope I bump into the next Zuckerburg sick of this 9 to 5 lifestyle.
  • And I promised my grandmother I’ll get married eventually lol I’m just taking my life in stride and if he appears, I am happy to say that I am now open to being loved. Took a long time for me to get to this point, still a work in progress 😉

I think that covers the basics, I’ll create a timeline another day. And yes, I am slightly a Type A when it comes to time management 🙂

Always remaining hopeful, taking one day a time!

Med Free? . . .

It’s been a couple of weeks since I saw my new GI and he was perplexed. He said to me, I do not think a person with Crohn’s disease can have their colon completely healed after a year of treatment with Humira. I don’t think you have Crohn’s . . . . . WEll, WHAT THE HELL IS IT?!?! I silently screamed! He didn’t deserve my anger, he was not the person that  diagnosed me and I appreciate him making the effort to discover what is wrong with me. I plan to call his office this week to make sure he has received all my test/lab results from the past two years because I deserve to know what is my diagnosis. He even questioned why I was put on Humira  . . .  . .woah . . . woah . . . pause . . .  prior to Humira I was popping steroids like it was candy in order for bloody stools to stop. I was living with a moon face and could barely sleep, so when I started Humira many of those symptoms disappeared in the first few months and I am forever grateful. But then my GI made a good point, he said “I think you were on Humira for too long, the last thing I want is for you to be over medicated”. This past year was not glamorous, I  had three bacterial infections that stopped me in my tracks, not used to getting that sick that often. Then he said, “So what do you think about stopping Humira?” I said, “okay let’s try it”.

I initially hesitated at the thought of stopping Humira, why would I want to stop a drug that made me better? However, Humira can do its own damage, it has many risks and if I do not need to be on it, I will gladly stop. It’s been a month with no Humria injections for the first time in over a year . . and I am doing okay so far. Actually the only medications I’m taking now is, Omeprazole for GERD, birth control and multi-vitamins, crazy right?!? In 2015 there was a point when I was taking 14 pills a day, I am blessed.

I am trying to enjoy this time of true remission and have been a little reckless, had my first beer in 2.5 years this past Superbowl Sunday, it was delicious but regretted it all day Monday, I think I was hungover . . lol I haven’t been eating that healthy  which is something I’m working on, been hella stressed because of this job. The last time I was this stressed out was before I was diagnosed with IBD, as a way to cope I was jogging about 6 miles a week . . I am no where near that fitness level now, but this March I will be back in a gym somewhere.

While my GI is figuring out what exactly is going on with me,  I’m gonna enjoy  this “healthy time” and try not to stress myself back into a flare. Wish me luck!

Tonsils Takedown Round 2!

It’s round 2, I’m backed against the ropes, bruised and exhausted . . . sighs . .

Last Wednesday I felt so much better that I stupidly went to work for a half day, but I felt good! Slept well, throat wasn’t sore, I was happy. When I left work, I went to the grocery store, cooked a pot-roast with potatoes and cleaned my kitchen, by 9pm I was tired. As I sat on the couch watching TV I started itching; immediately thinking it was stress and I thought it would stop soon. An hour later, I’m scratching my chin so intensely that the left side of my face is red. For those of you that don’t know what I look like, I am a dark skin black female so for my face to  be red . . . that’s a problem. So since it was now after 10pm and I was itching all over, I called Urgent Care and told them I believe I am having an allergic reaction. They told me to stop taking the Augmentin and take a benadryl if that doesn’t work, come back immediately . After I got off the phone I frantically searched my apartment for allergy meds, but could not find any!  Once i realized I was SOL it was 11:15pm, the skin around my eyes and lips were burning, so I went to the nearby Safeway that claims to stay open until midnight, but the doors were locked. I got back in my car and drove around looking for a 24- hour something! About 2 miles away I found a  24-hour CVS, thank god! Popped a benadryl, and was able to finally sleep closer to 1am . . . .obviously I didn’t go to work the next day.

Thursday morning I went back to Urgent Care and they prescribed a new antibiotic something called “Z-packs” for short. But I didn’t trust it . . .. It will be a year next month that I’ve been living in VA and I have yet to find  a Primary Care Physician (PCP) , which is kind of a good thing, it shows I haven’t been that sick. My PCP is in Maryland about a 35 min drive away without traffic. After I left Urgent Care I called my PCP and asked if I could see her soon, they said sure and I was able to get an appointment that day at 3pm. I tell my PCP of my life experiences in the past few days and she jokes with me saying, “See! you should have came here first, those people in Urgent Care don’t know what they’re doing!” . . . I laughed and said, “Well you guys were not open on Sunday when I could barely swallow” lol. After joking, she said lets take a look at your throat, that smile immediately disappeared. “Krystal your tonsils are still severely swollen, you have to take that new antibiotic they prescribed with a benadryl just in case you might have an allergic reaction.  And I highly suggest you go see the ENT.

Great! . . .  freaking wonderful!! . . . .

She took a few swabs of my tonsils and blood work and I’m currently awaiting the results. Due to the horrible traffic since it is the DMV and a day before the presidential inauguration, it took me 2.5 hours to get to my local pharmacy back in Virginia. By  the time I arrived, my throat was severely swollen I could barely talk.

Today was the last day of taking the antibiotics and my tonsils are still huge and my throat still feels swollen. I cannot afford any additional health expenses. I’m still paying off the root canal and crown that was barely covered by my dental insurance, a $2100 bill. If tonsil removal surgery is not 100% covered, I’m not doing it. I see my PCP again on Friday and if the swelling does not go down by then and tonsils are still infected . . . I just might cry . . . lol

Life is so crazy! My tummywoes are finally calm and I’m seeing my GI this week to discuss possibly going off Humira. But in the past few months other parts of my body  are just falling apart . 2017 has been something else already!! smh

 

The fear of going under . . .

I just had a good cry, I should sleep very well tonight!  I was watching a show called Code Black, thinking it was a typical ER drama I had it on my TV as background noise to tune out Ms. Godzilla that lives upstairs (can’t wait until this lease ends!). As I was barely paying attention to the main story in this episode; a young cop having an explosive lodged in her leg, for some reason the story of the woman who went to the ER alone because she wasn’t feeling well caught my attention. She didn’t look ill, but why would she be in the ER? I thought to myself, I can relate! The day I went to the ER I remember my outfit vividly cause I thought it was cute and it was one of my best hair days lol, I didn’t look sickly at all. Minutes later she’s in a hospital bed stating it was difficult to breathe and fussing with her brother. Her brother asked if she was really sick, she responded I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t and then she mentioned it was her Lupus. . . I slowly put my laptop to the side and gave the show my full attention. It’s rare when television shows discuss invisible illnesses such as autoimmune diseases so I was weirdly excited.

The episode returned back to her story by discussing her CT Scan results. The doctors stated she had a Pulmonary Emboli?!? I think. The blood clot on her lung was so big they had to rush her to surgery. The fascinating thing about this episode is that woman with an explosive bullet in her leg survived, but not this woman with Lupus. She died . . . and I started crying. I don’t know how realistic this story could be but, she went to the hospital with a chronic illness and she knew something was seriously wrong. It’s a scary feeling right? When I went to the ER I knew I could no longer eat anything, but I didn’t really think of the risks with medical procedures, but anything can happen whenever you go under . .

I have always hated hospitals, my favorite uncle died in a hospital when I was a teenager. Being in a hospital have always been a fear of mine ever since his passing.  When I  had to get my gallbladder removed at 25 I was terrified. I remember asking  my co-worker who was a minister to say a prayer for me. We were literally praying in her office. Before my first colonoscopy I said a prayer, when I was in the hospital I prayed hoping that, that night was my last night in the hospital. Every time I go under I say a prayer, you just never know and it’s odd I’m no longer terrified, I just hope for the best. When you have a chronic illness having multiple medical procedures become routine unfortunately.

I finally sought a 2nd opinion, found a GI in my new home state of Virginia (even though I’ve been living here for 8 months now). He immediately didn’t understand why I was taking Apriso and Humira, and told me to stop the Apriso. Thank God! I had stopped taking it weeks ago and it saves me $25  a month. But of course he wants to do a colonoscopy, got it scheduled for Dec. 29th. Third year in a row I’m having this procedure done before the New Year, it’s becoming a tradition. Since I had a flare up a couple of months ago when I’ve been on Humira for over a year, he wants to know why . . sighs . . once again I’m going under . . and plan to say a little prayer and hope for the best.

Can I have a drink? Of course! :)

I just realized that I have not had a cup of coffee or a beer in two years! That’s so crazy!! But, I have become a “wine connoisseur” lately, it doesn’t bother my gut. In addition to vodka and gin, wine is one alcoholic drink that does not make me violently ill.

I have discovered a new pastime, Winery Day Trips! I’ve been to 4 since July. It’s low energy, good time with friends, and bougie as hell and I love it! lol  It’s one of the few times when I am relaxing and having fun. After an entire day of drinking a person with a normal immune system would be exhausted so how do I do it? I don’t! I still suffer, but there are little things I do to prevent me from becoming violently ill.

This past weekend was my 3rd trip to a winery and I  prepared by buying Gatorade, Imodium, and granola bars. Staying hydrated is key, I purposely drink Gatorade all day and the next. Before leaving my apartment I did not eat anything but a granola bar, being on a bus for more than an hour I wanted nothing to irritate my stomach, but brought Imodium just in case.

Throughout our winery trip, I had a glass, then another, and many more followed, while snacking on multi-grain and butter crackers, salami, and various dips, luckily I was okay. The killer was the hibachi grill after the winery, my stomach looked like I was 7 months preggers on my way home . . .  must have been the garlic. I spent the next day on the couch with painkillers and drinking Gatorade once again . . .But I felt pretty good today, proud of myself that I can still have a little fun 🙂

Still waiting on the blood work results . . . sighs . . as always remaining hopeful and taking one day at a time. .  .