I wish Money Trees were real . . . .

money tree

I spent $34 on a gel manicure, and it was the BEST thing ever! It is the first time in a while that I spent money on something that made me smile. I didn’t realize how I denied myself the very simple pleasures in life. I would LOVE to go shopping! I WANT shoes . . . but, I NEED money to pay for my prescriptions, co-pays, and lab work.  I’ll estimate that my medical expenses cost a couple hundred a month.  I refuse to calculate the actual number, just thinking about it makes me anxious.

My snail mail for the past few months consist of a few coupons and medical bills. I receive some type of medical bill almost every two weeks this year, it’s exhausting. The crazy thing is that these expenses are just “maintenance”, maintaining my new life. No major medical procedures . . thank God!

Unfortunately, having IBD is not my only medical concern. I also have cavities! A year ago, cavities would have not been a big deal, but paying for fillings in addition to everything else, is just a another struggle.

Getting that gel manicure started a virus, I have since gotten my hair done and scheduled a massage lol. Believe it or not these “superficial” things make me feel better, and overall that is the goal 😉

Kudos to Dr. Phil :) . . .

I really believe there is little awareness in mainstream media about Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), so when I see a clip about IBD on TV, I get excited!

Kudos to the Dr. Phil show for spreading awareness about IBD!

Please watch below and share with your family and friends. It’s a great video about what is IBD.

Exhausted . . .

Every since I was a kid I have always had “low energy”. According to my mother I was the perfect child 🙂 . . . .  Not because I was an only child ;), but I was never hyper.  I was very shy and reserved, and also anemic as a child. I remember in elementary school going to the nurse office every morning to take my iron pills.

As a child I do not recall feeling tired, but I do remember my lips bleeding. I’m pretty sure that’s the reason why I’m obsessed with lip balm/gloss to this day.  I have this fear of my lips being chapped that they will split and bleed. Prior to being diagnosed with colitis, I noticed my lips started to bleed again and I was tired. . . . a lot.

I had a feeling something was wrong just by looking at myself in pictures from last year. I had a very active lifestyle in 2014 but when you look at my eyes in photos, they were always heavy and sometimes red.  I immediately thought, maybe I’m just getting older and starting to look differently, gotta get used to the bags under my eyes. . . .But my second thought was, maybe i’m sick? And even though I’m very active and eating healthier, I am always tired . . . . . .

This week has been a true test for my condition, not only do I have colitis, but its been a very stressful week at work and Aunt Flo came to visit. “Pmsing” is the worst, and with Colitis it feels like a flare-up x 100 for me. At a staff dinner last night, I remember sitting at the table in pain and in a daze, completely absent and exhausted. And when I got home today, my knees buckled right before I collapsed on the bed.

My goal this weekend is to sleep as much as I can, but even when I do, I don’t feel rejuvenated. I guess it’s something I have to get used to.

I was very curios to know if having an IBD affects your menstrual cycle. I found the below fact- sheet from CCFA.org titled Women and IBD, very interesting. http://www.ccfa.org/assets/pdfs/womenfactsheet.pdf

Youth and IBD . . . .

Through my research I was surprised to discover that many “IBDers” are young, like very young, under the age of 18.  According to CCFA.org, approximately 1.4 million Americans have either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. That number is almost evenly split between the two conditions, and one in ten IBD patients are under the age of 18.

I’ll admit having an Inflammatory Bowel Disease can be somewhat embarrassing. Even what IBD stands for might make people chuckle and I’m okay with that, but I am 28. Can you imagine being a teenager and always having gas, the fear of having an accident, or just having people laugh in your face when you explain what IBD stands for? I couldn’t imagine . . . but luckily they are not alone. Camp Oasis that was established 10 years ago by the CCFA, is a summer camp for children that suffer from an IBD.  This co-ed residential summer camp program enriches the lives of children with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis by providing them with a safe and supportive camp community. For more information  please visit http://www.ccfa.org/get-involved/camp-oasis/ and check out the video below.

Another great outlet for young IBDers is the website, “Me and IBD” http://www.meandibd.org/ by Crohn’s and Colitis UK. it’s an online community  that provides support  for young adults on how to deal with image, friendships, relationships, and many other issues they might face living with an IBD. Check out her story below.

After reading stories of young people with an IBD and how they cope daily with this disease, I can only be positive. Remaining hopeful 🙂

You gotta laugh :) – Humor wall . . .

Since my last few posts have been very gloomy and stressful, I have to lighten the mood.  I found some funny images and video that all people that suffer from an IBD can smile at.

I feel like lately it’s been a road of frustration and anxiety for me, but I need to stop and be fortunate for the positives.  Even though I complain a lot about my prescriptions, I am starting to feel better, so something is working and I need to be grateful.  Enjoy below 🙂

uc poop joke

uc pics 3

uc pics

I wish I had this reaction when I was told I have stomach ulcers. 🙂

Follow-up with the GI . . . . .

This past Friday I had a follow-up appointment with my GI’s office, I met with a physician assistant (PA) since my GI was unavailable. The PA was an older woman, and I could tell she was nervous, and inside I slowly rolled my eyes and thought, maybe I should have waited to meet with my GI. Nevertheless, I followed doctor’s orders and visited the office within a week after increasing my Apriso intake as directed. I told the PA that I started feeling better with this change in prescription, but some symptoms remained which raised concerns. After the PA wrote down my symptoms she stepped out to get a opinion from another GI and I heard a familiar voice. When she returned she told me how she bumped into my GI in the hallway all scrubbed up for surgery, and he told her to give me an additional prescription. So until my 3 month colonoscopy follow-up appointment next month, I will be taking  Budesonide 3 times a day. With this prescription, it states to take it in the morning, but I am already taking 5 pills before noon, so it’s my early afternoon stash. My grand total of daily pills is now, drum roll . . . . . 11 pills every freaking day!!

pillbox

I have now accepted that I have an illness. My pillbox is full and if my GI was to say we have to add another prescription, I have to say NO for my sanity and bank account.   To see the amount of pills I take daily is insane! I have purposely split my prescriptions between two pharmacies because I am refilling almost every two weeks and I do not want to be “that girl” or for them to know me on a first name basis. I know it’s silly, but I started to noticed a look of pity from one pharmacist whenever I picked up a prescription. . . sighs

The funny thing is that I have been getting so many compliments lately. “Oh your skin looks so beautiful”, “you’re losing weight!”, and “You seem more chipper”. In regards to my skin looking beautiful I’m not surprised, because all day I’m drinking water to take my pills and it’s the only drink that will not irritate my stomach. Losing weight has not been a choice. There are days when I have an appetite and I eat everything in sight, and other days I am forcing myself to eat. I will admit that I do have more energy and have been sleeping better which is one positive result from this medical treatment.

In regards to my diet, the PA stated I should be more concern with my GERD than Colitis. It is a good point, but through my research I have noticed that an acid reflux diet and colitis diet do coincide. She recommended that I keep a food journal. Which I will do, and I am looking for a food journal app. Any suggestions?

Otherwise, I remain hopeful and taking one day at a time 😊

You gotta laugh :) – Superbowl AD . . .

I’m pretty sure you  guys saw the Doritos commercial where the guy is preventing people from sitting next to him on the plane.  I thought it was hilarious, and what stood out for me was when he was reading a book titled “How to manage Chronic IBS” Of course I bust out laughing and told my friend, “Oh that’s going on my blog!” 🙂 Then I thought would IBD be considered chronic IBS? But If the book was titled “How to manage IBD ?”, no one would have found it funny because no one knows what an IBD is, which is not surprising because I didn’t know until  I was diagnosed. I didn’t even know that there were Chron’s and Colitis walks to raise money to find a cure, or that a purple ribbon was the symbol for finding a cure for IBD. It’s really unfortunate that there is little awareness about this disease.

I think I took this commercial a little too serious, oops! Enjoy the funny commercial below 🙂

Also, did anyone take offense to the elderly woman’s reaction? I did lol I was grossed out when he was clipping his toenails, that’s disgusting!