World IBD Day! . . . :)

World IBD Day

I found the above picture from crohnsandcolitis.org.uk.  A very active group that I follow on Facebook, check them out when you get a chance 🙂

In honor of World IBD Day I am wearing purple and made a donation to the CCFA. It’s not a lot but something is better than nothing right? 🙂  This world of IBD is still very new to me and writing this blog and being connected to so many fellow IBDers in the blog-sphere has been a wonderful experience. I hope this little blog has opened people’s eyes and increased IBD awareness. It’s a shame there is so little awareness about this disease, because many do suffer and suffer in silence.

As always I remain hopeful and taking one day at a time 🙂

Deep thoughts . . .

I’m starting my weekly follow-ups with my GI this week, something I never anticipated, but I guess it needs to be done in order for me to get to remission. During my appointment last week when my GI asked if there is a possibility I could be pregnant or plan to have kids anytime soon, I quickly said no, but it scared me. These upcoming treatments will be more intense and I assume will have long term effects on my body. The idea of not being able to have kids has never crossed my mind. But now it weighs heavy . . what if I can’t have kids?

I feel like I have been numb for a long time even before I was diagnosed, showing little emotion, thinking what is the point of wasting energy on something you can’t control or fix, just let it be. But being numb is not healthy, what is the enjoyment in life walking around like a zombie? . . .

Ever since I have been diagnosed there has been many nights I have cried myself to sleep, thinking Why me? What have I done to deserve this? And no matter how hard I have tried to control every aspect of my life, as I grow older I have finally accepted that life is unexpected. Life is a roller-coaster, life continues to go on . . . I found the below video on my Facebook news-feed, one young woman’s story of her depression and living with Lupus. I decided to share because I can relate to her story in many ways and admire her perseverance and strength. Please watch and share this powerful video.

To my fellow IBDers, Stay Strong!

FODMAP struggle . . .

I went grocery shopping yesterday and was so excited when I found the gluten-free section. Unfortunately, because it’s gluten-free does not mean it is FODMAP friendly.  I have discovered that soy, onion, and garlic is in EVERYTHING!! Did you know soy is in kool-aid packets? I could not believe it! And yes I have removed kool-aid from my diet 🙂  After my 1-hour grocery shopping experience where I read the label on every item I put in my cart, I was exhausted and very grateful that I do not have food allergies.

Since I will be on this diet for the next 4-6 weeks I believe I bought enough food to last for the remainder of May. I bought a variety of foods that included snacks and even desserts. Out of my half full cart I found the below items most interesting:

Gluten-free bread is the most unappetizing food I have ever seen. It’s look and feels like plastic and I feel foolish for buying lettuce and tomatoes thinking I can make a sandwich. But, I later discovered it’s not bad when toasted.

My most exciting purchase was white chocolate peanut butter that was under $4. No trans fat or high fructose corn syrup. I could not believe that pure peanut butter was selling for $6 or more, umm. . .  no thank you!

peanut butter 2 peanut butter 3

So chocolate ice cream. I know I’m testing the waters with this product, but it’s no dairy, sugar, or soy, just coconut milk and coco. Haven’t tried it yet, but I hope its delicious.

so chocolate icecream

Since I like to cook meals for the week, I cooked boiled eggs and quinoa for breakfast and baked a whole chicken for lunch and dinner.  I’ll share my recipes later this week. The chicken came out well, but I will say without the garlic and onion it taste like it’s missing something 😦 I’ll just add more salt and pepper.

FODMAP Diet . . . .

I met with the nutritionist yesterday and I thought she was great. She looked over my medical history, asked a lot of questions and even suggested ways to reduce my stress in addition to a new diet. When we were discussing my recent bloating, she stated it could be a result of the iron pills I’ve been taking. She recommended that I try a product called “Pur-Absorb” for iron intake, and since I do not have a gallbladder she also suggested that I should start taking digestive enzymes. “Now Foods Super Enzymes” is the product she recommended.  I’ll look into both products.

For the next 30 days she wants me to try the FODMAP diet. It’s a diet that she recommends for her IBS patients and in some cases it can help people with IBD. It’s a strict diet, but luckily I have already incorporated aspects of it into my current diet.

FODMAP stands for: Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. I would define each term but this posting would be an essay, so check out the links below.

http://www.ibsdiets.org/fodmap-diet/what-are-fodmaps/

http://www.aboutibs.org/site/treatment/low-fodmap-diet/

Basically the nutritionist told me for the next 30 days all I can eat is gluten-free, trans fat free, and no processed foods. Also to avoid the following:

  • All Dairy (only coconut milk is okay)
  • Garlic and Onions (can only consume onion and/or garlic infused oils)
  • Honey and artificial sweeteners
  • Soda, especially diet
  • Apples, mango, raspberries, watermelon
  • Raw vegetables
  • Wheat, beans, soy, rye, barley
  • Any frozen foods

Most of the things above I have already stopped eating, but giving up garlic and onions will be difficult. The one thing she said I can eat is tomatoes.  I was surprised because I do have GERD and I had to stop eating any type of pasta because of the sauce. She stated it probably was not the tomatoes itself, it might have been the garlic, onions, mushrooms, dairy, etc. that was in the sauce. It would be best to make my own sauce. In regards to meat she stated I should have no problems as long as I cook it myself, because a lot of prepared meat is cooked with garlic and/or onions.

So basically I will be cooking everything that I eat for the next few weeks. I will definitely share my recipes. The nutritionist also recommended that I download the FODMAP diet app, it cost $7 but I think its worth it. My favorite features so far are the food guide where you enter any type of food and it tells you whether it’s FODMAP friendly. The app also has recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacks. This diet will be a challenge but I’m somewhat excited because I love to cook, which is something I have stopped doing because I have had no energy in the past few months.

Since my appointment with her was going so well I decided to challenge her.  My appointment was at 12:30 pm and I did not have time to eat lunch beforehand. I told her when I leave I am most likely going to get fast food what should I get? She started laughing thinking I was joking, and I told her “No I’m dead serious” lol I mentioned how a Wendy’s grilled chicken sandwich has never bothered my stomach. She stated its good that I know it doesn’t irritate my stomach,  but would not recommend it. But she did admit its bound to happen that you will eat fast food when you’re on the road.  She suggested instead of fries or salad for a side, to order a bake potato and eat it with butter and salt/pepper. Which was exactly what I ordered and I had no stomach issues after eating that meal.  I think I like her 🙂

I have a follow-up appointment in two weeks and I plan to officially start this diet on Sunday after I go grocery shopping. Wish me luck! 🙂

Bloated . . . . :(

As some symptoms went away, I’ve gained a new one . . sighs  . .  Ladies have you ever been severely bloated where it looks like you’re pregnant?  I first noticed it at work yesterday. I knew I wasn’t feeling well because my stomach was making a lot of noise and I was belching a lot. As I was in the staff lounge, I happened to look down and see my stomach before my feet. I freaked out! and even a friend at the job looked at me and asked “What’s going on?” I responded “I don’t know” quickly got my cup of tea and wrapped my cardigan tighter around my stomach before anyone else noticed. A few minutes later, I felt the cramps and took a powerful painkiller that made me feel so good for the remainder of the work day lol  The bloating eventually went away, but later last night it happened again.

I know it was probably the lunch I had, a chicken bruschetta sandwich on multi-grain bread with a side of melon fruit was probably a bad idea. I plan not to order  such a meal again, but I am worried since I was discharged just a few days ago. I’m hesitant to tell my GI, I don’t want to go back to the hospital 😦   Anyway,  I made an appointment with a nutritionist that specializes with GI disorders/diseases next week. After talking to her on the phone, I am very hopeful that she can help me create some type of meal plan or diet because I’m sick of throwing out food. For the past month, no matter what I ate irritated my stomach. It would be nice to enjoy eating again.

Remaining hopeful and taking one day at a time :).

Discharged! :) . . . .

I was finally discharged yesterday after almost 5 days in the hospital. I’m glad I left when I did for my psyche, because I had not reached cabin fever yet, and was still slightly uncomfortable “living” in a hospital.  I got along with the nurses and the food staff, helped out new patients in getting their toiletries, and was very comfortable walking around in a gown while pushing my IV . It was becoming a normal routine, it was scary.  My first ever hospital stay was an adventure.

The ER is horrible, and I believe the nurses looked just as miserable as I felt. When I “checked-in”  I had to tell the nurse at the front desk why I was there and my symptoms. I told her I have Inflammatory Bowel Disease and going through a bad flare-up.  I have bloody stools, cramps, on several medications including prednisone, and my GI told me to come. She gave me my papers and told me to sit in the waiting area. As I sat down, I immediately became irritated when I read what the nurse wrote “On prednisone, IBS” . . .  . . I didn’t realize that irritable/inflammatory and syndrome/disease were the same words??!?! .  . . . .I was sooo mad and felt disrespected, I was very surprised by my reaction.   So when they called me back for  an EKG and blood and urine samples, I quickly corrected them and stated I have IBD not IBS, they are NOT the same!

I was sent back to the waiting area and sat for another 3 hours and quickly noticed how crowded and uncomfortable the ER really is by being surrounded by crying babies and foul smells coming from the 1 restroom! Thank goodness I barely ate that day and did not need to use the restroom. When my patience was wearing thin and I started to think they forgot about me, I was finally called back. They put an IV in my right arm (worst place to put it!) and then told me to change into a gown. An hour later I saw the ER doctor, she tells  me my blood work looks fine and we can send you home tonight. I looked at her like she was crazy and immediately thought, I did not waste 5 hours of my day in this horrible ER to be sent home because my blood looks good!! In my best attempt in a calm voice I told her, “I have called out sick this week at work, barely worked a half day today,  and if you send me home tonight I’ll  probably be back here tomorrow, so I would suggest that you get in contact with my GI since he told me to come to the hospital, so please check, thank you!” 45 minutes later she returned and told me I was being admitted.  She got in contact with my GI who told her that I needed to be admitted because we need to find out why the meds are not working. I had never been so excited to be admitted, I was just glad to no longer be in the ER.

Unfortunately, after almost 5 days in the hospital and seeing 3 different GIs, none could agree on my diagnosis. After a CT scan, scopy procedure which included my first experience with an enema, HORRIBLE! and my blood being drawn everyday, the only thing that all 3 can agree on is that I have active Inflammatory Bowel Disease and that’s its not severe. It’s frustrating to still not know, but my symptoms have gone away, so I’m happy. My pill intake has decreased from 14 to 8 pills, and now taking 40mg of prednisone daily. . . I’ll take it.  I have a follow-up appointment with my GI in two weeks and I am very curious to know what will be the next step in my treatment.

IBD is a crazy disease!  My case is not considered severe, but it put me in the hospital for 5 days?!?!? That’s kinda crazy.

I remain hopeful, and taking one day at a time 🙂

You gotta laugh – No Dumping :)

I have never watched the show Louie, but the below video was posted on my Facebook newsfeed and I thought it was pretty funny.  Also, I hope to have kids like this one day lol

“That moment number two becomes priority number one.”