It’s the morning of Day 3 of my hospital stay, about to go under for a ileoscopy. I hope they will now be able to confirm whether I have UC or Crohn’s *fingers crossed*
Prior to being diagnosed I was becoming a very active person. Exercising was something that I was starting to enjoy, and when I’m excited about something I need to know everything about it. I did research on how to become a better runner, the importance of having a strong core, the best food for energy etc. But maybe I started my research a little too late . . because I got a hip injury (or maybe that was the first sign of this disease, “shrugs”) and I had to stop all exercise for months. My symptoms eventually got worst which led to my diagnosis. Even though I’m taking 14 pills a day, none can truly help me with stress. My major stress area has always been my stomach. Whenever my stomach hurts I would stop whatever I was doing, take a deep breath, and count to 10. The main reason why I started jogging was to train for a mud run, but also to reduce stress, and it helped.
Today, I had severe cramps that I believe were not just IBD related. Instead of leaving work early I decided to fight it by taking a 30-minute walk for lunch, I felt a lot better. I also took advantage of the standing desk in my office because it was too painful to sit, and that also helped. But once I returned to my desk to work, my stomach started hurting again, and that’s when I realized it might be stress related. Since the walk helped and the weather is getting nicer I plan to make it apart of daily routine, and it’s always good to get some fresh air.
I did some research and found the below article from WebMD, titled “Exercising When You Have IBD, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease.” What stood out for me was the 7 exercise tips:
- Minimize impact – it’s recommended to do low impact exercise, yoga, pilates, etc
- Go uphill – They suggest you should walk instead of run on a treadmill and increase your elevation
- Map out the restrooms – It’s best to know where the nearest restroom is before you work out, just in case you might have an emergency
- Plan potty breaks – It would be wise to go to the bathroom before you workout
- Choose your sports wisely – If you’re going to play a sport for exercise, golf might be safer than basketball
- Listen to your body – don’t push yourself when you’re experiencing a flare, rest when needed
- Keep your doctor in the loop – I think it’s wise to ask your doctor(s) (primary physician & GI) if you are healthy enough to do such physical activity, and any questions you might have
I’ll keep these tips in mind since my GI told me to reduce my stress asap! and exercise has always helped .
The past 3 weeks have been a new low for me, but I am happy to say for the past 24 hours it has been a good day! And this beautiful weather is totally matching my mood. I’ve been out running errands and even attended my first crohn’s/colitis support group through the CCFA. It was a very positive experience, and to meet other young people of difference races with this disease, it was very comforting. It was also great to talk about symptoms in graphic detail without grossing people out, that was pretty cool. I plan to keep attending and the facilitator stated how today was a smaller turn out, so it’s exciting that it might be a larger group next time.
For my fellow IBDers or parents that have children with IBD, I highly advise that you look into CCFA local chapters and their support groups. Writing this blog has been a wonderful experience and my online community has been very supportive, but I will admit, meeting people in your area that have the same disease is even better. Check out the link below.
In regards to my blog, its being featured in a new online blogger magazine titled “Twenty Somethings” which is freaking awesome! And if you’re a blogger in your 20’s, they are looking for new bloggers for the summer edition, so check it out! https://issuu.com/twentysomethings/docs/twenty_somethings_-_edition_1/1?e=0
Lastly, I have the song “Whistle while you work it” stuck in my head. I heard it on Pandora recently and it put a smile on my face this past week. I think it’s an uplifting song and I love the beat. Just wanted to share 🙂
℗ 2015 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc
As always, I remain hopeful 🙂
I believe I jinxed myself in my last post. The pain returned the next day, and I have been on Tylenol extra strength ever since. I was able to make an appointment with my GI this Wednesday so I just need to survive until then. Over the long holiday weekend instead of enjoying the beautiful weather, I ran a few errands and parked myself in my bed or the couch, this is the 2nd weekend in a row I’ve done this, it’s frustrating.
In the past 3 months I have noticed a pattern, I have one good weekend every month. The one good weekend is when I have the energy to be social, but I’ll admit, my “shell” has been very comfortable in the past few months. Going out to a bar/club or just being around a lot of people has made me more anxious than relaxed lately. When I walk into a public place the first thing I’m looking for is the restroom, and waiting to see how long it takes to feel the stomach pains.
After that “good” weekend, I have two weekends of exhaustion. Basically two days in bed, and barely seeing the outside world. When it was cold it was easy to stay in bed, but since it’s getting warm maybe it will motivate me to at least sit outside. The main reason why I’m so exhausted during these weekends is because of what my body went through during the week. For example, the past 2 weeks I have had abdominal pain, diarrhea, and a loss of appetite everyday. Those symptoms are not energy inducing or healthy, and you become exhausted. By going to work everyday, I was forcing my body to move when all it wanted to do was rest. But who can afford to take off for weeks . . .
Lastly the weekend of hell, aka Aunt Flo visiting. To be a woman and have an IBD, you are a VERY strong woman, menstruating and having an IBD for me has been a flare-up to the max! I’m very irritable, not just from the symptoms but I can’t even eat chocolate because it irritates my stomach . . it sucks!
So . . . if I cancel last-minute or decline an invite, it’s because I’m training myself to listen to my body. I’m still adjusting to my “new normal”.
My primary physician referred me to a nutritionist whose expertise is gastrointestinal disorders. I have never been so excited to see a doctor, but I believe it will be bittersweet. I’m pretty sure I’ll walk-in smiling and leave frowning . . . we shall see 🙂
I am currently experiencing my first BAD flareup. After 3 days of hell, I am now starting to feel better. To have intense cramps all day and going to the bathroom at least 10 times a day, I feel so relieved that the pain has stopped. I also feel safe to eat again, earlier today I was scared to eat anything just to avoid any more pain. I prefer hunger pains any day over severe abdominal pain.
But even though the past few days have been horrible, it could be worst. I found the below video of a young woman’s struggle with Crohn’s, please watch.
Remaining hopeful 🙂
Phillies’ Jake Diekman has had UC since he was 10 years old. I admire him because many IBDers do not have the energy to be active. I know prior to being diagnosed, I was very active and loved it, but I no longer have the energy lately. But for someone with UC who takes 20 pills a day and is a professional baseball player?!?! I have no excuse. I think it’s great that he’s not only sharing his story, but also starting a campaign to raise funds for IBD research with the CCFA. Very inspiring 🙂
Kudos to Jake Diekman for spreading awareness about IBD. Check out his story below and his interview with ABC news 6 in Philadelphia http://6abc.com/sports/phillies-jake-diekman-continues-to-gut-it-out/537668/ 🙂
Look at his facebook posting, such a cool dude. I love his tattoo! 🙂