I look pretty? . . .

I stared at myself in the mirror the other night and said out loud “WOW”. My skin was so clear and the weight lost was noticeable in my face. I said “I look pretty”. Something I feel so wrong for saying not just because it might come off as cocky, but the reasons why I look pretty might be a facade. Starting with my hairstyle. My hair is currently in braids, I decided to get this hairstyle due to the low maintenance, but also I have noticed my hair is starting to fall out. My hair has been thin and damaged for months, stress and these meds definitely play a factor so these long braids make me feel pretty and boost my confidence. Many will deny, but a new hair-do can definitely give you a self-esteem boost.

My skin has cleared significantly. I will give most credit to the FODMAP diet by consuming real food and drinking lots of water, it truly “does the body good”. But, I have been moisturizing my skin like crazy since being discharged from the hospital. After being discharged I swear it felt like I had alligator skin for weeks, my skin was so dry.

My weight. I have lost a good amount  of weight to where my clothes are hanging off of me, but nothing significant where I look sickly. Even though many get excited about losing weight, I do not. My current wardrobe is filled with big clothes and I cannot afford to buy anything new right now. Even if I could afford to buy new clothes it would be a waste of money. I had a mini-flare over the weekend and woke up Sunday morning looking like I was 6 months pregnant. It was the first time my sweat pants fit in months, but by the afternoon they were hanging again.

When people continue to say, “Oh you look amazing, you look great” I’ll take the compliment, no longer going to fight it. I’ll take as many positive vibes as I can get.

When it rains . . . it pours! . . . sighs . .

I received a call from my primary physician’s office today wanting to discuss my lab results. I immediately freaked out since I was just there last Thursday.  They called to tell me that my blood test results show that I am pre-diabetic! Freaking awesome!!! When it rains  . . . it POURS for me lately!. . . .  sighs . .  As I was sitting at my desk at work I slowly started to choke up and cried for a few seconds. Then I remembered I’m still at my desk, so I decided to walk outside to avoid my coworkers seeing me cry. I sat on a bench for a minute and called my doctor’s office to make sure they communicated my blood test results to my GI’s office. My belief is maybe my GI’s office will take my concerns seriously if they heard the blood test results from my doctor and that she agrees that I need to get off the prednisone asap! She believes the long-term steroid use has caused my blood sugars to be high. I’ve been doing this FODMAP diet for 6 weeks now, I don’t see how my diet could be the cause. I expect to hear from my GI’s office by COB tomorrow, if not I will call again. If they are annoyed by me now . . Oh I’m just getting started!! and looking into finding a new GI.

Taking one day at a time . . .

Bad customer service! . . . smh

I sent an email last week to my GI updating him on my new symptom of joint pains, specifically in my knees and my hips. It’s getting harder to stand up from a sitting position in the past couple of weeks and today I woke up with aches in my legs, hips, and back. I know stress and fatigue are factors since I worked 10 hour days this week and have not been able to sleep all week. 4-6 hours of sleep is not enough. Anyway, their immediate response was for me to come in and see the physician assistant, I of course resisted due to my last experience with her  smh lol Chaos at GI’s office part 2  But also, I had a scheduled follow-up with my GI on July 1st, I told them I can wait until then.  Well, that all changed when I got a phone call from the GI’s office the next day stating they will have to reschedule my July 1st appointment  . . . I rolled my eyes. I called back and now have an appointment scheduled for July 13th which is too far away for me.

I have been on prednisone (40 mg) daily since I was discharged from the hospital in late April and lately I think I’m experiencing bad side effects. In addition to joint pains, I have been experiencing insomnia, very anxious, irritability and moodiness. I almost got into an argument with a cashier at Giant because I had too many items in my cart for the express lane. I was so visibly upset that people stopped and looked and I quickly realized I needed to calm down.  I moved to another lane lol When I woke up today my body was aching, felt like I ran a marathon yesterday when the most physical activity I have had in weeks was walking from my job to the parking garage across the street. I decided to call back and request an appointment with the PA anyway,  but when I called the receptionist was very hesitant to book an appointment and asked about my symptoms.  I responded, “I’ve been having joint pains specifically in both my knees and my hips” before I could finish my statement she said, “You need to see your primary physician, this is an office of Gastroenterologists” in the most condescending way . . .

I was dead silent. I was so disgusted and thinking of every way to call her out of her name. She said she was looking at my file, so if she was competent at her job she would’ve realized that this is not my first appointment with a GI. And . . . Oh I don’t know . . . maybe the list of meds that I was on, but obviously she didn’t care. As a side note, I saw my primary physician yesterday. She agreed with me that my symptoms could be possible effects of long-term steroid use and agreed that I should begin to wear off, but wanted me to follow-up with my GI.  After a few seconds of dead silence she started speaking again, I immediately interrupted her and said, ” I would like to speak to a medical professional to know if these pains are associated with me being on prednisone for 3 months, and I have spoken with my primary physician and she told me to follow-up with my GI”. Her response was “oh well I can forward you to his voicemail and you can leave a message?”.  I said, “Please do!”.  . . I left a message and a few hours later I received a phone call from the GI’s office stating how my GI is out of office for the next 10 days but they will inform him about my symptoms and for me to please call again if they get worst.  . .  why didn’t they just say he is out of office?!?!?

After a very stressful week at work and feeling completely exhausted,  I sat on my bed crying. I was sooo frustrated . . .

Going out tonight and will have a drink! Taking one day at a time . . .

FODMAP Diet Week 3 – My recipes . . .

I added a couple of items to my breakfast routine. Eating a banana, steel-cut oats, and a boiled egg everyday gets boring. I found the below items that are all gluten-free, wheat, dairy, and soy free. Also,”So Coconut milk” is my jam, haven’t had any issues with it.

cereal blueberry oatscoconut milk

 Apologies for the quality of the pictures, my iPhone sucks!

This past week was the war of the meatballs for me. I made homemade ground turkey and beef meatballs. Turkey meatballs were way better. I seasoned both with the following fresh ingredients:

  • chives
  • sage
  • oregano
  • Basil
  • parsley
  • salt/pepper
  • paprika
  • garlic infused olive oil

In the turkey meatballs you can taste the flavor, not so much in the beef meatballs. I made the turkey meatballs for spaghetti using the same sauce recipe from last week. It came out pretty good and lasted for 4 days. Then I made the beef meatballs with sweet peppers and rice. I tried to make a gravy out of the drippings with the gluten-free flour, I was NOT successful and cheated.  I added ketchup to the drippings and anything else I had, and as a result I made my first ever BBQ sauce! I did not complain, it was my lunch for the week at work. Since it was such a heavy lunch,  for dinner I made turkey sandwichs with gluten-free bread, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and Dijon mustard. I bought the turkey lunch-meat from Trader Joe’s, no garlic or onion, all natural herbs.

turkey breast

By Friday I was all meat out! When I return from vacay, I’m going to do only fish, shellfish, and try tofu for a week. Sick of meat and potatoes. Friday night I made amazing tuna cakes with items I had sitting around. My recipe below:


  • 2 cans of tuna in water
  • Half a lemon (for the juice and zest)
  • Dried basil, parsley, oregano
  • 1/2 cup of cooked cold quinoa
  • 1 tsp of Dijon mustard
  • dash of hot sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp of water (used tuna water)
  • Salt/pepper

Mixed all ingredients in a bowl (except the egg) and tasted. I like a tangy taste so I added a little more mustard. Once it was seasoned to my liking, I added the egg and formed 4 tuna cakes and placed in the fridge for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I cooked the cakes in a non-stick pan using 2 tbsp of olive oil and a little butter.   Cooked each cake 4/minutes per side. They were delicious and moist!  Using quinoa instead of breadcrumbs is my new thing.

tuna cakes

Yesterday I went out for dinner for the first time in a while, and yes I was worried I would not be able to eat anything. But! I’ve noticed lately many popular chain restaurants now serve healthier, gluten-free, options and provide nutritional information on their website. I had dinner at BJ’s restaurant http://www.bjsrestaurants.com/menu and had their chicken and spinach quinoa. Of course it had onions, mushrooms, and I’m pretty sure garlic. I requested no onions and the waiter said “sure, no problem”. . . I sighed with relief lol  I could have asked without mushrooms too,  but I decided to just push them to the side. I definitely tasted the garlic but hey, I removed one of the two evils.  😉 Overall it was a tasty meal and no tummywoes! 🙂

This next week should be interesting since I will be eating out everyday, but might may a trip to a local Whole Foods near the hotel. Should be an adventure!

Chaos at the GI’s office . . . . . .

Disclaimer: Strong language ahead, it’s about to get real lol

Sighs . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . I am still confused about what happened this morning at my GI’s office. I knew coming in that I would be meeting with his physician assistant (PA) instead, which I was not too thrilled about.  My last experience with her was interesting.  When the bloody stools first returned I sent an e-mail via the patient portal stating “My period started earlier this week and I noticed for the first time in a month bloody stools have returned” I was trying to find out if there was a connection between menstrual cycles and flare-ups. Her response was, “are you sure it’s not blood from your uterus?” . . . . I guess she never used a tampon? . . .

Anyway,  I was not excited to meet with her and I quickly realized there had been no communication between her and my GI on the follow-up I had with him last week. I told her everything I told him, but she was thorough.  I told her how my GI wanted to know of any changes in my bowel movements since the start of taking the Apriso again.  I said no diarrhea, but I have had a few bloody stools since my hospital discharge. The PA wanted to know the date and time I had these bowel movements, and luckily I am just as anal as she is and tracked every bloody stool I have had since being discharged, which has only been 3 times! A BIG improvement! I am not complaining! Prior to my hospital stay, it was 6 weeks of bloody stools multiple times a day . . . I am a much happier and healthier person right now.

So after telling her every symptom I have had  since being discharged, she leaves to report all this information to my GI (who already knows!). She brings him in, he looks completely flustered and stressed, and I honestly believe he didn’t recognize me. Maybe it was because my hairstyle changed? last week it was straight and this week it’s big and full of curls (trying to give him the benefit of doubt). As she tells him everything and even mention the FODMAP diet I started, he looks at me and said “You’re getting better, you’re looking better,  don’t worry so much, you’re fine!” I gave him a stern look, and quickly shut my mouth and didn’t say a word! I was mad and wanted to say “What the fuck is going on?” You were the one who told me that you needed to see me EVERY week!, Don’t treat me like I’m an hypochondriac, or that I’m worrying too much, you told me to come back! Okay asshole” That’s what I wanted to say, but I didn’t . . . I just sat there and wanted to get the hell out of there.

For the past couple of months I have praised my GI for his services. I value doctors that prefer to have a conversation with their patients, and we always had meaningful, in-depth,  and great conversations about my health and I could tell that he cared. So I was very surprised and disappointed by his demeanor today. And I think he could tell,  because when I was leaving, he tapped me on the shoulder saying “Krystal we’re going to get you better” I gave him a half smile and thought, Oh now he remembers me!

To be continued . . . . sorry this is a long story lol Will post part 2 tomorrow.

Hospital follow-up with GI . . . .

I saw my GI on Monday for my post hospital follow-up. I think my GI is a hard working man, he looked just as tired and stressed as i was or maybe because it was an 8:00 am appointment? 🙂 Anyway, he reviewed my clinical summary from the hospital and was surprised that the hospital GI removed Apriso from my medications.  Since it was the only mesalamine medication I was taking, he stated we will need to put you back on that medication.  I immediately asked why since the GI at the hospital stated it didn’t work. He responded, “I think you have Ulcerative Colitis, and you’re currently taking 40mg of prednisone, I want to get you off the prednisone sooner than later.  We need to do a trial and error and find your long term drug.” So far 2 out of 3 say I have UC , I feel like I’m getting closer to a confirmed diagnosis, yay!!

Then we talked about future treatment. He brought up Humira and  Remicade again, but stated he wants to try an immune modulator instead. In the meantime he wants me to get tested for Hepatitis and see me every week?!?! I said “What!” He said we have to tackle this head on, I don’t want you to go back to the hospital.

Sighs . . it’s bittersweet. I’m fortunate to have a GI that cares, but my PTO hours are getting low. And I can’t afford these co-pays, but I am getting closer to my out of pocket maximum with Cigna!! So once I hit that amount it should be easier? *fingers crossed*

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