Now, U.C. More About Me

Yesterday I had the day off of work to unwind from the weekend getaway (details to come), and to get myself together before heading back to work today. My morning yesterday started off with a quick 3-mile loop around the neighborhood. I still cannot believe I am running a half marathon in less than two weeks. I didn’t run at all last week being I was not feeling very well due to the intestinal issues I’ve been experiencing lately, and I feel slightly behind in the training. But I will be fine.

Speaking of intestinal issues, after the run I showered up and headed to the doctor to finally get some medical help in combatting my current colon issues. It’s time for me to put it all out there and fill you in on my “issues.” Well, one of my issues. :wink: I’ve mentioned before that I get a little embarrassed talking about my health issues, and growing up and even into my early twenties, I was really shy about sharing this information with anyone, even my closest friends. I have accepted that it is a part of who I am now, and that in learning to deal with my health problems, I can in turn help others who may be experiencing the same thing, or knows someone who is.

I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (U.C.) when I was 12 years old. It is an inflammatory bowel disease and U.C. means I have ulcers in my colon. Some of the symptoms I experience include bloating, gas, and far from normal and frequent trips to the bathroom. I won’t get into the nitty gritty details because it’s not pretty, but that gives you some idea. I experience a lot of fatigue and feel uncomfortable a good majority of the time. I am always living with colitis, however there are times when I am symptom free, and I was actually symptom-free for more than two years. When symptoms are present, it is called a “flare-up” or “flare.”

Researchers aren’t 100% sure what causes colitis flares, but many believe it is brought on by stress, diet, or the body fighting some type of infection or other illness. Anyway, I am not quite sure what caused this particular flare as I don’t feel very stressed, but I was thinking back to about a month ago when I came down with a little bug. I was sick for about a week. After that, we were in the Dominican Republic where I was eating foods that are out of my norm. I came home and ate a semi-normal diet for about a week. Then we headed to the boundary waters where again, I didn’t eat foods that I should be eating with my current conditions. All of these factors may have played a part in my current situation, but then again, who really knows.

I started medications yesterday, and besides those, I will be doing my best to eat a low-residue, low-fiber diet, and analyzing the stressors in my life, and make adjustments as needed.

This is a topic that I was unsure of sharing because it is so personal, but have decided I want you all to know because as I have mentioned before, my diet will change slightly compared to how I am used to eating, and also I want to be able to share with you what seems to be working/not working in terms of diet and U.C. There are so many people out there living with U.C. and although each person reacts differently to diet and medications, I want to share my story and hopefully help others out there. Once I get this under control, my diet will go back to loads of greens!

Getting back on track…after my appointment, I met the hubs out for lunch at Cafe Latte in St.Paul. It is located off of Grand Avenue and I absolutely adore that area. We rarely go there and I don’t know why because it is awesome. Great people watching, food, and shops.

Now that I am working towards this low-fiber, low residue diet, I struggled a bit with what to order for lunch. I figured soup would be a safe bet (as long as I didn’t get a bean loaded chili) especially considering the veggies involved were very well cooked, not to mention it was freezing inside the restaurant so a warm bowl of soup sounded perfect. I ordered the split pea soup and an Asiago focaccia roll. Both were great. I loved that the soup wasn’t super salty, just fresh and tasty.

I was definitely in the mood for dessert after having to be poked and prodded at the doc, and there just so happened to be a little frozen yogurt shop that had recently opened down the street from Cafe Latte. How convenient.

I could eat Frozen Yogurt every single day. I love it. I tried not to go overly scoop crazy today. I started with a small base of red velvet and cake batter froyo, then topped it with Reese’s pb cup, brownie, M & M’s, cookie dough, marshmallows, and sprinkles. At this point I was okay with the potential stomach feelings to come, because it was so gosh darn delicious and actually, I felt fine afterwards.

The rest of the afternoon was spent unpacking, doing laundry, getting the car washed, buying pet food, developing boundary water pictures, and grocery shopping. This shopping trip was a food-for-Melanie shopping trip. I made sure to buy foods that would be easy for me to digest, low-fiber, and low residue. Here are some of my purchases.

Cream of Wheat, Rice Chex, White Rice, White Pita Pockets, bananas, canned green beans, canned pears, sweet potatoes (will eat without skin), apples (again, without skin), melon, applesauce, mushrooms (cooked), and creamy peanut butter (limited to 2 Tbsp daily). The pantry is also stocked with tuna, and the freezer full of other lean meats like chicken, tilapia, ground turkey, etc. If I have to switch up my diet, I’m at least going to make sure I am eating well and eating foods I enjoy.

Once we got home from errands, we fired up the grill and threw on lean turkey burgers, mushrooms, and canned green beans for me.

I love grilling. It was the perfect grilling weather too; warm with a slight breeze.

Sorry for such a lengthy post. I have so much I want to share yet I don’t ever want to bore you all with this, and I am not going to let it take over my life. I am maintaining a positive attitude which I do believe will help me heal faster as well. Thanks for letting me share with you another part of who I am. This part is not easy for me to share, so this is a vulnerable post for me, but I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Have a great day my friends. Can’t wait to catch you up on my recent trip.

(Btw, Dana helped me with the creative post title.)

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