Ulcerative Colitis Update
We’re going to start out light, then move to more serious business in a bit.
I had a couple of doctor appointments yesterday and was feeling like I kind of deserved a lunch “out” so I treated myself to the salad bar at Jason’s Deli. I topped my greens with everything under the sun: cowboy caviar, artichoke hearts, olives, green peas, carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, cheddar cheese, bacon, sunflower seeds, grape tomatoes, hummus, a hard-boiled egg for extra protein, and a side pickle and two mini muffins (just to sample a bite of).
I cleaned that plate so bad.
While I was out and about I couldn’t help but notice every where I looked was a beautiful site to see.
I made a pit stop at Home Goods and got myself a couple of fun items for the home (thanks to mom’s birthday present). I’m sure they’ll pop up on the ol’ blog later this week.
In the afternoon I got my cardio on: 25 minute walk on the treadmill to clear my mind, then 30 minutes on the elliptical while catching up on Runner’s World magazine. My visits to the gym have been becoming less frequent therefore my elliptical time has decreased which leads to less magazine time. What a predicament. 🙂
Dinner last night was pretty darn good: Lentil Tacos.
In the crock pot I added rinsed brown lentils, reduced sodium chicken broth, a sprinkle of garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, cayenne powder, and salt. I let it go on high for a few hours, stirring occasionally, then added cooked black beans right at the end.
Keeping it grain free I placed a cup of lettuce on my plate, and topped my “shell” with lentils, tomatoes, avocado, cheddar cheese, and cilantro.
Holy cow it was crazy good.
I had some chocolate chips for dessert. 🙂
Ulcerative Colitis/Crohn’s Update
Okay, I have been putting this off for far too long. I am trying to recall the last time I updated you all on my current Ulcerative Colitis/Crohn’s state and I believe it was back in September, so it’s definitely about time. Since I opened the can of worms back in May, I feel like it is my duty to continue to update you all on my health status being that my intentions of sharing this part of my life was to hopefully help others out there who may be in a similar situation, be an extra support person, or push someone to go see a specialist if they are experiencing any gastrointestinal issues themselves.
To any new Beautifully Nutty readers, you can read get caught up real fast by reading this U.C. post and this update post as well.
Why is this so hard for me right now? To put it out there, I am still “sick.” I hate to use that word because there are so many people out there dealing with so much more than I am in terms of illness. I only use that word because I am not yet “healthy.”
So what are my current symptoms? Again, not to get too gory on you all, but I am still having less than normal bathroom episodes however they are not frequent like many people who live with U.C. I don’t experience any cramps or pain, and I rarely feel bloated anymore. Given that my symptoms are where they are, my doc has declared that I am not really in a “flare” state. To him, flares are when someone is spending significant amount of time in the bathroom, having cramps, pain, etc. He explained to me that my U.C. is at the stage now where it is sort of settling and letting me know that the current treatment isn’t working anymore, so I’m just going to hang out in limbo land unless we make some changes to my treatment.
Compared to 4 months ago, my symptoms have greatly improved. If I were to meet someone for the first time and not tell them about my U.C., they would never know I was fighting to get healthy. I come across as a very healthy individual, full of energy and life, and for the most part I am that, however the anxiety of not healing is starting to take a toll on my energy level. My body is working so hard to normalize and be well. That, coupled with the cold winter months and daylight savings time, is getting me ready for bed at 9:30 pm almost every evening.
So what now? There are a couple of options for further treatment. I respect doctors and the knowledge and options they present to help me heal, but as I age, I am really beginning to learn to listen to my body (although not always understand it), and make decisions regarding my health based on what it’s telling me (along with the knowledge I have gained from the doctors). Sometimes, I feel like we get so caught up in what the doctors are telling us, that we forget that we need to listen to our own bodies as well. I am the only one who truly knows how I am feeling. Medical professionals can do their best to make recommendations according to my symptoms and health state, but I need to remember that I am the one who has full control over my body. It’s a concept I’m having a hard time grasping.
What I’m trying to say is, the next steps in treatment are more intense than I am ready for, or feel that my body is ready for. There are risks involved (as there are with any medications), and some of the treatments would alter my life slightly. I am not ready for that. I wouldn’t put myself into harm solely because I am scared of these next treatment options, but at this point I know I am not ready for it. Given there are other health issues I am also trying to work out at this same time, I am going to let my body fix one thing at a time before diving into the extreme. I feel that once I get one thing fixed, the rest will fall into place as well. My body is just “off.”
Therefore I think I have decided to continue on my current treatment, let my body work out it’s other kinks first, and then move forward after that. I’m not saying that I won’t try the other treatments, I’m just not ready for them yet.
I continue to do my part by eating a healthy balanced diet, taking my vitamins, maintaining an active lifestyle, and getting plenty of sleep. I feel real good about that part. My energy level is still pretty good all things considered although as I mentioned previously, isn’t quite where it was when I was in remission.
I am not sharing this update to get sympathy because as I said, there are folks out there who are dealing with far worse medical situations that I am and I am lucky for my health state in general. I am sharing this because 1. This is a REALLY good outlet for me to get my thoughts and emotions out there for me and 2. To support others who may be feeling just as frustrated with this disease as I am and increase awareness of the disease.
Yesterday was a very difficult day for me, and a lot of time was spent contemplating what the next step will be so please be sensitive to my decision. I am so lucky to have such a supportive husband, family, and friends who are by my side through all of this. They have been there through the tears and difficult decisions, and it helps immensely knowing there are so many people who love and support me.
I think I will end here. Thank you for letting me spill my heart in this post. It’s really challenging for me to share all of this.
My take home message: we need to remember that we are in control of our bodies and the decisions made in regards to it have to be ones that we are 100% comfortable with.