Monday, September 16, 2013

I Lied

 Remember when I posted last I told you my next post would be about my emergency poop kit, yea well I lied.

I honestly was going to do it, but I went out to take the photos and found it had been ransacked. My family knows what's in it so they are always borrowing things, that will be part of the post I do on it. I might have to travel this weekend, so it might get restocked this week. 

don't hold your breath!

In honor of Crohn's Disease I have decided to start a new feature on my blog called..........


It will be a feature every Monday

We all know I'm not that organized, it will be a new feature whenever it pops up. Like today, I feel like 💩 - and yes that is my favorite emocon from my phone, and yes I am phone blogging again. 

Now back to our regularly schedud program:


Crap in a pot is what happens when we Crohnies feel like crap. Only in this case it's the dinner pot. 

The basic idea is you take a protein, a vegetable, some cream of whatever soup, some seasoning and throw it in the crock pot and walk away. It's a whatever is on hand because I don't feel like going to the store type of meal. It's a takes 5 minutes to throw together then you can forget about it the rest of the day meal. So here was my today's 'Crap In A Pot' dinner. 
Today I'm dealing with an abscesses tooth, a cold, and narrowing of my guts that has me waking up in screaming pain if I don't eat fairly soft foods. I was really in the mood for comfort food,which meant  noodles and something with cream cheese in it! Here's what I did:

4 chicken breasts
1 can cream of onion soup
1 pack dry ranch dressing
1 8oz envelope cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
Splash of milk

Normally I would add a vegetable, but with the guts being so touchy vegetables aren't really on the diet right now. Also if your lucky like I am and your kids are older, you can assign one of them to make the starch to poor the gooey stuff in the pot over. It's good for them - not the crap in the pot, can you imagine the calories in that! Cooking - they should know how to do that before they are old enough to move out - otherwise it's just one more reason for them to stay. 

yea, they should really learn to do the laundry too!

So that's our new feature 'CRAP IN A POT!" It should be said with enthusiasm and in your best announcer voice.

Until next time Crohnies.

Keep your butts clean, 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Let's Talk About Shit

***WARNING non IBD people may want to change the channel, please tune into my shit free channel Sentimental Redo to see the same furniture flips without the shits! ***

"Let's Talk About Shit"

(Punch it, Hurb
Yo, I don't think we should talk about this
Come on, why not?
People might misunderstand what we're tryin' to say, you know?
No, but that's a part of life)

Come on


Let's talk about shit, baby
Let's talk about you and me
Let's talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Let's talk about shit
Let's talk about shit
Let's talk about shit
Let's talk about shit
Guess what we're talking about today fellow Crohnies! You guessed it, we're talking about shit. :) Pease turn your radio onto the song "Let's talk about Sex" by Salt and Pepper and you can sing along with my new lyrics as you go through this post.
Today I'm having a Cappuccino day. Most old Crohnies will know what I'm talking about, but non Crohnies and maybe some new Crohnies might not have a clue. Now I'm going to cut to a conversation I had with my doctor a couple months ago.
DR: I need you to give me a sample today
ME: Sorry doc, not happening, had to take a ton of Imodium to get here today. I'm not pooing for a week.
DR: Maybe you could drink a coffee of something.
ME: Yea, that might work. I'll be back in 20 minutes.

Even though I hate having diarrhea all the time, I hate not having it just as much, maybe more. I have so much damage and narrowing of the colon that when things firm up it can be quite painful as it tries to go through. Also, and here's something that is maybe weird just for me, let me know if you have this problem, but I'm not used to having anything in my guts. It feels weird, and full, and uncomfortable. I don't think it's entirely from narrowing, and ulcerated areas. I really think after 10 years of constant diarrhea I'm just not used to having a full gut, so even the times it's not painful it's always uncomfortable.

So I got my cappuccino, my heating pad, my laptop, and I'm staying in my bed all horizontal like to keep the pressure off with my most favorite Christmas present of all time, my hospital table.

I was going to clean it off and dust it before I took the photo, but that wouldn't be real would it. That would be fantasy, magazine, internet, Martha Steward life. Not real life, definitely not my real life. I'm sick of chronically ill people feeling guilty about not having perfect homes! Guess what, even non ill people have messy homes. Our homes are where we live our lives, and life is messy. Stressing about not cleaning is going to make you worse, stop stressing and live your life the best you can, mess and all! Cleaning the table is not on my list of things to TRY and do today. Today I'm going to lay in bed, blog and drink coffee until I poo. When and if I feel better I'm going to bake a loaf of bread and paint a couple of chairs. I'm ok with the table staying dirty today. I'm ok with it staying dirty a lot of days. Sometimes I don't clean it until the pile on it gets big enough that it falls on the floor when I move it. Shhhh....

Hey, guess what, the coffee's working....

I really did want to share something useful today, other then my inability to poo. On to the useful information:

I entered a contest. It was scary. Not because I'm afraid of competing, but because I had to go on location for 6 hours and the restrooms were a bit of a walk to get to. 1st I'm going to tell you about the contest then I'm going to tell you how I Crohn's prepared for the contest.

I entered our local "FLIP" contest. Each team had to make three pieces for their booth. Each piece had to consist of at least 50% reused, vintage or 2nd hand materials. We had to make one item that reused pallets, one unique storage item, and one item for the man cave. We had a couple of weeks to make the items but we had to sell them ourselves during a our city's downtown market, which was open 8am - 1pm.

Man cave tailgate bench and a 'Go Jump In The Lake' pallet coffee table

The little county vanity that wanted to be a desk w/chalkboard mirror.
Guess what? We won!

So how did I manage my Crohn's? Here's what I did.

Mornings are my worst time of day and we had to be on location to set up at 7am. SCARRY! So I started the night before. I stopped eating after dinner around 5:30. I got up at 4am hoping the guts "turned on" early. I took Imodium at 5:30am to give it time to start working and hoped it would stop the guts for the rest of the day. I did NOT eat breakfast, I also didn't eat anything while I was there and had just enough water to keep from getting dehydrated.

Coffee's working again.....
Maybe the whole day won't be spent in bed after all

Me and Maddie. Notice my crazy short hair. You should have seen it when it was only 1" long! I had to cut it after the prednisone made over 1/2 of it fall out!!! The crazy Prednisone story is here. Now it's growing out and I have no idea what to do with it!

Me in the booth with all our stuff!

Each team had to have two people, my husband was my partner but he couldn't get the sale day off work so my daughter sat in the booth with me. No way would I have tried to do this myself, if I had a flare my booth would be empty and nothing would sell. I only ended up in the bathroom once, for a false alarm.... I don't fart unless my bottom is over a toilet..... I would rather be safe then sorry.

BTW this is how I used to work. No eating after dinner, no eating work hours which were 8-12 hours long 5-7 days a week. Up all night on the toilet from stuffing myself at dinner and getting no sleep. This is why I would drop to 100 pounds every summer and why I ended up in the hospital every fall. Its also why I don't work anymore. If I want to do something special once in a while this works for keeping things under control, but doing it everyday is way too hard on your body. According to my doctors doing this everyday could kill you. There's your warning and my disclosure.


So stay safe little Crohnies,

Next time I'm going to tell you about my big trip, and my emergency Crohn's travel kit.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

My 1st Build, sort of

 I got a gift certificate to Home Depot for Christmas and had not used it yet. My husband told me they would start charging me if I didn't use it soon (They don't do this by the way, but at the time I didn't know that) so we decided we should make a trip into the city so I could spend it. Also Chloe needed a new mattress and Maddie wanted to look at western boots.

In order to go and not worry about pooping my pants along the way I drank a full dose of liquid Imodium. I didn't eat the whole time we were gone and I didn't have to make any poo stops along the way or while we were there. This was three days ago, and for the last two days I have pretty much been laid up with massive stomach pain. This is why I just don't take Imodium to go about my day, the payback is hell.

So while at home depot I bought all the things I would need to make a cute little toddler bed. I want to make bigger ones but thought I better start small and see if I could manage it first. However I have also been on a purging and organizing spree around the house. Even though I was in stomach pain I decided I could sit on the floor of the kitchen and start on the lower cupboards.

I forgot to take a before photo but it looked sort of like this one. This is tomorrows project if I'm feeling better.

  They were so bad I decided to Google some help on how to organize them. Right away I knew I wanted pull out shelves. I priced them at Menards they were $65 for one shelf! Instead I bought all the materials I would need to build them, it was $25 plus I used 2 boards that I had bought to make the bed with so the total would be about $30 for TWO shelves.

When Kurt got home last night I gave him a list of all his tools I would need and he got them all together for me so I could start on my shelves today. Only the pain was LOTS worse today. No way was I going to run a saw or lift wood boards in that much pain. Even though I wanted to do this project all on my own, I was glad when Kurt announced after dinner that he was going to help me with my project. So I sat in a chair with my knees pressed up against my tummy and told Kurt the lengths I needed cut and where to put what boards. So I didn't actually build the shelves, but I did read the plans and adjust the measurements to fit our cupboards. The measurements have to be very exact in order for the shelves to work and they fit perfect, so even though I didn't actually build them I was pretty proud of myself for getting all the measurements right.

Here they are all done, or at least as done as I'm doing them right now.  The shelves are supposed to have the screw holes filled in, sanded, and then painted/stained and sealed. Yea, I didn't do that either. I just wanted them in so I could get the dishes that go in that cupboard off my countertop. Someday if I have more energy and time I may go back and finish them off, but for now I just want them in and I don't care what it looks like behind closed cupboard doors. As they are I love them! Because the top shelf used to be a tiny half shelf we now have lots more room for the dishes there, plus it's easier to get to the dishes on both shelves.
 BTW I know it is unusual to have dishes on the bottom shelf, but my youngest daughter is clumsy and short. With them on the bottom she can get to them herself, plus we live in the country and mice are a fact of life once in a while. So keeping dishes here instead of food keeps the mice out of the kitchen.
I used these instructions here and here  and adapted them to our measurements to make the shelves. They are super easy to follow and it's just a matter of measuring and doing the math to get them adjusted to your cupboard length and width. Kurt was so impressed with them that he voluntarily wants to make two more for the cupboard next to them. I would have to say this project was a big success!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

New Stuff!

Today I found out I can blog from my phone! This is because I got an iPhone. Verizon  was offering the iPhone 4 for free, and even though I didn't want one I caved and got it anyway. This is why I had to have an iPhone:

Mayo clinic has an app for iPhone! If you are a mayo clinic patient this is worth getting an iPhone for! No more having to carry around your paper schedules, or trying to remember what your doctors told you. It will all be on your phone! You even get your lab results as soon as your doctor does. If you travel a long ways to go to Mayo and end up in the ER back home, all you have to remember is your phone because your medical history is there too! 

The down side to this app is it only works  with iPhones, iPads and such. It does not work for android devices, otherwise I would have skipped getting the iPhone and used my kindle with it.

So I haven't blogged about food in a while. My daughter Maddie made "Aunt Janie's beans" tonight. 

They are her favorite and she made me call Aunt Janie for the recipe after we visited her in Kansas City last year.

Now I will give you the recipe as Aunt Janie gave it to Maddie. It's very technical, you have been warned.

Did you get that? Just incase you can't read Maddie's recipe here it is typed out.

Aunt Janie's Beans

Lots of brown sugar
Little bit of cinnamon 
Tiny bit of syrup and ketchup 

What did I tell you, very technical stuff. BTW syrup is pancake syrup. Now some people love these beans and some people hate them. For me it just depends on how much of each ingredient Maddie used that day. If she puts too much syrup in them I don't like them. 

But she did a good job on them tonight and they tasted just like aunt Janie's.  Good stuff!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

It's OK to be Sick

 I told you in my last post I'm getting OK about how life is a journey, and how each new road we travel teaches us something new. I told you how in my journey I was forced to take a detour, the road I had to now travel was called Crohn's. It's bumpy, painfully jarring, and filled with puddles; that's the nice version. The not so nice way to describe it would be to say it's a shitty, messy road that's a pain in the ass to navigate.

How I imagine my Crohn's road looks. Wet, messy, always thinking I might fall off the edge and never knowing what's around the next curve.

But like it or not this is the road that I have been forced to take.

I didn't like it and for a long time I pretended I was still on the highway. I ignored my illness and kept going full speed ahead. Actually I probably went a little over the speed limit. I was sick, and they didn't know what was wrong with me. I was a stay home mom, but out of the blue my phone started ringing because my hobby, photography had gone viral locally. That year, while sick with an unknown illness and my 5'6" frame weighing 103 pounds I agreed to photograph 20 high school kids before the end of the season two months later. I also photographed some families, children and babies. Two years later, diagnosed with Crohn's and Rimicade no longer working, I stopped taking appointments at 117 high school kids, the last kid I took booked 8 months in advance. This self taught stay home mom grossed over $135,000 that year, by herself. She also landed in the hospital and was told if she didn't stop and slow down she was going to die.

That was my denial of my illness, my I'm not going to let Crohn's win mentality. I did exactly what I wanted to do and taxed my body past it's endurance. During that time and for many years after I tried the diets, the miracle cures, the positive thinking. I did everything but accept the fact that I have an illness, and that it's now a part of this body. No amount of my will or bulling was going to make it go away.

Acceptance of your illness is not letting it win.  It's educating yourself about your illness and being an involved participant in your treatment program. It's being your own advocate. It's taking care of yourself and meeting your bodies needs, something that you should do regardless of whether or not you have an illness. It's about being OK with 2pm naps, and not telling yourself your lazy. It's about days when you cry and feel sorry for yourself, and times when you get angry at the injustice of it all. Those are normal feelings and you are justified in having them.

My motto for my own chronic illness.

Acceptance of yourself as a chronically ill person is hard, it's something I still struggle with myself, but it's getting easier every day. In the next couple of weeks I'll talk about some of the acceptance points I listed above. We'll talk about how Crohn's has made me more acceptable of other peoples weakness. I'll even tell you some of the things I do specific to Crohn's that makes life a little easier.

Until next time Chronies.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I'm getting OK

I recently found a blog, it's a tumbler feed, called the Internal Acceptance Movement or I AM. It's about accepting who you are, as you are. I did that in high school. I remember it as clear as yesterday, coming to the realization that what the "in" group thought of me didn't matter. I realized that I was just as pretty and fun as the popular girls. I accepted who I was and I loved myself. I thought I was still being true to that self, but I haven't been. Not since getting sick.

When I was told I had Crohn's I decided it wasn't going to win. I was still going to do whatever I wanted to do. I denied it, I ignore it, I fought it. I never accepted it. By not accepting Crohn's I'm not accepting myself. Crohn's is as much a part of this body as having brown hair, brown eyes and freckles is. It's time for me to be OK with that.

Having brown hair, brown eyes, and freckles, doesn't define who I am. It's my description that people would use if they were looking for me in a crowd. It's not who I am as a person. I'm the same person if I color my hair, wear colored contacts, and use foundation. Many people say that they will not let the (illness) define who they are as a person. To some extent I think this is true, you are not your illness. I am not Crohn's, but to say that it hasn't changed me would be a lie.

It hasn't changed me in a way people can see. Unlike the use of my physical characteristics I can't be found in a crowd by saying "I'm looking for someone that has Crohn's" then have someone else say "Yea, I see her, she's over there." A chronic illness, like many of lifes unseen pains, changes you emotionally, and I'm not just talking the inner ups and downs of dealing with a chronic illness.

In order to put this into words I need to go back in time a little. I remember walking from school with a friend, this is when I was in junior high. She was telling me how miserable her life was, how it has been bad her whole life, and telling me all these really bad things that have happened to her. Only to me what she had gone through, what she was going through seemed like a walk in the park. So her parents were divorcing, mine went through a physically violent divorce when I was five. That was hard, but I went through much harder challenges before I reached this point where I was listening to my friend complain about her life.

Even listening to her I didn't feel the need to say, my life has been worse. When I through about it at home later I remember thinking that many of my peers were holding up signs that said "this bad thing happened to me" but I never told people what happened to me. I realized by searching inside myself that I didn't need to.

I had already accepted it and  believed that because of the things that I went through I was a stronger person. It happened to me, it was over, I was still alive, and I was stronger for making it through the pain. I still believe that. I believe that every painful thing we go through changes us. I believe that if we accept those painful things and learn from them we can come out the other end a stronger better person. I also believed that I was a stronger person then my friend was, because what I went through was so much worse then what she went through.

 A chronic illness IS something that happens to you, it IS painful, it SHOULD change you. It does not define who you are, but it is something that can lead to who you will be

 I believe life is a journey, using that I imagine my life as a road. It's a road with many intersections. Sometimes we choose to turn at a particular intersections but sometimes we are forced to take one that we would not have chosen. I believe that the roads we are forced to take are the ones that we are meant to learn the most from.

 When I was 33 I was cruising down the highway of life when I was forced to take a detour at the exit marked Crohn's. It's not the way I would have chosen but it was the only way left to go so I had to take it. My road didn't end, I'm still on a journey but the only way I can reach my destination is by taking this road marked Crohn's. It's a hard road to drive and I have learned many new driving skills to navigate it. As I have driven this new road full of puddles I found a new sticker for my vehicle, and it's the biggest one yet. It reads "ACCEPTANCE" and it encompasses so much more then just the Crohn's.

I have a lot to tell you about this new road and that new sticker. I can tell you that not all of what I believed after talking to that long ago friend is what I believe still, but it's hard to tell. It's hard to take something you KNOW on the inside and place it outside of yourself. It's hard to find the words to tell it just right. So I need to leave for a while and think on it, but I will be back to tell you about the things I have found on this part of my journey. Until then think about your own journey and where it is leading you.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Crohn's & Flu Season

I sort of have a love hate relationship with flu season. Being on immune suppressants I'm forced by my doctors to get my flu shot every year, so I don't ever get the flu. At least I don't think I do. The flu, a bad flare, who can tell the difference. It really all feels the same to me. As a matter of fact the easiest way to describe Crohn's Disease to someone is to tell them it's like the flu that never goes away. This is why I think it's a mistake to have  Crohn's awareness month in April. I don't think Crohn's should have an awareness month. I think it should have a season, flu season. Crohn's is so much easier to understand if you have just had the flu.

I like it when my own family gets the flu, doubly so if someone craps their pants. For those of you that don't have Crohn's I know I sound like a bad person right now. If you have Crohn's you might say out loud that I'm a bad person, because who wants their family to feel sick? But I know your smiling just a little bit on the inside when someone other then you, or the baby poop their pants. For  a few days the flu it lets your family feel the way you have to feel every day. Lets face it when your family is around you every day Crohn's just becomes part of who you are. "I don't feel good today" is often replied to with "you never feel good." I remember once when I was in so much pain it was making me puke. I was puking into the kitchen sink, and my then 12 year old daughter brings me a towel. This is an unusually kind gesture coming from her, I was very touched, until she opened her mouth and asked if I would make her a sandwich.

When my husband and I were in marriage counselling with a therapist that specialized in working with couples dealing with illness, one of our biggest breakthroughs came when my husband got the flu, and crapped his pants. He took paid sick leave and laid in bed for two whole days complaining about how sick he felt. At counselling we were able to help him realize that I feel like that every day, but still got out of bed and went to work. He also realized that with me, being a self employed full time photographer meant I didn't get paid sick leave. I would go all day without eating because it would mean less chances of me embarrassing myself in front of clients. I couldn't stay healthy that way though and the doctors telling me to quit working. Now made sense to him. He went from going behind my back and telling people I was lazy and made myself sick on purpose to agreeing with the doctors and asking me to quit working.

Facebook and the Flu. I love how people posting that they have the flu tell us how many times they have puked. They never tell us how many times they have shit. Everyone has diarrhea with the flu. It's OK for them to tell us they have digested food coming out their mouth, but not ok to tell us it's also coming out their ass faster then usual. Vomit is just as gross as shit so why only tell us about one? This is why Crohn's is such a silent disease, no one wants to hear about shit. Not even the puking, pooping flu poster. From now on, to make it more acceptable for us to talk about our illness, lets ask the flu poster's how many BM's they have had today. I have to answer that question, so in all fairness I should get the chance to ask it. Then I could say "ha, ha beet you by 5!" or "Hey, you had the same number of BM's today that I've had everyday for the past 3 months!" Think how happy our poor flu poster would feel. They would feel so good knowing that they only have the flu.

I'm not saying we should be unsympathetic to our sick friends and loved ones. We need to realize that years of feeling sick has not only built up a tolerance for it, but also taught us how to cope. Think about jumping into a pool. When you 1st get in the water is freezing, but once your body adjusts it doesn't seem cold to you anymore. We Crohnies have been in the pool for a long time, while the flu people are just dipping their toes in the water.

 Friends and families of Crohn's patients who have the flu should take the time while they are sick to reflect what their loved one with Crohn's has to go through everyday. To that end I have made a few little signs for you to post on your facebook page, pin to pinterest, or hang from your bathroom door.