Monthly Archives: October 2010

My Little Blue Pill

I now take 3 little blue pills…4 times a day. Two of the 3 are Pentasa which are the size of horse pills. The other is new, the little blue pill, otherwise known as dicyclomine.

On Friday night my dad and I went out to dinner. (BAD decision, I know) But we were sitting at the table getting ready to eat and I told my dad I needed to take my little blue pill. We immediately both laughed. Thankfully I’ll never be on THE little blue pill, since I’m not a man. But we had a good laugh anyhow.

Thus far it seems to be helping. But I’ve only been on it since Friday evening.

I called my GI’s office on Friday to inform them about my insurance change coming up the first of November to and HMO. And while I was on the phone I figured I should ask the questions I’d been wanting to know answers to for the last couple weeks. (I’m still working on the whole not feeling bad about calling my doctor and feeling like I’m bugging them) While I’m mostly okay with having conversations about my poop and gut with friends or maybe even on the phone in public as I was walking somewhere…I am NOT okay with having the conversation with the staff of my father’s newly merged company around. So I closed my father’s office door, most of the way and asked. My motivation was also driven by the whole wheat flour raspberry linzer cookie I ate an hour before…I was in a great deal of pain. The doctor called back within an hour and she told me the doctor on-call this weekend and that she was going to prescribe a new medicine and I have to take a fiber supplement at night. She also wants to talk to me again on Monday or Tuesday to touch base. AND the best news…she’s willing to work with me over the phone until the insurance issues/referrals get worked out! I’m really thankful for that since I feel like I still very much need her help and things are so NOT settled down.

My father is a bad influence. Not about all things, but about food. I have done very well sticking with my diet, unless it’s just him and me together. He was the one who got me the cookie on Friday. On Saturday we went to the farmer’s market, he bought a cheesecake brownie and offered to get me one as well, I refrained. Then we went to the meat market, who make the BEST fresh made sausages. I got a broccoli and cheddar sausage figuring it wouldn’t be too spicy. Then the post office, Target and Whole Foods. THEN we went to lunch. I had a free sandwich coupon from a really great deli. The sandwich was a pretty bad idea too…but it was really tasty. I ate the sausage for dinner…I was wrong about not being spicy. I like spicy foods, just right now my body does not. I can honestly say, they do NOT taste anywhere close to good on their second visit to my mouth. I was in pain all night Saturday and my sugars shot up close to 300…I ate 2 sausages and zucchini…I have NO idea why that happened. And, I don’t really blame my dad, it’s just harder to make the right decisions when he’s SO bread oriented…he had a box of mac & cheese for dinner with garlic bread and a steak. It’s not him, it’s me, I need better self-control.

I’ll be making some SCD friendly bread today. And hopefully that’ll make it a bit easier. Maybe I’ll make another cheesecake too, it’s pretty low in fat and decent on carbs…and SO SO good. When I make enough food it’s so easy to avoid feeling limited. I feel like I’m eating whatever I want to eat. But then I run out of food, don’t want to make more & when I’m offered something delicious…I fold and take it even though I know it’ll most likely make me sick.


Lessons Learned

Things I learned on Thursday:

There are a large percentage of people who believe it’s acceptable to text while having sex. Texting while sexting! (This was on my co-worker’s, who’s not really a co-worker because I don’t really work there, news radio station this afternoon. I didn’t hear, but she told me. We briefly discussed imagining how this was possible and quickly decided we didn’t need to think about it)

The difference between midgets and dwarfs. (Thanks to Ashley. I know one has proportionate limbs & head…I think midgets. The other has smaller limbs, and I think that’s dwarfism)

I really really should not watch infomercials while I’m on IV pain medication (I managed to order some skin care stuff while I was in the hospital in ID…and they’ve JUST charged my card for refills. I didn’t want refills and really shouldn’t have gotten the first shipment to begin with! NO more infomercial purchases! It was my first, and hopefully last)

Apparently macaroons can help with diarrhea. (This was on Facebook, from a Crohn’s group. It got me started thinking…) Continue reading


Doctor Day

Tuesday I went to go see my PCP. In the past, before I had a digestive system disease and my intestines hated me, I would always buy myself a treat after a doctor appointment. I can’t really place the blame entirely on Crohn’s. It also has to do with me not having a job and the sheer number of appointments I have on a regular basis. Treating myself to a treat after every appointment would have me sicker than a dog, my bank account empty and my weight headed in the wrong direction.

She made a couple changes to my meds: an increase of my neuropathy pain medication, with the hope of preventing my hand from going numb and an increase with my Welbutrin dosage with the hope of kicking this fatigue in the ass. I cannot believe how tired I am. I have to actually keep my daily plans and activities to a minimum to allow for my exhaustion. If I have too full a day one day I really am incapable of functioning the next. It’s frustrating, but I’m glad I know myself well enough to plan for it. I sincerely the increased dose will help. It would be nice to be able to leave the house on a daily basis without looking and being a zombie.

There is also blood in my urine. Not enough to be urgently concerned, but enough that there is some. They’re going to look at it microscopically to see if it’s over 5. If it’s under 5 I’m okay but if it’s over there’s a problem. I have no idea what the 5 actually means or what it’s measuring. But as far as I know the plan is to just test again in 6 weeks when I go back for my next appointment.

As of this coming Monday I’ll have new medical insurance. It looks like all my doctors accept the new insurance. My endocrinologist may not, but their office occasionally creates a contract through my PCP’s office and is able to accept the insurance. So, I’m happy to know that. I wasn’t really stressed about having to change doctors, but it’s really nice to know I get to stay. I think that especially with chronic conditions, it’s SO much easier to stay with your doctors. Chronic issues manifest themselves differently in each person; it’s nice to stay with someone who knows at least a little how it is in your body.

I can’t really say my life is all better and is sunshine and rose-like. But, I don’t feel like everything is running faster than I can handle…anymore. Life feels a bit more manageable. AND it’s not all bad things happening anymore. There are some positives too. Positives are always nice.

Here’s to hoping things continue to look upward.


November

I’ve declared November Official Ashley Month. Well, not really, but it seems to be. And it seems to have come at just the right time.

Many diabetics are planning events and activities for the upcoming month. No, not just for Halloween this weekend (which is the anti-diabetes day…or maybe we should call it “the most insulin taken day of the year, behind only Valentine’s and Thanksgiving”) or Thanksgiving just four and a half weeks away. November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Which means we all sport our blue, especially on World Diabetes Day. It’s our time to join together and really work as a force to educate the world about diabetes. Dispel any and all falsehoods out there, as we know there are many.

BUT, many of you may not know what else November means. November is also Inflammatory Bowel Disease Awareness Month…in Canada. I’m not Canadian, but I’m going to go ahead and say IBD needs a whole month too. World IBD Day is May 19th. IBD’s “color” is purple. Like T1 diabetes, Crohn’s has no cure and no known cause. There isn’t even a solid treatment plan. Some diets work for some and not at all for others. Some meds help one patient but can have the opposite effect in other patients. Unlike diabetes, it cannot immediately and directly lead to death. But it makes you more likely to get certain cancers, 75% of Crohn’s patients have surgery and 50% of those need at least one more surgery, causes pain and discomfort on a regular (or so it seems) basis and can seriously impede upon your ability to live life. Being that I know so little at this point, I can’t say for sure, but I don’t think there’s as much political pull in the attempt or non-attempt to find a cure. Whereas with diabetes it is blatantly clear that a cure realistically may never be found. Perhaps it’s because I’ve had diabetes for a longer time and am more comfortable with the regime, but I feel like Crohn’s is much farther behind in technological advancement. With diabetes we have pumps, cgms, a variety of insulins, etc. With Crohn’s you have 4 different levels of drugs and once you’re out of the first level you’re taking meds that can and probably will cause cancer and a plethora of other problems.

I don’t mean to compare in attempt at saying one is more deserving of a cure than the other. Just to kind of explain to all the diabetics what Crohn’s means in terms related to diabetes. I’m not sure if that makes sense. But diabetes is the only other chronic condition I have experience with and sometimes it helps me to compare the two. Since I know most of you who read this are diabetics, I guess I thought I’d try to explain the easiest way possible.

Just a side note, IBD covers two different diseases, Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis, yet they can agree on one color. Why in the world can’t diabetes agree on one?! Side note complete.

I have to say I’m looking forward to November. Thanksgiving, Diabetes and Crohn’s. Thanksgiving isn’t really a ME thing, but it’s one of my favorite days of the year, so it counts toward being a great month. I am ready to embrace and support my two November causes!


D

In the DOC, D simply means diabetes. (DOC means Diabetic Online Community)

When you’re dealing with the Crohn’s/Ulcerative Colitis community, D, means diarrhea. (As far as I can tell…I’m pretty new to this crowd)

When I started blogging it was about me and my life with diabetes tagging along for the ride. Now I have two co-stars in my life, Diabetes AND Crohn’s. Naturally, now this blog is about me, life, Diabetes and Crohn’s. As I mentioned before, I have named the two, since they’re so incredibly involved in my life and it doesn’t look like they’re headed anywhere anytime soon. AND they’re finally ready to make their pictorial debut! INTRODUCING BERT & OSKIE! In case you don’t notice, their faces are in the shape of their designated organ…because I’m awesome like that.


Oskie has done well at sharing the spotlight with Bert. I am surprised he hasn’t become more jealous and feisty. My endocrinologist applauded my (seemingly) good control of my sugars having been on prednisone for over two weeks and adapting to Symlin. Right now the biggest issue Oskie is trying to pull is dropping too low in the morning, then I can’t take my Symlin, I naturally overcorrect & it throws me off for a few hours. This week we’ve made great strides in that arena and if I correct, have my breakfast and wait to take my insulin and Symlin until I’m in range, I don’t peak as high and I don’t drop too low. There has been a LOT of playing with combo bolusing lately to get it all sorted out. And my basal needs are no longer at a 70% increase with the prednisone and Entocort, I’m only at a 40% increase. I’d prefer to just be at my normal rates, but playing with steroids, I’m happy to have any normal readings at all!

Bert is not so hot. He is making me not only have D, but DDs. (There are so many things that can be said there…but I’ll bite my tongue and control my fingers). There is a lot of praise amongst Crohn’s/UC patients for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, so I’ve given it a shot, along with my medications. I’ll get more into SCD eating as I progress, but it’s essentially gluten-free, table sugar-free, non-nutritive sweetener-free, grain-free and almost completely dairy-free. On Wednesday night I ate dinner with my family. The local butcher made fresh garlic brats for me, with no fillers of any kind and my mother purchased me a gluten-free cupcake. The cupcake was far from SCD legal as it has a ton of sugar and contains rice flour. But, she tried to bring me a treat and I didn’t want to turn her down or make her feel bad by not eating it. The garlic brats were delicious, I ate two. One would have been sufficient, but in my house if you don’t eat your food right away there’s no saying it’ll still be there when you go back for it…so I greedily indulged in two. With Bert’s temperamental behavior as of late garlic was not the best choice. THEN I dropped too low and seized the opportunity to eat the cupcake.

I thought I felt bad on Wednesday night, Thursday morning was SO much worse! It took me over an hour to make it from the bed to the bathroom, for fear of puking along the way. I’m still not completely recovered. I still have DDs. (It’s clear that means diabetes and diarrhea, right?) I feel completely exhausted (but that isn’t anything new). I feel weak, that feeling you get when you have the flu & you’re just worn out in every sort of way, THAT kind of weak. If this persists all weekend, I’ll call the doctor on Monday. They’ve already added two medications to the original two medications Bert requires, I don’t really want to add any more. But knowing that I’m still feeling this way makes me a little bit scared about the so-called potential tethering Bert may or may not have made with my other organs. Bert already has a friend, his name is Oskie, we do not need to add any more body parts to the problem-list. My next appointment with my gastroenterologist is November 8th. Last week when we talked she thought about moving my appointment up, but said it was okay to keep it where it is for now…I don’t really want to have to move it. Mainly, because I don’t want anything to be wrong. (I probably should take a look in the mirror and admit there’s plenty wrong, but I’m just not open to that right now).

My body just doesn’t like to eat apparently. My pancreas broke and doesn’t want to make insulin to metabolize my food. And my intestines have joined the revolt and don’t want to digest food period. Anyone know how to make it through life without eating? Not that that’d even completely solve the problem, my stupid liver likes to make glucose for my pancreas to snub its nose at metabolizing too. But eliminating food could be a start?


D-Feast Friday!

I took the time to write out my internet-inspired recipes on 3×5 index cards. Then I thought I lost them! After a mini late night wild goose chase, they’ve been located. Have no fear, the recipe is here!

Orange Cranberry Muffins

2 1/2 c Almond Flour (you can make your own in a food processor, it’s best to used blanched almonds)
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
2 eggs
1/2 c Honey
3 TB Butter
1 c Fresh Cranberries
2 clementines or 1 orange

Preheat oven to 325 F.
Remove rind from one orange and leave the other as is, removing only it’s stem stub.
Process both oranges in a food processor.
Put oranges in a mixing bowl and add the remaining wet ingredients.
Mix well.
Add dry ingredients.
Mix well.
Place in cupcake lined tin, 1/2-3/4 full. (Almond flour does not rise the same as normal flour, so they won’t get too high)
Bake 35 mins. If you decide to make a loaf instead of muffins it’ll take about 10 mins more.

When I made them I made about 14 muffins. There are about 14 carbs and 190 calories per muffin. (The whole recipe is 191 carbs and 2663 calories if your muffins are smaller/larger)

Enjoy! They’re super moist and incredibly delicious!


Thank You Mom!

She got me the best gift I could ask for yesterday. A heating pad. I pop it in the microwave for a minute and I have sweet sweet bliss for a good half hour. It’s not terribly bulky, so I could wear it, say…like today when I work in my dad’s office!

Love

Now, it’s not an attractive look to put under my shirt. But it’s not 100% noticeable either. We’ll see how much pain I’m in before I break down and break out my new pal.

It doesn’t relieve all my pain, but it makes it bearable enough to sleep and bearable enough to not have the pain be my focal point. At this point, I’ll take whatever I can get.

This heating pad has many perks. 1 – I can also freeze it and use it as an ice pack! 2 – I don’t need to be attached to a power outlet in order to use it. 3 – It has a band that I can even wrap it around myself 4 – It was one of the cheapest options at CVS

I know it’s just a heating pad. But right now, it’s so much more!


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