Category Archives: food

Wow

My life has changed a lot since mid-May.

June 5th I got my new dog, Moyer. I love him to death. He’s adorable…and huge. Think Clifford the Big Red Dog, but black and an actual life size. Standing on his back two legs he’s taller than my 5’7″ sister.

I go to church again and am loving it. It was time, and I am grateful for grace.

I no longer have three jobs. I have one, full-time job. Moyer gets to come with me to work every day and it’s relatively close to home.

It’s been since late May since I was in the hospital.

I’ve now been diagnosed with Crohn’s for a year. It was a rough, rough year. Adding school, work, church & a social life into my routine hasn’t been easy. Almost two weeks ago now I saw my GI…I cried after. He put me back on flagyl, cipro & entocort. I felt like I was taking so many steps forward, only to take three steps back.  It didn’t help you could see the terror in his eyes when he found out I lose my insurance in March.

With the new meds and the Crohn’s acting up, my sugars have been all sorts of everywhere. It’s really quite annoying.

Toward the end of September I cut all my hair off. Not a buzz cut or anything, but my mother called it “butch”. Then toward the end of October I dyed it brown. I love it. It’s liberating.

Navigating a social life shouldn’t be such a challenge for a 25 y/o. But, between feeling completely un-cool and terribly socially awkward I don’t feel terribly comfortable socially. I love people…which is why I work with them, but at the end of the day I like my peace and quiet. Humans are social by nature though, so I feel it’s best to maintain some form of a social life…well first I need to start one. I’m not great at it, and usually feel quite weird and out of place, but I am trying. That sounds potentially very lame, I think I’m okay with that though. Between diabetes, Crohn’s, work, family, church, school and my own sanity, being social unfortunately doesn’t always rank high on my priority list after a long day or week.

Aside from hoping to become more comfortable socially, I’d really like to be able to eat again soon. By that I mean eat an entire meal and not feel like digging a 10ft hole to bury myself in within the hour. Currently, I can handle, barely, half a meal MAYBE twice a day. I eat so I can take my meds, otherwise I get even MORE sick. :( It’s really very annoying.

Also, I’d like to take a class on social implications, expectations and perceptions…apparently I’m not great at them.

That’s kind of a 6month wrap up. It’s more a “late on a Saturday night and my head has a million things going on and something needed to be spit out” wrap up. Let’s pretend I was trying to be more diligent with my blog and give an update though :)


Piercing Has, Tubing Death

Two of my top searches here. Rather odd if you ask me, but whatever floats your boat.

I have been wanting to blog for a while now, but I just haven’t created the time for it. I’m not entirely sure what I’d like to say. Over the last few weeks I’ve been contemplating what this blog is…it’s not a health blog, it’s not a sports blog, it’s a me blog…not that I know exactly what that means.

I guess on the topic of piercings, I’ll go with my year in retrospect and hopes for the next.

I turned 25 on March 12th, officially definitely mid-twenties, officially uncareered, unindependantly housed, uneducated…all those good things lol.

24th Year

March – I think I had my last three wisdom teeth out in March. Did I have my nose pierced at 23 or 24? Went to Southern CA. Met George (yay DOC meetups). Hung out with Liz…haven’t seen her since. :( Hospital visit #1 of the year. Embarrassing birthday celebration. Discovered the world’s best medication…Ondansetron ODT – AMAZING anti-nausea med.

April – Visited my grandma in AZ, hadn’t seen her in nearly a year. Finally got my side tattoo, it’s a pine tree. It took about four hours…SO painful, my others were not…ribs hurt! Moved to Idaho. Hospital visit #2, after my first day on the job, walked 3mi (I think) to the hospital at 1-2A and stayed two full days.

May – Played with axes and crosscut saws. Got my WFR certification. Played in the snow. Started working toward the end of the month. Started my, I think, third round of antibiotics since April.

June – Worked in the forest!!!! First anesthesia experience, first surgery, lost my tonsils. Also lost my nipple piercings – I had to take out all my piercings for the surgery and was too sore and distracted to put my nipple piercings back in. My dad visited me in Idaho to drive me to and from the hospital and a couple days of recovery. I think I watched/bought more movies, watched more TV series during recovery than I had in a year! I called my mother in tears more than once in pain.

July – Tonsil wound got infected…more antibiotics, more pain medication. Worked in the sun daily…in a chair. Worked on environmental non-profit stuff (a ton of fun). After the pain subsided a bit, I started taking forest/river walks in hopes of re-joining the field. Had a brief Grave’s disease scare. Congratulated on my diabetes management (I miss my MT endo)…(actually I miss most of this stuff, not glad it happened, but I miss it anyway…making me tear up…stupid emotions lol) Brief scare about blood in my urine. Tonsils were cleared. By this point I was WAY out of shape…being sick sucks.

August – Almost ready to join the field…only to get sick. Final trip to the hospital…as an admitted patient. Surprise problem, that would require specialists. Could go to Hamilton, MT for at least one of the specialists…3.5hours away. None of the tests for “wilderness” illnesses came back positive, so their best guesses were Crohn’s (winner, winner lobster dinner…if I liked lobster). UC, or maybe celiac. Realized it was time to call it a day…boss & I decided it was best I go back to CA; I wasn’t working and was going to need to be running more tests and seeing more doctors…it just made sense to be in CA. Parents drove up with my dog to help move me back. Visited Janelle (!!!!) and my aunt and uncle in Ogden, UT. Was heartbroken.

September – Doctor visits, feeling and being sick, trying to go to school, occasionally working for my dad’s work, sleeping, sweatpant wearing…overall not handling everything very well.

October – Official Crohn’s diagnosis (yay?), was happy to have answers. Start the adventure of finding the right medication regime. Got a CGM…LOVE my Dexom! Finish working for my dad, his company merged at the end of the month. More feeling crappy. Sleeping, trying to work, trying to go to school, etc.

November – Drop out of school (medical reasons). Attempt at the SCD diet…didn’t go well…used too much almond flour. More feeling sick, sleeping, etc. Looking for a job. Highlighted my hair. Thanksgiving meal planning…was awkward.

December – 2weeks after I highlighted my hair I dyed it dark, dark brown with some red highlights. Christmas. My mother started paying me to leave the house. She also had a stroke. Family paid me to stay home from vacation…sounds worse than it was: I wasn’t going to go so they paid me to watch the dogs. To be honest, I don’t really know what else happened.

January – Thought about returning to beauty school, but that didn’t work out (like so much else over the last year it seems lol). Started school again. Kind of got the medication regime figured out. Had an at least 5 trip root canal/tooth pulling, I don’t recommend that either. Felt really good about things getting better…and me getting better.

February – Made it just over 6months without a trip to the hospital…turns out I had kidney stones. Surgery #2 for the year…and for my life. Peed blood, peed blue and finally peed normal again. Had a stint put in (while under anesthesia) and pulled out (while awake)…I don’t recommend getting one of those. Recovery sucked. It hurt to move, pee, walk…anything. Got a job!!!! The surgery happened my second week of work and I had to take a whole week off. Thankfully they were really nice about it. Fell behind in school. My sister got a dog…a 10month old Husky, Kaya…I’m now her nanny.

March – My mother and sister threw me a surprise party, that I demanded not be a surprise. It takes a lot of planning to prevent me from getting sick. School graciously allowed me to drop my classes without Ws again, due to the surgery. (WAY annoying…it could be a whole post all on its own)

So, not many tattoos or piercings. I’d like to get my nipples re-pierced, but when I have more money and can come up with a good time to have them pierced. I’d like another tattoo or two, but I can’t exactly figure out what I want…and I also need more money before that becomes a good idea.

I was really hoping 2011 would be hospital visit free. Maybe I can just hope for a hospital visit free 25th year.

I’d like to be able to stay in school long enough to actually finish something. I’d like to move out…I have doubts that’ll happen by the time I’m 26 (a little sad :-/), but I’d like to be kind of close to that happening. I’d like to feel normal more days than I feel sick. I’d like to be productive, I’d like to feel like I’m getting somewhere.

I don’t know, I don’t think I want anything too complicated. If I could have my health and life back, I’d be okay with the rest of the shit life throws my way. Maybe I wouldn’t be okay immediately, but I’d get there.

Not having my health at 25 makes me feel all sorts of ways. Angry, sad, hurt, disappointed…maybe I’ll post about it soon.

But, really, Year 25, please grant me a year of health.


A Good Day

Been feeling like they’re few and far between these days.

Oddly, Tuesday was a good day. Nothing spectacular happened, I didn’t do anything particularly exciting or important.

I got lost in Danville, not really I just forgot where I was going so I guessed and guessed wrong. Then I placed something in my head, only to see my head was wrong and reality was a bit different. However, the actual intended destination was near where I thought it had been.

My oral surgeon had to pull out a stitch that wasn’t healing…hurt like a…I don’t know what, but it hurt.

Stent is still annoying the crap out of me. ALWAYS feel like I have to pee! And there started to be more blood today:( Today I get it out though! Can I tell you how NOT excited I am about the procedure?!?! It’s big and goes from my kidney, through my ureter to my bladder. I will be AWAKE while he puts the hook in to pull it out! But I am glad it’ll be gone.

Had class, am WAY behind and it’s going to take a lot of work to catch up with all my classwork.

At work we mop up the dog pee, if they’re inside. It’s Pine-Sol and water. After my shift I have to clean the pee bucket and refill it for the next shift. I splashed it all over my arm, hair, shirt and jeans. DOG PEE! ON my face!!! I was able to change the shirt after work, but didn’t have time to shower or find another pair of jeans and I’m 99.99999% certain I smelled a lot like a dog in class. After class, around 10:30 I was finally able to get in the shower.

Dogs are dirty, I know…and frankly really don’t care. We only wear work/casual clothes…jeans & old t-shirts/sweatshirts. But I can, without a doubt in my mind, tell you getting pee/pine-sol/water/dog hair splashed all over myself is not terribly enjoyable…funny, yes…gross, definitely. I think I may have wigged out if it got in my mouth, but so long as it stays out of me I’m good.

Monday night I was talking with Jess about forgetting diabetes stuff, I KNEW I would need to refill my pump at work Tuesday morning. I TOTALLY forgot my insulin! Thankfully it ran out towards the end of my shift and was able to go straight home, but waking to 312, dropping to around 90 at work and then popping right up to 344 was a bit exhausting.

Perhaps it was a good day because I was productive and actually tired. It’s a great feeling to be not only mentally in need of refreshment but physical too. There are so few opportunities for our society to be active in the workplace. Yeah, I hang out with dirty, slobbery, LOUD dogs all day…but I’m moving around, playing, cleaning. It’s not like I’m making a major (or any) contribution to society, but I’m making the dogs have a better day. Dogs are rarely as rude as people can be, they’re always grateful of your attention, they’re forgiving…and they take your mind off all the shit going on in the “real” world.

It’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to be a friend: I’m flaky and have to cancel last minute more times than I’d like, there’s CONSTANTLY something not right, hospital staff and pharmacies know me, I take meds that can mess with my ability to be completely with it, exhausted should be my middle name, eating out is beyond difficult, there’s always some conflict with my health and my family…I am starting to be more okay with this reality.
It’s my life, I can deal with it (most days)…but it’s really hard to “deal” with anybody else’s stuff too. I don’t say it to be selfish, honestly, just as a friend I’d like to be there for a friend as much as they are for me. Some days, that’s not a possibility. On the other side is that my life comes with a bunch of crap, most people have enough to deal with without me contributing anymore. I don’t mean petty drama or anything, but as a friend you care for your friends…when they’re having a hard time you want to be able to listen. A few friends understand and I love them for it. But there are others who get mad when I have to cancel, get pushed out of shape when I don’t respond quick enough, treat me like porcelain or think my limitations are just made up. If only they knew how much my limitations piss me off, I LOVE having a million things going on, tight schedules daily, etc but it’s just not me anymore. It’s okay I’m not, but it’d be nice to have other people on board, not to mention the poor responses make me feel worse about not being as capable.

Well that was a long rant in attempt to say, dogs don’t care what crap you have going on, they always like you. At one point on Tuesday I had 2 dogs on my lap, one between my feet, and two on each side trying to beat out the other for my attention. I definitely get tired of cleaning up poop and pee, breaking up rowdy dogs and hearing the deafening barking of some dogs…however, it can be incredibly therapeutic. It’s almost always chaotic, but a soothing chaos. Crazyness.

I’d love to have more good days, less sick ones. I think I cherish my good days more than I used to, it’s nice to feel like not such a disaster.


S-A-T-U-R-U-R-DAY NIGHT

Except it’s Sunday night. Mike Myers was on SNL this week (on Saturday night – see it’s sorta relevant). My favorite Mike Myers movie is So I Married An Axe Murderer, which has this song. So, it’s not entirely random.

It’s become apparent to me how much I’m stressing over this coming week and month. If I take every appointment as it comes and each day it comes, I’m fine. Seeing doctor appointments set Monday, Tuesday, next Tuesday and the Tuesday following AND the dentist this Monday too.

The dentist I’m not too stressed about.

My endo – I’m terrified. I know I have an endo complex, but I haven’t been this worked up for a while. My first and second endos were intimidating, one made me cry and the other told me they wouldn’t help me if I didn’t log my sugars. I should have logged my sugars, but I’m stubborn…and I’ve never been good at it. My endo in Montana was wonderful, I loved him. He was respectful and willing to help, but didn’t force things on me. I got a new endo when I moved back to California. He has been good. My first appointment he gave me Symlin and a Dexcom for a week. My second appointment he told me I was the most compliant patient he had and did amazing on prednisone. The day before that appointment was an amazing day, had one low and didn’t go any higher than 160 or something. Today, the day before this appointment, I’ve been 42, 140, 70, 160, 55, 275, 48, 300, 220, 270, 240 and now holding steady around 310. I have no way to explain it. It was just an off day of extreme zigzags. Until late in the evening it was just a lot of over-corrections in both directions. Now, I KNOW I’ve over-corrected, but I’m not budging. I have 15U in my system and I’m still not dropping. I swear, once I’m out of range it’s hell getting back. If I’m too low I really can’t function, if I’m too high I’m a big grumpyface prone to bitchiness. I feel like I need to be able to explain myself. I just don’t know how or why it really happens. It would make sense that this stupid ibuprofen is wreaking havoc on things, so maybe that’s it. Who knows if he’ll believe it though, he won’t believe me that Entocort EC is a steroid.

Tuesday I’m seeing my PCP. I’m happy to go there…except that it’s at 9:15a, but still happy to go. I can get my bloodwork done there. Also, I need to ask her about my shaking hands. It’s been really odd, I get really shaky hands. Not when I’m low, not when I’m high, just during the day. It’s slightly concerning. I really like my doctor. She’s nice to talk to about not just diabetes, not just Crohn’s, not just neuropathy…just about me.

I also have my second interview at the dog daycare/boarding facility on Tuesday. If I am hired I will most likely start this week. It’ll be nice to have a purpose for getting out and nice to be around dogs all days. Dogs are easier to be around than people…or at least they are for me. I’m a little nervous of handling school and 20hrs of work a week. It sounds lame, I know…but I really am so limited in what I can do. I get worn out SO easily. I hate being so limited, but it’s reality for me right now. Hopefully it’ll be great, not too much stress, fun and a good fit.

Next Tuesday I see my gastroenterologist. I already wrote about that appointment. I think they’ll be calling me tomorrow. We played phone tag about my dentist’s desire to put me on an anti-inflammatory medication. If they pull my tooth tomorrow, we’ll probably have to talk about what I can take for that too. It’s not worth it and probably not justified, but I feel like it’s my fault things aren’t going better with Crohn’s stuff. Or maybe that I’m not feeling what I’m feeling. Weird, I know…it’s just WHY can’t I get it together?!

The following Tuesday is my neurologist appointment. We need to talk about my muscle spasms and my shaky hands. He and I have only seen each other once and it wasn’t for very long. He doesn’t seem too interested in figuring out why I have neuropathy, but he seems to think I do in both hands and feet.

Eventually I need to see the eye doctor. But, I want to wait until I have a job so I can pay for at least something.

The one positive and even a little bittersweet part about all these appointments is that I can transfer over to my insurance’s mail order pharmacy. It just saves so much money. I LOVE my CVS in Castro Valley. I really don’t want to leave. But when you have meds that are $10, $25 and $40 every month and the mail order pharmacy charges the same for a three month prescription, you just can’t justify it. To make myself feel a little better I tell myself that I can still fill my temporary prescriptions at MY CVS…I’ve been on four or five already this year. I might have withdrawals if I don’t get to see them.

Another, oddly entertaining and somewhat pathetic event happened this weekend. My mother told me it’s been heavy on her heart I need a social life. Yes, a social life…as in getting out of the house. So she intends on occasionally donating $10 to my social life fund. Having no job and no money does play a part in my staying home so often…why leave to pay for gas, pay for wherever I’m going and whatever I’m doing? I can use the internet at home. While doing homework and studying outside the house would be nice…it’s cheaper to stay home. But, getting out will allow me to have some space from our already strained balance in the house. …Plus, I wore a short sleeve shirt today and I seriously need to get some sun!

Well, I started this on Sunday night, it’s now close to 1A on Monday…whoops.

I’ve added another reading assignment to myself…Last Child in the Woods. My roommate in ID had the book and I’d meant to read it but never got around to it. He told me about it and it sounded incredible. THEN my sister had to read the book for one of her classes in the Fall. She gave it to me tonight. Yay :)

One last thing…I’ve added another shower injury to last week. I bruised my toe REALLY badly, it’s black & blue and hard to walk, as I was getting out of the shower. I hit it on the door track. I’ve used this shower off and on since 1998…you’d think I could manage to use it and not injure myself.


Real World

Not an obvious song title, but it is! One of the few positives coming out of my January Technology Crash aka death of my Windows operated computer, is I’ve somehow been able to recover some really old iTunes purchases. The All-American Rejects make me a happy camper :) …I don’t think I’m supposed to admit liking them though…oops.

Anyway, the title actually relates to my post! Lately I’ve spent a lot more time in the kitchen. I’m not 100% sure of the reason, though the possible causes are: – I have no job & one class outside of my house so I’m home a lot – My diet has become something my family is not open to adapting along with me – I cooked a lot of my own food in Idaho.

I’ve always had a huge interest in people and cultures. People fascinate me. And since I’m in the kitchen so often, why not start making foods from various countries?!

Monday night I went out and got a world map from AAA and plan on marking each country I cover. The other twist with this, is I’m going to try to adjust the recipes I find into gluten free versions. I’ve heard some people with Crohn’s (I still don’t have a good term – suggestions??) have success eliminating gluten from their diet. Along with gluten I’m trying to limit my milk consumption. I still plan on having Greek yogurt, it’s cooked long enough to kill nearly all of the lactose. (I haven’t tried my new milks yet…I’m planning almond milk for my gluten free Puffins this morning)

Anyway, I’ve started researching some German and Irish dishes. I think I’ll move to Russia next. I’m primarily German and Irish and my family recently discovered lineage to Russia. I briefly looked at some Cuban food…which I’m excited to try.

My goal is to make a full dinner, meal and dessert from one country once a week. They can fend for themselves the rest of the week…and I’m not sure they’ll go for gluten free 7 nights a week.

The Irish desserts look AMAZING! I can’t decide between an oat cream (yeah oats aren’t 100% certainly gluten free, but I love my oatmeal and it’s staying around) fruit pudding-like dessert or a Baileys pie. We might need to visit the Irish more than once. :) Most of the German desserts I want to make will have to wait until May-June because they involve more fresh summer fruits. There’s this wonderful looking plum meringue pie, plum cake and some other fruit cakes.

If you have any suggestions – of countries or recipes, I’d love to hear them!

This isn’t too nerdy of a goal, right? I think I can consider it a good use of my time, yeah?

Oh, also, a quick health update:

  • My tooth still hurts…and I still haven’t called the endontist…for the millionth time to tell them I’m still not better. It seems redundant. If I’d ever like to have fully functioning mastication abilities, I should probably call. :-/
  • My stomach bruises have changed from purple-blue to black. It looks awesome. My mother was appalled when I lifted my shirt to take my Symlin yesterday…she was also disgusted.
  • I cut myself in the shower yesterday, with an exfoliant. A simple bar of natural ingredients intended to slough off dead skin. Part of me thinks this could be a fault of the product, but the more reasonable portion of my brain is certain this would only happen to me.

So, not good, not bad, but mostly just the same. At least a shower injury is entertaining…a little, tiny bit, but entertaining nonetheless.


Milk

I LOVE milk. LOVE.

Sadly milk has SO many hormones now days and unless you’re buying local (and can afford the price tag) you really don’t know the conditions of the dairy cows. So I’m trying some alternatives.

Back in high school I was a big soy milk fan. But, there’s a higher level of estrogen in soy milk and some studies have linked it to a risk of breast cancer. There have been a number of women in my family, mostly cousins, who’ve had breast cancer, so I just stopped drinking it. Regular milk doesn’t bug my system too badly, as long as it’s 1% or 2%. In ID we brought soy out on hitches b/c it would stay cool enough in the cold weather whereas milk wasn’t as easy to transport.

Monday afternoon I went to Trader Joe’s and picked up three different options.

#1 – Almond Milk – plain – less hormones/mild flavor/protein/low fat

#2 – Soy Milk – plain – I know I like it/protein/low fat/helps lessen fat absorption in foods

#3 – Hemp Milk – plain – mother said it tastes good/she heard good things about it

We’ll see how it goes, I may try one at a time or maybe in a rotation?

I’m hoping the elimination of wheat and most gluten will help me feel a little better and find better balance between T1 and Crohn’s. I’m tired of being tired all the time. Here’s to hoping!


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