The Fasting and the Furious

I’m going into day surgery again today to replace the 2 setons I have that help drain any potential abscesses or infections that might be brewing because of my Crohn’s, so I’ve had the day off and am an hour away from going into the hospital.

Anyone heading in for a procedure knows that one of the hardest parts of preparing for it (other than the fear, anxiety, stress, exhaustion…) is fasting – No food or drink 6 hours before you go under general anaesthetic. I’ve looked into the reason behind this and a lot of sources say it’s because when you’re under, the contents of your stomach can flow back into your lungs and cause all sorts of complications. Gross. Either way, fasting when you already are feeling sorry for yourself is not a good combination, and I assure you that by the time I get to the hospital, I will seriously have my cranky pants on and be in some foul mood. Sorry in advance to the doctors and nurses looking after me today!

But there are some(times) wonderful things that I do to distract myself from feeling thirsty and/or hungry…or in my case…hangry.

1. I cleaned the house this morning! I furiously scrubbed and washed the bathrooms, tidied up the bedrooms, put on the laundry and did general sorting. And when all that activity started to make me feel hungry, I would have a nap. Which brings me to the next thing on my list…

[Read more…]

Kinesiology – your body knows best…

Last week I went to my first kinesiology session with my sister-in-law’s sister (find Erin through Facebook’s ‘Achieving Balance’). It’s taken me a week to process the whole experience and to also do some further research about it as a healing practice.

Kinesiology is a healing technique that tests your muscles that represent different parts of your body to essentially listen to what the body itself says it needs healing with. I was asked what my goal was for the session and I said that I was generally feeling confused about my health, that I felt like I had lost touch with my own instinct as to knowing what was right for me. So we put this sentiment into words so that my goal was written something like “to feel confident and stable about the decisions made regarding my health, especially on my own terms”. This profoundly resonated within me because I currently have so many doctors now that my dependence on their advice has become crucial, even though sometimes it conflicts with what I believe, or what other doctors that I trust have said. Sometimes having too much information can be a shit fight! And to no surprise, this issue with my doctors also came up this week!
Anyway, back to my first official kinesiology session – I was asked how my body’s response mechanisms work by holding up my arm and relaxing at the joints. She asks my body to show my “yes” and “no” responses by asking me to push against her finger – and seriously, there are times where I can not hold myself up against the touch of her finger! And it’s not like she is battling me with it, she is gently touching me, but my body is responding to her questions about my feelings, about my treatments and about my life experiences by either positively or negatively working against her touch. I did ask her whether my body could trick myself into responding a certain way, for example, I want my response to be something, thus, will my body adjust to match that response? But no, it didn’t work that way.

[Read more…]

Injecting a little emotion into my day…

Just gave myself my Humira injection for the fortnight. It’s a really strange sensation injecting yourself… for some reason I feel like I should have someone with me when I do it. It’s not that I am not sure how to do it and need to be “spotted”, it’s just that for me, there is sort of this lonely feeling of doing it, like I am medicating myself all on my own.

Super strange, considering I take my own meds without anyone needing to be around me (in fact, I prefer to do it privately anyway!), but stabbing a needle into your belly just seems a little more invasive, thus a little more “real” that there are things not quite right with your body. I mean, we can take tablets for anything and everything really – you got a bad headache, take a Panadol… take vitamins if you have a cold – so taking medication isn’t too far of a stretch from the norm. But when I’m puncturing myself to administer medication into my blood stream, it is a little full on. [Read more…]

Clarity, Strength and Healing

While I was doing a head stand in yoga class today, these 3 words “Clarity, Strength and Healing” came to mind – now I know my mind should be clear during my yoga practice, but I welcomed these words as being the new mantra that I need to focus on. After all, it did come to me while I was hanging upside down…clearly it was a message from my inner depths after an hour of blissful and intense yoga that my body and mind needed me to know. So here I go, listening to my body (as we all should, so that we may know what is really best for us), and understanding what it all means, and what my intentions have to be:

Clarity: Be clear about what I need to do to stay healthy – balance of medication, surgery, supplements and diet. Be clear with my communication with my doctors about what I want for my healing process too, on my terms, not only on theirs.

Strength: Gain strength emotionally and physically. Be strong in moving forward and confidently dealing with it all.

Healing: Heal from within. Look after myself through my clarity and strength, and the healing will continue happening. I am currently healing. I am currently healthy.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti xx

Poo like a Champion!

I-Pooped-Today!
(Image from spreadshirt.com – imagine having this on a t-shirt that you walked around in?!)

This amazing blog from my friend Kate Callaghan is superb! Not only does she give great, practical advice on how to eat and live well (“Eat the rainbow”!), she has blogged about unclogging your bogging!

Constipation is seriously the WORST! It’s not even about not pooping for a day, but includes not having that full bowel motion so you feel emptied. Crohn’s disease is annoying in the sense that you can have anything from the liquoops to diarrhea one day, and then be constipated the next!

It happened to me today – went to the loo, did a little poo, and now I feel clogged, not knowing what to do (poetry genius!). So I drank two cups of my Husk ‘Digest’ tea, which helped things move some more, but I still didn’t feel that awesome satisfaction you get from having a proper poo.

[Read more…]

A Toke(n) of my Appreciation

treatmentsopularFound this (not very clear) infographic from the 23andme website (http://blog.23andme.com/23andme-research/what-patients-say-works-for-crohns-disease/) which was conducted by Cure Together which looks at treatments that Crohn’s patients have found have worked for them. They did a study over 4 years talking to several hundred Crohn’s patients and asked them from their own personal experiences which treatments worked for them. Looking at a variety of therapies from east to west, and from popularity and effectiveness, it was interesting to look at the top listed findings.

Number one was LDN (Low dose Naltrexone) which surprised me because when I had my recent relapse, I asked several gastro doctors about it and they weren’t too supportive of it – said there was no conclusive evidence that it worked. Hmmmm….Included in the list of the top 10 most effective treatments were surgery, steroids, Remicade and Humira (no surprise here) and even gluten-free and Paleo diets. [Read more…]

Fistulising Crohn’s Disease Treatment

Fistulising Crohn’s Disease treatments

A good read about fistulising Crohn’s Disease and the treatment methods available including Infliximab, Humira and antibiotics. YAY winning combination!

However, a bit upset with the comment that perianal fistulae are a “disabling complication” of Crohn’s disease – true, it is… don’t want to be reminded of it… but then it mentions that this leads to a reduced quality of life… BOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Fuck you Crohn’s. Not going to let you reduce my quality of life!

http://www.quickmeme.com/img/bd/bdb7f1b112a2c34efa9a3dd1ac910e3e8cac8e13e4f987b45d548e8a0f261858.jpg

Stimulation you Don’t Want

Stimulation that you don’t want…

Caffeine isn’t so great for your guts if you’ve got Crohn’s Disease or any other inflammatory bowel disease… gives you the liquoops and makes things feel a little too intense in your midsection. This article outlines some issues associated with caffeine, especially causing a laxative effect and being quite acidic – doesn’t make your guts feel too good. What I found interesting is that caffeine increases your stress hormone levels which actually divert blood from your digestive system! Yikes!

For years I had noticed that caffeine and I didn’t get along – if I had black tea or a coffee, it would actually cause a red flushing of my face, which in Chinese medicine is called Liver Yang and relates to your liver function (under a lot of pressure from all my meds anyway), a leaky gut or digestive issue – BINGO! Ticking all boxes here! Caffeine would also stimulate me – and not in that “I-am-functioning-at-the speed-of-light” type of stimulation that gets you through the day and makes you uber efficient, but it would make me have the runs… Never a good option for someone with Crohn’s who already has pooping issues! Plus, people with bowel problems should avoid drinking anything with a diuretic effect at all costs, I mean, we are already not absorbing vitamins and other vital elements through our guts, do we want to add dehydration to the mix?

[Read more…]

How a punch to my boob affected my guts

Funniest thing happened to me on Wednesday night – I play in a basketball team and I returned to the competition after being away for 4 months due to recent relapse. Feeling better and stronger to play, I went onto the court. Obviously I took it easy, didn’t push myself too far… but then I got punched in the boob! Super hard! A punch right into my left nipple! It felt like it should’ve bruised immediately, but it didn’t, and it was weird grasping at my boob and trying to massage it while I was still running around on the court. Anyway…life goes on…boob hurt for a the whole next day too. I’m talking super aching.

So I went to my acupuncturist today (every Friday evening I have a session to zen my week and to heal my EVERYTHING) and she asked me how I was going, how work was, whether I had returned to basketball…the usual friendly chat as I lay on the table relaxing, with some small needles shallowly puncturing my body… and I told her my funny story of being punched in the boob. She asked me if it still hurt and I said “sort of” so she started to do some resonance (an energetic healing technique – similar to reiki but on Chinese acupuncture points) over my left boob and said that she could feel that there was a blockage there. She then asked me if I had had any trouble with my stomach since then… I was like, OHMIGOD! YES! I’ve had the “liquoops ” (liquid poops – I coined this term to describe the “not-quite-diarrhea” stage) for the last two days, and it’s been really bizarre because I have been a pooping machine! Usually I just go twice a day, but the last 2 days I had gone 5 or 6 times in the day! [Read more…]

The Humira Trap

I’ve completed my first sets of Humira injections – the first set consisted of 4 injection pens that were SUPER painful that caused me to cry and bruise on my stomach at the puncture point. The second set was only with 2 injections, and I must say, having the injections out of the fridge really helped diminish the pain…for some reason, when it’s colder, it hurts more. I ain’t no doctor so I’m not sure of the explanation for this one. Anyway, now I am ready for my 1 injection, every 2 weeks. I’m due tomorrow to do it.

So the dilemma is, because my initial reaction to the injections was a mini breakdown in front of the nurse in the hospital, they enlisted me in a program that would provide me with support over the first 3 self-administered injections at my own home. What a fantastic program – they send out a nurse who is happy to assist me as I inject myself for 10 seconds, and they are just there to help me with any concerns I may have, in the privacy of my own home…for free. Initially, I was really excited about this program, considering that I am not as brave as I’d like to think I am, and having the support of a trained medical person in my home while I administer this large injection at any time that suits me, is a great feeling. FINALLY I don’t have to wait for the next available appointment at some obscure time…I don’t have to take time off work, worry about getting to an appointment on time, waiting way past my appointment time for my doctor who is running late… in the comfort of my home at my own time of convenience, a nurse will come to me.

[Read more…]