tonsillectomies, adenoidectomies & suppositories! hooray!

first & foremost, drugs.   i wanted to give an update, considering all of the thoughtful emails, voicemails & texts im having a hard time reading. my nightly IBD meds make it hard to focus anyway, but when you add … Continue reading

april showers

its been nearly 5 months since ive wrote. ive started a few, but became quickly tired. honestly, i had good intent to finish.. but the handful of times i actually had time to sit down, i found myself rereading things i didnt feel anymore.

holidays have passed, awareness weeks, as well as seasons & unfortunately, some of our loved ones as well. it was a long winter, but i know good things are in store.

i have had ups & down, but this is the first March in a few years i didnt spend any weeks in the hospital. for this, i am extremely grateful. i DID spend a lot of time at different specialists & unfortunately i will be adding more members to my care team, but i believe this is the right direction. im pretty sure if us patients collected badges for every doctor visit we had, we would need multiple cub/girl scout uniforms to hold the number of badges we collected.

ive been having a rough go with my body adjusting to meds. ive tried acupuncture that has helped with nausea & vomiting, but found that i was spending more time arranging appointments, driving as well as the cost of the appointments.. it helped a lot, but also really, really irritated the neuropathy in my body & i found myself expending way too much energy trying to heal from my appts.

my body is tired & my eyes are misty. i feel weary about where my regimen will go in the future. my infusions are faring my stomach well for now, but i dont feel like i am where “should” be. i find myself recovering from meds my body needs much more than i am healing & finding a happy medium. what would be simple infections to most people have plagued my winter.

im excited for more projects than i can count on one hand. being invited to patient advocacy summits, seminars & being an ambassador for multiple non-profits i truly enjoy working with that make a great difference in the care that patients receive. im humbled to be asked to represent part of the patient community, and being able to share these projects so that this audience is able to participate in makes things worth the sweat! teamwork makes the dream work.

i look forward to writing more. i have been saving pennies purchase a nice computer that i can rely on to share valuable information.

my heart looks forward to so many things: racing, fundraising, being a patient advocate, meeting so many of the friends that have changed my life in amazing ways & traveling. also, shark week.

life is better in color. <3

life is better in color. ❤

why i smile.

what was the first thing you noticed about this picture?

what did you notice first?

what did you notice first?

1 week worth of meds? 1 years worth of medical records & insurance claims?

this photo captures the meds i take on a weekly basis. i should clarify not all of these are medications for crohns disease, but surely 75% of them are to counteract the side-effects of the medications that keep me alive. that keep me living. that keep me smiling.

there are many risks to the medications we take & ive experienced some very scary ones, some that have left damage & others that have made other drugs unsuitable for me to inject now.. but a life of Remission is worth the risk & that is something i will always believe until we celebrate a cure or a vaccine that could potentially prevent IBD or eliminate carrier risk.

at 17, entering college, i took upwards of 35 pills a day (12 just being pentasa). after months of taking so many pills a day, the sensation of putting any pill in my mouth made me puke almost every time. there were days i simply couldnt hold down the pills because it was just too much.

time is a blur, but within the next year i would return home every 4-6 weeks & receive #remicade infusions. my mom accompanied me to nearly every single one. soon the #infusion center felt like home & i would return on my own. & soon, i made my parents stop driving 8 hours on the weekends i needed infusions and asked if i was able to receive them in the hospital across the street from my dorm room. lucky for me, i did not have class on fridays, so i could wake up in my sweatpants, put on my jacket & walk across the street – on good days, i would study & the bad, i would try desperately to sleep despite the awful sounds i would hear, as i was across from the ER. years have come & gone, infusions turned into injections, then eventually back into infusions.

this photo captures many things, but the thing i want you to see is a smile. its a pretty simple thing to a lot of people – a smile in a picture. but pairing it with a representation of only a weeks worth of meds being chronically ill for over 10 years? to a person that gets it, they know how hard smiles can be to come by.

the 16 year old girl inside of me is roaring with jealously; the 17 yr old girl who had a terribly swollen face in her senior pictures is screaming. the 18 yr old girl with little self-esteem entering a new relationship wants to strange me. and still to this day, living as a 27 year old single woman with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, life is still a strange & terrifying thing to me. its still full of pill boxes, infusions, injections, hydration powders, nutrition supplements, sharps containers & pillboxes with timers built in…

but NOW, there is a smile. it might have taken 10,000 frowns & 10,000 other smile to get here, but im happy now. 10 years have passed – way more than 10 colonoscopies too. but in my journey, ive met amazing people whom i cannot put a numerical value on, only sentimental. ive met new friends that have had eerily similar diagnoses, received hand-written letters from across the globe & even ran a 1/2 marathon with Team Challenge Wisconsin and along the way, passed by & met/ran with members of teams all around the US who i still keep in contact with.

i have met new people, found peace with my #diagnosis & have even managed to change some lives along the way – even if only for a day. some people in the #IBDcommunity dont agree with the sense of humor i have & to them i say, thats okay! i advocate in different ways than others but doesnt make me any less credible & shouldnt make me any less happy.. and certainly shouldnt make me hold back on going after my dreams. im this way because i want to be & 10 years ago, i would have never had the emotional strength to go through scopes, hospitalizations, #infusions, injections & surgeries that required me to be in the most humiliating “jackknife” position. humor has always been my coping mechanism & if that means making fun of myself without the risk of hurting someone, i will.

im thankful to have been blessed with this curse. i know this life is not what my parents had intended for me, and certainly not what i envisioned it to be. but the truth is, i am beautiful because of it. all of the bad shit my disease has given me, its given me SO much more than i have ever deserved.

despite living with #IBD, i smile.

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#IBDselfie #IBDawarenessweek #inflammatoryboweldisease #crohnsandcolitisawareness #chronicillness #CCFA #crohnsdisease #ulcerativecolitis #crohns #colitis #autoimmunedisease #autoimmune #IBDfamily #CCFA #teamchallenge #myIBD #1in200 #iamjustone #purpleproject

standstill.

20140213-191509.jpgits been pretty quiet at #purpleproject lately.. i guess i feel as though silence is better than being dishonest. since we’re family, ill let you in on whats been going on (or lack there of) over here..

winter has been hard. what seems like “rest” and quiet for the last month or two.. have actually been quite the opposite.

my pain management since christmas has been at an all-time low. i feel like when my pain is out of control, i have no sense of control of my immune system. little to no energy is produced from my body and getting out of a seated position made me cry in my last flare.

in the first week of january, i experienced the worst fibro(arthritis?) flare up in my hands/body that i have ever had. its never been this bad. i wasnt able to hold a pencil in my right hand. i cried constantly. every nerve ending in my body hurt; i couldnt move any of the joints without coming to tears. i found myself on the floor many times. this lasted for about 3 weeks.

it was during the end of this flare i had an accident. after falling down a set of stairs & waiting a week too long to be checked out, i found i had separated my right shoulder when i hit the bottom. Boom.

i cannot explain to you the sense of helplessness i feel when i start to flare. prescriptions are not helping, other prescriptions are not covered by insurance or cost $256/bottle with insurance. im allergic to most pain meds. its not been a glamorous winter so far. there have been many sleepless nights as of late. some filled with physical pain, some filled with fevers, anxiety & nightmares. but most nights are filled with tears.

my entire right side was affected when i fell, but its been an interesting jan/feb using one hand during a flare. ill let you paint the picture.. ive had a pain in my ass for the past month that seems to only get worse with time (fistula/fissure).  i am in the middle of a not so great flare that has brought me to my knees physically & emotionally. i see my new GI the first week in march. funny how winter has crept up on us so fast, but 2 weeks seems so far away. im miserable. my quality of life is less than stellar living in pain. i dont like what im about to say: its time for injections.

after giving it one last ditch effort last year, i had hopes Humira would give my body a little more mercy than it has before. it seems though, to get worse every time, and will get worse with each time it is stopped. i made the decision with the supervision of a GI, that i would be done with Humira. no more allergic reactions, no more weird infections, no more lung issues. i was free. i cannot express the feeling of leaving a doctors office and hearing the words “youre on a drug hiatus, treat this as a vacation”. it was a terrifying & wonderful experience

i take the good days & i hug them tight. i give all of my energy and soul in to these days, because i know there will be bad ones. its hard to conserve my energy on the good days, because i want to live an honest, open life to the world and give everything i have on those days and more. on my good days, im superwoman living in jeans and a smile. i earn those days & refuse to let them go.

im taking gabapentin. im applying the voltaren 4x day. im praying often. and when im able, i. run. like. hell.

#despite