Friday, September 14, 2018

Crohn's IS Ugly - But It Didn't Have To Be

I didn't want this to be my first post after such a long hiatus necessarily, but I just saw this in my newsfeed and I need to talk about it.

It isn't a huge secret that I have a problem with a quote Shannen Doherty made about having Crohn's disease.  "There's nothing sexy about women saying: 'I've got to go to the bathroom right now,'" the television actress reportedly told Star magazine more than a decade ago. And she hasn't ever said anything else about her Crohn's disease - ever.  However, she has highly publicized her battle with breast cancer.  Here is the latest article about that. This leaves me fuming.

I'm not upset that she is doing well and that cancer changed her life for the better; on the contrary.  I am very happy that she not only battled cancer and won, but I am pleased how she portrayed her battle on social media and in the news.  I think that is a remarkable thing to do and it brings much needed attention to a very important cause.  I'm glad she is healthy and doing well.  I wish her no ill will.  I just wish that she would have given the same consideration to Crohn's disease.

Crohn's isn't as well known, or accepted, as breast cancer.  Back when I was first diagnosed with Crohn's, I remember laying in the hospital recovering from exploratory surgery being totally doped up on morphine and watching Beverly Hills 90210.  I remember my cousin called me and we were talking about my new diagnosis of Crohn's and I was in such a drugged haze that I was mixing up reality with what was happening on the show during our conversation. I asked my cousin if she showed her mom the ring that Brandon had given her. ( If I recall correctly, it was the episode where Brandon asked Kelly to marry him. )  Thanks morphine!

I didn't know anything about Crohn's at that time.  I didn't even believe that I really had it. I didn't understand.  I was 18 years old and had no clue how to handle a chronic illness that had no cure and would cause me to fight every day for the rest my life. Had someone been able to say to me, "Hey, you know that girl who plays Brenda on 90210? She has Crohn's disease and look at her.  Look at everything she can do."  I think it really would have made a huge difference. Everyone knew the show 90210.  Name me one girl who wasn't in love with Dylan. Go ahead, name one, I'll wait.

Shannen Doherty could have used her celebrity status to bring awareness to Crohn's disease a long time ago just like she did for breast cancer, only she chose not to because it wasn't sexy.  That's sad.  To me, that says she was more concerned about her appearance and what others thought of her sex appeal than helping someone who might be struggling with the same disease she had.  It's all well and good if I, some girl from Ohio, says I have Crohn's and talks openly about the struggles of it, but I'm no one.  If Shannen Doherty says it people would actually take note. There would be cool hashtags like #kickcrohnsass and #crohnswarrior all over the internet and people would know what it means when someone says they have that disease.  Those of us who suffer would hear things like, "Oh yea, doesn't Brenda from 90210 have that too?" Instead of, "What's that?"

Again, I'm honestly glad she is well and beat her cancer.  But I'm disappointed she didn't act the same way for something she considers unsexy.  Crohn's disease IS ugly, but maybe if more beautiful people like her talked about it openly it wouldn't be.

Now let's take a moment to admire Dylan for old times sake. Drink it in ladies!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

I'm back, did you miss me???

I've been MIA for quite awhile - some of you may have noticed.  I would like to apologize to those who made comments that went unanswered.  I am sincerely sorry; I honestly didn't know that anything was awaiting moderation.  I haven't had access to my blog or email until recently.  There have been some big changes in my life and I wasn't able to give you all the rightful attention you deserve until now.

But the blog will go on.  I'm super happy and excited to have regained access and be able to blog again about all things Crohn's, IBS and Fibromyalgia related.  Oh yea, and all those other things medically wrong with me too.

I hope you all are well and I am really looking forward to picking this back up as it is a very important part of my life.  I didn't realize how much this blog really meant to me until I didn't have it there for a while.  Stay tuned for new posts coming soon!  And much love to you all.  Thanks for hanging around!!!

Friday, December 29, 2017

No surgery!

Dr. GI used a balloon during my colonoscopy to stretch the narrowed area at my anastamosis and barring all the pain I'm having still and continued feelings of bloating and fullness after I eat just a little, it supposedly fixed the problem.  I have yet to see results but I, as of right now, don't have to have surgery.  I'm just waiting to feel better from this procedure that everyone has assured me shouldn't have caused much pain, if any at all.  It's been a week.  I'm still very uncomfortable.  :\

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas and Crohn's Disease

On the 1st Day of Christmas my Crohn's Disease gave to me:
A review of my Social Security Disability - I might lose my benefits! The same benefits it took me three years to fight for and cost my family nearly everything to get.  Happy Holidays!

On the 2nd Day of Christmas my Crohn's Disease gave to me:
An ER visit due to stomach pain which resulted in the doctor telling me to get a job and if I can't because of my chronic diarrhea I should "get a wheelchair with a bucket on it".  Yep, that actually happened! I've never felt more humiliated.  'Tis the season!

On the 3rd Day of Christmas my Crohn's Disease gave to me:
A small bowel follow through which took 4 1/2 hours and the barium still didn't reach my colon!  This test normally takes less than half an hour for me to complete.  I was in misery.  The pain was awful.  Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

On the 4th Day of Christmas my Crohn's Disease gave to me:
Festive news from the GI!  I have severe narrowing in my small intestine (hence the problems with the small bowel follow through) and must schedule a colonoscopy for further evaluation. A simple balloon procedure may not work and I might need actual surgery.  Fa La La La La!

On the 5th Day of Christmas my Crohn's Disease gave to me:
The remembrance that just 4 months ago I had a colonoscopy and the GI informed me that I did have some narrowing at my anastamosis and he could fix it with a balloon procedure later if it caused me problems.  Um, seriously, why didn't you just fix it while you were in there.  Here we are 4 months later and I've had nothing but problems.  What are you doing?!?  Jingle Bells!

On the 6th Day of Christmas my Crohn's Disease gave to me:
The opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with my daughter about how I can't make holiday treats and do anything fun with her while she's on winter break because I will be prepping for a colonoscopy and might be having surgery for Christmas!  Ho Ho Ho!

On the 7th Day of Christmas I said screw it!  I hate Christmas anyway, but my family likes it and once again my being sick has ruined something important.  This post was originally going to be a funny sharing of information about what's been happening in a light hearted way, but just typing all this out has really made me see what I've gone though the past few weeks and I'm really angry and upset and scared.

This stricture could have been addressed back in August but wasn't for whatever reason.  I'm unable to eat hardly anything because of the pain it causes.  My GI is not in a hurry to do anything about his situation.  I guess he doesn't have to worry about his insurance deductible starting over at the beginning of the year.  Nor does he have to worry about trying to get through the holidays being in pain an not being able to enjoy himself.  I'm so aggravated.  But while he is enjoying his family and holiday goodies I will be drinking my cocktail of Miralax and Gatorade and pooping my brains out praying it's not too much pressure on this stricture and my bowels don't explode and kill me.  Here's to no surgery, **clinks glass** bottoms up!

Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Back in May, I was contacted by MyTherapyApp - an app for smartphones which helps you keep track of your medications and also has a blog about all sorts of health conditions - and was informed they would be mentioning Jenni's Guts, and many other great IBD blogs, on their blog post about IBD.  You can check that out HERE!

Recently, I was contacted by MyTherapyApp again because they are doing another blog post with a travel checklist specific for those with IBD.  You can find that post HERE.  Enjoy!

Thank you to MyTherapyApp for including me and keeping me in the loop with your IBD related blog posts. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Oh hey, I have a blog. And a 17 year old!

Yea, I haven't updated the blog in quite some time. Whoops! It isn't that I haven't thought about it, I have, I just don't know what to say anymore.  Since I last posted I have seen several doctors for several different reasons and the results are all the same - nothing is wrong.  Or something is wrong but they can't figure it out so nothing is ever done about it.  It hardly seems worth going to the doctor anymore.  I'm still not sleeping all that well, I'm still having diarrhea daily, my stomach still feels like I swallowed broken glass and there seems to be no real cause to any of these things.  At this point it all leaves me with nothing to say or do other than shrug my shoulders and roll my eyes.  This is my normal. This is the phase of life I'm in.  Ehh, whatever.  It could be worse.

What else is going on?  Well, my tiny little daughter who is all of 6 years old is graduating high school next month.  She is driving, she has a boyfriend, she works her part time job and she has received scholarships and acceptance to so many colleges I have lost track.  (Seriously!) Okay, she isn't 6 years old anymore, she's 17 (mere weeks from 18), and I'm struggling.  A lot.  When did this happen?  When did she grow up?  Why can't I make her be little again?

I am trying to plan some kind of graduation party for her but I can't even look at any of the stupid ideas on Pinterest because I break down crying.  I refused to look at the acceptance letter she received from UC Berkeley because if I didn't look, it meant it wasn't happening.  She wouldn't leave if I didn't see the letter.  Right? Please tell me I'm right.

All of a sudden a huge chunk of my life (and hers) is over and I don't even remember where it went or what happened.  My daughter is going to college.  She wants to be a neurosurgeon - scratch that - she WILL be a neurosurgeon.  If there is anyone with the drive and dedication it will take for that, it's her.  She's a beast.  She just is.  And she will become whatever she wants and do great things and I really shouldn't worry.  I just still see her as the same tiny little six year old who said that she wanted to live with me and Jay for "eleventy hundred days".  (Backstory - she's adopted, we got her when she was six and we let her choose if she wanted to live with us.  She did.)  But now she's driving, and being accepted to colleges, and making plans for her future.  It's killing me.  I'm so proud of her, but it's killing me.

So that's what's up.  Eleventy hundred days are almost up.  I'm trying to savor each and every second.  Had I realized how fast time would have passed I would have done a better job doing that from the beginning.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sarcasm and Memes

I am nothing if not just a human ball of sarcasm. It's how I deal with things.  I think these memes sum up nicely how I feel when talking to most people, because most people just don't get it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I've been Acupunctured!

Just a little picture of my last acupuncture session.  It was explained to me that acupuncture is like a switch to the body's energy.  Pain is the blocker in the body which impedes the flow of energy.  If your shoulder hurts, like mine did, then you use the switch on the leg to unblock the flow of energy.  Like flipping the switch on the wall to turn the lamp on across the room.  So, to help my shoulder I got punctured in the leg. Please enjoy my beautiful leg and Hello Kitty socks!  And yes, there are 8 needles in my leg. Didn't hurt at all.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Alternative Medicine Update

First Visit:

The Naturopathic doctor gave me a diet plan to follow and a ton of supplements to take.  She thinks I have an overgrowth of Candida (yeast) in my system.  Probably true.  The all natural 'yeast be gone' pills I am taking make me belch garlic. It's pretty gross.  I'm fairly certain the smell is seeping from my pores now.  The one kind of powdered crap I'm supposed to drink smells like orange cream and the scent is very delightful.  Once mixed with water or juice though, it tastes like shit.  Not even orange cream shit, just shit.  Gritty shit that doesn't ever completely dissolve and leaves chunks in the bottom of the glass so you have to chew when you get to that last swallow.  It's supposed to help my stomach inflammation.  There are also peppermint essential oil capsules which literally make my poop smell minty!  No, seriously.  It isn't as refreshing as it sounds.  It just weird.  But at least I don't need to buy Poo~Pourri now.

Then there is also the other powder mix I'm supposed to take.  I can't do it though. I just can't.  Not only does it smell disgusting and kind of like coconut, which I hate, the taste is abhorrible.  It's not even something I can grit my teeth and get through.  I find the smell revolting and the taste of this powder once mixed is almost as bad as some of the colonoscopy preps I've had.  Yes, it's that bad.  And I want to take it. I want to like it.  I want to do this, but I just can't.

So now I have all these things to take that are somewhat difficult and so far aren't making me feel any better.  I also have this new diet plan that eliminates everything.  No seriously, everything.  I cannot eat anything.  The FODMAP diet was easier and left more options.  This diet is seriously ridiculous.  But I'm trying.  I'm failing, but I'm trying.

Second Visit

She adjusted the impossible diet to add more foods but is still eliminating wheat and dairy.  I honestly think she just added fish. I'm still failing at it.  She said I didn't have to take the gross coconut powder anymore, which is good because I wasn't doing it anyway.  I'm supposed to still take the orange cream powder which is kinda like, ehh okay.  She said I could freeze the garlic pills and that might help with the garlic burps. We'll see.  I'm also supposed to continue the peppermint poop pills. Oh, and there is Melatonin too, I'm taking 5mg every night.  Doesn't seem to be helping me sleep at all but she says it's good for intestinal nonsense so I'm taking it.   

She added some digestive enzymes.  I almost took them.  Until I read the ingredients and realized they contained pancreatic enzymes.  Might I remind you all of what happened the last time I took pancreatic enzymes??  It. Was. Awful.  I refused to take them.  Didn't even open the bottle.  Hubs agreed that we shall never go down that road again.

And then there was the Acupuncture.

I have been having so much tension and pain in my shoulders and neck lately (Fibromyalgia and weather change??), I'm hardly sleeping at all anymore and the massages I was getting only helped for about five minutes so I asked if Dr. Au'Naturale had anything that could help.  So she stuck with me needles.  Nine of them.  In my shin and my arm.  I didn't feel a whole lot better but I did get this...

A huge, disgusting bruise on my arm (shown with a hair tie around it for size reference purposes) from one little tiny acupuncture needle.  Seriously?!  What the hell is wrong with me that I bruise like that?1  I didn't even feel the needle, I swear!

To be fair I did go back for a second session and didn't bruise.

So honestly, I don't know how it's going.  I don't feel much better.  My stomach is still being my stomach, my intestines are still being my intestines, I'm not sleeping worth a shit and my muscles are all tight and painful.  But that's the latest.  That's the update.  I'm still holding out hope. 

A little contest from Healthline

I was notified that my blog has been nominated in Healthline's Annual Best Health Blog Contest!  The contest has a voting period from November 21st through December 12th and every day you can vote for your favorite blog.  THERE ARE CASH PRIZES for the most votes!!!   If you vote for me I'd be super happy and extremely grateful!!  Click HERE and vote for Jenni's Guts because seriously, CASH PRIZES!!!

Thanks everyone and thanks Healthline!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


I went to a new sort of doctor last week, a naturopathic doctor, an acupuncturist actually.  She does all sorts of "alternative" therapies, not just acupuncturist, and sat down with my husband and I for over an hour discussing everything going on with me.  I meet with her at the end of this week again, after she has a chance to look over all my information and develop an actual plan of care that will take more than three minutes to put together. When I left that appointment I felt something that I haven't felt in so long.  I felt hope.  And hope is a powerful thing.

Let's see what you got, Eastern Medicine.  Please don't disappoint me like Western Medicine has.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Giving up

I went to Dr GI last week.  I saw the doctor for approximately 9 minutes.  Long enough for him to question me (again) about why I can't tolerate bile salt acid medication - because he obviously never wrote it down or he thinks I'm lying.  Either way, it's bullshit because after all this time the man should know exactly what it does and why my body doesn't tolerate it.  After the same questions were asked, he ran down the reasons why he doesn't think I have active Crohn's disease causing my problems.  He said, yet again, that he feels my problem 'could' be bile salt acid diarrhea. He even said he thinks it 'could' be some Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but 'definitely' not Inflammatory Bowel Disease because the colonoscopy, EGD, CT Scan, Small Bowel Follow Through and blood work I had done last year didn't show anything.  My doctor looked at me square in the face and said, "go home and do what you can on your own to control your diarrhea with Imodium since you can't tolerate anything else. Your abdominal pain is from chronic diarrhea. There is nothing else to do."  And he walked out.

There. Is. Nothing. Else. To. Do. 

Control your diarrhea On. Your. Own.

Nothing. Else. To. Do.

I can't even write this without tearing up.  I can't even fathom that this visit to the doctor really happened.  The doctor I have trusted for years, the doctor that I chose after having gone through several other doctors, the doctor I trusted, the doctor I needed, that doctor literally gave up and walked out on me. 

So that's it then.  This is the best my health will ever be.  Nothing can be done.  No cause can be found.  No more treatments can be tried.  This is it.  How is someone supposed to handle it when they've been totally given up on?  Fight? Throw a fit?  Go somewhere else?  Why?  Why bother?  Why go through it again?  It's pretty clear that I'm some kind of medical marvel that defies the odds of all current Western medicine and the educational capacity of the field of Gastroenterology on a whole.  So who would be able to help?  I've been doing this dance for over 20 years.  I've been through, at least, 5 doctors that I can remember, not including random doctors that have seen my history or treated me at a hospital.  No one has been able to help or figure it out and now it's all been left up to me to fix myself. Control your diarrhea ON YOUR OWN.

Go somewhere else and fight you might say?  Why fucking bother?  I give up too.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Folks Magazine Features Young Man's Struggle With Crohn's Disease

Everyone should check out this online magazine called FOLKS ( that publishes great stories about people who are living with chronic conditions but without reducing them to their conditions.
They are featuring a great story about John Capecelatro's Crohn's Disease which left him unable to eat and bedridden for weeks on end.  But this computer programmer has learned to savor his friends, family and every moment of health.  Read it HERE!

Jenni's Guts gives a big THANKS to the folks at FOLKS for their amazing work!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Gettin' Ink Done

Check out this link from Healthline featuring fellow IBD'rs who have chosen to get tattoos to show their support, struggle and strength in the face of Crohn's and Colitis.  (My tattoo just happens to be on page 7 of the list!)  I hope you enjoy these as much as I have.  Seeing all this great ink just makes me want to get more!!  IBD INK

If you want your IBD Ink featured on this list, Healthline is looking for new submissions.  All people have to do is send in a clear photo of their tattoo with a short description, with the subject “My Crohn's tattoo,” to nominations@healthline – Then they’ll then feature them on the site! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Slap In The Face from Entertainment Weekly

After posting about my distaste for social media and explaining that the only social media I'm involved in is Instagram and this blog, I think the Instagram may also have to go.  Simply because there is no reason I would ever want to come across something as disgusting, appalling and just downright rude as what I saw this weekend!

Scrolling through my daily dose of baby animal pictures and motivational sayings I saw this post from CCFA.  This picture, taken from Entertainment Weekly Magazine's special double summer issue, is nothing more than a slap in the face to the whole IBD community. 

Where to begin...

First off World IBD Day isn't on May 23, it's on May 19.  That in and of itself is an insult because if you are going to make fun of something at least get your facts straight.  (Fun Fact: May 23 is actually Lucky Penny Day.  Don't think anyone would be offended if that day was substituted for World Crohn's and Colitis Day in this "joke".)

Second, whose joke is this?  Entertainment Weekly's, Beyonce's or Minnesota's?  Who actually is the one trying to make a joke about World Crohn's and Colitis Day? Which misinformed source is trying to say it's the "Joke of the Week"? I don't read this particular magazine, however I'm thinking the blame falls on Entertainment Weekly.  Minnesota is just a state trying to pay homage to a celebrity for some reason I really don't care about.  Beyonce is just a celebrity who will be put in the news at the whim of the paparazzi for no other reason than the fact that she's famous.  Entertainment Weekly, however, is a magazine that is supposed to have writers and editors and fact checkers and I really just want to scream,  "WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!"

Third, take that?  TAKE THAT?  Really?  This is how Entertainment Weekly chooses to word this?  Why would anyone deliberately try to oust a disease?  Why would that be funny?  How does Beyonce being recognized by the state of Minnesota in any way relate to or have anything to do with Crohn's and Colitis?  It doesn't. It just doesn't.  It almost seems as if this slam was deliberate.  Why?

So many comments flew around on Instagram (and I can only assume Facebook, Twitter and the like - though I did read that Entertainment Weekly shut down the comments section on Facebook but I personally don't know that to be true) and most of them stated two main things.  1.  No one would ever think to make fun of 'popular' diseases like Cancer, Diabetes, or ALS.  2.  Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are not a joke.

People know about Cancer - every form of Cancer.  People know about Diabetes.  Celebrities come out of the woodwork to advocate for these conditions and many others.  But Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are not well known; to the general public or to Hollywood.  I think maybe Shannen Doherty may (or may not) have Crohn's Disease though she won't publicly acknowledge anything about it.  She was quoted once saying it wasn't "sexy".  Mike McCready of Pearl Jam does have Crohn's Disease and he does a lot of advocacy work to raise awareness of IBD, however if you don't follow this type of music chances are you aren't going to know who he even is.  Those of us in the IBD community don't have a super popular celebrity endorsement for our disease.  We are nameless, faceless warriors who fight for our lives every day behind closed doors - literally.  Those who have feeding tubes, ostomies, surgery after surgery, complications, pain and more.  The endless medical debt.  The endless trips back and forth to doctors and hospitals.  We lose friends, relationships, jobs and even family because of our diseases.   We even lose ourselves.  But we do have a voice.  A small little voice screaming from an Instagram post and a little blog with 136 followers.  That little voice is saying, "Hey! I'm here, Entertainment Weekly, and what you did to make fun of us was wrong!"

I joke about my condition.  I joke about pooping.  I have funny pictures on the side of this blog and laughing is a healthy coping mechanism when dealing with the harsh realities of living with a chronic illness.  However, this joke was done in very poor taste.  It was done in a way that was hurtful and makes it seem like a day about a celebrity who has it all - money, fame, beauty and most importantly her health - is much more important and should be celebrated and acknowledged over a day to build awareness and recognition about Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  God forbid Entertainment Weekly use their powers for good to help people understand what IBD actually is and how it effects people's lives.  That would be informative and tasteful journalism though - obviously way too much to ask from anyone in 'the business'. 

Entertainment Weekly's website says "Smart. Funny. First."  They were none of these things when it came to this. At least Entertainment Weekly did do one thing I can't be pissed about - they spelled Crohn's correctly.