Tuesday, July 25, 2017

MyTherapyApp

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!

I'll have more to say about my own personal experiences with traveling soon.  Stay tuned.  And thank you to MyTherapyApp for including me and keeping me in the loop with your IBD related blog posts. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I'm different

It occurred to me the other day just how different I am from the rest of the "healthy" world.  I think about things, consider things, and really have to weigh out my options about everything I want to do where most healthy people don't even think twice about such things.  For instance -

Going to the grocery store is a huge undertaking for me.  Jay always drives and most often we go to a little town store that is approximately seven minutes door to door from our house.  It has everything we need at a decent price.  That's about all that the majority of the world considers when going to fetch groceries.  I however, weigh in the fact that this particular small town store offers two bathrooms.  One in the front of the store and one in the back of the store.  And it's a relatively small store.  To be honest, the one in the back of the store is for employees only but I have, and will continue to use it if that's closest one I can get to.  I actually dare someone to say something to me about it.  No one has though, which is probably good.  Both of these restrooms are only one stall restrooms though so if I'm having a particularly bad day (like today, I've had diarrhea 8 times and it's not even 11:30 am) I won't even consider leaving the house.  Sometimes though, we make a trip to a larger 24 hours store but we do it very late at night so there are less people and I can avoid the crowds. That helps the anxiety of being out a lot.  Because like most people, who only have to use the grocery store restroom on a rare occasion, it's the rare occasion that I don't have to use the grocery store restroom.  And it usually hits when I'm smack in the middle of the store and as far away from a toilet as comfortably possible to get to. Every freaking time! Because that's life with a bad belly.

Graduation season has brought about special things happening in my daughter's life.  Things that involve me having to leave the house and travel in the car a greater distance than seven minutes.  Her Senior Awards night was last week.  It took 45 minutes to get to where we had to go for it and of course these things are always scheduled in a manner that is not in anyway conducive to eating dinner at a decent time.  You either scarf something down before you go or you eat super late when it's over.  Well, that's what you do when you have healthy guts.  I get to starve on those special occasions.  Okay, not literally starve - it's not like me missing a meal (or 12) would hurt me or my girlish figure.  But I can't eat and then travel in a car for 45 minutes knowing we are on a time constraint and not have to stop and poop at some point along the way.  And I cannot eat after such things are over either because it's too late and I would be up all night in the bathroom.  So something as joyful as my child's awards presentation gets special considerations and planning just so I can attend.  Regular people don't think about these things. 

The actual graduation ceremony is another event I am thinking about in a totally different way than other parents probably are. They are probably worried about if their kid will trip or how long the ceremony will take because they have family in from out of town.  They get to concentrate on how proud they are of their graduate and enjoy the moment.  I, however, am really worried I might actually miss my daughter receiving her diploma because I will be in the bathroom.  And the thing is, there is nothing I can do if that happens.  I don't get the luxury of "holding it" until she is called.  I get the luxury of trying to run to the bathroom in an attempt to not shit myself in front of all those people.  That really sort of ruins the wonderful moment in my daughter's life doesn't it?  Yes, it does.

I wish I could just grab the dog and go take a walk and not think.  I wish I could just jump in the car and take off driving and not preplan.  I wish I could not have to put so much forethought into what and when I've eaten and try to judge when I may or may not have to use the bathroom and just go enjoy life.  But I can't.  And as awful as it sounds, and it does sound pretty awful, I'm realizing this as I see it here in black and white, it isn't really that big of a deal to me.  It has become second nature to me and my husband.  He always factors in bathroom stops and has been able to successfully navigate me to a bathroom so many times I can't even count.  That's why he drives everywhere - I can't be in the middle of a craptastrophe and try to drive.  It never turns out well. 

So as bad as it seems, it's just my way of life.  I'm different that most.  I have to consider things that others don't.  Yes, it's a pain in the ass - literally - but it is just how we do what we do. 

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

Because he loves me

Against everything inside me screaming to give up and be done and pretty much just lay down and succumb to whatever happens to my health, I can't.  I can't give up because my husband won't let me.  He loves me.  He wants to help me in whatever way he can, however he can.  He wants to find a way to make me better.  He won't give up so I won't give up.  I won't give up because he loves me.

We 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 (http://folks.pillpack.com) 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!