Sunday, August 23, 2015

Team Challenge

Hey let's all help out my friend, Christine, with her Team Challenge 2015 Rock 'n Roll Las Vegas charity event to help benefit Crohn's and Colitis!  Here's her link.  THANKS EVERYONE and THANKS CHRISTINE!! 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Pushing for Fall

I'm pushing for Fall.  I like the weather better in Fall.  The air is crisper, the foliage is prettier, sweatshirts can be worn, and it means that cold weather is just around the corner.  I'm totally over summer.  I hate the heat.  I hate to sweat - especially because I wear glasses and that just sucks.  Besides, school has started so that means it should be cold.  That's my thinking anyway.  So that's that.  I changed the blog to be Fall-ish.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


My sixteen year old daughter had to show me how to use the computer I've had for over six months now, but have yet to figure out how to open the Paint program and save a picture.  I used to be the one floating around an office showing everyone how to use their computers, finding the shortcuts and fixing software issues. I used to be the knowledgeable one.

I don't understand music anymore.  It all seems to be repetitive and annoying noise.  There are about seven words total in songs now and they say them over, and over, and over, and over to a beat that you can never quite get out of your head. And somehow, it goes double platinum in a week.  I used to love music.

I read through the Entertainment news and I do not recognize over half of the people's names.  And it isn't like once I read the article it jogs my memory and then I figure it out.  I literally have no clue who these people are, what they do, where they came from, or why they are so important to the general public.  As far as I can tell it's just a bunch of rich people with rich people problems that I will never be able to relate to.  It must be tough being a bazillionaire!

People fight with their words over Twitter and Facebook. They don't even have real conversations anymore. On the rare occasion they do, it's never even actually in person.  I stopped using Facebook altogether recently.  I don't want to see my friends and family that way anymore.  If I want to see my friends and family then I am going to get in my car and go see my friends and family.  Or pick up a telephone and actually speak to them.  Life is a lot less dramatic not being tied to the computer for hours looking at statuses and pictures that somehow inevitably made me sad or upset for one reason or another.  Why was I ever volunteering to put every one of my thoughts and actions out there for the world anyway?  No one really cared. I don't need accolades just because I made chicken for dinner.  I hated all the normal healthy people anyway.  It just reinforced my limitations.  (I do miss funny cat pictures.)

I think all this technology is crazy.  My daughter barely looks up from her phone no matter what she's doing.  Her ear buds are rarely out of her ears - even when she sleeps.  The poor girl has no concept of what having an actual conversation with real talking is all about. She has even taken to texting me answers when I ask her questions.  My daughter has something like 20,000 followers on Twitter - which I hate.  She has at least 1,000 "friends" on Facebook that she never even talks to.  She SnapChats - I don't even know what that is exactly.  She's in full teenager mode now and I'm over here unable to use my own computer, trying desperately to navigate Instagram and Pinterest just so I can find a new healthy recipe to try for dinner.

Maybe I'm a bad mother.  You would think it would be easy to just tell my kid to unplug, but really, it's not. This is the world now.  This is how we are being programmed to function. These are teenagers today.  My daughter doesn't even get school off because of bad winter weather.  I used to get snow days.  Stay home, sleep late, go outside and play in the snow and worry about school the next day - or the next if the weather was really bad.  It was great.  If the weather is bad now, she has to get up, log on to her computer and have class that way.

But this really isn't a post about how I don't like what's going on in the world and how I hate the fact that my daughter isn't a nine year old appeased by Littlest Pet Shop toys anymore.  It's a post about change.  I've changed.  My tastes have changed.  My outlook has changed.  I don't know when it happened, but it has.  I feel as if I am looking at the world completely differently now.  Through older, more experienced eyes. 

Next month I will be 40 years old.  I remember when my mother turned 40.  I remember dreaming about what things would be like when I turned 40.  I have to say - it's not at all like expected.  I never thought I would be interested in things like better financial management, GMO friendly foods, and historical documentaries.  I also never thought I would be so sick and unable to work at only 40.  It was more of a fear considering my father died when he was only 42.  I feel I've grown though.  I came from a place where I thought I already knew everything I'd ever need to know.  Now, I'm in a place where I am certain I don't know anything.  Especially since I am trying to raise a teenager.  And for the first time in my life I feel like an adult.

I hate it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summertime Insomnia

I'm so tired. I sporadically sleep.  Maybe an hour or two at a time.  Two if I'm lucky.  Every night it's the same thing.  I go to bed and want to sleep.  I'm tired.  I desire sleep.  I've even started taking short walks and doing other mild exercises during the day to wear myself out so I have to sleep.  I've been in contact with my doctor and had my meds changed several times to accommodate better sleep.  Still, nothing.  Maybe a good night here or there but by and large I'm not sleeping.  There is nothing on my mind.  It's not racing.  There are no thoughts - other than staring at the alarm clock wondering when I'll sleep.  I've even resorted to turning the TV off at night and sleeping in a pitch dark room.  I'm so afraid of the dark it's almost paralyzing so I've always used a TV as a night light.  But now I'm to the point where I welcome the unknown monsters in the dark if it means they will kill me and I'll be able to sleep.  I've completely lost my mind to insomnia.

As I type this I'm listening to Loki sacked out on the couch snoring his heart out twitching his little paws deep in puppy dreams.  I'm jealous.  I'm so tired.  I'm afraid to nap during the day for fear I won't sleep at night - yet I'm not sleeping at night anyway.

That's all for now.  My brain can't handle much more.  Love to all!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Psychology 101

I've always been interested in psychology.  I've taken numerous classes about it.  I love reading about abnormal psychology; diseases like Dissociative Identity Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, all the things they make movies about.  I have been deeply interested in these topics since I went to my first psychologist at age 10.  I've always wanted to know what makes people tick.  Why they do the things they do.  Until I recently realized, for me, it is all a bunch of bullshit.

I've been in and out of therapy for nearly 30 years.  I've been diagnosed with Severe Depression - inability to cope with life.  I've been depressed my whole life I guess, and never truly happy.  Then we moved to the most surreal place, with a lake and nature and quiet.  I've been able to reflect and think and I've actually become quite happy and content with my life (obviously except for the days I'm a total Crohn's or Fibromyalgia patient.  That's always there.)  So I'm happy now.  Things started clicking in my brain and making sense for the first time. The fog lifted. I want to be outside and enjoy nature, (if this daft Ohio weather ever turns warm for more than five minutes.) I want to paint different rooms in our new home.  I want to cook dinner for my family and talk with my husband.  I want to know what my daughter is doing in school.  I want to be there for my nieces who are both about to have new babies.  I'm genuinely interested in life for the first time in as long as I can remember.  I look forward to getting up in the morning (okay, most days - let's not get crazy here!)  My mind wanders at night about things I want to do the next day.  I feel happy.  This is happiness.  It's not that I don't have worries because I do.  Those are always there, just not so prominent in my thinking anymore.  I mean seriously, I live in a place where most people go to for a weekend getaway or a vacation.  It's bliss!

But then, I saw my psychiatrist.  I told her how I was feeling.  I said I felt better.  The depression was there but not so pronounced.  Not so much of a black cloud hanging over me.  I feel I can breathe.  I told her I had creative ideas flooding my brain instead of doom and gloom thoughts and was excited to think about everything I could do.  And I might have noticed I was talking a bit faster than normal.  She wrote me a prescription for Depakote and diagnosed me with bipolar disorder!  I shouldn't feel this way apparently.  Happy is wrong.  So fine, I played the game and took the Depakote.  For two straight weeks I didn't care about anything.  I was fighting with myself to get out of bed.  I stopped doing everything and didn't even give it a second thought.  I was miserable and angry and all I wanted to do was be left alone a sleep.  Except I couldn't sleep.  For two weeks I got about three hours of very broken sleep a night.  I called the doctor and explained that I felt worse on the medication.  I felt depressed and wasn't sleeping.  I was angry all the time and felt frustrated.  And then the reality of psychiatry became clear.

I was told I was only irritable and angry because I wasn't sleeping and I needed to continue the medicine.  I was taken off of an antidepressant to go on the Depakote and now the doctor wanted to add a small does of that same medicine back into the regimen to help me sleep.  It wasn't helping me sleep before at the high dose so what was a smaller dose going to do?  I could not wrap my head around why I was supposed to continue a medication that made me feel like crap and restart taking a medication I had to stop, in order to start taking the new medication.  What the heck was this doctor trying to do to me?  My bliss was gone.  She took it away with two little pills, just like that.  And I was supposed to feel like that.  Except I didn't.  I stopped taking the Depakote altogether because I hated it.  I finally had a taste of true freedom in happiness and I didn't want to ever go back again.  I did restart the antidepressant I was on at the lower dose and I feel great.  My happy is back.

Until I have to go see the psychiatrist again in a few weeks and then I really will look like I'm bipolar because I stopped taking the bipolar pills.  Typical bipolar - quit taking your meds.  It's a horrible never ending cycle. And now, even writing this post I feel like it's one big, run-on bipolar thought put into sentences.  I have a complex about my behavior and trying to explain why I may not actually be bipolar.  Why is being happy and having ideas and creativity and excitement about things a bad thing?  I've waited my whole life to feel this way emotionally.  Everyone always said that one day things will get better and I finally feel like they have gotten better.  But because of psychology I am not supposed to feel this way?  I don't think so.  I declare shenanigans.

Upon all of this revelation, I started thinking about all the therapy I've had in my life.  My husband and I figured it up and I've seen, at least, 12 different psychiatrists/psychologists/therapists in the last 30 years.  I explained to him that I've always had to talk about the same thing with every one of them.  Nothing can be looked at in my life that is currently happening to me because, well, my father died when I was 15 after an extended illness.  Apparently, even though I feel fine about it, psychology says I'm not over it.  Here's the typical conversation in every therapy session I have ever had - verbatim:

Therapist:  Tell me about your childhood.  Did any major events happen while you were a child?

Me:  Typical childhood, I guess.  My dad died when I was fifteen.  I have a awesome step dad though.

Therapist:  Tell me about your dad.

Me:  I don't remember much other than he was sick for about six years with MS and then he died.

Therapist:  I think we need to explore this more

Me:  Why?  That's not the issue.  I'm more concerned about my life with my husband and child and my own health.

Therapist:  This all stems back to you not being able to cope with your father's death.  You need to work through it.

Me:  I have.  I'm good.

Therapist:  You're in denial.  You haven't coped with your father's death.

Me:  I don't want to talk about my dad.  He's dead.  It's over.  I'm good about it.

Therapist:  You're not over it.

Me: When will I be over it? How long will it take?  It's been damn near 25 years.

Therapist:  It's up to you.

Really. Every time, without fail they all want to stick with this.  So they bring up all the crap from my childhood that is totally irrelevant now and I haven't thought about in years. Yes, thinking about my dad dying might bring a tear to my eye but that doesn't mean I'm not over it.  But they don't see it that way.  More therapy, more drugs, more money.  I think I'm over psychology.

***DISCLAIMER - This post is about my personal experience and how I personally feel.  I do not - in any way - mean to say that there are not real people with real bipolar/depression/mania/etc... who need psychological help.  There are those that do.  And psychology does work and is needed in some cases.  But after 30 years, I think I've done my time and I'm done with it.  I'm just saying. ***

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Best Crohn's Blogs of 2015

We did it again! 
Jenni's Guts is one of Healthline's Best Crohn's Blogs of 2015!!! 
Check them all out HERE!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Crohn's and IBS - A Duel at Sundown.

While laying in bed not sleeping at 3:30am, I decided maybe I should blog about my multiple intestinal diagnoses.  It might be a thing other people need to know about.

Currently, I have active Crohn's disease in my colon.  I used to have it in my small intestine and colon intersection but now it's moved lower into the colon.  Crohn's is bad.  Hence the blog.  But I also have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  Kinda the same but totally not.  Treatment for these two conditions are the total opposite from each other.  One you avoid fiber and anything with a consistency more than applesauce, the other you need fiber to make you feel better and for your guts to work right.  But it will kill you if you take fiber and eat fiber and try the whole fiber thing if you have Crohn's.  So you can see having both is a total win win scenario.  Ok not really.

How do I know what's causing the problem?  Easy, I don't.  Never know.  Hard to tell.  Although when the Crohn's is in remission and you are having gut problems it's probably the IBS.  But it could be the Crohn's flaring so it's best to get nine million invasive tests that may or may not show anything, but do allow you to drink things off the periodical table of elements.  Seriously.  It's a crap shoot basically.

The two different illnesses cause mostly the same symptoms for me.  Crohn's brings a lot of pain and diarrhea.  IBS brings a different kind of pain and diarrhea - constipated diarrhea.  You know, the kind where you have to go but you can't really make anything come out but your butthole is on fire and you know you are going to explode any minute but you're afraid to because you know it's going to burn like fire because you butthole is already burning from the molten lava that won't come out.  Yea, that's constipated diarrhea.  Much different from regular diarrhea where you just spew forth like an erupting volcano that has no shut off valve and can come any time, even if you're not ready.  Like when you are sound asleep.  Yea, that's fun.

The pain is different also.  Crohn's pain for me is a deep stabbing, achy pain that lasts and lasts.  It feels like your insides are burning and I'm lucky because my Crohn's pain radiates from my stomach all the way through my back.  My IBS pain is somewhat bloaty and crampy pain.  Muscle spasms that hit you out of nowhere.  However, I could be totally off base and have them mixed up.  Who knows.

As you can see, trying to manage both problems is a problem.  It's hard, and I know a lot of people who have Inflammatory Bowel Disease also suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  It doesn't seem fair we get hit with a double whammy.

More exciting topics to come.  I thought of a million since I couldn't sleep.  Here's hoping I remember them all!