Thursday, July 30, 2009

The single life

Eli has been out of town for a few days and I have been "single". Not like I do anything scandalous it is just different. I went to the store and bought all my favorite things... Meals Eli doesn't really like. And I wake up whenever (like 1pm or 10am). But I also had to deal with the rat!

Before he left, Eli set a trap in the attic because I heard some scratching up there... Ewww. I thought I heard the snap but I definitely didn't hear scratching the next night. So, how did I get the rat out of my house and into the garbage? I called my sister who asked her boyfriend to get it... I guess I don't ever really live the single life; I just include another couple! :)

Thanks guys!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Solo Wafer Change 1

Eli has been gone for like two days and I put off the wafer change an extra day just because I needed to collect myself. This was going to be my first wafer change by myself- ever. In the hospital I had the ostomy nurse and at home, I always had Eli.

Today is the day. I showered and gathered all my supplies; even extras just in case. I found, after two months of practice, that I am least "active" in the morning. I spread out my towel on the bed and got comfy.

The worst is pealing off the old wafer. Even after 5 days it is still really stuck to my belly. Once I got past that, I just let it breath while I clean up around it. I had no output while I was cleaning which is AWESOME!!! Normally, Eli and I have to wipe and wipe and wipe up the output. I cut the wafer to my stoma size, prepped the skin, stuck on the adhesive ring, and pressed it on! Perfect fit!

I love wafer change day!!! :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Computer Clown

I think I should start looking for IT jobs. Both yesterday and today was spent fixing the Internet- Your welcome! :)

I told AT&T that it was their modem that was messed up. Sure enough, when the modem got here today, I set the whole thing up, wireless and all, and we are up an running. All day the Internet has been up!

Gosh, I'm good!

I don't make money but I sure know how to save it!

Yesterday was our first day back to the real world. Vacation is over and it's time to get back to work. First I had to call the mortgage company to see about a loan modification and a late fee. Since we never had a late fee they were willing to forgive this one! (Late fee= $63.22)

Next was my epic battle with the Internet company... not so easy. I spent the day trying to fix our broken Internet connection. I talked to four different people through out the day. The first lady hung up on me when I told her how ridiculous I though me having to pay for a technician to come out was. The second guy fixed the wireless Internet by telling me to plug in the ether net chord into my lap top! And the third guy said things like, "no one works for free!" It certainly seems like I am working for free today!!

The last guy got me to billing after I said I would find another company who would give me a modem and Internet that works. She was willing to overnight a free modem ($45 + shipping)! She asked if there was anything else... Yes, I'm not paying for the two weeks I didn't have Internet. She went ahead and refunded the whole month charges for me!

I am my mother's daughter! :)

Total savings for one day: ~$118.22! All in a day's work!

I can't wait to see how much we save when the loan modification goes through.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Good Genes?

During the family reunion, Eli mentioned that I have good genes. On both sides of my family, my grandmother is over 90 years old and show no signs of any major problems... Other than the cancer my family has battled (and won) and the digestive diseases, I guess we are pretty lucky.

I never thought my diseased genes would ever be complimented but Colitis isn't everything! :)

Not to mention how cute the next generation is!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Road Trip!

Some might think a 12 hour road trip in my condition would be hell... but it is a lot easier when you have a bag and are not rushing to the next rest stop! Also, the girls keep us pretty entertained.

I've been feeling pretty good on the trip. We made it to Michigan this afternoon and have already tried out the bag in the pool. I could do laps and everything. It is still hard to switch back and forth from the short bag and the long bag...

Better go get ready for the rest of the fam!

P.S. You can't even tell there's a bag under there! :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Still awake

This sucks. I really want to sleep but every time I try I am so uncomfortable. I just can't fall asleep.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ambient sounds

I come from a long line of insomniacs... Eli thinks I'm crazy and imagines me getting those hilarious tapes of soft sounds to whisk me off to dream land. I doubt it. Why spend money when I have the sound track for free!

Right now, I hear the cicadas, crickets, the bird on our porch and a train passed not too long ago. (I love when they honk the horn!)

Freebie of the day: Need sounds to fall asleep? Save your money- Open a window!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Another essay submission

Since I have no TV, no job, no kids, I have nothing better to do than play on the computer. Well, I have found some essay contests to apply to. This is my second one. The first one was for a CCFA awareness walk and I made it to the semi-finalists (I am still waiting for my booby prize!). Today, I submitted answers for Great Comebacks. It is harder when they ask questions and you are limited to 100 words per answer... They will make their decision by the end of September. Keep your fingers crossed.

If you are interested in the program here is the web site:

I'll let you know if I hear something! :)

NEW*Not sure if I should publish this.

The first time I was hospitalized for UC, I was 20 years old and they put me on the floor with all the 80 year olds. After they transferred me from the Urgent Care to my room for the week, an on call GI came into my room. He introduced himself and the first thing he said was, "Don't worry, you can still have children." Then, it was a little odd. I had way more things on my mind, although the clarification was comforting.

Sadly, this comforting thought did not last. A few months ago, Eli and I found out some very exciting news: we were pregnant. My flare, at the time, seemed to be getting better. We were so excited about the news, we wanted to tell everyone. We kept it pretty quite for the first couple hours! We started to tell close family and friends just in case something happened.

We went to our first doctor appointment; we had our first ultrasound; we were due on December 15th. After we got the all clear from the doctors, we started telling our families. By week 8 I could hardly get out of bed. I couldn't walk from the parking spot to the front of the doctor's office. I ended up going to the ER for a short black out spell. He assured me the baby was getting all the nutrients before the colitis effected them.

Everyday I imagined what it was going to be like with the baby. I would sing to the baby. I planed our Halloween costumes to accommodate the belly. I really didn't expect to lose the baby.

That morning I woke up. It was the 13th of May. I decided to take a nice warm bath. Just me and the baby and some soft music playing. When I got out of the tub and made my way to the bed, I started to feel horrible cramps. It was not in my intestine, and it wasn't something I ate. I could tell there was something wrong with the baby.

I couldn't call Eli- he was in the woods with a school group and I really didn't want to worry him if it was just a belly ache. I called my sister and she came right over. When we got to the doctor, she examined me and all she could say was, "Yep, she's trying to miscarry." Emily looked at me with tears in her eyes and questions all over her face. She held my hand as the doctor did all she could to clean up. It was over in an instant.

All I can think about is what the doctors told me. They told me I could have children. They told me the baby was strong. They told me the baby was getting what she needed. They were wrong.

I try to talk about the pregnancy factually and lightheartedly, but when I'm alone, I still cry.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bike ride!

We did our first bike ride since before the surgery. When we bought the house, we liked the location because everything was biking distance. We didn't anticipate a hospital stay. So now I'm back on my pretty Dodger Blue bike! It was so good to feel the breeze on my bag!! :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Assault on my garden!

After Eli left for band practice, I figured I'd have a relaxing evening watering the garden and harvesting anything that was ready. As I head over to the garden I notice my cucumber at my feet. "Odd... that rabbit we've seen around must have gotten into our garden. Certainly a squirrel couldn't do that!"

As I approach the two garden boxes I see the destruction! All our strings were ripped in half; cucumber plant strewn all over the yard; tomatoes folded in half from the weight of the destructor; holes burrowed all the way to the natural soil, sweet potato plants uprooted and thrown to the side! No squirrel did this! I practically fall to my knees with vexation (I love my little pop up dictionary/thesaurus!).

As I look up, I am greeted by my sweet Ophelia; or so I used to refer to her as my "Sweet Ophelia"! The destructor had to be about 72 pounds, and have teeth at least an inch long!!! How could she do this to me? "Et tu, Ophie?" All the time I put into this, and the money! I was going to use that cucumber tomorrow. And our big mama tomatoes were completely ripped out of the garden box! The whole plant!

I spent the last hour trying to fix what Eli's daughter did! When she is good at the vet, she's my baby; when she kills mama's plants, she's Eli's daughter. I'll have to see what happens tomorrow to see if I saved anything. If not, back to square one tomorrow... at least we still have time left in the growing season. And with global warming, I might even be able to grow in to November!

(If you are asking how she got into the garden after months of nothing... I left the little side door open. I never thought she would walk through that narrow space... I accept the blame!) I don't know why she paid so much attention to the cucumber... they are spikey little buggers.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Shower desecration

I am not a fan of peeing in the shower. I think I tried it once and was so disgusted I spent the whole afternoon disinfecting the entire bathroom!

When you are sick, things have a way of changing out of necessity. For instance, while I was in the hospital I had to allow the nurse to empty my bag despite her ability to effectively empty a bag without spilling all over the place. I don't even pee in the shower, what makes you think I'm ok with pooping in my bed?

Well, today, out of necessity, I had to poop in my shower. I know most of my house guest will now opt for Eli's bathroom because of this... The problem is the skin around my stoma is starting to burn and become raw. This happens because, there is no sugar coating here, my poop just hangs out in this bag and can occasionally find it's way to my skin. The barrier often dissolves exposing the skin. Some times the seal is not right up against the stoma. I am not a dirty person!

I felt I needed to let it breathe- air out! I've been wanting to do this for weeks now but I am usually laying flat when we take off the wafer. So, I was in the shower, prepping for our wafer change and I decided to take it off... to take it all off! I could not contain myself. At one point the stoma shot a stream out, at least 3 inches from my body! It just dripped down my leg into the drain. I didn't know what to do. I ended up grabbing a bag and pressing it up against my belly until we could get me flat to put on a new wafer... This is not even half the battle but we'll save wafer changes for another day.

It was all too much to bear. I'll spend the better part of tomorrow bleaching down my tub!!

When I grow up

I just finished the book Bitter Is The New Black by Jen Lancaster. I heart this book! Anyone who has been laid off after a sense of security given to you by that now former employer, anyone who has an inner B (or not so inner B) inside you, a fashionista, I would imagine a Dot-Commer... would love this book. I would love to be Jen minus all the selfish, sorority, over indulgent and mean parts. She was laid off, started writing to blow off steam and became publish- by a real publishing company. She just finished her fourth book this year!

A good friend let me borrow this book after the surgery. I trust her judgement especially with books- not to mention her part time job at a book store is lovingly referred to as the "Literary Prison". She knows books and she could not have found a better one for me to read right now.

Eli always asks me what I want to be when I grow up. He has all this ambition and all these plans for what he wants to do with his life. Other than being a mom, I never really knew what I wanted to be. I mean, I could be whatever pays the bills. If I did have a family, maybe I would be a teacher just to have summers off. If I needed more education- I would go back to school. I don't live my life at work although I try to learn from every job. I just never commit to anything (other than Eli :). We always talk about me writing more but would people want to read what I write? And more importantly, could I get paid!

I have been active on some medical posting sites over the last 6 months. I see the people who have questions and I find people who have the answers I need. I know I would want to write about the UC and all the problems that came with it and I see people who could possibly be interested in it.
The ups and downs are more common than our doctors would let on.

All I need is a clever title, the right marketing and, of course, an editor... What do you think? Could I really turn this blog, along with all my stories, into a real book?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

No stoppin' us now!

We set up an above-ground pool today. Hot fun in the summer time! Watching my nieces play in the pool while the sun was beating down, I had to join in the fun!!!

I put my two piece on and jumped in! The nurse told me swimming would be fine but it works best with a one piece or tankini. I don't have those... And let me tell you, it works just fine with a two piece! :)

I didn't get to do laps but we can test that during my trip to Michigan. I'll let you know.


Last night I weighed myself even after eating that great food described below... I lost 4 pounds. I know I don't need to keep track of the pounds because if I'm feeling better, I must be getting better... but still.

Organic Grub!

We started our garden so long ago- like in April. Yesterday, I was so excited to make our first side dish from the garden. Up until now we've only gotten tomatoes from our garden- which helps a lot because tomatoes are expensive!

For dinner we had patty melts with our tomatoes on them and a side of fried cucumbers! And Eli doesn't even like cucumbers! He ate all of his last night. It was so good.


I just picked the cucumber from the yard, peppered some flour, mixed egg and a little milk together and mixed panko crumbs with season salt and pepper. I cut the cucumbers like fries because it was so long! Dredge the cucumber spears in the flour, the dunk in the egg mixture, then coat with crumbs. Deep fry (I'm sure you could pan fry as well), once they cool down, enjoy with ranch dressing! :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Solo Drive

Friday was my first solo drive since... April, I think! Of course it was to the pharmacy to get some pain pills. I felt good.

I planned the whole thing. Driving is no little task for me these days. For starters, I have to put the lap part of my seat belt behind me (is that even safe?) so it won't rub on my stoma. I have to plan all my trips around when I take medication that could knock me out or make me loopy. And of course there is always the fear of not getting a parking spot close to where ever I am going and passing out in the parking lot!

I had my water, a breakfast bar, and Ophie (always! She loves drives). I went the back way just like I used to go to work (I know that route best). I pulled up to the pharmacy: ROCK STAR PARKING! Right in front of the door. I adjust the windows for the puppy, grab my purse and lock up the car.

I take the four steps to the door and the auto door won't open. Now to me I'm thinking the power went out again (as it has been every week around noonish). I even tried to slide the door open myself. Then I notice the HUGE paper on the door: Kaiser Pharmacy will be closed for Independence day on July 3rd and 4th.

Booooo! Of course. Because I had it all planned something had to go wrong! I'm just glad I had enough pills for the weekend.

So, I got back in the car and treated myself to a Starbucks and cheese bagel!! It was so worth the trip! :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I love that every time I post my new weight I get an ad for getting help for an eating disorder! :) hahaha...


I have always had a little social anxiety. Over the last seven years it really got bad- to the point where I found myself in a chair talking to a "doctor" asking about my childhood!

I thought it was better but I think I jut learned the right questions to ask to get me prepared for what I would face later on in the day. I've skipped dinners because the restaurant was new to me; I've missed out on parties because I didn't know who was going to be there or the bathroom deets; I passed on trips because I haven't taken those roads before... Now I ask- where is the bathroom, how many people are going to be there that I know/ don't know, and who is driving because it's not me! :)

With the bag, it has just opened up Pandora's box! I have to find a whole new set of questions before I decide to go out. And when I do, I am such a freak about what people think that I try to just get it all over with. The second I see someone I know I ask, " Wanna see my bag!" And then I launch into my explanations of all the scars and what the next surgery entails. I can't tell you how many times I've lifted my shirt (just enough to show the bag- don't get excited!) to show off my new hardware just to deflect my true discomfort with it.

It isn't easy. It doesn't get better- like they all say. You don't get used to it; you probably just find the right questions or answers to give. "I'm feeling much better..." But I still feel like crap! And on top of that, I have low self esteem and feel self conscious about the ballooning pouch affixed to my belly and the uncontrollable butt leakage, hopefully getting caught by the miniscule pad "safely" secure in my panties, until I move! It always a gamble... "Wanna see my pouch?"

I just feel like people aren't looking at me trying to catch a glimps or a sign of what I've been through. This way I can just get it out in the open and forget about it. I guess it is just my new nervous tick.


It is 5:43 in the morning and I have been up all night. I am not sure why. It's been No Good Sleepin' all week :)...

I feel like I have restless leg. I know, I sound crazy but look at everything I have had wrong! RLS is not that much of a long shot. I heard people have RLS symptoms because of anemia- which I have (documented by doctors, thank you!).

I just want to sleep. I can't sleep on my stomach- my preferred- because of the bag. I tried to prop myself up on pillows and let the bag hang but that was a no go; 1 the bag got heavy and 2 my arm started to fall a sleep tingling. When I sleep on my side the bag slides, and I'm ok with that but then my legs start to tingle. On my left side I have to use a pillow to stop me from rolling over onto my bag... Sheesh! This sucks.

I am so tired. I just want to rest my body. Maybe two pain pills will do the trick?

It doesn't help that I can't be gently sung to sleep by the hum of the television and laughter perhaps from Conan... who's idea was this whole digital switch anyway? Stupid converter box!

WOW! The birds are already awake- and it isn't even our little owl friend in the back! :(

I guess I'll surf the net. Good night!