Thursday, November 4, 2010

Prozac and Panic Attacks

I started working full time again and thought I was getting everything together. I still have pain in my belly, I go to the bathroom a lot, and I haven't slept through the night in ever!

I feel like the normal stress of a full time job that everyone has, with the sleepless nights and sporadic eating is just too much to deal with.

I went to behavioral health and they upped my meds and sent me to a therapist. They also want to see if I am lacking in any nutritional values.

I'm just saying; a year ago, I had my reversal done. I still feel that I am recovering and I don't know when I will be done recovering...

At least work is extremely supportive.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Roasted Sweet Potato Fries!

Is there anything better? A healthy side dish you eat with your fingers! Mmmmm

It took a lot of trial and error. This is the best recipe I could work out.

But I slice up the sweet potato the size of regular fires- not too big. I mix with chopped garlic, maybe 2 cloves. Some times I sprinkle it with some pepper and paprika if I am making a spicy dish. Then dress with olive oil. Oven at 375 for about 30-40 minutes. I line my cookie sheet with foil and put some olive oil under the fries so it wont stick. Also, I don't really put the fries in a single layer... stacked works just fine. Salt after cooking.

Another variation is with a little Parmesan cheese half way through cooking.

I've had most problems with getting them to cook evenly so size matters! Hahaha as long as they are all the same.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Garden Tea

When I have dinner plans with friends, it is always nice to bring a gift. But that can get expensive... We can always whip something up from our garden or with one of Eli's wood pieces. This time, we made mint tea for our block party. Easy as pie. Even easier!

Boil fresh mint leaves (the more the merrier) with two bags of tea (we also add some pineapple sage leaves for fun). Cool in the fridge. Add ice.

It's what you can't see

Tonight I made homemade pizza! Mmmmmm But what you can't see is the roasted garlic smothered on the crust paired with grape tomatoes from our garden-perfect!

I used:
Bella Cucina pizza dough

garden tomatoes

roasted garlic



For a side, and to use up the doug
h, I made garlic cheesy bread....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What was I thinking: bathroom project day 2

We have made some headway on our bathroom. I started to pull off the the first wall of the shower tiles to find a really thick backer board stuck to the tiles- I mean forever bonded to these twelve inch squares. I tried to do one tile at a time but that was not going to happen. The entire wall came together... I guess that makes it easier?

I've got most of the wood framing the tiles off of the wall. As we started the second and biggest wall- RODE BLOCK! There is no backer board behind this tile? It is tiled directly to the wall, as far as I can tell. Not great. Each time we tried to pry the tile from the wall, we made a new dent in the wall.

Now, Eli used to support my idea of re-doing the bathroom, but took a "hands off approach." After a week of confessing that he was no longer intimidated by the project, he took over the project today. I guess that makes it easier for me...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Another chance

I need just one more chance at a baby.

We have been trying for a couple months now. My PCP, who met me once, suggested we wait nine months; my OB who knows me from last year is very excited that we are trying again. Last year was devastating. I hope I never lose another baby.

Every month, we get our hopes up. I stop with the coffee and... that's my only "vice" really- if you can call it that! I tell more and more people that we are "trying". I come up with new reasons why this month would be better than last month to get pregnant. I research the due date to see who's birthday the baby would be born around. I become that crazy lady that talks about the cluster of cells in her belly she can't feel but "knows" is there...

Every time I get my period, I feel like I did last year. I feel like we are never going to be parents. All my friends who have been through this tell me that it gets better; that it will happen one day. What if it doesn't?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What was I thinking?

So... I may have started a new project... I'm re-doing our spare bathroom. (Insert post title here!)

I've been reading home improvement things on-line, like
Young House Love (check 'em out), and every Saturday I try to watch This Old House on PBS and pretend that my dad is watching with me like we used to when I was little. So, of course I got this crazy idea that between my two jobs and crafting, "I can just go ahead and re-do the bathroom."

Here is the plan: The tile HAS to go! It's not falling apart or anything... It is just, not pretty... I mean, really! In this particular bathroom, the floor might be a little... um... WEAK! Every time you sit down, you pray you don't keep going! The contractor said,"The sub floor is in good condition, so if the floor gives out, you'll only fall a few inches." Reassuring, I know.

All the fixtures are in good shape. I'll be re-using the toilet, the shower base (after a nice cleaning) and the sink. All I really have to do is the tile, the floor and the paint! Famous last words, right?

Here are our befores :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Real homemade!

Last night we had a friend over for dinner. The menu was pasta, bread and broccoli with iced tea to drink.

Eli and I made pesto from the basil in our garden and acorns we froze last fall. Of course we had to boil the nuts to make them digest-able. To make garlic bread, I took a loaf and sliced 1 inch pieces, mixed room temp butter with our garden basil and rosemary and a store bought garlic. Mix and spread- then broil until ready. The tea was mint and pineapple sage- both from the garden and a little dried stevia from last years garden.

It was great. And home-grown. I can't wait for our next homemade dinner!

Friday, June 11, 2010

late stage adolescent angst

Everyone rebels at some point. And of course some rebellions can last longer than others. But at what point does it lose it's momentum and become opposition for opposition's sake?

Growing up, my parents always gave us as much information as they could and let it be known that the decision we make is our decision. My sister does the same with her girls except they call it "You're not the boss of me." To this day, I still ask my parents' opinions when making decisions.

It seems that some make their decisions based on the opposition. They think they know what others would say and they say the opposite. Is this adult angst? It reminds me of what I did when I was an adolescent... At some point it becomes less cute and more hurtful.

Rebellion is supposed to be something you stand for, something in which you believe with all you have. But what you say has lost it's impact on others because of your quick rebut and lack of scrutiny.

I am a fan of devil's advocate. I often give two opposing sides when offering advice because it is meant to inform and not persuade. But when only offering the opposing side all the time as your view, it quickly becomes useless for the opponent.

If you really want to change the world, if you want to save others, may I suggest honey? I hear you catch more flies that way. But if the sour scent of vinegar is all you offer to those you think are damned, I wish to not partake in your offerings.


Friday, April 23, 2010


I went to the doctor a few weeks ago for a "physical". I had it set up before the last surgery but postponed it for after- just for peace of mind, I guess.

I told the female doctor about all the surgeries and the miscarriage. She said I should wait a year from surgery to get pregnant. She told me, "Spend some time with your husband; travel; NEST!" Really? Really, lady? You don't know me... "We've been together for nine years; married for three. We've traveled all over this country. We were ready to have a baby LAST year! (insert TEARS)." I spared her the details of the baby's room that we've had planned since we bought the house, and the fact that we've had our baby named since we got engaged...

Needless to say, I argued her down to six to nine months! But in my head it's like three to six... ;)

I need something to occupy my time or I'm never gonna make it THAT long! All I can think of doing is setting up the spare room for easy transition to baby room, crocheting toys for babies, and cleaning the house!

We'll see how long I can wait....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Paid in full!!

Our benefit show went really well. So many people came out; a lot of people who have made a difference in my recovery! I have been so lucky to have so many people who love and care for me in my life.

Most bands covered a Beatles song for me and I even got a No Doubt and a
Fernandina mix-in! I sold a lot of my crafts and the shirts were a hit! It was a GREAT night- and a great morning after counting our funds!

The next week I called the hospital to see if they would discount my bill if I paid a large sum- AND THEY DID!!! We were able to pay it off in full!!!

Thank you to everyone who helped out- financially and emotionally!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fillin' up that colon!!!

The benefit show my friends are throwing to help pay my medical bills is TOMORROW!!! I am so excited. We have a bunch of friends coming in from out of town to party with us. We have made shirts for sale. We have art for sale. I want this colon FULL!! :)

I love my friends!!


5 BANDS, $5!!

For more info, check this out!:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Colitis/Colonless Curse

For the last eight years, my weight has served as a significant indicator of my health. To file for disability one has to document substantial weight loss; 10% over a 60 day period. This is easy for those with an IBD- and now I know it's easy for those without a colon. When I hit 15 pounds lost, I know it is time for drastic measures. My "healthy weight" has a 5 pound window. I haven't held at that weight for over a year now.

Most people complain that their pants don't fit. Lunges in freshly dried jeans may help you; not me. I get comments all the time about my weight. Others, I would imagine, welcome skinny jokes. To me it is a constant reminder of my disability.

When did it become ok to comment on someone's weight? Does everyone feel they know me well enough to say how skinny I look? If I were over weight, would it be ok to say, "Gosh, you're looking fat!"? It's the same to say, "Gosh, you're looking skinny," to someone without a colon (or an IBD)!

I'd love it if a few cheese burgers would do the trick (I get that suggestion all the time). I wish my pants fit right. But as hard as it is for someone who over eats to be called fat, it is just as hard for someone who can't properly digest food to be called skinny.

You can't stop eating? Well, I can't stop my food from rushing through my gut.

Leave me alone and I'll leave you alone. Deal?

Unfortunately, the people who usually read this are close enough to make fun...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Third time's the charm?

March 1st was surgery. I really want to say it is the last surgery but if I've learned anything in the last nine months, there is no telling when this will all be over until it's over!

We are still riding the tax refund wave so I was able to pay our lowered co-pay for the hospital stay. While we were in the business office the morning of surgery, I read through the paper work the office lady gave me and it said "Liquid diet day prior to surgery"! I guess the celebratory burrito was a bad idea...

I told the nurse and really thought they were going to send me home. But before I knew it, I was flat on my back getting wheeled into surgery. I saw doctor Nic before I went under. The last thing I heard was the discussion of medication needed during the surgery. "Well, I'll be here if you need more..."

Dr Nic said it could be an hour or four, depending on how difficult it is to find the leak. Unfortunately for him, it was pretty difficult to find it! Four hours later he sent the "all-good" to Eli in the purgatory. I always feel so bad for Eli having to wait there while I'm getting the best sleep of my life!

When I woke up, all I could get out was a moan. They wheeled me to my room, raised the bed to the height of the stretcher and asked me to "skooch!" WORST FEELING EVER!

When they brought Eli in to the hospital room, my moans had increased with the pain did. The rest of that night was a blur after the nurse said, "Just keep pushing that button! It will kick in..."

Monday, February 22, 2010

The perfect shade of pink!

I can't tell you how many colonoscopies I've had in the last eight years. If there is such a thing as a good colonoscopy, it is when your colon is only an inch long.

I agreed to let the doc take one more look before I pulled out my tube and the quickest way was in the office without any medication. I laid on the table, pants around my ankles, TV screen in front of me. After messing with some equipment, the exam began! For not being sedated, it wasn't THAT bad.... Well, lets just say, I've had worse exams!

He asked if I could hold on while the nurse gets the other doctor. Apparently, this was too good to miss. The door flung open behind me; we waited; door still slightly open. "It is more entertaining when I have something to watch..." So, he continued with the exam and explained everything we could see.

I have seen my colon before- Nasty, red, white, ulcerated colon. Not this time. It was the perfect shade of pink. It looked fantastic. Until I saw the BLACK HOLE!! At the very top of my j pouch was a little black hole. Maybe the size of a pinto bean. Just pulsating and breathing. "That little guys is what is causing all our problems."

When the second doc finally came in they began to discuss... Unfortunately, they can't just clip it. If they did it in the office, the tool they use is the size of a fist! So, we decided to go back into surgery.

March 1st.

The time has come!

I called my doc on Thursday to leave a message. I don't recommend you leaving a message like this unless you have a good relationship with your doctor...

The nurse assistant answered the phone and I politely asked to leave a message for the doc. She recorded my name and phone number and asked, "What's the message?" Without hesitation I said, "Can you just tell him I am going to rip this tube out if he doesn't take it out soon." "Oh my! Are you in a lot of pain?... I am so sorry. I'll let him know."

Of course he called back and acted like he just got a message to call me until he said, "How about, before you rip it out, I take one more look inside and see what our options are?"

I love my doctor!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Comes and goes

I had a rough night. Sweats, rolling on the bag at night, soooo many trips to the bathroom... Today, I'm down. I don't get a lot of sleep last night these days, even when I want to. I can't wait to get this thing off me and get some rest!

It is so hard to stay motivated just to do daily things. I don't have a demanding life but it takes so much energy to just do the dishes, or take the car in, or get out of bed.

What happened to good olde fashion Milk?

This morning, as I was preparing my coffee, I opened my refrigerator and was ecstatic to find a brand new, unopened half gallon of 2%. Ahhhhh. The thought of plain milk and coffee percolated feelings of joy in belly! I was even willing to forgo the chocolate mix-in.

We have a roommate who prefers rice milk; Eli bought plain soy. Am I the only left who buys plain milk?

Its the little things...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Testing, one, two, three, four

I just had my fourth exam in this horrible room at the hospital. Three gastrgrafin enemas and a fistula gram. They are pretty much the same exam- they just inject the dye in different ways!

My last gastrografin brought me to tears. The doc promised they would not hurt me too much this time... I was not impressed when I had to walk into the same room as last time for the fistula gram. The fistula gram- indifferent about it. I did love that my surgeon and the technician were both in the room and were chatting it up about my intestine. "Do you think it's at the top? Are you worried if it's at the top?" And Nic knowing I'm listening to everything they say, responds, "Well, I'm not worried about it! I just wonder if it is..." I really didn't walk away with any more knowledge than when they aren't in the room, it was just unusual.

What have we learned from this exam? Not a thing... except that it is way better than the gastrofrafin. Still have the draining bag. No call from the doc yet.

With friends like these, who needs a colon?

Eli and I found out that some of our friends are playing music and raising money for my medical bills! I am brought to tears when I think too much about it. With everything that has happened the last couple years, I wouldn't trade it for my friends.

My life is pretty good!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It could be worse

When I had the j-pouch surgery, I found comfort in the thought that it could be worse... People with colon cancer and kind of forced into getting the surgery. I'd imagine they were admitted to the hospital and have to have emergency surgery; when they wake up they find out they have no colon, they have this bag that holds their poop and they are stuck.

I always found comfort that it was just a temporary situation and it could only get better.

I had some abdominal pain for about a week. I called the advice nurse who said, because of my recent surgery and the consistent pain, I have to go to the ER. CT scan, X-ray, Gastrografin Enema (number 3!) and they found a leak.

One would think that after your third gastrgrafin, you would get used to it. You know what to expect by the third one. During this exam, I cried the whole time on the table. I found that if you are comfortable during a gastrografin, the tube has slipped out! Because no one should be comfortable during this type of exam.

A week after that invasive exam, I was scheduled for a tube to be placed in my belly to drain the leaking fluid- Try searching that on Google; it is not easy!

Monday, January 4, 2010

up up down down left right left right b a b a

I wish I had the cheat code to life. If I had 99 lives I would totally do everything "wrong" and see if I got different results because taking the safe route hasn't gotten me much.

I always look at the new year as a chance to start a new and forget all the bad stuff that happened the year before. When stuff goes down this early in the year, it makes it super hard to let the last year go.

The running tally of the bad stuff:
Laid off
Denied Unemployment benefits
House broken in/ TV stolen
Lost the baby
ER Visits
Hospital stays
Denied housing assistance
Car hit
*Drain pouch installed!

I really look at the lay off as the snowball that made all this happen. Is that bad? I have not forgiven them yet.

Maybe I'll go back to bed for the year. Hopefully, I'll wake up in a better place.

To be fair, I have a great family, wonderful friends, and an amazing partner for life. But what good is all that when you constantly have things to worry about and no time or energy to enjoy the company?

Happy New year!