Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesdays

Ugh, all I can think about is eating. All I want to do is eat, and when I close my eyes, you guessed it....I see food! This is the one side effect of prednisone that I could do without. Done get me wrong, now that my stomach doesnt hurt so much Im actually enjoying food again. Too much food! So much that Im eating myself into a coma and coming out of it with awful indigestion.

Since weight is a problem with most crohn's patients, I figured I'd tract my status. Here is a little background:

December '11 - 167 lbs
March '12 - 152 lbs
July '12 - 145 lbs
Sept '12 - 133 lbs

If people didnt know I was sick I'd be having great success on a diet. But the truth is, I ate whatever the hell I wanted for the past year and dropped over 30 pounds without trying. Maybe I should have listened to my body a few months ago but truthfully, I enjoyed dropping the pounds.

The September weight, 133, was taken before I started prednisone. 5 days later I am already up to 138. 5 lbs in 5 days....thats crazy! I know that one of the side effects is water retention so atleast its not all fat but still, at this rate I will be right back where I was a year ago and back to weight watchers soon after=(

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Before I start on my problems, I want to remember what this day really means. 9-11. I cant believe its been 11 years. I want to remember the men and women that lost their lives, the firefighters, police, ambulance workers, and volunteers that risked their lives to help others and especially the military who continue to protect us today. I pray that we will never have to live though something so horrifying again and that people will remember the way we all pulled together to get though such a tragic event. I will never forget!

I went to another appointment yesterday to talk about other options for getting me out of this flare. I came out disappointed because everything we talked about couldnt be done since Im leaving in a few weeks. The meds they want to start me on require ongoing blood work to test my liver functions. So we opted to up my humira shots to once a week instead of every 2 weeks and cont. on the prednisone. I will be spending my day researching great doctors in the buffalo area. Im hoping once I get there they will start the meds my current dr. wouldnt. What ever makes me better, right?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Rosey Cheeks.

I keep debating on whether or not to post pictures but I figure you really cant see the side effects if I dont.

This picture was taken the following morning after spending the day in the ER. Kind of puffy eyes, a little swollen from the fluids, but not bad at all.

Here is what I look like an hour later after taking 40ml of Prednisone. I dont wear blush, but if I did, I wouldnt have to for the next few months. Not only are my cheeks red, but they are SUPER hot. Like I just got out of a sauna hot and all I did was sit on the couch and watch tv. My hair is all slick too because I was sweating horribly.

Great Read!

I usually dont re-post stuff like this but I could pass this one up!

They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie, as I looked at him lying in his pen. The shelter was clean, no-kill, and the people really friendly. I'd only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.

But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn't hurt. Give me someone to talk to. And I had just seen Reggie's advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn't look like "Lab people," whatever that meant. They must've thought I did.

But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes and a sealed letter from his previous owner.

See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too.
Maybe we were too much alike.

I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that. "Okay, Reggie," I said out loud, "let's see if your previous owner has any advice."
____________ _________ _________ _________

To Whomever Gets My Dog:

Well, I can't say that I'm happy you're reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie's new owner. I'm not even happy writing it. He knew something was different.

So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you.

First, he loves tennis balls. The more the merrier. Sometimes I think he's part squirrel, the way he hoards them. He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in there. Hasn't done it yet. Doesn't
matter where you throw them, he'll bound after them, so be careful. Don't do it by any roads.

Next, commands. Reggie knows the obvious ones ---"sit," "stay," "come," "heel."

He knows hand signals, too: He knows "ball" and "food" and "bone" and "treat" like nobody's business.

Feeding schedule: twice a day, regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.

He's up on his shots. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet. Good luck getting him in the car. I don't know how he knows when it's time to go to the vet, but he knows.

Finally, give him some time. It's only been Reggie and me for his whole life. He's gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn't bark or complain. He just loves to be around people, and me most especially.

And that's why I need to share one more bit of info with you...His name's not Reggie. He's a smart dog, he'll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. But I just couldn't bear to give them his real name. But if someone is reading this ... well it means that his new owner should know his real name. His real name is "Tank." Because, that is what I drive.

I told the shelter that they couldn't make "Reggie" available for adoption until they received word from my company commander. You see, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could've left Tank with .. and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq, that they make one phone call to the shelter ... in the "event" ... to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption. Luckily, my CO is a dog-guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he'd do it personally. And if you're reading this, then he made good on his word.

Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family. And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family, too, and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he
loved me.

If I have to give up Tank to keep those terrible people from coming to the US I am glad to have done so. He is my example of service and of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.

All right, that's enough. I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter. Maybe I'll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.

Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight - every night - from me.

Thank you,

Paul Mallory
____________ _________ _________ _______

I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. Sure, I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver
Star when he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags had been at half-mast all summer.

I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.

"Hey, Tank," I said quietly.

The dog's head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright.

"C'mere boy."

He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn't heard in months. "Tank," I whispered.

His tail swished.

I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my
face into his scruff and hugged him.

"It's me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me." Tank reached up and licked my cheek.

"So what daya say we play some ball?" His ears perked again.

"Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?"

Tank tore from my hands and disappeared into the next room. And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.

Taking the Cape Off.

I was going to blog about how great I felt yesterday. The prednisone is giving me much needed energy since this stupid disease drains every once out of you. I cleaned my house top to bottom and still had energy to spare. That all left this morning though. I didnt take any pain meds yesterday because I didnt feel I needed them. This morning, however, Im back in the pain I was in 3 days ago. My stomach is swollen and I feel like shit. I hate taking the pain meds because they make me loopy but if I dont I will spend my day curled up on the couch in a ball trying to will it away. Even on 40 mg of pred I am still running to the bathroom 10+ times a day. Every other time Ive flared, 20 mg worked great and I didnt "run to the can" at all.

Im moving back to Canada soon because the hubs is leaving for a deployment and I cant deal with this alone. My biggest fear is being admitted to the hospital and having no one to take care of our girls. I always rolled my eyes at the military spouses that moved back home for a deployment because it's what you married into and here I am doing the same thing. I feel like such a hypocrite. I know the circumstances are different but I also feel like I should be able to do this on my own. I want to do this on my own! My best friend says I cant be super-woman all the time and that I need to take the cape off every once in a while, I finally am=)

Friday, September 7, 2012

A week from hell.

This is me, 1 full year later of being off prednisone. Notice how my face has a shape? You can see my check bones and its not round. Well, that's all about to change.

Warning....the next paragraph is kind of graphic=)

Tuesday morning I had a routine colonoscopy scheduled, or so I thought. I went into the exam room, got my IV, chatted with my nurse, and received my "twilight" drug. This procedure isn't done under general sedation but the meds they do use keep you out so you don't remember anything. Im not sure what went wrong with the twilight meds, but I awoke in the middle of the procedure in tremendous pain. I was ripping at my stomach trying to get the tube out, I tried climbing out of bed all while begging, screaming, pleading, and crying to have them stop. I laid there awake watching the screen while they took samples of my insides. I was completely traumatized walking out of the office after it was over.

It's PG again....

The next morning I woke up and went to work. I was still in a lot of pain but after taking a couple pain meds I was ok. By the time I got home I was in so much pain I could barely walk. My stomach was so swollen I looked 6 months pregnant. So off to the ER I go. They did a CT scan to rule out a perforated bowel and excess gas and told me that I was in a major crohns flare. My intestines were so swollen it was causing me chest pain from pushing all my other organs out of place. The ER doctor sent me home with more Vicodin and told me to make an appointment asap with my gastroenterologist. Thursday morning I called as soon as they opened but they couldnt get me in until Monday. That when they told me to go to the ER on base and once there, I would see the GI on call. I think thats totally ass backwards but whatever. So, after waiting there for 8 hours, I was finally released with prednisone in one hand and percocet in the other.

I can finally say that I am feeling about 50% better. The swelling has started to go down and the pain meds are working. What I hate though is it takes forever to taper off of prednisone. Im on 40 ml a day for the next 2 week...that is A LOT. Ive never been on this high of a dose before and its going to take at least 10 weeks to taper off of it.

Needless to say the next 10 weeks are going to be an adventure. Stick around and I'll spill the in and outs of this crazy medication.

Prednisone....the devils drug of choice!

My BFF and fellow Crohnie has talked me into blogging about my upcoming battle with taking prednisone again. Here it goes!

As most of you know, I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in March 2009. The first drug my Dr. put me on was prednisone and I have been on it 2 of the last 3 years. For those who don't know what it is(don't worry, I didn't either!), it is used to decrease your immune system's response to various diseases to reduce symptoms such as swelling and allergic-type reactions. The upside is that it works really well and very quickly. The down side is, well, I'll post a few pics. Aside from it tasting awful, it causes hair loss, excess sweating, insomnia(really bad), weight gain, and my absolute favorite....moon-face!

This is how your typical prednisone user in hand with a basketball for a head=)