Author Archives: Belinda

Update

So I’ve been very bad at blogging lately. ..
My aim was to have my new blog ready and just announce it here, and continue blogging on the new domain but that couldn’t happen.
Largely due to the fact that somebody hacked (!) into my newly created site and caused some weird error so that I couldn’t log into my admin panel. Can you believe it!
I still don’t get of what use that is to a hacker.
So the end result is I have to rebuild my site….all from scratch.

Health wise I’ve been doing quite well until a few weeks ago. Had some major stress levels in my life and since then I’ve been trying very hard not to stress and be pro-active to keep myself as healthy as possible. In between all of it I even changed jobs! Not necessarily the best timing but o well…

To keep my body strong I’ve stocked up on some goodies like nutritional milkshakes, lots of fruit, vitamin supplements (like vit c, iron, vit B’s) and making use of yoga and massages for relaxing!

I just want to get through this as healthy as possible…
Crohn’s flare, stay away!

10 Tips on Belching, Bloating and flatulence


Found these useful tips on things you can do or stop doing that might be causing some discomfort or aggrevate symptoms associated with Digestive problems.

Don’t think all of them will be applicable to all of us, and is in no way a complete list but a good ‘checklist’ to go through and see whether a small change can make a big impact in symptoms or pain!

Irritable bowel disease and arthritis now linked

For those of you who don’t know or haven’t experienced arthritis type symptoms, sometimes these symptoms can be an indication of underlying bowel inflammation that is getting worse.

Other times the link is still between these two diseases but isn’t necessarily an indication of what state the bowel inflammation is in.

Found this nice article that gives examples and explanation about the link between arthritis and irritable bowel disease like Crohn’s disease.

Personally I always suffer with bad arthritis-like symptoms whenever I go through a stretch of Prednisone or other variance of cortisone. I have found that these symptoms can last for months after I’ve stopped the cortisone treatment.

Something that helps is definitely yoga, even if it’s very painful the first few sessions.

photo credit: lululemon atheletica

Crohn’s disease update – Flare Schmare

Jip, it’s official. My Crohn’s is flaring again. Think it came very slowly this time around. I’ve been fighting it off for months now.

Have been through quite a bit of stress the last few months. Enduring stress at my previous job, finding a new job and starting at the new company in January.

At first I thought that I picked up a stomach bug, since the symptoms didn’t match previous flares exactly. However the dead-tired, anxious feeling on my chest should have been a clue for me.

I asked my boyfriend to take me to the emergency rooms last week Monday since I couldn’t stand the anxious and tired feeling anymore. I didn’t have a lot of pain so I kind of felt like a fraud walking into the hospital by myself, and not using a wheelchair. They put a drip on me and did a quick blood test.

After about an hour my drip started aching real bad and I asked the nurse to take it out. Still waiting for the results I made a gut decision to rather go home, since the liquid-panado (type painkiller) they gave me smoothed my cramps and anxious feeling. The doctor promised to phone me with the results, which she did about 30 minutes later.

I was so relieved to hear that my C-reactive Protein levels were normal that I didn’t confirm what the actual figure was. Only two days later did I realise that I was getting worse again and decided to follow up on that blood test. After quite a mission they emailed me a copy and sent a copy to my specialist upon my request. The same day he phoned me back to ask what’s happened since my CRP is so high! For some reason the doctor at the hospital didn’t give me the correct results. It really upset me for a while, but I just realised once again that I need to follow up on my gut-feeling and look after myself. Even if it means questioning or double checking an authority figure like an ER doctor!

So long story short, I’m on prednisone for the next few months to try and push down the inflammation as soon as possible while I stay on Methotrexate and Salazopyrine.

Wish me luck :)

Surviving with my Crohn’s flare

So I’ve been fighting off a flare for a few months now but slowly it’s been surfacing.

Went for a bloodtest that confirmed that my inflammation levels are high and have a flare.

The good thing is that this time around I don’t have major pain but have slight joint pain, bouts of loose stools every few days and intense fatigue which affected me most.

My doctor put me on 3 months of cortisone while I stay on my current meds of Salazopyrine and Methotrexate. Since I always react very badly to strong cortisone like Predisone, I’m very chuffed that he gave me Entocord capsules.

All considered it’s going much better, but have been experiencing weird side effects this time.
My feet have been swelling like crazy. It almost looks like a bee stung both my feet and can feel the swelling up to my knees. It’s extremely uncomfortable and can get quite painful if I’m on my feet too much. Plus the heat of summer isn’t helping much. The challenge is to find sandals to wear with my swollen feet that fits with my clothes!
I have a few theories about the cause of my swollen feet and going to look into it and let you guys know what I find :)

The big 30

So this week I’m hitting my 30th birthday. Can’t believe it!
I always imagined that I would do something wacky and extremely exciting for my 30th, but due to a dip in my health I couldn’t be bothered. Don’t have the energy to plan a party or anything remotely exciting. So Tuesday I’ll just take cake to work and celebrate by going to a nice restaurant the evening with my boyfriend.

My boyfriend has made plans for us on Sunday (tomorrow) but don’t know what they are yet, so atleast there is a surprise to bring some excitement into this week!

So I’m off…trying to think of some last minute exciting stuff we could be doing, that doesn’t take alot of energy to plan :)

Fear

I’m not sure why but I’m scared.
Scared that I’m not making the right choice.

I hoped that by now I would have gained a more ‘permanent’ perspective on life and things that are really important and small things that are not, given some of the health challenges that I’ve been through.

Seems that I’m still learning…still growing…

I’ve been going for interviews, trying to look for a position at a company where I can expand my online skills more. Think I’ve found one :)
They made me an offer and tomorrow is the big day when I accept and hand in my resignation.
Can you believe I’ve never resigned in my life? Ive only had retrenchments and illegal firing to deal with.

Am quite scared that I’m jumping from the frying pan into the fire. what if the new company give me grief about being sick?

Well, time will tell, but for now it’s going to be difficult to not smile when I had my resignation letter to my boss :)
Wish me luck!

Perspective

Why is it so much easier to regain perspective on the important things in life when I get very sick? Usually a hospital visit helps me to regain perspective and allows me to let the stress slide off me.

Well this time I’m determined to gain the same benefits without visiting the hospital :)

I’m blessed as the last time I was in hospital was 1.5 years ago. However I can feel the Crohn’s is active again. I went for bloodtests a few days ago which confirmed that my CRP level is 40. CRP levels indicate that their is inflammation somewhere in my body. My doctor put my on 3 month dose of entocort to try and get the inflammation back down again.

I think I’m getting better at listening to my body & reacting by controlling the aspects I can do something about.

So now I need to get perspective and not worry or stress about nonsense and take care of my body in order to get better!

Picking up my smile again

It’s not that I’m unhappy… it was more a case of being too tired to smile!

You see, I’ve been neglecting to exercise for a few months now and can feel the result. I desperately need to get active again.

I’ve found Yoga works extremely well for me and an added bonus is the relaxation and breathing part of it.

However I’ve been searching for a Yoga studio for a while now. I need one that’s either close to work or close to my home. I tried out a new place last week close to my office.
For some reason I either didn’t check or was over confident but I ended up attending a 2 hour intermediate class given by a woman that apparently has very high standards for her students.

On numerous occasions she felt the need to gently push my unwilling limbs into the correct posture despite a few grunts from my lips that I tried to keep inside.

I didn’t think I was going to make it to the end of the class. The last yoga class I attended was in April and in the last few months my joints have acted up again because of the Crohn’s.

Well I made it and needless to say I groaned and moaned for three days after that, even when I made a simple movement like point at an object.

Safe to say I won’t be returning any time soon and the search now continues for a beginners yoga class :)
Photo source: DotBenjamin

Fighting for survival, while managing Crohn’s disease

This image is the best image I could find to give an idea of what I’ve been feeling like these last few weeks (without being all depressing about it).

I’ve been fighting flu viruses on and off for a few months now (winter is always bad for me when I’m on immune suppressing medicine). Luckily I’ve managed to keep my Crohn’s levels relatively stable with no major flare or pain problems. Whoohooo.

Ironically I’ve been struggling with not falling into some kind of depression and hopelessness.

You see, I think I’m picking up problems at my work again.
Yes maybe I’m jumping the gun. Jip, perhaps it’s just me being paranoid but I have picked up something odd going on in our department, which put me on alert to protect my job.
It’s a long story and I won’t bore you with the details and the ‘signs’ but I’m seeing the signs of when a manager slowly starts making comments about the ‘concern’ the company has about the amount of sick leave I’m taking.
Even though I’ve made it very clear that I’m happy to take unpaid sick leave if I go over my quota. Ok…that’s enough about that depressing topic…

The result is though that I’m struggling not to stress. I’m struggling to juggle my job, personal aspirations, feeling flu-ey miserable most of the time and trying to save my job – all without stressing.

How do I stop myself from stressing?
I’m soooo tired, my throat is killing me, my feet are freezing and am generally sick and tired of being sick and tired.

…excuse me while I’m going to get into bed now. Yes I know it’s not even 7pm yet…but my feet are freezing…just want to defrost ’em….like….better………..zz cozy…..zzzzzhzmmmmm….