• There’s Only So Much Crying You Can Do

    June 28, 2011

    … before you need to give yourself a kick in the ass.

    So, so true.

    The past 24 hours have been really rough on me. I’ve experienced plenty of discomfort, sleepless nights, and urgent trips to the bathroom, but the frustration and helplessness are really what’s getting to me. My symptoms aren’t getting worse, but they’re not improving much either. I wake up every day hoping to feel better, but I don’t. I spent yesterday morning crying like a baby, but I eventually picked myself up and got it together. Sometimes, you just need to give yourself a kick in the ass.

    Besides feeling like crap, not being able to eat what I want is driving me nuts. You guys know, I love to eat. I love iced coffee, cookies, salads, cheese, beer, which are all currently off-limits for me. Gluten is also off the table until I get better. I’m hungry all of the time, but I feel like I can’t eat anything because it’ll upset my stomach. I hate having zero control over my diet— and my body. It’s just making me nuts.

    Bananas and I are great friends right now (they’re one of the few foods that jive with my intestines), so this morning’s breakfast was a banana smoothie made with a frozen banana and almond milk.

    IMG_0007 (375x500)

    I’m trying my hardest to stay positive and keep things in perspective—I know it could be a lot worse—but it’s still tough. I feel like I am living someone else’s life because I can’t do any of things that I normally do. I used to be so healthy! It’s crazy to think that my big goal for the day is driving to Whole Foods to buy rice, bananas, and some gluten-free foods, so I have something to eat. I never would have thought twice about a trip to the grocery store, but now it’s a big deal to me.

    A bunch of you guys have asked about my doctor, so I just wanted to give you a quick update. I still haven’t talked to him, but I’ve been in touch with his nurse several times in the past week. She’s responsive, helpful, and really nice. I talked to her yesterday and updated her on my symptoms, which haven’t improved, but I’ve only been taking the prescribed medications for a little over a week now. I guess these GI issues sometimes take awhile to get better, so I’m trying to be patient. I’m supposed to call the nurse on Friday with an update, so, hopefully, I have good news to share with her by then.

    I’m sorry that CNC has suddenly turned into a whiny, Colitis-focused blog. I just want to be honest with you guys, and I figured sharing how I’m feeling is better than not blogging at all.

    Question of the Day

    When you feel frustrated and helpless, what to do you? Cry? Vent? Write? Sleep? Something else?

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    { 247 comments… read them below or add one }

    Charissa Hogeland June 28, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Lately I usually feel helpless about one of these three things:

    My Weight: So I began a weight loss blog on tumblr, started following girls who are living healthy and thin, and log onto that whenever I need a booty-kick

    Feeling lost as to the next move in my life: I read my Bible. Never fails. I have a hard time focusing on prayer, so I also write letters to God. Then I can see the many different ways he answers my prayers.

    Money: I wallow for a minute or two, think about kids in Africa, and suck it the heck up. [=

    Sometimes though-I just cry and cry and cry and cry until it’s all out.

    Reply

    Honey @ Honey, What's Cooking June 28, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Hi,
    I’m so sorry for what you are going through. I cry and then go to sleep when I’m sad. I’m wondering about your doctor too. I love your blog and feel like I know you that I”m going to talk to my sister who is a doctor in Internal Medicine – Board Certified and all.
    I’m gonna talk to her about your problem and have her send me an email which I will forward to you. I wanna help you and I wanna see if she thinks you need another opinion or what. How this will get better. I’ll work on it today and hopefully have a response by tomorrow or day after, she works long hours so I”ll have to harass her a bit. :-) Stay strong!

    Reply

    Amy June 28, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    im so sorry you have to deal with this. it sounds really frustrating and painful. you have a great attitude though. i definitely start out wallowing and crying…i think thats prob an important step in order to get to the ass kicking part..but as long as you get there, and you dust yourself off again and push through, you’ll be okay. i hope you feel better!!

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    Pure2Raw Twins June 28, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Tina again I am so sorry that your are still not getting any better. Having stomach issues is never fun. Like I mentioned in our email the other day our second oldest sister has horrible problems, she has probably gotten every test on the planet available done and not just done once but multiple times. The doctors never have any true help for you, she has seen about 10 different doctors all in different fields and none of them have helped her. We have tried through our own research and food beliefs to help her, and some of things have helped her. She goes through periods of feeling great, no problems but than she will go weeks and weeks feeling like crap, and not eating. It is scary, my whole family is scared. But we stay hopeful that one day here soon she will get better! We pray a lot for her. So to answer your question looks like I like to vent/talk about issues and crying helps too. We wish you all the best Tina! We hope you find comfort soon! xoxo Lori and Michelle

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    Laurie June 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Oh Tina, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this! Maybe give the medicine time to work and hopefully you’ll be feeling better soon! Sending get well wishes to you!

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    Kristin June 28, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Hey Tina-

    I’ve never commented on here before but I’ve had colitis for 3 years now and when it started it was the worst case my doctor had ever seen. I was in the hospital for about a month, and now I get Remicade treatments every 8 weeks. I also took Imuran until this Feb. I’m not sure what meds you’re on, but mine took a bit to kick in (hence the month in the hospital). Now though, I eat anything I want and never really have any problems- it was just getting it under control in the first place. I know it seems bad now and like it will never end, but it’ll get better- I promise! Just make sure you have a good doctor- mine has been a savior!

    I’m thinking about you and hoping for a quick recovery! Please let me know if you have any questions for me, I’d love to answer them for you or just chat about it all!

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    Kristen June 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    When I feel really frustrated/helpless/etc., I let myself have a breakdown. It seems to be the only way I can let all of my emotions out. I find it’s much easier to get a grasp on things once I’ve done that.

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    Lauri (Redheadrecipes.com) June 28, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    When I feel reallly upset/frustrated, I usually kick something and then go lay down and take a nap! Naps always help :)

    If I’m just a little irritated, walking usually does the trick.

    Fingers crossed for better days for you… Banana+almond milk smoothies actually sound really yummy!

    How is the ensure going; are you still able to tolerate that?

    Reply

    Christine @ Burning It Off June 28, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Your blog has not become whiny at all… if anything, I’m amazed by how positive you’ve managed to keep things given the circumstances. Don’t worry about writing too much about your condition; learning how to deal with a health setback is an important and completely appropriate topic for a healthy living blog.

    Reply

    Megan @ On The Road Again June 28, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    You’re such a trooped through all of this, and you share it with all of us, too! I’d be totally shy about sharing a medical issue, but I applaud you for putting it out there. I just really hope you feel better soon and are able to make that glorious comeback to running!

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    Gabriella @ Loosedirections June 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    As a long time reader, I just want to say how sorry I am that you are having these issues. It’s amazing how quickly health can change and your story is a good reminder to not take being healthy for granted. My thoughts are with you for a swift return back to normal and I appreciate your honesty on the blog- no need to apologize for posting about your health; it’s a major part of your life!

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    Karen Erickson June 28, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Your blog friends are here for you!!! Whine away, you need to get it out and talk to people about it. Hopefully it helps you feel a little better mentally, and I will pray that you start feeling better physically soon! Keep staying strong:)

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    Shana June 28, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Please don’t feel like your blog is whiny! It’s helpful to hear how other people handle GI distress. I’m so sorry you have to go through this. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you. The important thing to remember is that you will get better. Think of each bite you take as a bite towards healing your body. Even if it’s not the food you want, its the medicine your body needs. Thanks to your stellar diet, it has a store house of nutrients to draw from so don’t get discouraged!

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    Suzi June 28, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    As hard as it is for you right now be glad that you are still able to be at home and not in the hospital. My husband ended up there for 2 1/2 weeks as a result of colitis his body actually went into shock because his potassium levels were so low, it was really scary!!

    Sadly if you are still having problems you may need to stick pretty close to a clear liquid diet for a few days to let your intestines heal. soup broth, Jello, boost and ensure it won’t fill you up but shouldn’t bother you either and you should have fewer trips to the bathroom. From there you should be able to re-add more solid things like bananas, cooked apple sauce, protein shakes (consuming a high protein diet is very helpful for colitis), mild cheeses, soft pasta, etc and see how you make out. If you’re still okay after a day or two start adding in a few more things, and so on.

    Things won’t stay this badly forever, but you will have to make a change in what you think is healthy food, because what has been considered “healthy” for you in the past, may now be your kryptonite…

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    Shayla @ The Good Life June 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    I commend you Tina for being so honest and open with us all. I can’t even begin to imagine how you must be feeling…just know that through this blogging community we are here for you and I truly hope from the bottom of my heart you get better.

    I was talking with my sister about this since she’s a nurse and she actually had a bout with it a couple of years ago…she said that it got better over time, about 3 months, and what helped her was taking probiotics. I forget if she took any meds too, I’ll have to ask her again and let you know. I’m sure you’re trying everything, but just wanted to give my two cents :) xoxo

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    Jacquelynn June 28, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    When I had flare ups, all I ate was animal crackers and mashed potatoes… you WILL get better, it just takes time. My power has been out until today, so I haven’t been able to keep up with your posts… what meds are you on? I had to see a few different docs before I found the right med combos and the right doctor.

    Thinking of you!

    Reply

    Abby June 28, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    My brother has suffered from ulcerative colitis for 6 years. He has had 2 major flare ups which lasted about 4-5 months. He does not take any meds now bc the steroids and everything else the drs put him on almost killed him. He does, however, take an herb called psyllium on a daily basis which he swears by. You can get it at natural food stores anywhere. My local co-op carries it in powder form which allows you to just dissolve it water!

    It will get better, unforunately it takes time. I wish you well in your road to recovery!

    Reply

    Caitlin June 28, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Tina…I’ve never commented before but just had to because I wanted to say I’m so sorry for what you are going through. I also wanted to let you know that I have a family member who suffers from colitis and she left the doctor feeling so frustrated and terrible…because he gave her NO nutrition advice. I HIGHLY recommend going to see a dietitian that specializes in GI disorders. I’m not just biased (because I am about to take the RD exam) but I have seen amazing turn-arounds with the proper guidance. I hope you feel better soon.

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    Brooke (You Can Get Fit!) June 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Hey, I think that writing about it and being honest about your issues is the best way to go.
    I started my blog as a way to remind myself that I was a “healthy motivator type” after my first screwed-up hip surgery (and the ensuing months of attempting to fix things, which just made things worse). I still haven’t gotten back to teaching my fitness groupies where I used to work. Motivating these people was my LIFE, and I feel I’ve lost that… so I started the blog last June.
    It wasn’t until this month? last month? that I opened up about all my medical issues and struggles. Like you, I didn’t want to come across as “whiny”, so instead, I came across as probably too sterile. This is probably why I didn’t have a ton of readership my first year.
    Now that I’ve found inspiration in other areas of my life, and learned to do the best with what I have (partially through my writing!!!) I’ve started to develop a community. So this is my long-winded way of saying… posting what’s going on in your life is just a matter of “being yourself”, and that’s what we as readers like. :)
    Take care.

    Reply

    Pam June 28, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story, it’s so helpful for others to relate to what you are going thru!! I hope you get to feeling better soon and I will continue to read and see you thru your recovery.

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    Laura June 28, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Funny, whenever I get a colitis flare, Whole Foods becomes my best friend! There’s such great food there and its always such a comfort to me :) At least it’s something to feel happy about!!

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    Cindy June 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    I love your blog and I do not find that you are whining at all. What are friends for but to listen and support? Colitis runs in my family so I know all to well what it’s like to be tethered to the bathroom. It does take time to calm your intestines when they are all inflamed. Your an active person so each day that goes by seems like two. We understand and are hear to listen. Just try to do your best to relax and give yourself time to heal.

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    dawn June 28, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Have you read Choosing Raw, by chance? She had IBS and “cured” it through a raw diet. Sorry to harp on the natural approach but I suspect it might be what you need!! Sending love. Dawn

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    Lia June 28, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    tina! i am so sorry to hear about all of your recent health problems ! it is crazy how many people are affected by crohn’s and colitis ! at least you are not alone, and there are lots of support resources out there for you ! hopefully the gluten free thing works for you ! also, remember to stay VERY hydrated while you are having a flare up — i saw a patient in the ER once that was severely dehydrated after having a UC flare up. thinking of you !

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    Mary June 29, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Tina, sounds like your Dr has a gatekeeper, find someone who will treat YOU, not based on second hand news from a relayed phone call. We’re all here for you, hang in there!

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    Jackie @ That Deep Breath June 29, 2011 at 12:10 am

    “Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it all has finally come together. What you have always wished for has finally come to be. You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself… ‘How did I get through all of that?”

    You will get through this & still be just as fabulous!

    Reply

    Lindsey @ Gluten-Free Lindsey June 29, 2011 at 12:57 am

    Sorry to hear about your colitis issues.. I think it’s great you are able to open up and share how you are feeling with everyone. Hope you feel better soon!!

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    Katherine June 29, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Hi Tina!
    I’ve been a big fan of your blog for a while now, and my heart really goes out to you knowing that you’re struggling with colitis. I, too, like many others who are commenting, had a terrible flare up that completely altered my life–I missed most of my high school graduation activities, couldn’t go away to college, spent a birthday in the hospital, etc. All in all, it took almost two years before I was back in top form.
    I know that there’s nothing anyone can say to calm the frustration you have (and there will be more…a lot more). There were a lot of surprise symptoms and things that popped-up that had me thinking, “What’s next?” I had nagging sciatic pain from the inflation in my system, joints that were so stiff I couldn’t raise my arms, eye issues, and side effects from extreme weight loss.
    What I can tell you, though, is that once you come out on the other side of this–you will value your health like never before. Clearly you’re already a health conscious person, but I can’t even tell you how this experience will keep you in line from now on. Motivation for exercise? Well, at one point, I couldn’t exercise. Eating healthy? If I do anything else, I’ll feel crappy. Doing too much? Stress aggravates my U.C.
    I hope you have a speedy recovery. Find a wonderful doctor who follows it from start to finish, and read everything about colitis you can get your hands on.

    Reply

    Danielle June 29, 2011 at 6:27 am

    When I am frustrated and need to put things in perspective I will sometimes cry and just have out with it. But what really helps me feel better is a good yoga class and maybe go and getting a hair cut. I always come away feeling like a new person and usually I am put in a better frame of mind to handle the situation.

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    Shannon June 29, 2011 at 7:53 am

    sending some big hugs {{{{{{{{{tina}}}}}}}}}

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    Ali @ Ali Runs June 29, 2011 at 8:13 am

    When I am frustrated, I usually cry & vent first and then try to do something about it. If I can’t change the actual situation, I’ll try to change something else (most of the time this means I clean and organize my apartment). If I can’t feel better then at least I’m living in a clutter free place!

    Reply

    Jess June 29, 2011 at 9:26 am

    I had the same symptoms but mine were more severe and had to stay in the hospital for two weeks. I thought I was going to lose my mind because the nurses wouldn’t let me eat anything. My only choices during my stay were refined carbs and popsicles. Not exactly my first choice, haha. It didn’t help that when my family visited they would eat: hummus, pizza, and Spanish food! Although, gluten wasn’t an issue but everything remotely nutritious was. When I returned home, I was restricted from wheat, dairy, and most vegetables. Anyway, to cope with my frustrations I found a lot of comfort in writing and I allowed myself to get as much rest as I needed. So, writing and sleep for me! :)

    Reply

    Jess June 29, 2011 at 9:28 am

    One more thing… I’ve been taking asacol for about three months now and have been experiencing my hair falling out. I am having a hard time coping with that!

    Reply

    Stephanie Clement June 29, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Hi Tina,

    I know this is a day late, but I wanted to say something again. Well, first of all….cry your heart out. We’re girls…we all know it helps. However, once you have yourself a deep painful cry…the one thing I suggest is to relax. Not lay on the couch…but focus on your thoughts. Stress has SO MUCH bloody effect on our bodies and health. I know people think that is holistic crap and stuff…but our bodies are soo dependent on our thoughts. Our mind controls our hormones, our actions, and our emotions….but we do have SOME control.

    Its no question that you live a busy life…however you LOVE your job, husband and dog! But, that doesn’t mean you’re not stressed…I just bet you don’t really let yourself tell you that! I’m telling you all of this because my mom always knows when I’m stressed and when I can’t figure out why I’ve had a bad health week she simply turns to me and says “you’re stressed!…go do something for YOU”. It always helps me to hear that because I know that I need to let go of my worries..any way I can…because at the end of the day nothing is more important than your health and well being. And its sometimes really hard to know that youre stressed because it can just feel so normal at times.

    Well, I hope this helps…even just a little.

    Take care!…..(can you have a glass of wine?!)

    Reply

    jackie June 29, 2011 at 11:15 am

    I have been reading your blog for a while but have never commented. I have had this same condition for a few years now. I am lucky to have a great doctor that gives me awesome advice. I have been taking Asacol and I havent had any problems since. I can pretty much eat whatever I want. However, this has actually encouraged me to eat more whole and natural foods because I have noticed they make me feel so much better. Everyones bodies and symptoms are different but I would recommend asking about Asacol and a medication that helps relieve pain in your stomach.

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    Yvonne June 29, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Hi Tina. I too am a long-time reader/fan who has never commented, but I wanted to send you some love and urge you to look into alternative/holistic treatment for your issue. Traditional Western medicine doesn’t always have the answers, and there is so much help available to you in the form of nutritional therapy, herbs, acupuncture, etc.; I encourage you to find a reputable practitioner you can work with and see if you can get not only get some relief, but also work to getting your body back into balance. You’re a beautiful person who has inspired me greatly over the last year or so, I wish you much health and success!

    Reply

    Lauren @lbott.blogspot.com June 29, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Sorry to hear about still not feeling good. I know it can be very frustrating. Several years ago I had a bad case of mono that kept me on the sofa for nearly 2 weeks. I didn’t want to eat, drink or do anything. I felt so unlike myself that I swore to get better and remember what it felt like to be healthy. You are on the road to recovery, just remember sometimes it takes awhile but in the end you will end up stronger!

    Reply

    Ryan @ PauseTheMoment.com June 29, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    So sorry to hear about this Tina. Hope you get better SO soon so we can get together for a kick ass workout. Tell Mal I said Hi, and try your best to keep your head up!

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    Rachelle June 29, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    I hate to bring up an article about your condition, but I thought it might be helpful seeing how you explained that bananas seemed to be the only fruit you could consume. Turns out, so is melon. I found the article interesting, and I hope you find it helpful!

    http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-report/ulcerative-colitis/ulcerative-colitis-diet-tips.aspx?xid=nl_EverydayHealthDietandNutrition_20110629

    Reply

    Katie June 30, 2011 at 7:39 am

    I just heard about what has been going on with you, Im so sorry Tina, sending you lots of love and get better fast wishes : )

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    Dominique July 1, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Oh Tina, I so understand from a partners view what you are going through.. We have just had a whole week of sleepless nights due to the same condition. It’s such a strange condition huh, in that it’s SO unpredictable and you never know what today is going to bring. I have been doin some research and am going to approach my partners Gastrologist to see what he thinks about a drug – Cyclosporine, since we have tried everything else. Will let you know if we get any further with this.
    Im a runner also so see how hard t must be to have to give up some of those races. Hang in there! xx

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    Caitlin October 9, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I purposefully sought out this post because I have been feeling super down the last week due to stomach issues. I know that you have been struggling with them much longer than me and also much worse it sounds like but yes, it SUCKS not being able to eat the foods I want to eat, especially when they are veggies, fruits, and other fiberful healthy things! But I knew that reading this would give me a little kick in the ass as you said to try to stay positive. I have a dr appointment today and am hoping it gives me answers!

    Reply

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