Hey there! I had an appointment with my GI doctor yesterday afternoon, so let’s get right to it so I can fill ya in on how things went!
Lunch was a repeat of the previous night’s dinner (Make-Your-Own Taco Salads), but instead of romaine lettuce, I used sautéed kale for a more nutritious option. I’m really digging salsa lately, so a big scoop of it definitely added a little something-something to the meal. It’s funny how salsa does that!
After lunch, I headed into Boston for my doctor’s appointment. I gave myself plenty of time to get there and arrived about 15 minutes early, so I popped into Whole Foods to kill some time and look for a snack.
I wandered around, checking out my options, but nothing really caught my attention. I wanted some fried plantains from the hot bar, but I didn’t see any. Bummer. Those are my favorite snack ever from Whole Foods. Instead, I ended up buying a bottle of Kombucha and drinking about 1/3 of it before my appointment.
At my appointment, I first met with a MGH fellow, who told me all about a couple of IBD studies that the hospital is conducting and then asked me if I was interested in participating. Of course, I was interested in participating and happily signed on for both. Both studies will be looking at genes and biological markers and whether they can predict the course of Crohn’s and colitis over time. Additionally, investigators will see how these diseases respond to different medications.
Yesterday, my involvement in these studies involved answering a number of questionnaires and submitting blood and urine samples. In the coming months, I’ll be contacted up to 4 times for follow-up questions, visits, and more samples. I won’t get any sort of results or feedback for my participation, but I am more than happy to provide information that will help doctors understand the cause of IBD and how best to treat people with these diseases.
Once I finished all of the study stuff (I was at MGH for almost 3 hours yesterday), I met with my doctor, who is truly the greatest guy ever. He was totally running behind with his schedule and then things took longer than expected with the study stuff, but he didn’t rush our meeting at all. In fact, we talked for quite a long time. I always felt like my old GI doctor wanted to get me in and out of his office as fast as he could, so I always felt anxious and hesitated to ask my questions. Meeting with my new doctor is a completely different experience. He really listens and focuses on me and my individual situation. Yesterday, for example, my doctor spent a ton of time looking at my records (from my previous doctor) and medication history while asking me about my current condition and then creating a plan of attack for the future. My old doctor seemed like he grouped me in box with other 30-something colitis patients and then prescribed me more drugs just so he could get me out of his hair. I know I’ve said this before, but I am so glad I switched doctors. It’s made a huge difference in how I look at this disease and attempt to manage it. I also really trust my new doctor and his plans for getting (and keeping) me healthy.
The next big step in getting me healthy is completely weaning me off Prednisone, which I have been taking since August. I’ve been up and down on the dosage a few times now, but I’ve successfully made it down to 15mg without a flare this time. Unfortunately, according to my doctor, going from 15mg to 0mg is a really tough transition since my body is so used to having steroids to keep it healthy. My doctor has additional meds on-call in case I start to flare, but the next few weeks might be an adventure. Let’s hope for the best!
After my appointment, I headed home and threw together a quick dinner. It was supposed to be Mustard-Glazed Chicken with Candied Carrots (both recipes from Practical Paleo), but I sort of did my own thing. I cooked the chicken with the mustard glaze, but then chopped it up and mixed it with brown rice, roasted broccoli and carrots. It turned out pretty well!
After dinner, I enjoyed a couple of mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Health News & Views
Have you ever heard of a Tabata? They’re a great way to maximize your workout if you’re short on time. A Tabata is basically interval training. For 20 seconds, you perform an exercise at maximum intensity, which is then followed by 10 seconds of rest and repeated 8 times for a total of four minutes. Here’s a 15-minute workout that will get your heart-pumping and burn calories!
P.S. Ashley created a wedding registry to help one of her friends rebuild after she was left homeless and with nothing after Hurricane Sandy: Wedding Registries Created to Help Victims of Sandy.