Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hellooooooo

So I am slowly but surely recovering and coming out of the longest and most painful flare since my diagnosis. Rather that do a depressing post about how bad this past month has been health wise because of my UC.

To keep with the cheer of the holiday spirit, here are a few clues that you might have some issues with your gut if you indulge in holiday treats and find this in the toilet after using it.

onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_tav5JkVGhnY/TQAz1hKrWJI/AAAAAAAAAFo/LTSfsTjKUic/s1600/candy_canes_7.gif">




















Monday, November 22, 2010

Tis' the season.

I love the Holiday season! I have always had such awesome memories from my childhood about them. Some might think it's early but the we put the tree up tonight. I guess I'm just really excited about Christmas this year because of being a dad and sharing it with Henry. I love the idea of starting new traditions and making lasting memories for him. It was fun to dress him up for Halloween this year but that might be a memory that he is grateful to not remember in years to come!





In a couple of days we will be flying to Kansas to celebrate Thanksgiving with my side of the family this year. We all are pretty pumped! If I am honest part of me feels a little bummed about the Holiday season this year. I have a huge sweet tooth and with me changing my lifestyle to not indulge as I have in years past, I know it's going to be tough to turn stuff down. I had a really hard time in the store the other day walking through the candy aisles.

I just have to keep telling myself that there will be good alternatives for me to have that won't mess my stomach up. I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on alternatives that are scd friendly. If I indulge I know what the end result will be.





I have many things to be grateful for this year. I hope all of you have an fun and safe time in whatever way you choose to celebrate this year!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Turning the Corner

After a week of following the SCD I feel as though I am finally pulling out of this latest flare. By that meaning last night I slept the best I had in weeks, diarrhea is letting up along with pain, and my energy level is getting better. As grateful as i am to have a place where I can vent and share about my UC, it is awesome to be doing a post about what IS working.

Bone broth, bone broth and more bone broth. I cooked up a batch of this the other day and have a cup or two in the morning and evening. In my desperation to get the maximum benefits of this I found myself scraping the marrow from the bones after finishing cooking it. My understanding of the nutrients and befits to the gut that are in the marrow is why I did this. I had made bone broth in the past, and while it seemed to help I realized that I wasn't getting maximum potency from the bones themselves. In all of the broth recipes I have found the factor of extensive simmering needed to break the bones down has failed to be addressed. My friend Shelly, who is studying to be a ND helped me understand this. She has her own blog describing her discoveries and journey in healthy foods.

I have been sticking to the SCD diet very strictly and am feeling a LOT better. in addition to this I take cod liver oil with each meal and a daily pro-biotic. I have set some goals for myself in regards to getting off prednisone. I want to be adhere to my GI's recommendations with my med's but at the same time, they haven't helped. I think I may have tapped into something that may work much better than the medicine. I feel like I can be open with him about this but he is really old school and is going to stick to what he is trained in when it involves treating UC. Have others had similar questions regarding their own treatment methods?

In focusing more on my diet I realize that foods are just a piece of the puzzle. I am researching different avenues to try and tacke my UC from all angles. By that meaning, stress management and maitaining peace of mind and quality of life overall. My son Henry has been a lot of fun lately and has played a big part in managing my stress. I also am getting more involved with writing and hopefully filming short films. This has been a passion of mine for a while and I realize I have been in need of a creative outlet.

One thing I don't want this blog to be overly focused on is the "problem". I want you readers to know about other aspects of my life and plan to share about Henry's adventures with daddy as well as my creative endeavorer. My lovely wife Brittany has here own blog, Hairy Babies. She does such an awesome job of telling our story of being parents for the first time. Stop by and have a look, I know it will brighten your day!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Alright...I've had it.

Sooooo since my last blog post which was back in July there has been some major changes in my life. The smallest, and biggest at the same was the birth of my son! I have loved being a dad. While it has had it's share of challenges it has been awesome thus far.

It was a week ago Friday that I was admitted into the hospital for the weekend. I had been maintaining at a really crappy place with my gut for a while and that Friday things came to a head. Earlier that week I had gotten scoped. The results of which my GI said was "moderate" colitis. I couldn't help wondering, as crappy as I had been feeling, what would he describe as "severe" colitis?

Anyway, it's like they say, drastic times call for drastic measures. I had heard some about the SCD a few months back. At the time the commitment was not there. I just couldn't bring myself to cut out some of the stuff that the diet was requiring. I also had been being proactive with my UC and had, for the most part, been doing pretty good.

One of the signs that the medicine I had been on was not working was finding them in the toilet shortly after taking them. Which led to....

I have since had a change of heart. Nothing like a hospital stay to bring that about don't ya' think? I just want to feel better and I am very weary of my ornery colon. am a few day's into the diet and can already tell a difference. One thing I like so far is that the recipes seem to be easy to follow and pretty tasty. I have a big sweet tooth so I have been relieved to see that there are alternatives. Especially with the holiday's here!


Despite feeling exhausted 90% of the time, I am hopefully optimistic about this diet. I have heard of many people having good success with it. Is anyone currently on this diet or had experience with it? I would love to hear others experiences.




Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hit me with music....


Ever since I can remember, I have loved music. Somewhere floating around at my parent’s house is a picture of me at a very young age holding a Mickey mouse guitar. My dad is where I feel like I inherited this.

It was not until my 21st birthday did I get my first guitar and start taking lessons. While I did fall in love with the guitar from the minute I started playing, I found myself wondering how many potential guitar players had given it up when confronted with playing ”bar” chords? I have stuck with it though. It is one thing that I have stuck with and not given up on. I can tend to be a really at starting things, but often don’t follow through with them. If there is one thing I could snap my fingers and change about myself it would be that. I really hate that about myself.

I believe I have mentioned that me and my wife Brittany are expecting a baby boy. The due date is July 22nd. While I could not be more elated about this “minor” detail about my life has got this old brain doing a lot of introspective thought recently. After all, in just a few short weeks my life will be forever changed. This brings me back to music and guitar.

I will be 32 in August. Music has been something that has been such a passion for me. No matter how hard I have tried, it seems to be a switch that cannot be shut off. Part of me feels like I have completely missed that boat or opportunity. Whatever that would have entailed, I don’t know. I should just grow up and fall in line, right? After all, aren’t what most 32 year olds doing is falling in line, being average, working the nine to five only looking back years later to see missed opportunity after missed opportunity.

I am not saying that I want to ignore every responsibility that I am faced with because of chasing some pipe dream, or having a little peter pan syndrome going on. What I am saying is that I firmly believe that there is a balance to be found in all of this. That is what I am looking for. In the conversations I have had about this with my wife as well as the ones that go on only in my head, there is one question that nags at me. Do most people feel this way and don’t talk about it. or am I just selfish and day dream too much?

One thing is that will change in about three weeks is that I will finally meet my son! Between the added responsibility that this will bring and their not being enough hours in the day, I have a feeling that any guitar playing in the Klein house will taper off for a season. Or who knows, maybe that is what will help get him to sleep! Either way I want to not let this love of music that was passed down to me fall by the wayside and not get passed on.

Oh, and before I forget As I promised in my last post here are some new photos of stuff around Richmond. Here are a few of the
the famous tennis player, Arthur Ashe. He was from Richmond and had quite and influence on a lot of people. One thing that cracks me up about this statue is that it looks like he is beating the children with a tennis racquet, while withholding books from them.




Or is it just me?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My new project

One thing that I have come to realize in the past couple of days is how important it is to find ways to deal with stress. I try not to but it seems like I internalize so many of the days events sometimes. The days tick by my health is in check and then…WHAM! I can go from zero to emergency in about 2.5 seconds.

I could spend all day writing story after story of incidents involving my colitis. Could’t we all? Instead in this blog I want to share some of my recent experiences of what IS working instead of digressing to tales of crap filled pants or bursting in on my wife while she is to putting on makeup, trying to get ready for work. That’s right. we have only one bathroom in the Klein house.

My friend Shelly, who is studying in Seattle, Washington to be a nutritionist, was kind enough to send me some recipes that are anti-inflammatory and good for digestive health. The balsamic blueberries is the only one I have tried and it is awesome! I think it is going to become a staple as part of my breakfasts from now on. I will have to get back to you on the rest of them.

For the next month I will be going to have acupuncture done twice a week to help my colitis. I had my first session this past Thursday. I can’t wait to go back! Let’s just say that I am cautiously optimistic about the results. I have head of many good reports on it’s usefulness for many different ailments.

Last night me and my wife had some friends over for a cookout. There was a good time had by all. These past few weekends have been so busy that they really just seem to fly by.. With a new baby here in the upcoming weeks I don’t anticipate that changing much.

A little project I have had on the back burner for some time is to make up a photo album involving some of my favorite places in Richmond. I love the city that I live in. It is full of so much diversity and culture. There are quite many scenic, unique spots worthy of a photo or two. That being said…here is one of my favorite spots to grab a cup of coffee. I love the fact that it is just down the street!

Black Hand Coffee

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thinking outside the box...maybe.

One of the things I have discovered since after being diagnosed with UC two years ago is how my view of traditional medical treatment here in America has changed.

While I am very grateful for the doctors whose actions in the past have saved my life, it has also been my experience that, for the most part, doctors put little to no effort into educating their patients in a more holistic approach. I have heard countless accounts of those who have healed their gut, or maintained remission through this approach. I have recently been implementing more natural ways of healing. Later today, I am going in for my first acupuncture session! I feel like I have gotten to the point with this disease where I am willing to do anything to feel better. I am tired of traditional medicines that don't work that well, if at all. Let me clarify again that I am not shutting the door on traditional medicine. I just don't want to put all my eggs in that basket.

In my search for alternative treatments I have heard read many accounts of people who swear by the use of one natural remedy. The only problem for me is that it is illegal in my state to use medically. Alright, let me just put this out there. I support the use of marijuana to treat certain illnesses.

It feels weird to say that publicly because I know that our society has ingrained such a negative image of this plant into people's minds. I feel that I need to be honest and real when I write even if I might be misunderstood.

I understand that this is a complicated issue so I wanted to make as clear as possible what I am saying, as well as what I am not saying in regards to this issue. Well, rather than bore spelling out how I feel, hopefully these next statements sums up my overall point.

It bothers me that I can go get narcotics for my pain legally but for something that is naturally occurring I would be punished for seeking relief with. It also bothers me that my even considering this method of treatment makes me feel like a bad person. I believe this to be due to the misinformation, lies and fear that have been fed to myself along with the general public, about this plant. Did I say plant? What's that you say...naturally occurring? Call me crazy but I think that as an intelligent adult I should not be punished for making a well thought out, well educated decision on how to treat my illness. For me it is more about feeling better than it is about getting high. I won't lie, there have been times that I have indulged in smoking.
I liked being high. That being said, ultimately I just want to feel better.

I found this link and I found it to be very educational and informative. I heard a quote by a doctor say that, if marijuana were to be discovered today it would be hailed as the miracle drug of our time. http://medigardens.blogspot.com/2010/02/november-2009-cannabinoids-protects.html

I was wondering it there is anyone who lives somewhere where MM is legal? I would love to hear from those who have experience with this treatment method. Also I would love to hear what others opinions are on this topic. I really want to be objective, so feel free post something even it you think I won't agree.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Well....


It has been over a month since I have posted my last blog. I have had a lot going on. My wife and I, are expecting our first baby July 22nd. A date which is quickly approaching. We could not be more thrilled to be parents! I am growing more and more exited knowing that I am going to be a dad. I am especially exited knowing that the baby is going to be a little boy!

I think it is safe to say that life in the Klein house has been on the busy side of things this past month or so. People keep telling me that I need to enjoy these last few days of being able to relax and do nothing if I so choose. While I realize that this is true, I feel like those days of just "relaxing" have already passed.

I guess it goes without saying that I have had a lot of things on my plate lately. And some of those things have brought added stress. This stress has taken it's toll on my gut which has led to a flare up.



It has been a reminder to me on how this is a condition that I need to be very proactive with in order to maintain any sort of remission with. I have incorporated into my daily regiment of supplements a stronger dose of pro-biotics, boswelia, and cod liver oil. I had already been taking probiotice but I have decided that a plunking down the extra cash for a some better quality supplements is worth it when it comes to bringing my gut into check.




I have found that the supplements in liquid form, rather than pill form seem to be more effective. I could do without taking the liquid form of the cod liver oil though...nasty!

I plan on keeping up with this blog more and hopefully soon I will have better news to share in regards to my my f****ng colon.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Settling in a bit

It has been a crazy last couple of weeks! Between moving, running a 10k, work, getting ready for a baby and to top it off we spent the first couple of nights in our new place without power. It was supposed to get turned on that Friday, but because of some technical difficulties it did not happen until Monday.




Did I mention that I moved the same day as the race? In case you were wondering...the race went off without a hitch. Well....just one pit stop at about mile #3. One thing I love about this race is the way that it brings out the community.


Me before the race....after my final morning bathroom trip...or at least so I thought..






crossing the finish line..what a good feeling!




In the process of moving and all of the other stuff I have had going on I have been not eating the best. For example...


fries and ice cream!






Ya, I know bad idea and believe me I have been paying the price. This week I have been getting more on track with being pro-active regarding my UC.
One thing that I have been doing is only drinking warm water. That has been something that I have seen drastic improvement from doing.


I was skeptical at first but I figured maybe there is something to this so I gave it a shot and much to my surprise it has been very helpful. I hope that others can find this helpful as well.
As with any method or diet that I have tried, I have found it important to remember to have a balance. In other words even though I have been drinking cold water most of the time it is not the end of the world if I have something cold sometimes. I try to remember this with my diet overall.

While I know that I need to be very intentional about what I eat and don't eat. It is okay if I sway away from that sometimes. I learned this lesson in the early days after being diagnosed with UC. I felt like I would never again be able to eat anything that I once enjoyed. It was very frustrating and at times very depressing. I love a bowl of ice cream sometimes.

Nothing hits the spot on some days like a cold beer. I know that after having these things my colon more than likely will pay the price. Again I come back to what I said about having a balance. The weather is getting warmer so these are hard to turn down sometimes and that's just fine. Having UC or not. I just need to know that if I do....a bathroom should be nearby!








Thursday, March 25, 2010

Race day Saturday!!

This Saturday I will be running a 10k race. I know, I know...those of you reading this that do not live in United States might have a chuckle at me calling it that. Most Americans when they think of a race that is 10 kilometers, scratch their heads at first and say, "Now just how long is that in miles?" Before I ran it, I was one of those people. Until all of us Yanks get it together and start using the metric system, you will just have to bear with me here.

I ran it last year with my wife and a close friend of ours. I was very proud to have achieved such a feat. My wife and I trained for about three months to condition ourselves.

One concern I had a year ago is the same concern that I have for the race on Saturday. I'm not worried about twisted ankles, or not as worried, anyway. What tops the list of my race day nervousness? I hope I can make it through the whole race without shitting myself. For my fellow UC sufferers I bet you saw that one coming right?

From what I know, there will be over 30,000 participants on Saturday. I wonder if the people who organize this event factor in the amount of people who suffer from a "spastic" colon? From the way it looked last year it certainly did not seem to be the case. I guess maybe I should bring an extra pair of pants?

While these are all valid concerns, I think that things will be fine race day. Last year things were just fine and man....

it was the best feeling crossing that finish line!




I have been doing better the past few days than I have been in a long time. Just in case though....don't think I will be wearing shorts!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Glass half full?

I usually try to view things that happen with a positive attitude. While sometimes this is easier said than done, I think it is safe to say that I am fairly successful at doing this.

As someone who suffers from UC I have had many days of feeling depressed or down. I am blessed to have the support of a loving amazing wife. I also have some close friends and family who I know love and care for me deeply. As much as they care and may try to understand, they just can't.

At times it can be discouraging..... especially when I am throwing away another pair of boxers in the trashcan of some public bathroom. While I can look back and have a chuckle about it, nothing is more humiliating or emasculating. It's the little things in life that are taken for granted. I never would have thought that having the option of choosing when and where I crap, would be such a luxury.

I have come to realize that I have slacked off a bit with my diet and being pro-active about managing my UC. I have a bit of a sweet tooth. It often gets the better of me and my colon pays the price. I love ice cream. It is so hard to turn down.

These past couple of days I have resolved to try some new things in regards to healing my gut.
Here are some different things that I am supplementing my diet with:

- mushroom root tea
3x daily

-
calendula tea 3x daily

- Ginger root tea 3x daily



All of these I combine and make into one tea brew. So far doing this seems to be helping but I wonder if having a bowl of ice cream at night nullifies all of this.

All in all things are good. I am grateful that I am not worse off with my UC. I have good days and bad but today I did not have to throw any boxers away! That's right....my glass is half full!





Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Fever....literally



It has been about a week of beautiful weather in Richmond. While I love the spring time, my allergies have been horrible this week. Between my colitis and non-stop sneezing, I pretty much feel like a wreck.

For someone like myself who suffers from an auto-immune disease such as colitis, the two seem to be linked at times. What I mean is that if my allergies are acting up, more than likely my stomach will be acting up as well.



From what I know about how the GI system works, things like anxiety and stress can cause the digestive system to become aggravated. When a good part of my day is spent sneezing, I can't help but feel anxious or stressed because I want to feel better. I take allergy medicine which sometimes helps. One thing I wonder: how is the allergy medicine affecting my stomach? What do others with the same issues do?

Images by beamillion and OliBac

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gotta love the zipper.....


There are few things in this world that compare to the complete panic and desperation of attempting to undo a pair of button fly jeans, as I had on the other day. Adding to the difficultly of the task was the fact that the pants I had on also had a drawstring. You have got to be kidding me!! Precious seconds ticked away as my need to "go" grew closer. 3....2.....1.....


Let's just say that on that fate filled day, I vowed that I would never again wear pants that had a button fly.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pain in the rear


So after many rolls of toilet paper, doses of probiotics, doctor visits, samples of blood given and middle of the night bathroom trips, I can't help but wonder. What is normal for someone who suffers from UC?

In the nearly two years that I have had this condition I have yet to meet many people who have the same ailment. This can be very frustrating and discouraging given that I really need someone to talk to about this other than my wife. Bless her heart, she has been very supportive and understanding. Especially considering that we only have one bathroom. As great as she is and as much as she tries to understand, when it comes right down to it, she just can't relate.

I have not had a severe "flare up" for over a year and a half now. I do however, have good days and bad days. Thankfully I have been off prednisone for a little over a year. My maintinence drug that I am taking is Lialda. Quite honestly though, I wonder what good it is really doing. What does seem to be helping hold off a relapse is daily doses of probiotics, a calendula and chamomile tea blend, and eating yogurt. All of which I take several times a day. What seems to be working for others?