Hi all, I am so glad that I am able to share this experience with you. I am new to this blog thing but I feel like I have so much to share that I figured this outlet would be the best way to just get my feelings out there. I know I have an about me page but I figured I’d use this first post to give you some fast facts about me and what I am doing currently!
My Health Facts
- I was diagnosed with IBD 8 years ago, first with UC and then rediagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2016, more specifically Ileocolitis. My mother also has had Crohn’s Disease for over 20 years, and my grandmother suffered from Multiple Sclerosis, so it’s safe to say autoimmunity runs in my family.
- I am currently in endoscopic remission meaning I really have no symptoms from my CD and colonoscopies come back with no inflammation but rather show healing. I have some scar tissue that may cause me issues in the coming years I have to keep an eye on and I still suffer from extra intestinal symptoms more-so than traditional Crohn’s symptoms.
- I take Stelara every 8 weeks since June 2017 along with a multivitamin, probiotic, biotin with keratin (got to keep that hair on my head!), calcium, vitamin D, boswellia, turmeric and ginger, l-glutamine, and slippery elm when I need it!
- I have experience with a lot of other meds as well. I failed Humira prior to switching to Stelara. I was 6mp (mercaptopurine) for about 5 and a half years (which I am feeling the effects of now), Asacol, extremely high doses of Prednisone, steroid enimas, and tried siberian pine nut oil shots.
- I struggle with the extra intestinal symptoms both physically and emotionally. I had to have Moh’s surgery to remove skin cancer, numerous skin issues, hormonal/female issues, lost majority of my hair at one point and have struggled, and still sometimes struggle with body image issues and confidence related issues with things not being the same as they used to be.
- I eat a fully plant based diet which I will most definitely write about in the future, I also limit gluten as much as possible. It was a long transition to get to this point which started in January 2017 as going mostly vegetarian and then switching to fully plant based by October 2017. I didn’t remove gluten until the end of 2018 and have really gone back and forth with it. I have tried reintroducing some foods like eggs and fish to add to variety into my diet which has not gone so well! But my doctor still wants me to try, maybe in a couple months!
- I am dabbling with Intermittent Fasting currently and I am enjoying how it is working out.
- I still maintain my full time job despite my IBD which I haven’t had too many issues doing. Like I said, I don’t experience too many symptoms and I feel like being open and honest about how I’m feeling with my boss and co-workers is key!
- I’m a little loud, swear way too much, speak my mind and have a tough love mentality which I think will be very evident in my shared experiences and writing.
- My husband and I have been together for over 10 years, married for almost 2, and are the epitome of opposites attract. But honestly we are meant for each other and bring out the best in each of us!
- I love love love coffee and if I don’t drink it everyday I get headaches. I am so thankful that it mostly cooperates with my IBD!
- I also love wine (and craft beer, though I am not currently drinking it). I very much enjoy relaxing with a big glass of a bold red. I also have a wine subscription 🙂
- I am very into fitness and working out even though I hate actually having to do it sometimes…you know what I mean right? I believe that being active is very important in your healing journey. I’ll get into that more for sure!
- I love sports. I played soccer, ran track, figure skated and danced for a little. I played soccer and ran track while in college before being diagnosed, and you bet I tried like hell to perform at the same level after being diagnosed, but I wasn’t as lucky in that regard.
- I am a HUGE New England sports fan, especially the Patriots and Boston Bruins! Football season is the best time of year! and the fall…can I have chunky sweaters, riding boots and pumpkin spice lattes all year please?
- My dog is my child. I spoil all 8 pounds of him.
- I am a chemist (hence the periodic table in the title) and have my BS and MS in Forensic Science. The Crohn’s (UC at the time) tried to get in the way of that but I wouldn’t let it stop me!
- I love cooking and trying new types of plant based recipes! I am not skilled enough to come up with things on my own but will share other people’s recipes that are my faves!
I hope this shows that part of me is a walking medical chart that has many issues, but the side of me that I want to show you all is that you can live a vibrant life with IBD. Once you start working toward healing you can get back to the almost normal you were prior to diagnoses. Honestly, I am thankful for the journey I’ve been on with IBD and now have a much better understanding and appreciation for my body that I probably would have never experienced! Can’t wait to get to know you all!