Thursday, January 14, 2016

Oh...Arthritis.....What's Your Kryptonite!?

I wrote this in February but never posted......

Along with the much talked about "shitty" symptoms that Crohn's/Colitis patients suffer from, come along the not so much talked about symptoms that some people don't know we also suffer from. One of my main symptoms that isn't talked about much is arthritis. I'm bringing this up as the topic today because as I type this (my fingers aching) I'm suffering an immense amount of pain lately. Living in Nebraska the weather can get pretty cold during the winters and we're right in the smack dab middle of it, with snow on the ground and freezing temperatures. It always seems as the temperatures drop, my pain from arthritis rises. 

While almost every joint in my body seems to suffer from arthritis, today my wrists and fingers seem to be the "winners". Barely any pressure or movement comes with sharp pains. This arthritis was the worst pain I've ever been in in my entire life. Moving just the slightest bit made my nerves shoot the most intense pain I've ever felt. I've been to a rheumatologist and he diagnosed me with "migratory arthritis". His solution was to put me on prednisone and pain meds (tramadol and hydrocodone).

After agonizing pain for months and weeks at a time of missed work from the horrible arthritis I decided to take a different approach. I began googling alternatives that I could try for this horrible case of arthritis I had been experiencing. After reading through all the bullshit "miracle" cures online I finally stumbled across a few articles on acupuncture and arthritis. The next day I called and made an appointment with a Chinese Medicine Doctor who specialized in acupuncture. 

I was VERY hesitant going into my first appointment. I thought no way in HELL that acupuncture was the answer to my prayers of getting rid of this immense pain. At the time I could barely fingers, feet, knees and hands were swollen and my back shot intense pain with every step I took. I'm a pretty tough guy when it comes to pain as are most all Crohns/Colitis patients. πŸ’ͺ🏻 We deal with so much pain that others could never handle but this kind of pain was nothing I'd ever experienced before. This arthritis was my kryptonite. I was almost in tears with every move I made. I gave acupuncture a try with much hesitation and doubt. It wasn't the cheapest but IT. WAS. WORTH. IT!!!
Oh my Lordy, after hobbling into his office for my first visit I was hurting so bad still but after 2 days almost all my pain was gone. After 3 appointments I honest to God have had ZERO problems with arthritis. So if you're thinking about trying acupuncture or looking for something to try I HIGHLY suggest trying it. I was SO  skeptical before my first appointment but now I swear on it. Best thing I've taken a risk on. I thought acupuncture was a waste of people's money but little did I know it was my answer all along to stopping my pain. 
I had to end this post with a picture of my best friend that I can finally take on walks again bc I'm pain free from arthritis! I'm SO much HAPPIER to be living life with no pain from arthritis! Now only if I could get my Crohns/Colitis in check! I guess one thing at a time.....

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Iron Infusion Today. Woot woot.

So in a previous post I mentioned my hemoglobin was extremely low. The normal level for an adult male should fall between 13.5-17.5, well mine has been consistently low ever since I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease 8 years ago. Currently it's at the lowest it's ever been at 6.9. So I have about LESS THAN HALF of what a "normal person" is suppose to have in their body. 

Since my hemoglobin is so dangerously low my doctor was shocked that I was even standing without fainting. My skin is always white as a ghost and it's currently the whitest it's ever been. I HATE being this sick! It's so frustrating and there's nothing I can do which is the worst part. I can handle the bathroom trips, the arthritis, the headaches, the sleeping problems, the stomach pains and all the other symptoms that come along with Crohn's but low blood levels seem to be my "kryptonite". 

Having such low blood levels takes SO MUCH out of me. I'm extremely tired which is normal with people with Crohn's but this kind of fatigue is on a totally different level. I have been out of work for the past 15 days because my doctor told me that I shouldn't return to work until my blood levels get back to somewhat normal. He gave me a note saying "return to work to be determined". 

So today as I'm writing this I'm sitting in the infusion center at the hospital getting an iron infusion. Yes another stupid IV! That makes 2 in less than 3 days. NOT FUN! 

This isn't my first go around with iron infusions. A couple years ago I was a pretty regular patient here, I would get an infusion every 2 weeks for 3 months. So this is nothing new to me but that doesn't make it any more fun for me to be here again. If anything it makes me that much more annoyed. As I sit here listening to the bag of iron drip I just think when am I going to be normal? When will there be a cure? When will I get to be genuinely happy again? I just want to sleep ALL THE TIME! 

But then I could be worse, it could always be worse. So I try and stay as positive as I can and put on my best smile. I keep telling myself I can get through this and I'll feel better soon. I am strong enough to handle this. I'm going on 9 years with this disease and I don't plan on giving up anytime soon. 
On a positive note, I did get a PB&J sandwich, orange sherbet and a Pepsi while getting this infusion. All of which were very good, that's a miracle because hospital food always SUCKS! But I don't think it's possible to screw up a PB&J, pre-made sherbet or canned Pepsi! Lol

It's been a rough day and as many of you with Crohn's/Colitis know there have been plenty of these days in our past and there are many more of these days to come. Keep on fighting and stay strong! One day....

Peace out people,


Monday, January 4, 2016

Today's Hospital Visit

Currently I'm battling a severe bout with anemia due to my continuing Crohn's flare up. Normal hemoglobin levels range from around 13-15 and my hemoglobin level is at 6.9. Due to such a low blood count my doctor ordered me to get iron infusions which I've had in the past. He also ordered a colonoscopy which I couldn't be more thrilled about. πŸ˜‘ I hope you caught the sarcasm if not I'm very sarcastic and you'll catch on by frequently reading my blogs. My doctor also scheduled me for a bunch of other tests which included an MRI which I got today. 

I fell asleep last night around 5:30am due to my ongoing insomnia which usually wouldn't be a problem except I had my MRI scheduled for 10 and had to be there at 8:45am (I am NOT a morning person). So that left me getting around 3 hours of sleep which is the usual for me. I arrived to the hospital, got checked in and the first thing I get to do is drink 3 bottles of the barium shake. For those of you who haven't had it, it's disgusting and last time made me throw up. I managed to get down 2 out of the 3 bottles which they said was enough to view my intestines. 

Next up was the dreaded IV...

I don't care how many IVs I've got in my life, I swear I'll never get used to them. I refuse to get the IV put in my hand because I feel like it hurts the most. Yes, I'm the asshole who tells the nurse I'll only get the IV if it's in my arm. So in goes the IV which goes well but still doesn't feel great then...

I get a shot of something that will slow down my digestive tract so they can see it better with the MRI. Lastly I get to lay down on my stomach and slide into that tiny ass loud MRI tube for a good half hour while they do the test. 

Overall everything went smooth with the procedure. Now I'm sitting here watching TV with my arm SORE from the IV and I can't wait to do it again in the future! (U picked up that sarcasm again I hope bc they'll keep coming) Just another joyful day in the life of a person with Crohn's or as many people call "us"....."Crohnies"

Hoping for a cure & to be able to sleep tonight😴

peace out ✌🏻️

First time ever blogging...

I never in a million years thought I would be "that person" that was blogging, especially not blogging about my Crohn's/Colitis. When I was diagnosed in 2008 with my disease I was embarrassed and ashamed. I didn't want a single soul to know about my disease. Not my Mom, Dad, brother, sisters, NOBODY!
In the beginning I had so much rage built up inside me that I took it out on the people I love the family. I was in a state of denial and shock the first year of having this life changing disease. I kept telling myself that it would go away, that this is just a mistake and my life would soon go back to normal. Well after a few months of waiting to wake up from this horrible nightmare, I never did. I finally realized that this is now my life and I needed to "buck up" as my Dad would say and do what needs to be done to carry on with my life, even if it meant I had to carry this disease along with me.
With this being my very first blog I'm not sure how this all works. I was inspired late last night by another blogger with Crohn's. I thought to myself..."if she can blog about her disease and life, why can't I?" While I was reading other people's blogs I realized that they could vent all of their frustrations and concerns by simply blogging. Then it clicked, why can't I do it too. The embarrassment from my disease and the symptoms that come along with it are the main reason I've been so hesitant over the years but I really don't care anymore. I realized I needed a way to vent, to let out all of my frustrations out freely that have built up over the years. If reading someone else's blog about having Crohn's helped me realize I could do the same and blog about my experience, I want to inspire others to do the same. Even if I help or inspire one person to feel comfortable talking freely about their disease like I now am, I will be happy.
I didn't know how well I'd be at this blogging thing but I could care less. If you see a misspelling or grammar error you can let me know but chances are I won't care. This feels good already, my first blog and it feels right. Here's hoping to one day finding a cure because no one deserves to live with a disease like one. Hopefully this blogging thing helps me and you. It's been real people, but I'm out.
✌🏻️ hegotcrohns

About me

Hello EVERYONE! This is my first blogging experience so go easy on me. I curse quite a bit but I'll do my best to tone it down for the PG crowd. If you find grammatical errors I don't really care because I hated English class and this is my blog for me to vent and share my story with you. Just kidding....kind of but I created this for me and for people like me to interact with and so people with IBD know that they're not alone. 

My name is Beau I'm a 28 year old male living in good old Papillion, Nebraska (a small city within Omaha). I was diagnosed with severe indeterminate Crohn's Disease/Ulcerative Colitis (my doctors have yet to determine which one I have). I've been suffering from this shitty disease(no pun intended) going on 7 years now. No treatment I have tried so far has given me any relief. I've been hospitalized twice and had WAY TOO MANY tests, procedures, blood draws, doctor visits, hospital visits, infusions, blah blah blah to count. This disease is so frustrating, draining, miserable and did I mention shitty! I could use a thousand descriptions of this disease none of which would be positive but I'll spare you the reading. 

Other than having this wonderful disease, I'm a fairly normal 28 year old single male, πŸ˜‰ college graduate with a bachelors degree in Psychology. I currently and have been a server at the same restaurant for the past 9 years. I love sports, especially basketball, football and volleyball. I love playing basketball and volleyball although my disease keeps me from regularly enjoying them I try my best. I'm a HUGE family man and I love my family to death! 

I have 4 amazing sisters, an older brother, Mom & Dad 3 nieces and a nephew

and I can't forget my amazing dog Kobe.

Without my family and friends I couldn't have gotten through all the difficult challenges this disease has thrown at me. They give me the strength to get out of bed everyday dispite this draining disease.