Toilets come in all shapes, sizes, and behave in sometimes odd manners~ kind of like humans.

Toilets come in all shapes, sizes, and behave in sometimes odd manners~ kind of like humans. I would like to take you on a journey through the roller coaster ride that is Crohn's Disease and hope you come out of this a little more educated about you're own health.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kansas- Oh There Is No Place Like Home

Here I am, 28 years old- married- with a four month old moving to Kansas. What's in Kansas you say? Well part of my hubby's family... I guess he wanted a change of scenery. Hubby is very impatient (but aren't all men like that?) we were doing Therapeutic Foster Care when I was pregnant, and now that my son was here we wanted to take a little break from it and there were just no jobs available for Hubby. None that made decent enough money to pay our rent that is...

So off to Kansas we go...

How Hubby and I met is a pretty interesting story, so I guess I will tell it for all the world to have a chuckle:

First let me explain a bit more about myself... my marrying Brandon was a little surprising seeing as he really wasn't what people expected me to marry...

He is a good mix of a lot of men in my life, and not "men" as in "past boyfriends", "men" as in "family men" that I love... my dad, my stepfather, my little brother.... its all quite comical.

Oh and that whole "past boyfriends" thing is a complete joke: Brandon was my first and only boyfriend. Lets just say that as a teenager I valued myself as a woman pretty seriously. Sure I had crushes and what-not, but never was wanting a "boyfriend". Let's remember- I was a pretty angry teenager and I still hated men a lot, but gosh I was still attracted to the opposite sex! And let's face it, I was an average girl who wore very little make-up and wore clothes that were too big for her. No teenage boy wants to date a girl who is not showing off her body. Well no boy in Western New York did, to my knowledge... well I did have some boys who chased after me, but that was after high school when all the health crap started going down and I was not interested.

That reminds me of a funny story. As a young adult I worked in one of the local hotels (there are three, two of which are owned by the same company- I worked for the latter company) which a bunch of friends. It was fun while it lasted. One of the maintenance guys who was about my age shown interest in me. I was only interested as a friend because his values were completely different from mine. I went to church. He did not. But he said he would go to church for me. No thank you. Please for the love of all things beautiful do NOT go to church FOR me. You are not doing me any favors. Church and "religion" are supposed to be personal things for yourself. Going to impress somebody totally feeds into every stereotype out there. Gosh.

At first I was friendly to him because I didn't want to hurt his feelings, but he wouldn't stop harassing me so I started being myself. Mean and sarcastic. He was a musician so he wrote a song for me: "Mandy Why Do You Hate Me". He serenaded me in the kitchen while I was eating my meal. Classic. I laughed so hard. I felt kind of bad for him until he asked me if I was a lesbian. Jerk. Just because I was not interested in you doesn't mean that I must be a lesbian! Get over yourself ass.

It was one of those moments that I will never forget! I look back at it fondly. Ha!

Back to my original story... I always thought I would marry someone older than me who was calm and knew *exactly* what he wanted out of life. Tall, brown hair (preferably curly hair) with brown eyes. Well God thought to send me someone totally different.

Brandon is tall, with brown hair (that is slowly fading away), but with striking blue eyes, and he is four years *younger* than me. Now that wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the fact that when I met him he had *just* turned 20 years old. I was 24 getting ready to turn 25!

My mother and step-father are 19 years apart, but they met when they were *much* older and had families.... so even though I had seen couples who were years apart in age it was still kind of weird in my eyes to date someone that much younger than me.

I met Brandon at Walmart. Oh Wonderful Walmart! Who doesn't love Walmart? *This girl right here*

I had just gotten back into town from school and needed to do some shopping. I was dressed in jeans, a baggy tee shirt, and a baseball cap. That's certainly appropriate attire for meeting men.... yeah.

When I'm shopping I have a one-track mind, I want to get in, get out, and be done with it. I don't pay attention to who else is in the store or who I may meet there. I just want to get my stuff and get out. So unbeknownst to me there was a young man "checking me out", Brandon worked there in the produce department and he was chatting with the door greeter... This door greeter- she is a gem. Everyone knows her (well this is a small town and she is a native, so its only natural that she know everyone and everyone know her.) my mom chats with her regularly, but at the time I don't think she recognized me as my mother's daughter.

So here are Brandon and the door greeter chatting it up- apparently about women and relationships, the door greeter wanted to hook him up with someone so she was asking him what kind of girl he's interested in. He saw me walk by- pointed at me and said "I'd like to end up with a girl like that".

Well whaddya know.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Continuing the Journey : Take Three

If you just happened upon my little corner of the world wide web, I suggest you go back two posts and start from the beginning to catch up....

Moving to NC at 21 years old, sicker than a dog, happy to be released from adult pressures for the moment; the time has come to figure out what the hell is going on with my body.

Now listen, I'm a completely stubborn and determined person. When I have my eyes set on something, I will not stop until, whatever it is, is in my possession. I did not want to sit and have a pity party. I did not want people lavishing their sympathies on me (quite frankly, don't want it- don't need it), there are others suffering a lot more than me so just because I'm sitting in front of your face doesn't mean I warrant your sympathies and pathetic looks.

With that being said, I signed back up for college.

I took online classes first, then gradually built myself back up to taking campus classes. I commuted an hour each way to campus since my mom lives in the "hills" of NC~

Since being a student again I was able to jump on my mother's health insurance. A year after moving to NC I even went back to work. All the while being fatigued beyond belief and in constant abdominal pain.

No I don't want a gold star sticker.

I just want to prove to any of you pansies out there that if you put your mind to it, stop having a pity party, you can do anything. (Disclaimer: if you are truly too physically tired and fatigued to do stuff- by all means please take care of yourself and get better. I'm not saying your weak for not "doing stuff", just don't let whatever is going on control you or dictate your life.)

Oh I'm sure there were family, friends, acquaintances, who may have thought I was digging my own grave, but then what is living worth if I just sit on my dupa all day long thinking about how physically bad I feel?

How about this: you do what you feel is right for your body, and trust me to do what is right for myself and my body?

During this time between 2001-02, I started college again, went back to work, and was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. That diagnosis was not easy to get to, it took a lot of doctor appointments, a lot of questions, and a lot of poking where I didn't need to be poked. *hmph*

When I first started to see my mom's primary care physician, my hemoglobin count was four. Yes, single digit, number 4. The normal range is 12-14.

(explanation: your hemoglobin is what carries the oxygen in your blood to various muscles and organs. At a count of four I probably should have been dead.)

Needless to say I was iron-deficient anemic. Had stool samples done and blood was escaping through the wrong end. Which brought me to a Gastroenterologist. Oh what fun to be the only person under 50 years of age in a waiting room. Talk about uncomfortable.

And my doctor didn't have a really good bedside manner. He thought I was taking this as a joke. Well lets just forget that some people laugh out of nervousness! Geez.

There was only one way to treat this: his way. After I did what I was told, took the recommended drugs- some mesalamine, prednisone, and then the hottest corticosteroid out there for Crohn's and Colitis: Pentasa. Oh Pentasa. You worked for a while, then something terrible happened. I got even sicker! Thanks a lot!

I started Pentasa probably in late 2003 or early 2004, after I had been on it about a year an abcess formed and attached itself to the wall of my intestines. During this time I had graduated with my AAS and started a "real job" with some really great and awesome benefits. These totally awesome health benefits paid a surgeon to take two feet of intestine out of my body. Thief!

Ok so it was "diseased" intestine, but it was mine nonetheless.

I felt great for about five years after that. In medical terms I was in "remission". Gosh. The only thing worse than having Crohn's or Colitis is Cancer. Ugh.

In those five years I met my husband who is totally loving and understanding and is overall really great for being a male. *sniggering* Ok so I didn't have the greatest male role model in my life, I was a very angry teenager and held a lot of bitterness and hated men. No I was never a lesbian never will be because women are crazy and I have enough of my own baggage to carry thankyouverymuch.

I apologize for stammering and ranting, I feel like I'm "talking" really fast. I'm just trying to get a lot out there at once. So let me slow down a little bit...

It is my personal opinion that my anger, bitterness, un-forgiveness, and stress- oh yes the stress, as well as a piss-poor diet led to Crohn's Disease. Mock me if you will, don't be fooled by what the medical industry wants you to believe.

My parents divorced when I was about ten years old, yeah it happens, it still sucks a lot though. My mother remarried to a great guy who treats her like a queen and now they are in a place where he can give her whatever she wants. At the time I hated him. But remember, I hated all men, and my step-father was there so he got all my crap. He's a good man for not leaving my mom. Oh there were hard times, but they stuck through it. I'm glad they did.

Don't get me wrong, I love my father, he's my father. He gave me the X chromosome to be a female. Does that sound too harsh? Well I apologize, but that's about the extent of it. I repeat- I love my father. He is who he is and I've learned that I can't expect him to be something he is not. And that's ok. I didn't even need Dr. Phil to tell me that. My Father in Heaven did.

So through all that baggage and emotional crap I was able to find a good man that puts up with my junk. I love him. Lots.


Back to where I was in my story:

During the almost five years of my remission, I got married, returned to school, had a baby, went on with my life.

Then my wonderful husband wanted to move back to Kansas... and I will end with that for today.