ZERO FOX GIVEN cause it’s international day of HAPPY!

[[International Day of Happiness is March 20th. ] 

I’m not letting anything get in the way of my happy…So today I decided I’m GOING IN that gosh darn pool! Cause holy smokes was it HOT. I should be avoiding [chlorinated]pools like the plague. but I went for it :)    I feel like we always need an exception to the rule. (especially on vacation) Right? Like today. It’s been 3 days straight  of 95 degrees and I’ve holded out for this long from getting in that pool. But today I’m like, FOX IT.  And plus. my DAD was in the pool. I think I can count on one hand how many times in my 29 years that I’ve had an opportunity to swim with my dad! So there. Definitely worth it. It’s important to not get hung up on the rules ALL OF THE TIME.  So we do what makes us happy. AND THAT’S OKAy ;-) [not to say that staying within my restrictions makes me unhappy. Cause that’s definitely not the case. I’m quite happy with my lifestyle + grateful to know what the tools are to keep me feeling well and in remission.]. I’m just using today’s ‘happiness day’ as an excuse to get an extra bit of happy ;-)


When I was in the pool I was cringing just thinking of all the chlorine soaking in to my body LOL (it’s destroying all the good bacteria in my intestines). but I was only in there for about 10 mins so hopefully I didn’t  too much damage. Probably not any more damage than this snack and wine I’m having right now :P

So for my fellow #ibdfighters here’s what’s up with my snack (pictured above):

I’ve got lime flavoured bean ‘tortilla’ chips. (I’m trying to make a little bit more of an effort to stay away from corn. but when I don’t at the LEAST I make sure it’s non-gmo) beans are legumes and legumes contain phytic acid, lectins blah blah blah…so always in moderation with legumes is best for me. Definitely not a staple in my diet. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not vegan. I’m trying hard to avoid soytoo.  Then there’s the salsa.. And tomatos are a damn nightshade.  This is a tough one for me to stay away from.(and a new elimination food for me) Especially in the summer…who doesn’t love taco chips and salsa? (When I do have salsa it’s usually organic) And then there’s my fav. RED WINE. (organic as much as I can). Gosh I love my wine and cheese. and this cheese is DAIRY,  yes, and I’ve been off dairy for the last 12 years. the only cow’s milk cheese I will cheat on is UNPASTEURIZED, ORGANIC cheese.

So back to happiness.  I got to play tennis this mornin’!! which made me a happy girl.  It kicked my butt, but it was awesome. I hadn’t played for over two years. (can’t believe I got my dad out on the court. first time EVER.  Insert another happy face here)

I feel like I’m often taking note of the things that make me happy. I am usually always mindful of the things and moments that make me happy. And often enough it’s the super simple stuff. Like waking up and seeing the sun. Or noticing the friendly smiling bus driver. AND it’s the things that matter… like spending time with my family.  I’m in a constant state of gratitude towards my happiness, which in turn ends up yielding me more happy, I think? Cause like attracts like. Right? It’s no secret. ;-)

How many people out there make it a priority to have happy in their every day life? Who else fights a battle with colitis (or anything for that matter) yet still remains happy? I know I’m not the only one.  Talking about this reminds me of a friend who recently kicked cancer’s butt. From his diagnosis, thru the ups and downs, he kept such a positive attitude and I am so proud of him for that. The last thing we want to do is stress about our shitty (:P) diseases. It just adds to the problem. and I know, easier said than done. But it’s worth the effort to get there.

I value happiness. It’s something that I make a priority in my life. And when I’m not happy, I do whatever it takes to get me back there.  And that doesn’t mean there’s no room for sadness and pain. We’re allowed to be happy and sad at the same time. In fact it’s an emotional state that I appreciate and value because I don’t think everyone can get there. Maybe it’s only ever happy OR sad for some?! I dunno. But my thoughts on happiness go on and on so I will save them for another post. ‘It’s better to feel pain than nothing at all.’ I LOVE that line and song by The Lumineers, Stubborn Love.

Okay, two things before I go:

how cute is that fox mug!! :P. Amazon showed it to me when I was buying my Boswellia extract supplements aka my FAV: Frankinsence (it’s for inflammation. and worth checking out especially if you have arthritis or joint pain.)

And to my Arizona pals, how the heck do you guys survive the 100+ heat in the summer!!!!? Common’ up to Lake of the Woods, Canada, my darlings. We’ll treat you to some perfect summer weather up in God’s country ;-)

Bye for now. xo.


colitis sidelined me on this vacation. but that’s okay.

colitis-eating
[it’s okay] because, it could be worse. > > > I could’ve been on an all-inclusive vacation!! I would’ve been SOL. I would’ve had to cancel probably. can’t eat ‘normal’ food and bevies are a DEF no. SO. I am very gratefuI that I was given the means to survive on this vacation. cause being here in Mesa, with papa Gordie allowed me to prepare and cook my meals the way I need to.. being in a flare-up. and the comfort of a home to rest versus a hotel, super good thing.
prior to my arrival dad was tasked with finding a farmer with grass fed cows to get me my organic beef marrow bones. for my [miracle potion] bone broth. (/a big\ MORE on that later.) and he was also tasked with making it for me. it takes 48 hours to cook and was done on my first morning here. woo hoo. merci buckets daddy-o. it also cost him a small fortune to feed me these past two week. organic / non-gmo everything. also suuuper grateful for that. the money I brought down to pay for my food instead allowed for a shopping spree. ha. YES.

since my ‘coming out post‘ things got a little worse for me here. gosh darnit hey. I’m not for sure certain that I wasn’t getting better but I definitely was paranoid (because I felt and saw some changes) about getting worse. and started thinking about the evil monster, prednisone.
prednisone and I go way back. and we are not friends. prior to last last January (2015) I hadn’t had to think about prednisone for probably about 7 years.
rewind to last January. that was probably my worst flare-up in 8 years. and it started about 4 weeks before my holidays. It was only a week before my trip (to Mexico, then Mesa) and there was no reprieve from that flare-up in sight. I was freaking out because I couldn’t be on holidays in that condition. my specialist gave me two options: either I sign up to participate in a new trial drug that would involve me going in to the hospital every 6 weeks to be injected intravenously  OR I go back on prednisone. (actually there was another stupid option that involved me injecting myself every 2 weeks. yeah hell no. God bless you diabetics) anyway. for those of you that have experience with this drug [prednisone] long term, you know how horrible it is. but what option did I have? I sure as heck wasn’t about to try out any new drugs (+ trial?!) only a week out from my trip.
frick.
so anywaaay.
I took the damn prednisone. [side note: the first 3 years of this disease I was on prednisone all the time. and it didn’t even get me out of flares back then. and the side effects are hell.]
long story short, I ended up getting out of my flare half way thru my week in Mexico. I was on the prednisone for a total of 5 weeks (the last 2 weeks were small small doses just to ween myself off). then after that I swore I would NEVER go back on it. but then hey look at me here in Mesa thinking about the devil again.
so here’s what happened. I had some left over pills from last year and  took them with me. just. in. case.
and I was thinking about them like a bloody drug addict. (not a drug addict.) I only had enough to last me like 5 days, at a small dose (20mg). and I had them in my hand ready to pop them down and I talked/guilted myself out of it. I had done such a great job at keeping this flare under control (this time around) that I really just wanted to get out of it on my own knowing that I could do it without succumbing to stupid prednisone.
then the next day I was pounding those pills back. cause it just felt easier. like a done deal I guess. a deal that I would get to fully enjoy my vacay.
but deal my ass. by the 4th day of me self-medicating I wasn’t seeing any noticeable signs of the flare taking a hike. and all my selfish-self wanted was that ‘guarantee’ that I could enjoy the rest of my vacation and for the love of God just FINALLY have a cup of damn freakin COFFFEEEE. how in the hell preggo people do it for 9 months is beyond me.

so last Wednesday morning I had a good little cry. and then dragged myself to an Urgent Care. to get me some more damn prednisone.
and guess freaking what. because she [the doc] wasn’t a GI Specialist (Gastroenterologist) she couldn’t/ wouldn’t give me more than a 5 day prescription (and at that point I had 11 days here left). OR. she could schedule me to come back for a list of a gazillon different tests that would reconfirm the disease I’ve had for the last 11 years. like FOR REAL. I already had my colonoscopy for this year, thanks. they are not fun.
So I begged her for the biggest dose she could give me. I knew I’d have to cut it down and make it last for the remaining 11 days of this trip. (I did not tell her this).

and here I am tonight, feeling like today was my first day coming out of this flare. WOO HOO. (!!!) betcha I’m 100% good-to-go by the time I board the plane home on Saturday ;-). but that is okay. yes, I was limited on what I was able to do and had to pass up an awesome hike up Superstition Mountain – super sad to have missed that. and having no alcohol on vacation is kinda painful too. *but* I still really did make the best of my trip. it was as great as it could be. and I made chocolate muffins out of QUINOA. I will share the recipe.
tomorrow I have some really exciting plans for my last day here. will tell you all about that + more, next time.

subconsciously I think I was worrying and stressing about not being well for my trip which in turn made things worse for me in the end. it’s unreal how crazy important the mind and body connection is. mindset is half the battle.

and I feel guilty for turning to prednisone this time around. but whatever. i’ll get over it.

bon nuit my peeps.

– j

my ‘coming out’ post. ulcerative colitis.

*yesterday*
sitting here up in the sky, flying away from all the busy and hectic, I have finally found a moment to just focus and really think. think about how I want to officially come out and talk about my important ‘why’ for this blog.  it’s been 4 weeks since we started this blog and I’ve been waiting for, or searching for, or planning for, frick I dunno, the “right” moment to just come out and say it. or maybe i’m trying to find the courage? i’m kinda scared I think? going back and forth in my brain wondering if this whole blog thing was even a good idea to begin with. scared to put myself out there and share all this private stuff. and for nothing maybe? what if no one listens..or cares? what if no one believes? and all this DOUBTING… is not my style either. geeze. jenna. just believe!! ;-) [Side note: just believe World is a company that I co-founded back in 2010 and then life got in the way and it got put on the backburner. I still have plans for it. and big dreams.] 

maybe I thought my first post about {this} would be me sharing my celebration with you. celebrating the first time **ever** going a whole entire year in remission. maybe that’s what I was waiting for…. for that one year milestone. but then it never came. cause another flare-up attacked instead. when it happened this feeling of defeat and sadness took over.  but then someone reminded me, that even though I may not have made it to my one year mark, I have not failed. I am like two weeks short of going a whole year without a flare – and that is amazing!! (in the last 8 years, except this last year obviously, it was typical for me to have 2-3 flares per year. and the first 4 years of this disease it felt like the flares were one after the other. I was a very sick girl.)

the last two weeks have been a little chaotic to say the least. chaotic with this flare-up, work, school, projects, unexpected shit, family time || *life* . right now, I’m on my way to Mesa, Arizona which has been a planned trip for some time but is turning out to be a much needed escape. i’ve left the worries and the exhaustion and hopefully the illness, behind.  (environment does make a difference)

so here it is. when I say flare-up, I am talking about colitis. I have ulcerative colitis. and I have come a long long way in the last 11 years that i’ve been fighting this battle. i’m pretty much to the point where I can almost say that I control this disease and it does not control me.    >>> I control this disease. it does not control me <<<    ….for those that fight this fight, you know that that statement is HUGE + bold. and you may even think i’m crazy and that it’s not possible. if someone would have told me that 8 years ago, that I could have control over this disease, I think  I would have been skeptical.

*today*
well I am happy to report that Mesa has welcomed me back with arms wide open. SO. bleepin HAPPY to be here. time for the healing to begin! this morning I found an AMAZING grocery store called Sprouts Farmers Market – this place is like a dream come true for a girl like me: *fresh*health*organic*devil-free, like my brother puts it, ha ha (gluten-free)*so.many.options/selection*  if only Winnipeg had a place like this. damn I love the states.

for those reading this who feel like they are suffering, it is my wish that you too can live a great story despite having colitis. I would really like to share with you what I have learned.

for those reading that don’t know what colitis is, i’m hoping to spread awareness. to give a voice to this invisible disease. the way my first specialist explained it to me: it’s like someone took a cheese grater to the inside of your intestines. and then they just don’t work. and you bleed and you hurt and you can’t eat/drink and you’re weak + more.

tbc cause I need some zzzzzzzzz’s.

-me

(to get a better understanding of this post, read my first post.)