My Diagnosis Change + Remix to Remission

Thank you for all the good ju-ju, prayers, and humor! I made it through the fun time colonoscopy just fine.

My diagnosis has changed.

The CT showed inflammation, and the colonoscopy confirmed that I have “active disease” but due to the location of the lesions and the biopsy, my new doc switched my diagnosis from Crohn’s disease to ulcerative colitis.

My family is all pretty stoked about this, because technically ulcerative colitis has less playing room than Crohn’s disease, which can affect any area of the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis, however, is limited to the colon. This is, in a way, a small victory.

Weekend recap:

Zack and I had a few friends over. Then, I made piña coladas for everyone (except me), and my punny friend Becca proudly dubbed them “piña colitis”. I like her.

This was also the night I ruined my low FODMAP elimination diet and had to start over, because I ate chicken fried steak, fried pickles, and a few fried okra. It thought it was worth it, but now I’m kinda sad about starting all the way over. These are things to think about when chicken fried steak is staring you in the face. Just.Say.No. grr

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We went grocery shopping and found the largest carts known to man. Shoutout to my sweet sister and her BF for visiting!

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Reflections & Remission:

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One year ago, finish line at the NOLA Rock n’ Roll Half-Marathon

This weekend a ton of people ran the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans, and many of them fundraised for cures to Crohn’s and Colitis with Team Challenge for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. These people are my heroes!

And this got me thinking. I’m completely ready to move on, and I’m tired of having goals for tomorrow. I’m ready for action and hard work. I’m fed up with feeling fatigued. I get it. Sometimes getting better requires rest. But I’m tired of feeling tired. I want to be better. So, I’m starting with (very) small goals. This week, I’m running.

Yes, I’m past due for an infusion. Yes, I just spent all day juggling insurance phone calls with symptoms with naps. But I have to start moving again, for the sake of my sanity. I hear so often “listen to your body” and my mind is an important team member of my body. My mind needs a run.

Running mileage goals for the week: 3 miles.

I’m being real here. This is my space. This is my exhale. So, yes. Three small miles for a whole week are my goal.

One foot in front of the other. Moving forward. This is the remix to remission 🙂

-Stacey

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Colonoscopy Prep: 6 Ways To Make it Suck Less

Hi, Friends!

I’m willing to bet your day has been exponentially more
fun than mine, although I do consider myself to be a chaser of silver linings and an eternal optimist…so it’s still a tossup.

Also, I am fully aware of how rainbows and unicornsy that sounds, but I’m unapologetically happy most days, eternally running through flower fields.

Today is prep day, and I don’t mean meal prep.

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Colonoscopy at 7am tomorrow at the new (for me) med center with a new doc. New places and people, but same dreaded prep juice.

So I’m talking about things that no one talks about today: Colonoscopies. I fully believe there would be cures nearly available for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and a host of other autoimmune diseases if they were easier to talk about. I’m not victim-blaming the patients; Disease and all its glam and glitz does stuff to your psyche. Being real about poop and achy joints and weight fluctuation and j-pouches and ostomys and stomas. ugh. Just tough stuff to talk about…
…unless you’re in the middle of a store with a “no public restroom” sign and you’re suddenly about to be sick  crap yourself uncontrollably. In that case you drop all your reservations at the door, announce to the store owner that you’re “about to be really sick and it is a medical emergency that you use their private bathroom,” and then you discuss having a “digestive disease” while you check out moments later. G-l-a-m-o-r-o-u-s. P.S. Can you please consider advocating for research while you hand me my receipt, even though I look completely normal like there’s nothing wrong with me at all, except for now you know that I have a digestive disease? Thanks 🙂

^Real life situation, by the way…happened on my honeymoon.

How to make colonoscopies suck less as told by a 20something year old:

1. Be creative. If your prep SUCKS (spoiler alert: It probably will), mix it with cold ginger ale or 7up. Your prep will say something like, “Mix with water.” Believe me, mix it with something carbonated, too. If you normally don’t drink sodas (neither do I), today isn’t a bad day to break that rule.

2. Listen to hype music if it’s your first time to chug prep. Don’t take it all solemn and serious. I suggest the classy ballad “shots” by LMFAO.

3. Ice chips, sometimes blended with a little bit of lime gatorade and fresh-squeezed lime juice isn’t a bad “meal” at all. Eat it with a spoon. mmm.

4. Water. Lots and lots. Just when you think you’ve had enough, maybe have a sip more.

5. Really hot showers. The stuff dreams are made of.

6. Netflix and chill. Enjoy this day for all that it is: a big ole rest day. Wear fuzzy socks.

Hope you’re having a good day, wherever you are!

Tomorrow, I’m going to have the biggest (low FODMAP compliant) taco I’ve ever SEEN.

Keep moving forward 🙂

-Stacey

Shoutout to Zack, who is the best a girl could ask for.


It’s the BUSIEST time of the year! AHH

I can honestly say, with complete confidence, that this is the busiest I’ve ever been in my life. Make it stop.

In the past month I have moved all my things to Oklahoma from Houston, finished my nonprofit job in Houston (today-  bittersweet), had a FUN bachelorette party, managed to find time to Christmas shop, juggled doctors (currently), got more lab work, got a marriage license…and I feel like there’s more. I can’t think.

OH. had a trial for hair/makeup. CHECK OUT MY FACE!

Shoutout to my talented makeup artist, Veronica, from Austin. She even let me play with her German Shepherd puppy during the session, which was worth the drive in itself. I asked her who her favorite celebrity clients were and she said, “Shakira! She complemented ME the whole time Oh. Drake was pretty nice, too.”
In case you didn’t know, I hang with Drake’s people. *hairflip*
It’s cool- we can still be friends.

Here’s a recap of my bachelorette party in the Big D:

All I wanted to do was go ice skating. I have an obsession with the sport of figure skating, so my college roomies (below) took me on Sunday after the festivities had died down:
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We had a snapchat filter THAT I DIDN’T SAVE. But we looked good, you get the point.
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I sang and danced on dueling pianos and was serenaded by a dozen bald men. It was sensational! Go to Louie Louie’s if you’re ever in Deep Ellum!!! Or make a trip especially for the experience. CRAZY FUN.

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My IV Crohn’s medication has been slowly losing its efficacy, but I can still get down. Hi, I’m embarrassing. But I can’t stop laughing at myself, so I probably won’t calm down anytime soon. Anyway, REALLY excited to meet with a Crohn’s specialist in OKC next week after Christmas.

Fun fact: Zack bought me the Nike Airs as “Honeymoon Shoes”. Not sexy shoes, like stilettos. Purple Nike’s. I’m honestly completely thrilled about them! Best honeymoon gift EVAH. We’re a little weird, and I’m happy to embrace it, Nike Airs and all.

I have been wanting to go on one final run in Houston, but with being “homeless” for over a week now and couch surfing…it has been tough to find the time. Last night I went to the Houston Zoo Lights to do Christmas festivities with friends, and I got my wish. I had to park in the Texas Medical Center garage, about a mile and a half away from the Zoo entrance. If you’ve ever lived in Houston, you know that the area surrounding the Zoo isn’t known for being pristine or safe, and the pedestrians are actual inhabitants of the area. So I ran from my car, in my santa shirt, in the dark, with my friend on speakerphone, through the medical center, across the open field adjacent to Ben Taub Hospital, across Cambridge (thanks to the Police Officer directing traffic), dodged strollers in Hermann Park, safely to the zoo entrance. It was exhilarating and entirely too hot of a run for a December night. My hair stuck to the back of my neck from sweat and humidity, and my jeans were tough to pull up around my waist from my sweaty legs pulling them down. I felt like it was a goodbye solute to Houston, and I liked that. I was happy. Bye, Houston! I won’t miss your awful traffic, but I’ll miss the diversity and melting pot of cultures. I’ll miss Memorial Park and Buffalo Bayou running trails, and I’ll miss the people I love there, most of all.

Hope you’re enjoying the holidays! SLOW DOWN and chill. Much love!

Keep moving forward 🙂

Stacey

P.S. December 23rd. 82 Degrees in Houston. That is all.


Bad Days; Good Life

Hi, friends!

It’s been a minute. To catch up:

I had my first dress fitting. I strategically selected matching underwear and even shaved my legs the night before because I was worried the seamstress would judge my prickly legs and mismatched undergarments (but really? who has time to match undergarments every day?). I packed my shoes that I’ll be wearing the day of the wedding, stuffed a pair of socks in the shoe box, and left work during the middle of the day drive to my fitting.

The seamstress fluffed my dress as I stood in front of a mirror, admiring my bridal self. I listened to time go by as the clock ticked away, my mom chatting away the background, and suddenly the room began ringing, my vision blurred, and I when I opened my eyes, I was on the cold tile floor.

Remember from childhood school plays when the sweet music teacher would kindly remind you, “Don’t lock your knees!” Homegirl knew what she was talking about, because I locked my knees too long and actually fainted during a dress fitting. My friends say “that’s the most Stacey thing I’ve ever heard.” Struggle City, USA.

So there’s that.

In other news
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My sister, my childhood friend Chazley, and I raised $1000 toward curing Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America’s fun, new event called Spin4. This was also my very first time attending a spin class, and I LOVED IT. Infectious high energy and an incredible sweat session (honestly, my favorite things) with fun music and a lot of fun = party on a bike for cures.
If you gave to our fundraiser, THANK YOU. I hope you know that you’re making such a big difference in making Crohn’s and colitis less crappy for our future, with more possibilities  than ever and maybe even cures one day. THANK YOU ❤

I excitedly drove to Cyclebar Katy this afternoon. I left my office an hour and a half early because I wasn’t about to miss a Throwback Thursday-themed spin class that was FREE!

But, Houston happened. I didn’t make it there in time, even though it’s only a 20 something mile drive and I left AN HOUR AND A HALF EARLY.

So I turned around and drove back to downtown. Then I had and x-rated Crohn’s moment known to human kind in the middle of I-10  traffic (oh, and infusion day was last week, so that’s not really a thing that’s allowed to happen, but Stacey’s body does whatever the eff it wants).

Then I got home, sanitized myself, my clothes, my bathroom, my car, and drove to Kroger where I happened upon the loudest shopping cart known to man and cried my way to the Cheerios, my comfort food.

I thank God for Zack, because I had mega feel-sorry-and-woeful-for-myself moments while in the produce section, but he reminded me that I’m going to do the things I set out to do. I have crazy goals, but I also have ridiculously strong will-power and even though Crohn’s can cause speed bumps and detours and make me sad, life outside of Crohn’s can still be conquered, one step at a time.
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In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t always handle bad days gracefully. Sometimes I cry and worry about if I’m capable of accomplishing all that I want. “Does this mean I can’t be a registered dietitian and will need to quit school so that I can live a life sentenced to house arrest?” No. You’re just having a bad day, Stacey. It isn’t a life sentence.

You don’t need to be reminded of your limitations- you just need to be reminded that you can push back on them.

I hope you know that too. Bad days can trick you into thinking life is harder or worse than it actually is. There’s always a silver lining. Mine, today, was Zack. He’s a realist, so if he’s reminding me of how capable I am then…I guess it’s time that I get busy!

Find your good life in your bad day! Keep moving forward, even if you have to roll through the produce section in your lousy, noisy cart and snotty tears. You’re still moving 😉

-Stacey


Warrior Wednesdays

Hope everyone had a great Wednesday. I like to call these days, “Warrior Wednesdays”. They only come every six weeks/ every time the Crohn’s starts knocking at the door, and they’re infusion days.

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How I make Warrior Wednesdays not suck even though I’m strapped to an IV pole for hours: Naps. OH. And Pizza. Specifically, Pink’s (In Austin it was HomeSlice) or the cheap frozen kind from Trader Jo’s which is surprisingly delicious. I’m gonna feel gross and sleepy after the infusion anyway, so I may as well eat some greasy, bad comfort food. Warrior Wednesdays have been dubbed, “Pizza Day” by my close friends and family. Today I added cupcakes while I watched Usain Bolt and the Canadian guy blaze right into the finals. Normally I binge watch Gilmore Girls before/after napping. No shame.

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Also, friendly reminder to be kind to yourself. Less weight often isn’t equivalent to greater health. When I’m running a lot, I also eat a lot. I have muscle, which weighs much more than fat. I was 124 lbs at this infusion, down nine pounds since my last infusion-no bueno. What changed? I basically stopped physical activity and slowed eating. When I do eat, I haven’t been fueling with sufficient protein, healthy fats, or carbs. I eat whatever doesn’t nauseate me, e.g. plain cheerios (my inner dietetics student is cringing at myself). I’ve allowed myself to be consumed by stress. BUT I am really, really working on stress management. Oh-I hear actions speak louder, so. Here we go, life.
Stay tuned.

Keep moving forward 🙂 (even if you have to take some time to slow down and work through stress and life. That’s cool. But pick yourself up, get it togetha’. And then, one foot in front of the other. The world needs ya bad)