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Monthly Archives: August 2011

ouch…..

oh crum….what did I eat?  This is some of the worst pain I’ve had since being diagnosed almost 2 years ago.  Low gut pain…didnt move from the table for almost 30 min.  Just bending over hurt.  What was it that’s causing the pain?  Eggs for breakfast, granola bar for lunch, leftover chicken with cauliflower taters and grapes for dinner.  Did not overeat the grapes…so that is out.  Made my chocolate cake yesterday but did not overdo that.  Ahhhhhhhhh….had about four big sips off my kids sprite/cherry coke at the movie today.  That’s the likely culprit.  Hot shower helps some, and tylenol pm taken so I don’t get anxious about the possibility of the pain.  First time blogging from my bed.  🙂  have to keep journaling this disease and my life…..no matter where and what.  goodnight.

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Posted by on August 31, 2011 in Crohn's Journal

 

Normal…..

Okay, before any of my friends throw any smart remarks about being normal, let me just say that I’m referring to my thyroid.  🙂

It’s been about a month, I think, since I’ve been back on my normal dose of Cytomel and Levoxyl.  Before that, my energy had tanked to about a constant 40-50% and my weight had gone up without any reason.  Now, I’m feeling my energy is back to a respectable 80% (yes, I can tell and put a percent on it!).  I’ve also lost those extra pounds that I’ve put on, which is good news and bad news, probably.  The good news being that, if my thyroid is back working like it should have been, it means my metabolism is working again.  The bad news is that, with the Crohn’s, it likely means my body is not absorbing all that it needs from the food that I eat.  Sigh…just the way of life with this disease.

I’m just glad my energy is back.  I can function on 80%.  I’m actually feeling almost refreshed after 8 hours of sleep, instead of getting 10 hours each night and it feeling like I hardly slept at all.  I also feel I have the reserve energy to muscle through when I’m tired, though if I push it too hard then I will crash and crash hard.

We will test my thyroid again in about 2 weeks.  We are trying to avoid the yo-yo effect, which would make my thyroid go way high and result in anxiety, racing heart, and difficulty sleeping.  We will see how things go!

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in Crohn's Journal

 

Chocolate Cake

Yes, this really does taste, at least to me, like a thick chocolate cake or brownies.  (It does not fluff up like regular cake, thus I equate this more to a brownie.)  Since I cannot eat chocolate or regular cake, this does the trick for me.  The only problem is trying to make it last more than a day!  This is one recipe that DOES require a food processor in order to make it turn out right.  Thanks goes to Marylynn from the Louisiana SCD list for creating this delicious dessert!

Ingredients:

  • 16 large Medjool dates
  • 6 oz. nut flour (I use pecan or almond)
  • 4 oz. melted cocoa butter (you can buy this at http://www.chocolatealchemy.com)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • splash of legal vanilla (no sugar added, just vanilla and alcohol)

In your food processor add the nut flour, salt and pepper and pulse until mixed.

Cut the dates lengthwise, taking out the nut.  Add the dates slowly to the nut mixture with the food processor on until the dates are well chopped and blended.

Add the vanilla and melted cocoa butter to the food processor.  Blend well, scraping down the sides when needed.  You need to just let this mix, and after about a minute it will start to form into a dough.

Add the egg and baking soda.  Mix until well blended.

Take a pie dish, 8″ square, or other pan and butter it well.  Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing out the top.  Bake at 325 for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

This dessert is great right out of the oven, but if you let it chill overnight, it has a richer chocolate flavor! Next time I make this, I’m going to add some almond butter on top and see if I can get a good chocolate/peanut butter flavor going on.  🙂

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2011 in Crohn's Journal, Dessert, Recipes

 

Mexican Spinich Wraps

Last night I had some hamburger I needed to use up, and I was dying for a good-tasting Mexican dish.  Since 3 out of the 4 people in my family could not eat tortilla’s last night, I bought some fresh spinach leaves to wrap the meat and cheese up in.  The end result?  Amazing!  I just love dinners like this that are so simple yet oh so good.  🙂

The kicker that did it for me was the Boar’s Head brand Havartti cheese with jalapeno that I found at Fred Meyer.  That cheese is so delicious!  Of course, since this cheese is a treat for me, my family had to settle for regular cheddar for their wraps.  🙂

I cannot eat any pre-mixed spice mixes, and so I looked online and created my own Mexican spice mix that I added to the meat.  It was very mild but had a great Mexican flavor.  I like things a bit more spicy, so if I was cooking just for me I would probably add just a titch more of each spice.  But for my family who does not like overly spicy foods, this was perfect for them.  Here is what I did:

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp salt

Dash of pepper

3-4 cloves of garlic, finely diced

1/4 cup white onion, finely diced

I cooked the onion and garlic over medium high heat in a cast-iron skillet for a minute or two to soften them and get some of the juices released.  I then just dumped the meat and all the spices in the pan, mixed well, and cooked until the meat was done.  For my son I simply put the cheese, meat, and spinach leaves in a tortilla.  For the rest of us, I took the best and biggest spinach leaves, put in some meat and cheese, rolled it up, and served.  It was great!  Next time I make this meat, I’ll probably make some homemade pico de gallo to add to it.  The dish didn’t need it, but I love a fresh pico de gallo and would love to add it to the flavor profile here.  🙂

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2011 in Crohn's Journal, Main Dishes

 

Tired of it….

No, I’m not all sad or getting down.  I’m just tired of my body doing what it’s doing.  Today is a day where I’ve just said, “I’m tired of my body attacking itself.  I’m tired of all this yo-yo stuff where I don’t know what’s going on.  I’m just….tired of it.”

There are just times, when dealing with this disease, where I just want life back to normal.  I want to be able to eat whatever and not worry about what it will do to me in a few hours or days.  Yesterday I took probably 10 small candies while at the movie with the kids.  Reses pieces is what they were.  Not sure if that’s what is causing stuff to happen today, but that’s the likely culprit.  Or, it could just be my body acting up for no good reason again.  Ugh……

I know that my body is not designed for this.  HE did not design me with a body that attacks itself on a minute level, every second of every day.  I know by HIS stripes I am healed.

I’m just really looking forward to the day when I see that manifestation in my body!!!

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Crohn's Journal

 

Blood test results

Surprise!!!  My thyroid is low.  Coulda told ya that!  I was able to get in to see my doctor today to check on the recent blood test.  I didn’t want to wait until next week because it had already been 2 weeks-ish that I’ve been feeling like something wasn’t right.  I’m glad I got in there.  Turns out all my thyroid levels were low, as well as my iron.  No wonder I’ve been tired!

What that means in practicality is this:  3 months ago my thyroid went high, which put me on the level of a child who is amped up on Mt. Dew and sugar to the max.  I couldn’t sleep, my heart was racing, and I was having a high level of anxiety, which is NOT normal for me.  Now, with my thyroid low, it basically feels like I’ve crashed off a sugar high, but it lasts for days not just hours.  Take that same child and watch them melt after the sugar wears off.  That’s been me.  My energy is around 60% I’m guessing and I just can’t get enough sleep to feel rested.  My brain is sluggish and at times I can’t get my words out.  Being a mom, I can power through the day (it’s just what we do!) but it doesn’t make it easy.  It means that at times I have no energy left to do much beyond the normal day-to-day running of the house.  I do not like it, especially during the summer, when I want and crave to be active.

Now, on the technical side, it means this:  My T3, T4, AND TSH were all low.  I myself am not sure what all those mean, but I’m guessing somebody does!  I have what’s called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, in addition to the Crohn’s.  Both are auto-immune diseases where the body has decided to fight itself, and it can’t figure out how to stop the attack.  Think friendly-fire in a war that cannot be shut off.  Right now, I’ve got a higher level of auto-immune response going against my thyroid.  That means, as far as I can understand, that my body is attacking the thyroid and it’s not working like it should.  We tried to supplement the Cytomel and Levoxyl with Armour (a natural thyroid supplement), but that didn’t work.  Apparently my body will attack anything that it thinks is from the thyroid, so a naturally derived thyroid supplement (hormone?) will not work.  I have to go back fully to the synthetic.  I don’t fully understand all of this yet (I hope to do some google research soon so I have a better grasp), but it just means that things are goofy once again.  With Hashimoto’s, which is a life-time disease, the thyroid can keep going crazy.  The hope is that we stabilize it, and it stays stabilized for a long amount of time.  The last time it was stable for about 9 months, and that was glorious.  I had energy, and felt like things were within my grasp to tackle.  We will retest my thyroid in 6 weeks this time.  The doc wants to avoid the yo-yo that goes back up, and so we will be keeping pretty tight tabs on things until we get it leveled out.

The funny part of the day happened as we were walking out of the grocery store and what my daughter connected in her brain.  She asked if I was mad at them, and I said no, that I was just tired.  I explained about the thyroid, and how when it’s low I can get really tired.  And she pipes up….”Well, mine must be HUGE because I always have a TON of energy!!!!!”

Yes you do, my lovely girl.  Yes, you do!!!

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Crohn's Journal, Doctor Journal

 

Calling the doc….

Okay, I thought I could wait until my doctor appointment next week to check on my thyroid levels, but I think I need to give him a call today.  I’m pretty sure my thyroid is low again, and has been for at least a couple of weeks, though the symptoms are just now starting to make me nervous.  Why do I think that?

First is because of the fatigue.  I’ve been sleeping 10 hours a night for over a week now, if not more, and yet I still wake up tired and sluggish for the rest of the day.  This is not normal for me.

Second, I have gained weight over the past month, and I have done nothing different in my eating patterns.  This is a check-point for me because, with Crohn’s, the body does not absorb all the nutrients it needs from the food you take in, therefore leading to a sort of malnutrition.  For me, this has meant that no matter what I did, I could not gain any weight.  Not a bad thing to have, unless you realize that the reason is because of the body not getting what it needs!

Third, my brain just feels sluggish at times, and it’s hard to get my words and thoughts out.

Fourth, I’ve had a few “blue” days.  This really bugs me because I know what they feel like, and think I should be able to do something about it like I have in the past (go for a walk, read a book, talk with a friend), but nothing works to bring it up.  I’m pretty sure this melancholy and lack of drive to do much of anything is related to the thyroid, but I’m still doing the things I know should help.

And last….I couldn’t sleep last night, even though I was very tired.  Insomnia, I’ve heard, can be a problem.  Great….I’m fatigued, yet I can’t sleep!!!

All total, I think it’s gone far enough.  I hope that my blood tests are in, and the doc can make a change in my meds before my Tuesday appointment.  I don’t like where this has taken me.  We dropped the meds down because my thyroid went crazy high 2 months ago.  But this is not getting me anywhere good, and it needs to stop.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in Crohn's Journal, Doctor Journal