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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Golly….

As I approach 2 years of dealing with Crohn’s sans major medicine/drugs, I’ve realized that my blogging has dropped off from how often I was blogging through the early stages of this journey.  It’s not that I don’t have things to say…..nope, that’s not it!  I guess that, well….things are going pretty good.  My early journey held a lot of test results and daily progress reports.  That’s what dealing with a disease like this does for you!  You take each day as it comes, and don’t worry about the future.  Now, things are pretty level, so I don’t need to tell you as much of what’s going on.  I keep having the occasional gas or cramping that hurts, but that’s probably once a week or less at this point.  I’ve branched out and eaten more chocolate lately (OMG!!!), which IS NOT legal on the SCD diet.  I am a confessed chocoholic though, and so have delighted in the fact that I can ingest small amounts every now and then.  As things still get better, I’m tempted more so by the things I cannot have.  Just last night I was soooooooo craving a simple piece of toasted wheat bread with butter.  I did not give in, though I may have to go bake some almond-flour bread soon to make up for it.  🙂  I understand the magnitude that if I fall off the rigidity of my diet, things could go dramatically wrong in ways I have no desire to experience.  That is not a fear that drives me….it’s just common sense.  Stay away from the things that don’t work for you!!!

Anyway…..things are pretty good, if quiet.  For those of you following our financial journey….I’ll blog on that sometime in the next couple of weeks.  Cool stuff is happening.  🙂

Thanks for reading!

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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Crohn's Journal

 

Turkey Chili

It’s been almost 2 years since I’ve had Chili, and with the weather turning cold, I just had to try!  I know it’s a pretty simple thing…to make chili.  But when dealing with Crohn’s, or other digestive disorders, you have to be careful with every new recipe you try, and usually have to modify it to some extent in order to make it work.  After taking an online recipe and tweaking it, I will say that I ended up having a great big batch of yummy chili goodness!!!  I didn’t mean to make as big of a pot as I did, but that’s fine…..I’ll just freeze a bunch of it in single servings and save it for later this winter.  🙂

I wanted beans in my recipe, and since I can’t do canned beans, I went to the store and bought a handful of white beans, black beans, and kidney beans.  I prepared them the overnight way:  boil in plenty of water for 2-3 minutes, cover, and soak overnight.  The next day, drain the beans, fill with water again, and simmer for 2 hours-ish.  I’ve been told that making the beans this way takes a lot of the gassy-ness out of them, and it seems to have worked.  I didn’t have any bad reactions to the beans.  Hooray!!!

After the beans, here’s what I did:

  • Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a big pot.  Add 4 or 5 finely diced garlic cloves and 1 medium diced white onion.  Cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add spices.  I used 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper.  (This was a bit too little spice for me, so I added a pinch more of each of these until it had the right flavor.  Use these measurements as a base-line and then add more of whatever you think it needs!)
  • Add 1 pound of ground meat (I used ground turkey this time) and cook until done
  • Pour in (2) 11.5 ounce cans of Campbell’s Tomato Juice from concentrate.  I find these at Winco for about $.75 each, and they are great to use in place of tomato sauce, which often has other stuff added that I cannot do.
  • Cut up about 5 tomatoes.  Throw them in the pot.
  • Dice up finely 2 stalks of celery.  Throw it in the pot.
  • Chop up one green pepper.  Throw it in the pot.
  • Drain and rinse the beans.  Throw them in the pot
  • Stir everything well, cover, bring to a simmer, and let cook for about an hour.  Stir occasionally.

I served this with plenty of cheese, dripped yogurt (for sour cream), garlic bread for the kids, and Quick Crackers for me.  When my husband came home he grabbed a bunch of my quick crackers, layered butter and garlic salt on top, and proceeded to use that as a spoon for the chili and cheese.  He didn’t waste any time putting away a big bowl of this!!!  Though the kids didn’t like this (they are not fond of new foods), my husband and I both felt very satisfied with the flavor and consistency of this chili.  It is one that I will come back to again the future, for sure!

And on the Crohn’s note….I had no gas, and no other adverse symptoms.  So…this recipe is a WIN for me!

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2011 in Crohn's Journal, Main Dishes, Recipes

 

Get your hands up!!! Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about Moses, and him failing.  Yes, the giant of all giant spiritual leaders….failed.  But what happened at the end?  His friends held him up.  That was the message of the first part of this.  That we all need a little help now and then, and it’s A-okay.  God designed us for community and fellowship and to lift each other up when needed.

Today, the message is pretty simple.  In this story about the battle between the Amalekites and Israel, as long as Moses kept his hands raised, the battle was going in favor of the Israelites.  But as soon as he dropped his hands, the bad guys started to win.  This message is simply one of declaring who is in charge of the battle, and trusting the victory to Him.

There are times in this life where I get tired.  And there are times where, plain and simple, I just don’t feel the power flowing inside me.  It doesn’t mean that God has left me.  It’s simply a quiet power, or the stuff that is on my plate every day has gotten to be a bit much, and I’m distracted.  But in those times….I lift up my hands.  I’m not being fake because I’m not feeling the love right then….sometimes we simply need to go on what we KNOW and not necessarily on what we feel or don’t feel.  I’m simply being real in saying, “I need you God….right now.”  It’s a way for me to declare the victory over the battle, whether it’s kids or money or disillusionment with life……when I lift up my hands to heaven I am saying, “I trust you, God.  I know that even if I don’t feel you here….you are here.  In faith I surrender my hands, open them up, and KNOW that you are here, in control, of every single thing.”  I know about myself that if I’m in one of those spaces, and cross my arms, I’m letting the enemy win.  But if I can just lift up my hands…..I’m declaring to myself HIS victory over that battle.  It’s in the freedom to trust Him that I raise my arms.  Sometimes I can’t get them high enough, I’m reaching for him so deeply!  And at other times all I can do is sit quietly, with my hands open in front of me.  It doesn’t matter what it looks like.  For me, getting my hands in the air is my heart deeply and passionately trusting everything about God, his Son, and the power of his Spirit inside of me.

So, when things get you down…..GET YOUR HANDS UP!!!  You’ll be amazed at the freedom that is won when you simply declare HIS greatness through such a simple gesture.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2011 in Crohn's Journal

 

IV time!

Today I had my second IV of this round.  I’m going in every 3 weeks right now, with the goal to get everything stabilized again and then do a maintenance IV every 6-8 weeks for the rest of……forever…..until healing is seen.

It’s worth it to me.  This doctor knows what he’s doing with this stuff.  It worked to get me healthy in the first place, and I’m looking forward to things leveling out once again.

This one went pretty good.  The doctor had me on a faster drip, so it only took me 45 minutes instead of 90 to get the whole bag in (this is a very good thing….I have trouble sitting still and not being bored!!!).  We are still at just half-dosage of everything until we make sure my body will tolerate it.  No more migraines, please!!!  So far, this one has done well.  I learned though that if I am overly tired, the IV will not be able to compensate for that.  Usually I get a huge energy boost from it, like 12-36 hours worth.  In the past those energy boosts were somewhat comical in how amped up I was!!!  During those times, I just feel so alive it’s pretty cool.  🙂  This time, because of the past week exhausting most of my reserves, the IV only gave me a  minor boost for about 2 hours.  Then I crashed.  The good thing is, besides all the good stuff in my now, that I only got a very minor headache.  Last time I had a minor headache, and this time was the same.  It could be from so many different things, so I’m not sure we can blame it on the IV.  But, it has happened twice, so I think we need to take that into account.  Which ultimately means….I won’t get up to full dosage just quite yet.  That’s okay, because even the 1/2 dosage gives me so much good stuff that I need!

That’s about it for now!  I’ll keep you posted…. 🙂

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2011 in Crohn's Journal, Doctor Journal

 

Get your hands up!!! Part 1

I just love the story in the Bible of Moses holding his hands up.  The Israelites are battling the Amalekites, and as long as Moses holds his hands up, the good guys win.  But Moses is really only human, no matter how cool he is, and so after a time, his hands get tired and he drops them.  Guess what???  The bad guys start to take control of the battle.  So what happens next?  The two guys with Moses prop him up on a rock, and hold his hands up for him!  The battle turns again, and the good guys end up winning.

I love this story for the lessons that I learn for my own life, and keep coming back to over and over again.

The first is that we cannot do this life alone.  I can just picture the scene:  The regal Charleton Heston-ish Moses standing up, high on a hill, robes flowing in the breeze, holding his hands up strong.  A look of fierce determination races across his face.  He KNOWS that the battle will be won by his people, because he KNOWS that God is with them.  As the minutes and maybe hours wear on, and the battle wages, his arms start to weaken.  Moses grits his teeth together and MAKES his arms stay up.  His knees start to shake.  His eyes burn.  Maybe he screams out in pain and frustration.  But no matter how much of a spiritual leader and giant Moses was, his arms finally gave out.  I can imagine the agony in his heart at that moment when he realized he could no longer hold his hands up.

But the cool part comes next when his two friends take him by the hand, and set him on a rock.  Then, knowing that God was with them, they took his hands in their own and raised them to heaven.  They helped Moses do what he could no longer do, knowing that God had a plan and they trusted in that plan.

I find that a community of friends and believers is so essential in our lives today.  Just as Moses needed his friends on that day, we too need to surround ourselves with people who will speak life and encouragement to us.  And we need those people who will still believe in us, and the vision that God has given to us, even when our hands grow weary.  Those people who will not just lift our spirits with words, but will physically lift us up when needed, are so necessary.  I grow weary at times.  My hands grow weak.  I might cry out in frustration at the dryness of life.  My heart screams to find the strength to carry on, but sometimes, I just need those words from a friend to lift me up and carry me through. I think, if we were honest with each other, most of us would recognize that we’ve been there a time or two.  It’s not a lack of faith, it’s simply that we grow tired.  I encourage you that when those times come, to pick up the phone, be vulnerable, and ask someone to hold your hands up.  Be honest and open, and tell what you need.  Let people help you.  Let them hold you up, until you can hold your hands up yourself.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2011 in Crohn's Journal

 

Jesus, be the center….

I went to sleep and woke up today singing the line from this song, “Jesus be the center of it all.”  It’s a great song.  Simple, yet deeply personal.

Right now, my “personal” includes poop, and not enough of it.  I’ve got a little girl who is stopped up, and who is afraid to go to the bathroom because she remembers the pain of the past.  What I try to tell her is that the more she keeps the bad stuff inside, the worse she will feel.  But she just doesn’t understand that.  All she can remember is the pain.  And so here I sit…cleaning poop off the stairs, the floor, the tub, and her, over and over and over again.  Laundry loads keep coming because of the messes left in the clothes.  She screams in pain…yet there’s nothing I can do but hug and give her my eyes.  This is my “center” right now, where I need Jesus to be present.  My own triggers come easier when I’m distracted, tired, and hurting inside because of the pain of another.  My center seems…..off center.  So my cry just keeps being, “Jesus be the center of my life….right now.”

Sometimes the junk of our lives reflects what I’m going through right now.  The bad, ugly, smelly stuff just keeps piling on us, in us, and around us.  We can’t see much past the brown and the pain.  We want to move forward but are afraid because all we can remember is that excruciating pain that held us back.  We just think we’ve got it cleaned up when we step in another pile.  We get tired of fighting so much, yet know we can’t give up.  It’s not just our life that is at stake, though at times it seems we are so alone in the battle.  Others around us need what we’ve been given.  So we keep fighting, keep moving.  We keep cleaning the poop off our feet, and our hearts, because we know we’ve been given a mission in life to heal, to touch, to bring the freedom to others that we’ve been given.

My girl doesn’t understand right now what she needs.  It’s my job, as mom, to gently guide her in the right direction.  But in the end…all I can do is offer my help.  She needs to make the decision to move forward, despite the pain.  She needs to decide that the freedom that’s on the other side is worth fighting for.

My job is to keep singing, “Jesus be the center of our lives,” and trusting that he will take care of my little girl…..and her mama who loves her oh so much.

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2011 in Crohn's Journal

 

I can do this!!!

Last week, my good friend and I replaced a leaky toilet in my house.  Um….no, we are not plumbers!  But we did it anyway.  I figured that if I had pictures and step-by-step instructions, it shouldn’t be any problem!  Well, for the most part, things went fine.  We got the old toilet removed and the new one installed, and it all works great.  Hooray!

As we were standing there looking at the new toilet, my friend said, “You know what I just realized?  You truly believe that we can do anything!”  I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “Yeah, I do.”

You see, somewhere along the line I came to actually believe in the verse that says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  That’s not to say that I WILL do anything!  I’m not stupid enough to tackle certain things, like climb on top of my steep roof to clean the moss off.  THAT I will leave to the experts who have the right equipment to stay safe!

But the things that are thrown my way in everyday life?  I can handle these things.  And it’s not because I’m so strong.  No way!  🙂  It’s because I have the strength of Jesus inside of me.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that he walks with me each and every day, helping me with all that I encounter.  There is nothing that can happen that I can’t get through.  It might not feel good, and I might get hurt, really hurt….but I’ll get through it.  Period.  HE is my strength, and I believe it to the very core of who I am.

I have a “Can Do” attitude because I know that HE “Can Do” it!

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in Crohn's Journal