Favorite Quote

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
-Randy Pausch

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Twas Never A Flare At All

Hooray!! Lucky for me my symptoms completely went away on Monday (5/31)! I was thrilled. I got up, had normal poos (yay) and was even able to ride my bike! I was definitely looking forward to my docs appointment the following day and had tons of questions for him. The most important question was why I started flaring at all. In my mind there was absolutely no reason to flare to such a severe extent while on the mouse juice. I wondered if the medicine was becoming ineffective and what our next step would be if that was indeed the case.

Well, my docs appointment couldn't have gone better. In fact, it went so well I was shocked b/c I totally wasn't expecting his diagnosis. I learned that what I thought was a flare was actually a bad case of food poisoning from an undercooked piece of chicken. My doc never once called the near awful week of uncontrollable bloody bowel movements a flare. He explained that because my system is overly sensitive it reacted the way it did to fight off the food poisoning. He said that my body wouldn't have gone from 0-100 (no symptoms to full blown flare) overnight. He also said that if it were a true flare the symptoms wouldn't have disappeared so quickly. In total, it lasted almost an entire week. A seriously long week, but in the past nonetheless.

Note: My husband was also sickened by the undercooked piece of chicken. He had lots of diarrhea the following day but was still well enough to race (he's an animal). His "normal" system was able to fight off the virus in a day. My system, well, you know the story.

We are leaving my meds the same at the moment (Remicade once every two months, two Lialda pills a day, and continual use of the suppositories). Because I have stabilized I can now start weening off the suppositories, so I am now on the "every other day" regiment. Whatever, I don't mind it. Anything to prevent a true flare.

Though I am now stable and "back to normal" per say, I am still picking up the emotional debris of the scary food poisoning. I can't describe the emotional roller coaster I went through. I hit rock bottom. I cried a couple times a day. I couldn't figure it out. I almost let myself feel sorry for myself, but I reminded myself that I am still very much alive and that is all that matters.

I struggled with my "normal" life being stripped from me. I struggled with the fact that I couldn't just jump in the car and drive, that I wasn't riding my bike, and that ultimately food was my enemy. Again.

I then replayed in my mind over and over about how I had gotten so complacent with my food intake. I cringe when I look at my food intake that I blogged about last November. I cringed when I thought of my cookie, pie, cake, heavy sauce holiday food binges. Any poor food choice that I had made from last summer to that moment I replayed in my mind. And I felt so stupid. How could I? Why did I? How foolish of me to get so over-confident.

I guess you could say I blamed myself for flaring. I blamed myself for ignoring what I'd known all along about my inner self. I blamed myself for being foolish enough to think I could work a stressful job. I disgustingly laughed at myself for thinking I was well enough to come off of all meds.

I tore myself to shreds thinking about all the "bad decisions" I had made. I tore myself to shreds until all that was left was my inner core, exposed, and frightened. It felt as though I was barely hanging on and I no longer knew who I was. Uncertainty is a bi**.

The mind is a brutal thing, and I was my own worst critic.

Like I said in my last entry, Cindy helped me start to put the pieces together. I meditated while getting my mouse juice infusion (before falling asleep), meditating that the ulcerations were being pulled from my intestines and that the freshly pulled open wounds were being waxed over by healthy mucosa. As the cool, healthy mucosa was soothing the open wounds it was also sealing them with intestinal goodness, causing them to be scar free.

I made the decision at that point to be very strict with my diet once I again found health and stability. If anything like this ever happened again I did not want to blame myself and strip myself apart. I would want to know that I did everything I could.

Since recovering from food poisoning and going back into a state of remission I am much more thankful for my medication and doctor. Literally the week of the food poisoning incident I was telling my husband how I knew I was ready to come off the Remicade and how my doc must have it all wrong. In my mind I didn't need it anymore. I can't tell you how quickly I recanted that thought process once sh** hit the fan. I couldn't wait for my infusion. I needed it. It was my first Remicade Infusion that I absolutely couldn't wait for.

This past weekend I told my hubby that I wasn't going to fight with the fact that my body needs the Remicade. I told him that I accept that I need the meds, and that if anything, this incident proved how effective they are. I was putting the struggle to bed. He softly smiled as in saying, "We'll see."

As for my food intake...

Six weeks before this incident happened I was incorporating more raw foods into my diet. I was about 70% raw, usually only eating a cooked meal for dinner. My food poisoning incident took place during my non-raw dinner time, in which I was sickened by an accidental undercooked piece of chicken.

I mostly survived on smoothies and vegetable drinks during the week my body was trying to fight off the food poisoning. I seriously believe that these raw juices/smoothies helped my body fight off the awful infection. Though my life was miserable at the time, I did avoid hospitalization and was able to fight off the food poisoning w/ no antibiotics.

I have continued to be strict with my diet as I refuse to fall back into a nonchalant stance when it comes to food. This week I will blog my food intake so you can see my food choices (and see how drastically different it is from last November). Incorporating more raw foods has been working out magnificently as my poos have been formed and look the best they've looked in months. It's exciting!! If my last statement worries your, remember, I'm a lil' (or A LOT) different...

I now feel as though I have picked up the emotional debris, and am ready to fully move forward. As I move forward I will not let the fear of the past control me, but I will also not forget the past so that mistakes will not be repeated. As the saying goes, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger...