Sunday, 21 December 2014

My Story: Part 5

In September 2007 I went back to work. When I was talking to the Dr about returning to work he told me I'd get really tired and I needed to ease back into things. The naturopath didn't want me to go back to work, he said I wasn't ready. I knew he was right, I wasn't physically ready, but I had to go back to work for my sanity. I needed to get out and see people. I was so alone and isolated at home, I needed to go back to work so that for a few hours a week I could socialise and feel normal. I needed to be around people instead of feeling alone and cut off from society all the time. I remember being so lonely one day that I requested an Avon catalogue, cause I figured when the Avon lady dropped off the catalogue it'd give me someone to talk to. I needed to be in the real world again.

The Dr said that he'd start me off doing 3 hours, 2 days per week. I thought this would be easy, boy was I wrong! Work arranged for me to have a parking bay underneath the building so that I could drive in. If it wasn't for the parking bay I wouldn't have been able to go back to work because I couldn't walk far enough to catch public transport and I couldn't have stood up on the train the whole way to work.


By the time I got dressed and ready for work I needed to have a sleep. How I managed not to have a car crash driving in to work I don't know. Thankfully most mornings I had my friend Mel with me so she kept us both alive. She also gave me directions, because even though I knew exactly where I was going, I'd regularly forget, so she'd have to tell me which lane to drive in etc. I shouldn't have been driving, because I was so tired I didn't pay attention. Several times I drove through red lights without even seeing them.


I was very fortunate with work, they'd created a job for me that I could do in my own time, and they were very understanding of my illness. I'd been open with them about my disease so they knew exactly what was going on, which probably made it easier. Plus, it only took one look at me to know how sick I was, I looked like the walking dead. For the first few weeks I didn't do any work at all, it took all my energy to get to work and once I was there I was too exhausted to work so I just sat at my desk, but I was really enjoying the company, it was great to get out and see people again. I found out that a few people I worked with had Crohn's disease, so it was great to be able to talk to them. Other people felt the need to share stories with me about their friends who had Crohn's. A lot of these were helpful and I was glad to hear them but some weren't.


On my first day back one of the girls told me that one of her friends had died from Crohn's disease. That was just what I needed to hear. Why people feel the need to share stories like that I don't know. It certainly wasn't helpful to me. I was scared enough as it was without people telling me stories like that. The same girl also said that she wished she could get Crohn's disease to lose weight. I told her I'd rather be fat and healthy than thin and sick. (It's worth noting that this girl was a tiny size 6!)


Going back to work was really difficult. I was so exhausted from working that I couldn't do anything else, so my world shrunk a little. I'd sleep most of the time that I wasn't working, but I hoped that it would only be temporary. The other thing that was difficult was that I'd changed. I wasn't the same person that I used to be and work didn't realise that, so they were treating me like they always had. My brain just didn't function properly, I could hardly think and I forgot everything, so what used to be easy for me I could no longer remember. They'd sit there and talk to me and after about 2 minutes I would have forgotten what we were talking about, so I'd just sit there with a blank look on my face. But I didn't want to tell them that cause I didn't want them to think that I was stupid and I didn't want it to affect my standing at work. So I took a lot of notes and asked for everything to be sent to me in writing, that way when I forgot I could read it later.


After about a month, I started to get used to work and it became a little easier. Slowly but surely I was making progress. Everyone at work wanted to know about Crohn's disease because most of them had never heard of it. So they asked lots of questions and I was happy to answer them. After a while though, I started to feel like I was defined by my disease. Everywhere I went people wanted to know how I was doing. I really appreciated that they cared but I was sick of talking about it. I wanted to talk about normal things, like normal people did, instead of focusing on my illness.


By November I was 60kgs, a weight that I was happy with and my Dr's and naturopath were happy too. I still had to be really careful what foods I ate, but I could eat a few more things and I was doing okay. I'd also managed to wean off the steroids, which was a huge milestone. I was working 9 hours per week and things were looking up.


I was so pleased when I got off the steroids, but being off them caused other problems. Weaning off them hadn't been much fun and once I was off them I discovered there were a lot more foods that I couldn't eat. Foods that I'd been able to eat whilst taking steroids, I couldn't eat any more. I couldn't have vegetables other than broccoli, potato and avocado. There wasn't any fruit that I could eat. Prior to getting ill my diet had mainly consisted of fruit and veggies, so this made life difficult and eating unappealing.


I could walk around the shopping centre for a little while, but I couldn't do the food shopping all in one go, it was too exhausting. When I got too tired 2 things would happen. If I was moderately tired, I'd get really bad stomach pains and have to go to the toilet immediately. If I was really tired, my whole body would just about shut down. I couldn't speak or hear and could only see directly in front of me. I'd be able to get myself to a chair, but then I wouldn't be able to move for a few hours. Thankfully this never happened to me when I was on my own. There were numerous occasions Tiger had to carry me to the car because I'd shut down and couldn't walk.


It was around this time that my gastro Dr decided to send me for a barium x-ray to see how much scar tissue I had. He didn't tell me a lot about the test and I didn't think to ask. So I went and booked myself in then trotted along there the next day. When I got there a nurse came out and asked me if I knew about the test and what they had to do? I said no and she told me that she'd never agree to have the test herself. Great. Then the Dr came along and told me that they rarely did the test because it's too invasive and there is a risk of perforation.


They explained that they put a tube up my nose, down the back of my throat and into my stomach, put the barium in through the tube then take x-rays. They said if I didn't want to do it that was fine. I figured that I'd give it a go and if I couldn't cope with it then we'd stop and they agreed to that. Thankfully the nurse and Dr were lovely. The test was awful. It took about 45 minutes and it's something that I'll never do again. The worst bit was when bile started coming out of the tube that was in my nose and running all over my face, it was so gross. Unfortunately, I went there on my own, so had to drive home, which I really wasn't capable of. Somehow I made it home without crashing.


The nurse rang me the next day to make sure I was okay, which I thought was really lovely of her. For the next week my nose was all swollen and bruised from the tube, so I told anyone who asked that Tiger had hit me. No-one who knew us believed me though, cause they all know that it would never happen. Walking around with him was funny, because he's 6 foot and 100kgs of muscle, I'm 5 foot 7 and at that time was really pale and frail looking. Plus, he's bald and looks rather scary. So people would look at me and my bruised nose, then look at him and assume that he'd beat me. They'd give me sympathetic looks and him nasty looks. He was mortified that people could think he'd hurt me, I thought it was funny.


In November the Dr started giving me B12 shots. I needed them because the Crohn's means I don't absorb all my nutrients. B12 is absorbed in the small bowel, where my Crohn's is. At first I didn't notice anything, but I did notice when it was time for the next one as I'd start getting really tired a few days before it was due. They started out every 2 weeks then went to monthly. After the first 2 shots I'd notice the difference straight away. I had a lot more energy and could stay awake after 9pm. Tiger even jokingly asked me one night if I'd taken speed cause I was still awake at 10pm.


By the end of the year I was working 12 hours per week and my Crohn's was under control. In January 2008 I was officially in remission.

Friday, 19 December 2014

FFS Friday - That is all

It's no secret that I am a fan of natural remedies and products. Actually, come to think of it, there's nothing that's secret around here. Anyhow, I spend a considerable amount on buying natural cleaning products for the house. Our finances are rather tight at the moment and in a fit of "I'm a hippy, I can be one of those awesome people who only use bicarb soda, vinegar, clove oil and water to clean the house", I got all inspired and decided I'd use vinegar and water to clean the shower. Big mistake. FFS.

I trotted down to the shopping centre, bought some vinegar and a spray bottle then hurried home, all proud of my hippy self. FFS.

Checked the internet, mixed up the vinegar and water then liberally sprayed it all around the shower. After I'd drowned the whole shower recess with my vinegar/water mix (and trying to ignore the horrible stench of vinegar) I strutted out of the bathroom pretty pleased with myself and set about waiting for the vinegar to do it's magic. FFS.

After an hour I went back into my extremely smelly bathroom with a scourer and set about scrubbing my shower. Nothing happened. FFS.

The yukky dark bits and dirt would not budge. FFS.

No matter how hard I scrubbed, the dirt was staying put. FFS.

Even worse, I've now got white marks on the dark tiles, not a good look. FFS.

Stupid bloody useless vinegar. FFS.

So I was left with a dirty bathroom that stunk like vinegar. FFS.

Every time I went to the bathroom I walked out wanting chips. FFS.

The vinegar stench stuck around like a bad smell. Haha, do you see what I did there? I'm so funny (in my own mind). FFS.

It took a week for the vinegar smell to go. FFS.

When it finally went away I used nasty chemicals on the shower and the dirt was gone in an instant. FFS.

So much for me being a hippy. FFS.

Our wedding anniversary was a few weeks ago. Not FFS.

As usual, Tiger was away for it. FFS.

I ordered his present online and it took ages to get here. A package that would normally get to me overnight took 13 days to arrive. FFS.

As luck would have it, his present arrived the day he got home. Not FFS.

Tiger's present to me didn't work out so well. FFS.

He ordered it from Kogan. Never again. FFS.

The order was placed two weeks before our anniversary. 10 days after he'd placed the order they email him to say they couldn't post to PO Boxes. FFS.

He gave them our home address and they said the package would be posted out that day. Two weeks later when it hadn't arrived Tiger called them and they told him the package was waiting to be dispatched and would be sent that day. Not FFS.

That afternoon they sent him an email saying that they didn't have stock anymore so we wouldn't be receiving our package. FFS.

This means that the guy he spoke to in the morning had lied to him. FFS.

Onya Kogan. Won't be ordering from them again. FFS.

If that's not bad enough, they now tell us it'll take at least 7 days for our money to be refunded. Fuckers.

As luck would have it, he bought me a Galaxy Gearfit. It would have been great because my FitBit died yesterday. Oh well. FFS.

Now it's excuse time. You may have noticed I'm late posting my weekly whinge fest. That's because we are in teething hell once again. FFS.

Poor Elay is getting his bottom molars through. FFS.

He's so out of sorts. FFS.

Yesterday he cried when Bella (the dog) looked at him. FFS.

None of us are getting much sleep. FFS.

We've gotten about 4 hours sleep the last two nights. FFS.

Due to that, this morning we had Kahlua in our coffee. Not FFS.

It was awesome. Not FFS.

That is all.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Bellalu Caramel Kiss Lip Balm

It's not secret that I'm a lip balm addict. Due to this I regularly trawl the internet looking for new lip balms that I haven't tried before. One flavour that I often search for but rarely find it caramel. Why are there so few caramel lip balms available? It's a gorgeous flavour! You can imagine my delight when I discovered that Bellalu have a Caramel Kiss lip balm. Naturally, I had to buy it.

Cutest packaging ever! These would make great gifts, they come all ready to give to someone, perfect.
A little bit about Bellalu: Bellalu Lip Balms was created in 2009 by Geelong local Hannah Rasche. All of her products are 100% made by hand and she’s proud of that!
Each 10g balm is formulated to hydrate, moisturise and nourish the lips. Packed full of earthy ingredients, the consistency of each balm is smooth and clear in appearance once applied. All balms are long lasting on the lips and help retain moisture whilst protecting from the elements.
Enough about the pretty packaging. Bellalu balms are amazing, in the few weeks I've had my Caramel Kiss balm it's become a firm favourite. It's very hydrating, has a lovely glossy finish and lasts around three hours before I need to reapply.

There are ten flavours available: Watermelon Sorbet, Strawberry Milkshake, Papaya Passion, Caramel Kiss, Blueberry Bliss, Passionfruit Rose, Vanilla Smoothie, Summer Coconut, Lemon Meringue Pie and Pineapple Punch. I'm hoping a coffee scent will be added sometime! Hannah is currently working on a Raspberry Coulis scent, how amazing does that sound!

Something of interest - Bellalu balms are fragranced but not flavoured. The funny thing is that due to the fragrance, for some people a chemical reaction occurs in the brain and it makes them think they can taste the flavour. Unfortunately I'm not one of those people.

I purchased my Bellalu lip balm from The Natural Supply Co for $10.

I emailed Hannah and asked her what's coming next for Bellalu and guess what it is? Lip scrubs! I can't wait for them to be released!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Healthy chocolate mug cake recipe

I've always been a sweet tooth and I doubt that's going to change any time soon. Instead of depriving myself of sweet things, I'm finding healthy sweets that I can have. My chocolate mug cake is a prime example. It's gooey chocolatey goodness and I'd never guess that it's sugar, gluten and dairy free.

 Ingredients: 

2 tablespoons self raising flour (I use gluten free flour)
1 tablespoon cacao
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon coconut oil
5 tablespoons milk

Method:

Mix everything together in a cup and microwave for 40 seconds. If you don't want it to be gooey, microwave it for 45 to 50 seconds. 


The great thing about this recipe is that everything can be changed to suit different requirements. You can use normal flour or gluten free flour, cacao or cocoa powder, agave nectar or honey, normal milk or almond milk etc.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

My Story: Part 4

13 days after I'd seen my naturopath I started to feel better. I went out to lunch with a friend and sat there for an hour without getting too tired, sick or sore and having to go home. The next morning I woke up feeling 50% better than I had the day before, which was a huge difference. I also did the first semi solid poo that I'd done in 2 months (this is a huge thing for Crohn's patients!)

I started to have real hope that I'd actually get better. I'd been feeling pretty down, wondering what my life was going to be like and how I was going to get rid of this horrible disease, cause there was no way I could live the rest of my life like that. I knew I had to get better, no matter what it took. But I just didn't have the energy that was needed to fight the illness. After seeing the naturopath, I had hope and it was the first glimmer of hope that I'd had for months.

 

I was so, so scared. I didn't know how to cope with being ill, I felt isolated, alone and really frightened. I couldn't talk to anyone about it either, so it just bubbled away inside me. I couldn't talk to Tiger cause he was too wrapped up in himself to be able to hear me, plus, he was really worried about me, so I didn't want to worry him further. I felt like he blamed me for getting sick and used my illness against me, so I didn't want to give him any more ammunition. I couldn't talk to my family or friends because I didn't want them to be any more worried about me than they already were. So I dealt with it on my own for a long time, until I found the IBD Support Australia forum. Finally I had a place where I could ask questions and talk about my fears.

Through the whole experience I really wanted a friend that I could talk to without them making it about them. I wanted someone that I could tell how terrible I was feeling and for them to say "it's okay, tomorrow will be better", or "that sucks, you poor thing". If you ever get the chance to be that person for someone, do it. Don't tell them you are worried or make it about you, tell them that it sucks and they are allowed to be scared/upset/angry. Tell them you are there if they want someone to talk to. They'll be forever grateful.

I often get told that I'm strong/brave/tough to have dealt with being sick but I wasn't. I had no choice. I wasn't strong, I was more scared than I've ever been in my life.

I was feeling really weak and scared. Prior to getting sick I'd felt strong and capable, I did martial arts and was confident that I could look after myself. But when I got sick that feeling went away, I felt weak and vulnerable. I knew that I had no hope of defending myself and didn't like being alone. I hated Tiger going out because I was scared to be alone. This was a new feeling for me and I didn't know how to deal with it. I suppose some people feel like that all the time, but I'd never experienced it. I'd always been strong and independent so to be weak and dependent was an awful feeling. I didn't like it at all.
 

I also felt totally disconnected from my body. I'd been feeling this way since I was in hospital. They did so many tests and stuck so many needles in me, I felt like my body didn't belong to me, it was just there, but it wasn't a part of me anymore. And it wasn't my body, because my body is strong, fit and healthy, not weak and sick. I figured out that over the 6 days I was in hospital I was having at least 5 needles a day. Luckily I don't have a fear of needles. It didn't look like my body either. My body had muscles and flesh, but the body I looked down at was skin and bones, it looked horrible. I felt like my body had betrayed me. I'd done everything right, so why was it behaving this way? What had I done to cause this? What could I have done to stop it happening? It just didn't make sense.
 

Under the care of the naturopath, my GP and gastro Dr, I slowly started to get better. By September I'd put on 3kgs and was 57kgs. I was able to eat foods that I hadn't been able to eat for a while, I had a bit more energy and my pain was decreasing. I was also weaning off the steroids, which was a huge step.
I was spending more time awake and only sleeping for about 14 hours a day, which was nice. I also started wearing make-up again (this was huge, I hadn't worn make-up for months). I had to sit down while I was putting it on cause I couldn't stand up very long, but at least I felt like I was looking a little better.

 

My illness was putting a huge strain on our relationship. I needed company, but I couldn't go out for very long and since I had nothing to talk about (other than poo), I didn't have much to say. People would come to visit but they didn't stay long. Most of them didn't understand how ill I was because I didn't look too bad and I'd been sick for so long. Tiger was going out socialising and I was spending all my time at home. I hated it. I needed him for company but he didn't want to 'stop his life' for me. So he'd go out and leave me alone. I really resented him for not being more understanding. He did stay at home a lot and I knew it wasn't reasonable for me to expect him to stay home with me all the time, he was going out several times a week (to exercise) and I was lonely. He'd work all day then he'd go out to the gym or martial arts then sometimes he'd go out on the weekends.

Often Tiger was the only person I saw and spoke to all day. He'd get home from work really tired and I'd want to talk and want companionship, whereas he just wanted space and time to unwind. There was a lot of resentment between us. We lost touch with a lot of our wider group of friends cause we were never able to go out. They'd invite us out and we couldn't make it, or we'd go for a little while and then have to leave. They tried to understand, but I don't think anyone truly can unless they've been through it. Some of Tigers friends thought that I had him under the thumb, cause I'd say to him that we needed to go soon, so he'd start getting ready and then I'd say to him "we have to go now" and we'd leave straight away. If only they knew that when I said that it either meant that I was in unbearable pain or about to poo myself (or both).


Tiger was really good at knowing how I was feeling by the look on my face, so sometimes I'd just look at him and we'd leave straight away. They thought I was being a bitch, but I was only saying something when I couldn't cope any more cause I was in too much pain. Tiger understood, but his friends didn't. Tiger also knew what going out did to me, he saw that it took me 4 days to get over going out for a few hours. It was difficult, but we survived. And I was making progress.

I could drive for about 15 minutes and sit up for around 3 hours. It was really nice to be able to go out and sit up. They sound like little things, but to me they were huge.


Then I went back to work.

Friday, 12 December 2014

FFS Friday - Potty Mouth

So last week Eljay wee'd in my mouth. FFS.

Not literally, but he may as well have. FFS.

See he was eating strawberries while having a bath and he wee'd in the bath. FFS.

Then he let the strawberries float around in the bath for a while then continued to eat them. As you do. FFS.

When I got him out of the bath he still had a strawberry in his hand. He kindly decided to share the strawberry with me and it was only after it was in my mouth that I remembered he'd wee'd in the bath. Gross. FFS.

So essentially he wee'd in my mouth. FFS.

Disgusting. FFS.

I spat the strawberry out but the damage was already done. FFS.

It was all downhill from there. FFS.

He's decided that he doesn't like having his nappy changed (once again). FFS.

Nappy changes are a huge struggle. FFS.

The last two nights I've had to remove his pooey nappy whilst he's been standing up with his arms firmly wrapped around my neck. FFS.

Both times I've ended up with poo all over my top and arms. Gross. FFS.

Really, what else can I say? I would say that at least Chai hasn't poo'd or wee'd on me but that'd just be tempting fate, so I won't say that. 

I've saved the best bit for last though. Or perhaps I should say the grossest bit for last. 

Yesterday afternoon Eljay came inside crying and holding out his hand. FFS.

I looked at his hand and saw that it was covered in poo. Crap. FFS.

His water bottle was also covered in poo. FFS.

So were his feet. FFS.

Further inspection showed that Chai was also covered in poo. FFS.

Chai had poo'd outside then tried to clean it up. FFS.

I put both kids in the shower and scrubbed the poo off them, then went outside to check the damage. FFS.

There was a trail of poo from the sandpit, all over the lawn, in the garden and on the bricks. FFS.

Both kids wanted to come outside with me and because I wouldn't let them they were inside screaming their little hearts out. FFS.

I grabbed the hose but couldn't find the nozzle. FFS.

Naturally it was in the pool. Where else would it be? FFS.

Me going into the pool area caused the boys to up their screaming another notch. FFS.

I'd just started cleaning up the poo (it was easy to find, I just followed the trail of blowflies) when Chai decided to liberate himself and Eljay. FFS. 

They both came gleefully racing outside, right into the poo. FFS.

So I hosed them off. FFS. 

Don't you wish you were me?

Now it's your turn.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

November Empties

Sanctuary Spa Hot Sugar Scrub - Regular readers will know how much I love this scrub, it's a holy grail. You can read my full review here.

Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Shower Wash - Deep moisture is right, this is more like a shower cream than a wash. It's great for winter and fragrance free. 

Lady Speed Stick -I upset my armpits trying out a new natural deodorant, so went back to my old trusty stick deodorants. This one was okay but I still prefer the Dove version.
Olay Regenerist Luminous Brightening Cream Cleanser - I've been using the Regenerist Luminous range and am really happy with it. This is an interesting cleanser because it has little exfoliating beads in it. I would buy this if I saw it on sale.

Feelgood Organics Facial Cleanser -I ended up using this on my legs when I was shaving. There was nothing wrong with it, it's a gel based cleanser, I just didn't love it.

Mango Crush Body Scrub -Target recently started selling these for $2. It smells amazing but had absolutely no scrubbiness to it at all.
nu-pore Anti-Puff and Dark Circle eye mask -These were an iHerb purchase. I liked them, they felt lovely to use, but made no difference to my dark circles, not that I was expecting them to.

MooGoo Soap -MooGoo never fail me.
Essence Me and My Ice Cream Hand Wipes - It's a shame I can't get these any more because I really liked them. They were a great size for my handbag.

Terax Life Drops - These seemed nice but I only got two uses so it was hard to tell.

Terax Crema - Same as above.

Too Faced Primed and Poreless - Another siliconey primer. It worked well. Once I get through my current stash of primers I'll consider buying this.

Maskd The Green Mask -I'm in love with this! Full review coming soon.

Monday, 8 December 2014

The Makeup Addict Tag

I saw this tag on The Maquillage and thought it looked like fun.

1 Which product do you still keep buying more of despite having plenty in your collection?
Anything to do with lips. Lipstick, lip balm, lip gloss etc. Oh and concealer. And eyeshadow. And blush. Okay, everything. 

2 What’s the one product you couldn’t live without?
Makeup. Haha. How am I supposed to pick just one? Let me think about that and get back to you.  
Right, I've decided, it's my Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder, it's amazing. I use it every day.

3 Favourite makeup brand?
I'm a gemini, I can't just pick one.


4 How big is your makeup collection?
Big. Huge. I have two train cases, a mini train case and two 20 litre tubs full. Plus things scattered all over the place.

5 And how do you like to store it?
How I'd like to store it and how it's stored are two different things. I'd love to have everything in drawers so that I could get to it easily, but with two curious little boys I have the majority of it locked away in train cases and tubs.

6 How many items of makeup have you got in your handbag at the moment? 
I just cleaned it out so there are only 3. A lip balm, lipstick and gloss.

7 If you could raid another blogger’s stash, who would it be?
Hmmm, that's a difficult one. I'd pick two, Tine and Sophie.

8 How long does your usual makeup routine take and how many products do you use?
Since I've had kids my routine takes about two minutes. I use nine products. Prior to kids I used to take about fifteen minutes and do all sorts of different looks, now it's just about making myself look decent enough that I don't scare the kids.

9 Have you ever bought makeup knowing you wouldn’t use it?
No. 

10.Tag a few other makeup addicts to do the tag!
This is a crazy time of year where everyone is busy, so I'm not going to tag anyone specific. If you want to do this, consider yourself tagged. Please leave a link in the comments if you do this tag, I'd love to read it. 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

My Story: Part 3

I thought that once I had a diagnosis and went home then I'd get better, go back to work and everything would be fine, so I was quite surprised when things didn't work out that way. I was seeing my GP once or twice a week and the gastro Dr every month. But I wasn't getting better. I was sleeping for at least 16 hours a day and I was really weak. I couldn't stand up straight due to the pain in my stomach, I was in constant agony (on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being agony, I was around a 9), I couldn't concentrate and I couldn't do anything.

My world had shrunk and I was living in a world of pain. There were days when all I could see and feel was the pain, it consumed me. I couldn't lay on my right side because it was too painful (due to the scar tissue on my bowel), laying on my left side wasn't much better, laying on my stomach was out of the question and laying on my back was painful too. My world was all about pain and poo. After experiencing it twice I can tell you that drug free childbirth has nothing on Crohn's pain. 


I couldn't walk to the letter box, I couldn't drive, I couldn't read, couldn't sit up for more than 5 minutes and sometimes I couldn't even talk. I was helpless. Tiger had to do everything. He had to cook, clean etc. The only thing he didn't do was the washing, which I did, but he had to hang it out cause I couldn't. 

Amazingly enough I still didn't realise how sick I was so didn't ask for help. If she'd realised how sick I was, Mum would have come up to help, but I didn't realise so didn't tell her. Any of my family and Tigers family would have come to help if they'd realised how bad things were. I don't know why Tiger didn't tell any of them. If it ever happens again (which I'm determined it won't) they will all know that I need help and I'll know to tell them. But at the time I was too unwell to realise that I needed help.

My body was falling apart too. I was so thin I couldn't sit down without a cushion under me as my bum bones would dig into the chair, it was really uncomfortable. I couldn't lie on my side as my hip bones would rub together cause there was no fat to pad them. My skin was really dry, my hair was falling out and I couldn't remember anything. Not remembering things was extremely frustrating. I couldn't remember words for basic items. The most frustrated I felt was when I had the following conversation with Tiger. I was talking to him about the fridge and this is how the conversation went:
Me: You know, that big thing in the other room.
Tiger: What big thing?
Me: You know that big thing, it's big and it's in the room behind us and we open it and put stuff in it. (I couldn't remember what the kitchen was called, the word for white and what food was called, which just added to the confusion).
Tiger: You mean the washing machine?
Me: No, not the washing machine, the big thing in that other room, the room we make stuff in (couldn't remember the word for cook), it's huge and it's new, we just got it.
Tiger: Oh, you mean the fridge?
Me: Yes!


Not being able to properly look after myself was really difficult. I became quite creative with ways of looking after myself. My skin was really dry, but I couldn't stand up long enough to moisturise and moisturising lying down was difficult, so I started using body oil in the shower. I'd put oil all over myself, then pat myself dry. That solved the dry skin problem. I'd brush my teeth and brush my hair sitting down. I figured out that if I plaited my hair really tightly it'd stay like that for a few days, so I didn't have to do it every day. I'd sit down to get dressed. After I had a shower I'd sleep so that I had the energy to get dressed and get to the lounge room.


Through the whole illness I refused to stay in bed, cause that would have been like giving up. Only people who are really sick stay in bed all day and I didn't want to be one of those people. No matter how bad I felt I made sure that I had a shower and got dressed every day. It'd usually take me at least half the day to get showered, dressed and to the lounge room, but I always got there. 


Doing everyday things that used to seem normal became a huge chore. At first it took all my energy just to have a shower and get dressed. I'd have a shower, sit on the toilet to dry myself then sleep for a few hours. On bad days I didn't even dry myself before I went back to sleep. When I woke up I'd get dressed (sitting down) then rest for about half an hour. Next I'd do my hair and brush my teeth (whilst sitting on the toilet). After that I'd sleep for about an hour. Then I'd finally make my way to the lounge room where I'd spend the rest of the day sleeping.  

One great thing whilst I was sick was foxtel. I've never been much of a tv watcher, I usually read. But I didn't have the energy to read and my eyes were too sore, plus I couldn't concentrate. We'd got foxtel a few months earlier, I hadn't wanted it, but Tiger had, so we got it. It kept me sane whilst I was sick! For the first month I couldn't even use the computer, so I had no contact with the outside world other than phone calls and I was often too worn out to talk, it just took too much effort. Luckily my family and in laws were great about keeping in touch and were happy to talk without expecting a response. There were a few of my friends who made a real effort to keep in touch too, it meant a lot to me.


By this time I'd been off work for nearly 2 months and they were starting to ask when I'd be back. I didn't know, so went to my Dr. In the past he'd been very conservative with giving me medical certificates, he'd usually only give me a med cert for a few days but this time when I asked him for a med cert for work he gave me one for 7 weeks. It was then that I started to realise that I was very sick. I got a shock when I realised that I wasn't just going to get better and go back to normal, but I think I was still in denial about the whole thing. I'd never considered that I might get sick and stay sick, I'd always thought that you got sick, went to hospital and got better. I'd thought that even if I had something serious, like cancer, it would only be temporary, cause I'd get rid of the cancer and be okay. So getting used to the idea of having a permanent, debilitating illness was difficult and depressing. It made me really question me future. Being sick had never been part of my plans and I didn't know how I'd cope with it. What sort of future was I going to have if I stayed so sick? I knew that I couldn't live like this, it had to change, I had to get better.


I'd been out of hospital for a few months and I wasn't making any progress. I had put on 2kg's, so was 54kg's. I had no clothes that fit me (they were all too big), I was in constant pain, I couldn't do anything and had to be in a wheel chair when I went out because I didn't have the energy to walk. After I had a shower I'd sleep for 2 hours to get my energy back, that's how sick I was. I started to get worried and it sunk in that I was extremely sick. I was getting worse not better and I wondered if I'd ever recover.


I was really struggling with food because I had no appetite and I couldn't eat most foods as they made me sick and caused a lot of pain. Plus, preparing food took energy and effort and I didn't have much of either of those things. I couldn't eat any fruit, meat, gluten, dairy or vegetables, other than potato's and avocado's, so my diet consisted of puree'd apple, potato, rice, avocado, gluten free asian soup and a little bit of chicken every now and again. If I ate anything that didn't agree with me I'd be in pain (agony) for the rest of the day.


After a while I managed to be able to sit up for about 10 minutes at a time so started researching Crohn's disease. I read everything that I could get my hands on and educated myself to the best of my ability. It was good to know that there were other people out there with the same problem because I hadn't been able to speak to anyone else with the condition so felt very alone. I also started emailing my friends which helped a lot with the loneliness and isolation. The internet was my lifeline to the world.


I was so, so scared but I didn't tell anyone. I could feel myself slowly dying, I knew my body was shutting down. I was wasting away and I couldn't do anything about it. I knew I needed to do something but I didn't have the energy to help myself. I've never felt so alone, helpless and scared in my life. 


Living the way I had been just wasn't an option. I didn't know how I was going to do it, but I knew that I had to get better. I couldn't face the next 30 years of my life like this. Suicide wasn't an option, so I had to get better. I've never told anyone this: I seriously considered suicide. It wasn't just a fleeting thought, I thought about it for weeks. I thought about how I'd do it, where I'd do it etc. I thought about it in minute details. I considered the pro's and cons but in the end I realised that I couldn't do it. I couldn't do it to my family and to Tiger and more importantly I couldn't do it to myself. That meant the only option was to fight with everything I had. And that's exactly what I did. 

I had an amazing naturopath, but unfortunately he was a 2 hour drive away. I knew that if I could get down to see him, he'd know what to do. My Mum made me an appointment, picked me up and drove me down to see him. It took me a week to recover from the trip, but it was worth it. What he had to tell me wasn't good. I was 54kg's, I had 1% fat around my organs (this is really bad), I had the body of a 14 year old (which isn't good when you're 34). Before he could treat my Crohn's disease he needed to build me up so that my body was healthier and able to fight the disease.

He treated me with acupuncture and gave me lots of medication to take. He told me to stay with the gluten free diet, fish oils and the other medication the gastro Dr had prescribed for me. He gave me strict instructions not to stop taking any of my prescribed medication without giving him at least 2 months warning and for one of them 6 months warning.


Despite him telling me how sick I was, he also gave me hope, he was confident that he could get me healthy. Finally I started to think that maybe I'd get through this.

Friday, 5 December 2014

FFS Friday - Ablutions

Tuesday morning there was major panic in our house. FFS.

Tiger came in an announced that as a result of Bella (our puppy) eating rocks she'd snapped off two of her teeth. FFS.

I asked him if it was just her puppy teeth falling out and making way for her adult teeth but he said that it wasn't as the teeth were snapped off half way down the tooth. FFS.

Further questioning revealed that they had snapped off at the gum. FFS.

I was pretty sure it was just her puppy teeth but Tiger was convinced that dogs teeth don't fall out. FFS.

A quick check with google confirmed I was right (as usual). Not FFS.

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary. Not FFS.

Once again, Tiger was at work and we didn't get to spend the day/evening together. FFS.

FIFO sucks. FFS.

 Both boys have now decided that they like to shower with me. Every day. FFS.

Showering when Tiger is away is always a challenge. FFS.

I usually have the kids either trying to kill each other or tearing the house down so it's never peaceful, but at least it used to be a few minutes when I was alone with no-one touching me. Not any more. FFS.

Now I shower straddling one or both of the boys. FFS.

They sit happily (or lay) on the floor of the shower whilst I contort myself in an attempt to get my ablutions completed without stepping on one of them, getting soap in their eyes etc. Fun times. Not! FFS.

I keep telling myself that in years to come these are the times I'll miss, but I remain unconvinced. FFS.

That's all from me, now it's your turn. Tell me something amazing. Or not.