Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘broken tree and record’ edition

Big Tree Branch

Here is a great picture of a huge branch that broke off our big willow tree in the front. I am so thankful that no one was hurt and property was damaged when it fell. It could have seriously injured someone. While we don’t see a great deal of snow here on the Left Coast, we definitely get our fair share of storms and high winds. This branch is a tiny example of the havoc Mother Nature can dish out!

Warning, I am about to play a broken record again! I am amazed at how much better I am feeling these days. I keep saying this repeatedly because it is a huge shift for me. I have been sick with ulcerative colitis since the middle of 2005. I have watched my health deteriorate to the point of being hospitalized twice, developing rare ancillary diseases that no one can diagnose, having my immune system wiped out to sleeping 12+ hours a night in order to function.

Since the beginning of January, the amount of sleep I need is decreasing. I am still at the 9-10 hours area but I can get by easily on 8 for a day or two. My colon is functioning far better than it has in 3-4 years. I won’t go into details but suffice it to say it is far closer to normal than it been since 2005. My pain level has decreased. Walking short distances is no longer so painful an activity that I avoid it all costs. I can shop in stores, stand and wait with far less pain in my hips. I have also been able to reduce the amount of long-acting morphine I am taking by half in the evening. I also require far less pain medication for breakthrough pain. Being able to reduce the pain medication, I take on a daily basis means that I have even less fatigue and other issues. I actually have energy to engage in my day. Saturdays, for a very long time, have been my ‘crash and burn’ day where I try not to leave the house and I do nothing all day. Today, I was up by 9:30. I had breakfast, did some shopping and was home by 1 pm. This level of activity is unheard of for me since I became sick. And because of all this good stuff going on, my anxiety level has decreased significantly. Even under situations of extreme stress, I am not having anxiety attacks. What a relief. It means that my therapist and doctor were correct; my anxiety is rooted in reality – meaning that I had a right to be anxious with everything going on for me.

Now, after saying all that, there are still some realities. I am still on major medication for ulcerative colitis. I am still taking a large dose of immune suppressant medication every day. I am still immune-compromised. I must also watch what I eat. I still live in chronic pain – just less of it. There are foods that will set my ulcerative colitis off. I still can’t eat raw vegetables and I need to avoid processed food. Eating raw fruit is still also verboten. I am still craving popcorn all the time. Of everything I have had to give up because of ulcerative colitis, popcorn is the one thing I have not been able to get past. I have not had any in a long time but I really want to go to a movie with Deb and eat some. I may risk it sometime in the future. So, while I am feeling so much better, I am still not well. I still have low hemoglobin and while I have much more energy, I don’t have the energy I would if I were not sick. The upside to all of this is that I can now see living with this disease as possible. Maybe I won’t have to consent to my colon being removed. A girl can dream…

Oh, apparently I have been so busy I hardly noticed January – the month of the year I detest the most. I looked up and now we are in February! For us that means Spring starts in a few weeks while the rest of you are still buried under snow!

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Published in: on February 5, 2011 at 2:15 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Delighted to hear it, Chris. That’s one broken record I’m delighted to keep hearing!


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