Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Fourth of July, Cramping, Weight Gain, and Upcoming Colonoscopy

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So Fourth of July is tomorrow (I somewhat wish this holiday was on a Friday or Monday instead of a random Wednesday). For some reason I seem to have cramping almost every year around 4th of July and near Halloween time (not sure why this is). At any rate I have been having some cramping. Last weekend was somewhat up and down. Last Friday I felt pretty tired, Saturday I felt very good (almost no cramping) as I got plenty of sleep and took my Foltx and potassium chloride, and Sunday overall I had some minor cramping. This past week I felt a little tired and cramping.

My diet has been that great either. I probably have been eating things I shouldn't have. My weight has fluctuated a little bit. Within the past couple of weeks my range has been 165-169. Currently, I am hitting near that 169 mark. However, I plan to work out and watch what I eat (last night I had a grilled chicken sandwich with fries and a fudge pecan pie with ice cream-yes it was amazing too). Also over the weekend I had pizza, a burger, a brownie sundae and little workout. Usually I don't have any issue bringing down the weight . Honestly, if I weighed between 160-165 I would be happy (I always like to leave a little room for a dessert now and then-also I like to fit comfortably in my clothes as well).

I recently saw my GI and he said I looked like I was in great shape, however it had been a while since he had done a colonoscopy. Honestly, the last colonoscopy I had was at the end of 2011 (so a little less than 7 years ago). I am hoping the cramping will go away so I can see what my colon should look like when it is healthy and good! The bowel prep is always the worst thing but if I only have to do every 7 years that is a positive thing.

Overall, I don't really have too many complaints. Yes, I have some cramping, gained weight, and a little tired, however these issues can be resolved with hot baths/cold packs, watching what I eat, and some great sleep. Luckily due to the holiday I will sleep in tomorrow and this weekend as well. Hope everyone in the states has a good and safe 4th of July! Be kind to your bowels this holiday.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Vertigo (BPPV), ENT, GI Update Visit and MRI This Week

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So this week has been interesting from a medical perspective. Last week I was feeling quite dizzy and my head felt as if it was moving up and down. Honestly I wasn't able to concentrate that well and had issues just remembering things. My internist recommended I see an ENT. Luckily I called the ENT office this past Monday and was able to get an appointment for Tuesday afternoon. My appointment was for 2:30 P.M. and I didn't get out of his office until 5:30 P.M. When I was describing my symptoms to the doctor: I told him I felt dizzy and it seemed to get worse if I moved my head side to side and up and down. He examined my ear and removed excess wax in my left ear. After I had the waxed removed I had a series of hearing tests performed (this was over an hour) and I had to repeat words, say if I heard certain beeps, and determine which side I was hearing the noise from. I probably spent more time on this hearing test than all of my other hearing tests combined. The ENT looked at the results and noticed that my hearing on my left ear was lower than normal and I explained to him that historically that has been the case. The doctor believed I could possibly have nerve damage although unlikely and wanted to order an MRI. He also diagnosed me with BPPV which is a form of vertigo (I had never had this before in my life. I went home and looked at some vertigo exercises on YouTube and think they seem to work. For this I would go to physical therapy. I went to physical therapy on Thursday and that was pretty good. The physical therapist checked me for BPPV and said I didn't show any signs of it but that I could feel some spinning and dizziness as an after effect of the BPPV.

Today I went for the MRI (after spending $658 for it-and honestly I am not sure it was necessary but it is better to be safe than sorry). The procedure wasn't too bad. I had an IV in place and they ran the MRI with and without contrast. You just sit in this small space and this machine that makes extraordinary loud noises spins around. The technician provided a blanket and headphones with alternative music-I wasn't a fan of that part. At first I did notice my heart start to race but then settle down. After about 30 minutes I was done and they told me to drink plenty of fluids too when I got home. I did notice after the MRI some minor pain in my stomach that I didn't have before (not sure if this was from the contrast or the MRI itself). I felt fine when I returned home and was able to work out this evening.

Earlier this week I also went to my GI for an update visit. Typically I visit him once a year. He told me I looked super but the last time I had a colonoscopy was in 2011 and I was due for one this year. I told him I had been watching videos on YouTube of competitive eaters and his comment was "Well if you are going to be good at something you might as well get paid for it". This honestly doesn't bother me as I am curious to see what my colon looks like as a normal case in remission and not in a severe flare or have c difficle.

All in all this has been an interesting week medically speaking. With all the doctor appointments and medical visits I had this week kept me pretty busy. It is good to know now I am back to normal and feel well. Over time I have come to expect minor issues like this. However, I always know it is best to push through and know that it will always get better as it usually does.

On a more personal level I am moving next week after living in the same apartment for over 4 years. This welcomed change should be nice as I am moving to a highrise condo. Life is interesting and we have to make the most of it since we only get one shot in this world.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Vertigo and Crohn's?

Well I haven't blogged in a while (since I have been feeling good). However, this past week around  Tuesday morning I woke up at 3 A.M. went to the refrigerator and was stumbling to get back in bed since I was dizzy and could feel my head spinning. My initial impression was I had vertigo based on everything I read. I never had felt anything like this before. I called my doctor's office and let them know and was able to see my doctor the next day. I went into the office and had mentioned I felt lightheaded and just tired. My doctor looked into my ear and noticed I had a bunch of wax in there. He said I was exhibiting signs of vertigo but there are different causes of it. I had my ears flushed in December 2017 (my first ever) when I was noticing pressure difference and popping in my years). After my ears were flushed I noticed the issue went away. So my doctor called in the nurse and she flushed my ears. After my ears were flushed I noticed an improvement. The day after I didn't feel as dizzy and today I don't really feel much dizziness at all. I felt as if my right ear is better but my left ear still isn't 100%

Today I went to work but felt out of it mentally. It is one of those situations were you are there physically but not mentally. It has been also harder to concentrate as well. The past few nights I have been falling asleep pretty early too and don't have my usual normal energy. It feels as if my mind is cloudy. At times I do have moments of energy but still not what it was before. I might try to work out later as it has been a while and maybe that will help things. It really is never fun felling tired.

Hopefully this is a short term set back. I plan to relax this weekend and won't do a whole lot and just rest as I feel pretty tired. Also I feel a little down since I am not 100%. Over time I have learned though that most of these things come and go. I might call my doctor Monday if I am still feeling this way though.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Potassium Chloride, Cramping, Weight and Crohn's

Potassium Chloride, 100g
So for the past week I have some mild cramping in my stomach (no loose bowel movements). Earlier in the week the pain was pretty bad as I was taking a full pill of potassium chloride. I then backed off the full pill and cut back to half a pill (by cutting the pill into two with a pill cutter). Last Sunday night the pain was so bad I took a hot bath and put an ice pack on my stomach. This did help some but Monday morning when I woke up the pain was gone after getting a good night rest and I did have minor cramping later in the day but nothing compared to Sunday night. As I right this I have a very very minor bit of cramping but have been able to work out as usual (when I have time after work).

The whole reason I took potassium chloride was to provide more energy. When I took the first couple pills I did feel as if I had more energy but recently when I have taken them I haven't felt the same boost. My internist kept prescribing a generic even though the first time around I told him that I was getting cramping from taking it. Honestly, since recently it hasn't had much benefit and has created so much cramping I just won't take it until I can get the non generic version.

Feeling cramped I also feel bloated and although have been trying to loose a couple pounds (as I write this I am between 168 and 171 pounds-moving closer to the 168 recently). I honestly do like feeling fit and lean. Also I am a big fan of eating desserts every now and then and wouldn't mind having some spare capacity.

All and all though I really can't complain about my Crohn's. I plan to take my Humira shot this weekend and besides the cramping haven't had any real medical issues which I am always grateful for.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

In The Bathroom Last Night: Stress, Potassium Chloride, and Desserts

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Well last evening (Friday night) or this morning depending on how you want to look at it was quite busy for my bowels. For dinner I had some pasta with garlic cheesy bread which was quite tasty and then around 10:30 P.M. I got a craving for some desserts since: I had been tired from the previous week at work, hadn't had dessert in a while, and had worked out earlier in the evening. Typically I have some dessert places I go to but I went to Buccee's last night for an assortment of different goodies (the best way to describe the place is if you mixed a Wal-Mart supercenter with a convenience store. I checked out some desserts and settled on a mini pecan pie, a chocolate chip cookie, and some walnut fudge. I ate the chocolate chip cookie and the walnut fudge and was in dessert heaven feeling quite a high (yes they were that good). Heading into bed I feel this extreme pressure in my stomach that I knew wasn't good (there wasn't much pain more of cramping). Then a few hours later I was in bathroom having multiple bowel movements. At first they started off solid and about an hour or so later they were pretty loose. In my mind I kept wondering when it would end. Well around 2:00 A.M. my bowels were finally empty and I felt amazing with no pain or cramping and was able to go to sleep.

Now the question is what caused this? Honestly it has been many months since I have had a single episode of diarrhea (which I view as quite a significant accomplishment). If I do ever get diarrhea it typically is the week before I take Humira (which this was). This past week at work has been quite busy and I honestly can't remember having as many meetings as I did as this past week. The last item that I believe may have caused the issue was beginning to take potassium chloride. In my last physical my internist mentioned my potassium levels were low and that I either could eat more potassium foods to increase this. However, I tried that and was more open to fill the prescription. Going to my local pharmacy I got my prescription and noticed the prescription for potassium chloride was cheap (it as a generic of course). One thing I did notice was "not to lie down for 30 minutes" on which honestly I thought was interesting since I honestly can't say I have seen that ever written on a prescription. After starting to take the prescription I noticed cramping (which is a side effect that is reported) for many days. On the flip side I was noticing much more energy and felt quite good. I asked my doctor about this (I also had my ears flushed with water to remove wax-it was an all encompassing day) and he mentioned that the generic drug doesn't have as sophisticated delivery system of a time delay release so the medicine will released over time which reduces the burden on the bowels. When I went to refill my prescription for the second time it appears I again got the generic version (this was frustrating). Next week I plan to call my doctor and ask if they can get the name brand or maybe I have to call my insurance company for this.

Today (Saturday) has been pretty relaxing. I had some minor cramping but nothing compared to last night (early this morning). It was surprising today too since I didn't have any bowel movements. The cramping today has been more in the background which isn't too bad. Also I haven't been too hungry either. At any rate it would be good to get the cramp free version of potassium chloride since it does give me more energy than I usually have which can make a big difference.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Cramping/Work Stress and Sleep

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Well it seems as if the holidays are quickly approaching. Currently, I just wrapped up my last day of work for the year and am looking forward to a nice break off (I head back to work after the New Year). I am looking forward to relaxing and enjoying the free time off. Tomorrow I head to my doctor for my annual physical results.

Recently, I have not been able to sleep that well. For no apparent reason I would wake up multiple times in the middle of the night and maybe get something to eat or drink water and then right back to bed. Sunday night is the worst night for sleep since my body is used to staying up late on the weekends plus wondering about what I have at work the next day. Speaking of work it seems this time of year is usually stressful (I work in the financial industry where year end and tax time are stressful). I honestly felt like I was worry about so much and that is what caused me to wake up in the middle of the night for no reason. My sleep has been improving the past couple of nights. However, I still feel tired. Hopefully this nice little vacation will cure that. Also I haven't been working out as well and have gained a little weight and look forward to getting back to that (starting this evening!) 

Most likely due to the lack of sleep I developed some cramping last weekend but it has vanished as I have slept better. The cramping was the typical blunt pain that I have had before and usually would come around night time. 

All and all I am in good shape and just a little tired but am sure that this nice long vacation will help out! 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Crohn's and Shingles Week 4: Thanksgiving and Itching

Well my shingles has slowly been subsiding.  As you can see the red marks on my body are gradually fading. I attached a picture to show how it looks. When I told people I had shingles they are said "Oh that must be pretty painful". Honestly, the whole process hasn't been too bad. The only thing that bothers me is lifting up my shirt and seeing all this redness on the left side of my stomach. Over time I would thing the marks will fade and could possibly leave some scarring. I have been using Mederma scar cream to reduce the possible effects of scarring and seen a little bit of improvement with that. The only thing that is a pain is there is one spot on my stomach that sometimes itches at night which is a pain. I put some calamine lotion on it which helps a little bit in terms of stopping the itching. I might pay a visit to my dermatologist to see if there is anything I can do do reduce the redness of my skin.

I had a pretty good Thanksgiving (ate way too much-but it was all delicious!). I am honestly thankful for being in remission with Crohn's and not having to worry about pains in my stomach or going to the bathroom. It is nice to be able to live an active and healthy life. Although, I have been feeling tired for the past few weeks with work, family issues, and just year end always seems busy. I noticed I had gained some wait and have been working out recently and dropped a few pounds. My weight has been running around 168 (of course this was before Thanksgiving).

All in all I am glad the shingles is slowly fading away and think it will continue to improve. I was worried that I would have pain for longer than I did. The only annoying thing still is the itching on the one part of my stomach but that seems to have been reduced some. Honestly, I have so much to be thankful for this holiday season.