LIVING WITH IBS AND CROHN'S DISEASE--A TWO PRONG STRATEGY
I live with both irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease (a form of IBD). For close to fifty years, I thought I only had IBD until a normal endoscopy and colonoscopy revealed I had IBS too.
You might wonder, how do I know that I have both types of ailments? The truth is after many procedures, scoping’s, medication changes, and dozens of years, I finally went into remission with Crohn’s disease. Over the ...
Beware, Excessive Concern About World Events May Damage Your Health
This blog is a different type of topic and perhaps does not pertain to you. However, I am writing about this problem because it as an issue with some of my good friends, family members, and fellow Crohn’s patients. Here are my experiences and thoughts.
I think it is a given that all of us who live with either Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative colitis are concerned about our health. This is backed up by the many...
Sneaky Depression Part 3--Several of my Most Effective Healing Tools
This is third in a three-part series on Sneaky Depression. I apologize for the length but I could find no way to describe this issue in simpler terms.
The last two week’s I wrote about my on and off experiences with mild depression that were caused by my inability to come to grips with “Living with the Bully of Crohn’s Disease” OR my inability to come to grips with various “internal turmoil’s” caused by ev...
“SNEAKY” DEPRESSION PART 2—"UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS”
Last week I wrote about my experiences with mild depression that was caused by my inability to come to grips with “Living with the Bully of Crohn’s Disease” OR my inability to come to grips with various “internal turmoil’s” caused by everyday living.
As I wrote before, if any of my chronic unresolved turmoil continues long enough, I will become depressed and experience symptoms such as the lack of interest in everyday ev...
WATCHING OUT FOR “SNEAKY” DEPRESSION!
As a Crohn’s patient, I have experienced mild depression in the past that was caused by my inability to come to grips with living with the bully of Crohn’s disease. In this blog, I want to write about mild depression caused by other issues besides Crohn’s disease because I think healing this depression is necessary in order to achieve better health.
Over the years I have found my inability to come to some resolution with any of my inne...
UNDERSTANDING THAT “UP’S AND DOWNS” ARE PART OF LIVING
Over the past few weeks I have been through a few ups and downs. I had a neckache and tender tummy, a small but treatable infection, a few days when I thought I could not get anything done, and I spent a few days obsessing on my career and overall health.
On the other hand, I had some good successes at work, I participated in an invigorating long bike ride, and I was able to relax and enjoy a few movies. Overall, I wou...
FINDING JOY AND HAPPINESS IN YOUR PAST AND ITS USE AS PART OF YOUR HEALING PROGRAM TODAY
Recently I have been writing true stories from my distant past that include examples of good times; where and when I have been helped, the people who have brought pleasure and fun into my life, great learning experiences, and many examples of situations and events that I can be thankful for.
This may not sound like a big-deal to you—you might think that writing up old experiences and mem...
ARE SOME OF YOUR HEALING IDEAS OBSOLETE?
Recently I enjoyed reading this old fable again. It is as follows.
"The Elephant Rope"...
“As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.”
The point of the fable is obvious, many of us go through life hanging onto a belief or habit that is no longer valid or relevant. This is not unlike acting as if we are still a little child who was abused or neglected by dysfunctional parent and yet never took into account that we had moved out and escaped that home years ago. The same could be said as a Crohn’s patient; there are certain old ideas or beliefs that I thought were true but perhaps I need to rethink them. Perhaps certain beliefs or ideas are no longer valid such as thinking or believing:
• Crohn’s Disease is the cause of much of what is wrong in my life
• Nobody will want to have a relationship with me because I am defective and undesirable
• I must be a bad person because I developed this disease
• I cannot have meaningful work because of Crohns’
• I will never really improve and have many good periods of health
• Eating food will always be uncomfortable
• Crohn’s disease is embarrassing and humiliating
• I am an emotional mess because of Crohn’s
The point is that I must keep reevaluating my assumptions and situation. I can challenge myself by asking questions such as:
• Why would an assumption (judgment, evaluation, decision) be correct forever?
• Why am I assuming I am the same person now as I was when this issue began?
• Am I as weak and lost today as I was when this problem began?
So how about others reading this. Are you still living under old beliefs, ideas, or rules that relate to Crohn’s? Is it possible that some of them are outdated and doing you more harm than good? Do you think updating these fixed ideas and beliefs might be helpful?
WILL MY THERAPY WORK?
“Will my therapy work” has been a common phrase that has passed through my mind over my fifty plus years of living with Crohn’s Disease. I thought it again a few days ago when I started a brief course in antibiotics.
Unfortunately, this phrase usually brings with it an experience of anxiety or fear—something that creates more gut spasm and pain. The good news is I have found various tools and ideas that have helped me subdue my tendency to fuss and obs...
SOMETIMES I ASSUME IT IS CROHN’S DISEASE AND IT IS NOT!
Recently I had some of the same old physical symptoms that I had dealt with for decades and assumed it was just a return visit from old Mr. Crohn’s. I had been through this drill before and set myself up for a repeat experience of a doctors consult, a colonoscopy and endoscopy with biopsies, a follow up visit, and an adjust in therapy. Well it started off as expected until I came to my follow up visit and was notified t...
THE NEED TO CHANGE MEDICATIONS
I have seen many people write in about the need to change medications because they no longer work or never did. I have experienced this as well and have successfully migrated to new medications and achieved good results.
However, there are times I have gone off of medications because I no longer need them. Some examples include:...
A Blue Moon Lunar Eclipse Colonoscopy and Endoscopy
This year my 1st colonoscopy and endoscopy were on January 31st, the day of a full lunar eclipse which coincided with a large full “blue” moon. The lunar eclipse was during the predawn hours around 6AM and I had a perfect view of it as I walked the 1 mile from my hotel to the hospital. Of course, this has absolutely nothing to do with my medical procedure or the results but I found it a welcome diversion to keep my mind occu...pied on interesting sights that morning. It was marvelous!
My procedure included many exceptional people including folks from admitting, pre-op, the endoscopy suite, and recovery. They were full of compassion, kindness and extraordinary skill. I felt comfortable throughout the procedure and recovered nicely. The results were both perfect and good. The perfect part of the results included the healthy disease-free tissue of my colon, stomach, esophagus, jejunum, and duodenum. The good results were the presence of 3-4 superficial ulcers in my terminal ileum. The outcome of my procedure was to make no significant changes in medication and lifestyle and to repeat the procedure in about 6-12 months.
Now you might wonder if there was some minor inflammation in the terminal ileum, why did they not change anything? The answer is my symptoms are minimal with only occasional bloating or minor pain. On the other hand, this result is a dramatic improvement over my results from five years ago that included bleeding, gross ulceration, and severe stricturing.
I think my results are a great example of NOT allowing the “perfect” to get in the way of the “good”. In the past I would fuss and fret about any single abnormality, even if it was minor. This did nothing to improve my condition and only served to upset me and create more problems. No, my report was not perfect but the overly results were excellent and that is what is important.
Psychologically, I chose to consider this type of result as excellent and dramatically better that many results in the past. I am convinced that changes in my lifestyle, medication, mental and emotional health are responsible for the better results over the past 5 years. I remain thankful for all of the people who helped me create these changes and I remain committed to my plan of proactively building health and healing in the years ahead.
I am curious about other people reading this, do you sometimes allow the “perfect” to get in the way of your “good”? Instead, are you willing to embrace less than perfect results when in fact they are good or excellent?
Remembering my Grandfather: “The King of Horseshoes” at Corona Beach, Mexico.
The following blog has nothing to do with Crohn’s disease or healing emotional upsets and conflicts. However, I include it here as an example of how people can serve as much needed healing forces in our lives and bring us comfort no matter what ails us. The following is the story.
DO NOT be fooled by the innocent looking man in the attached picture below. No, I am not referring to the man wearing h...
STRUGGLING WITH INCONSISTENT BEHAVIOR IN OTHER PEOPLE AND MYSELF
Living with a chronic ailment like Crohn’s Disease as well as a fussy and obsessive mind can create a lot of uncertainty—I can never be quite sure what a new day will bring. This has led me to crave control and consistency in order to create stability in my life. I think all people crave this, both sick and well people, but maybe having a long history of up and down days due to chronic health issues can exacerba...
COMPARING MYSELF TO OTHERS IS A LOSING PROPOSITION
Several days ago, I was in the bookstore picking out a gift for my good friend Bob. Bob will be celebrating 87 years of living in a few days and as I waited in the checkout line, I thought about Bob and his life. Bob can still easily mow the lawn, take long walks, bowl twice per week, and do a variety of chores around the house. Bob’s mind also remains intact—he can still play a mean game of cards, read and remember material ...
WHAT TURNED MY HEALTH AROUND?
This past week I received a note from a fellow Crohn’s patient. I was asked, “What turned my health around?” The following is a summary of my story and an update.
I have lived with Crohn’s disease for 51 years. Over the past few decades, I had a particularly tough period—I believe it was close to 20 years of nonstop inflammation. I received close to 50 endoscopies and colonoscopies along with a number of surgeries and a variety of medications....
NEW BEGINNINGS FOR A NEW YEAR—10 IDEAS FOR BETTER SUCCESS IN 2018
I was hoping to write some brief comments on success in the coming New Year however I found the topic far more than brief!
I think people anticipate and hope for a good start to a New Year. With their best intentions they design out a plan to achieve various goals however, these plans frequently fail to bear fruit after a few weeks or months and they give up. The important question is, can we do better—can we...