I’ve received quite a few messages recently asking for a health update and I realized I haven’t done one in a while so it is far overdue that I share what has been going on.
First and foremost, I have had so many other positive and exciting things happening in life that my attention has been on that and I’ve been in what I like to call “maintenance mode” health wise. Trying to get by day to day without making things worse but also I wouldn’t say really making things better. That is okay by me though! If most days I can function and live life happily I have come a long, long way in the past three years or so. I hate that this might jinx it but overall things have actually been pretty good.
By pretty good I mean by my standards of not in the emergency room and pretty much fully functioning. That doesn’t mean that my symptoms have gone away though and that other symptoms haven’t decided to manifest themselves unfortunately upon me. Those things still happen and are still there and I am going to share them with you. I feel weird sometimes going into detail about this stuff because I don’t want sympathy for what ailments I have. I know there are so many other worse things that I could be experiencing, I assure you I know that and I am so incredibly thankful that I can function the way I do. The reason I share is not to complain but it is to bring awareness. There are so many weird symptoms and problems I have run into over the years that are seemingly unexplainable by doctors and took my reading someone else’s experience to realize I wasn’t crazy. That is why I want to share. Hopefully by me sharing my health journey you can relate and maybe not feel like such a psycho.
So like I said overall my Crohn’s has been relatively under control. I am not in remission yet but slowly working towards it. I still go and get my Remicade every 6-8 weeks. Currently we are on an every 6 week schedule. That seems to be working well but the side effects still make me miserable at times. I do have to say though, when I started Remicade a little over a year and a half ago, I was totally unprepared to cope with the unavoidable side effects but as I’ve become a Remicade pro, I’ve gotten a better handle on managing them. CBD oil is my best friend in that regard. I take a small dose every day to help with pain, inflammation, anxiety, and a whole slew of other things that can be a separate post. But anyway, I amp it up after my infusion and when my side effects are bad. The side effect that is probably the most annoying is the joint pain. I can’t STAND it. I remember I went to geriatric yoga class at the YMCA, I’m not kidding you geriatric like right next to my grandpas retirement community, and I was in tears by the end because my wrists and knees were so swollen and in pain. From the former hot yoga enthusiast this was very abnormal for me. So this still happened but my CBD oil helps and I have a topical CBD cream that I use on my muscles and joints which is a huge relief as well. That is where we are with the Remicade situation.
I unfortunately got the news last time I was at the gastro for my infusion that I was long overdue for my colonoscopy/endoscopy so I had to go through that lovely experience last week. The prep definitely sucks but like the having diarrhea for hours on end isn’t that much of a shock to my body unfortunately so that’s not the part I really hate. It’s the fasting and pain and nausea from drinking that crap and the pain after the procedure. That is what really gets me. I do have to say an anesthesia nap is the best nap and I totally love the nurses at my gastro so they make the whole process a whole lot more enjoyable. I see them more than I see most of my friends and they all know my life story so… yeah. The colonoscopy/endoscopy situation was a success though. I still have inflammation in my ileum so they are upping my Remicade dose and my esophagus has some funky stuff going on but all in all not horrible! To go off on a tangent quickly I am an actual nightmare when I come out of anesthesia. Like actually satan. I’ve been known to cuss out doctors and demand a bedside cocktail just to name a few situations. I actually get very embarrassed because I spend like so much of my life with these people I can’t have them thinking I am the devil. This time I was actually really nice, chatted about dogs and Game of Thrones, requested a gingerale, you know, all normal sleepy people stuff. It takes me so long to get unconfused though and I was on some pain meds on top of it so things were not looking right from my perspective. When my doctor came in to give me my update I somehow thought he was saying I could go off of my medicine so I happily thanked him and said oh yay so I’m done with my medicine? Apparently from what my husband said this was directly after he said “we are going to up your medicine”. They both laughed, I was confused, my husband was embarrassed by me and then I reminded him that he practices the art of selective hearing often so he could CHILL and get off my back please. I actually didn’t remember anything my doctor said and had to get a debrief from Matt who so graciously accompanied me. This man COMPLAINED that he was hungry after it had almost been a full 48 hours since I had had a solid food. That’s like complaining that you have a tummy ache while your wife is in labor. He also made sure to make fun of me for yelling loudly how gassy I was while still waking up from my sedated slumber. Really keeping the love alive.
The real issue I’ve been having recently is with my sinuses. Now you wouldn’t think this would necessarily be impacted by Crohn’s but you know what HERE WE ARE. Your body is one big connected thing so what else can we expect. To give you some backstory I had sinus related surgery when I was 6 and then again about 7 years ago. That was the time I cussed out my doctor and told him I hated him and to get me out of there. During the recovery from that surgery I was also satan and begged my mom and step mom to take me back to the hospital because I was sure I was going to die. It seems dramatic, I know. But if you have had sinus surgery you know it is NO JOKING MATTER. I digress. So I got this surgery to remove my inflamed sinus tissue and then I got a really weird antibiotic resistant bacteria in my sinuses afterwards which was a hoot. I was alright for a few years but just recently it started to get worse again. Usually one of these surgeries is enough for one’s lifetime and I am hoping that will still be the case for me but like let’s be real, with my luck chances are I’ll be cussing out another doctor while coming out of sedation again soon. I won’t bore you with the whole story but basically my doctor wanted me to try a specific antibiotic but wasn’t really sure about it and then the side effects were nuts specifically in the gastrointestinal department so we had to nix that idea. Back to the drawing board, I just got a CT scan to see if the inflammation in my sinuses has returned.
Inflammation seems to just haunt me which is not unusual for Crohn’s sufferers or those suffering with other auto immune diseases as well. It took digging through the internet to find cases where sinus inflammation was linked to IBD and there is proof that it can be hence the whole your body is inflamed 24/7 and all that jazz. But I couldn’t find anything that was really helpful or someone saying here is what I did to make my sinuses better for good. So here I am waiting on the results of my CT scan and feeling like there is a large rhino running repeatedly across my face.
I’ll keep you all updated on what the results come back as. I am pretty certain this is linked to my Crohn’s in some way. Even if not directly, the inflammation piece is something we can’t ignore here. Hopefully I can get to the bottom of this so next time someone is frantically Googling “sinus pain and Crohn’s” maybe this pops up and you won’t feel so crazy.
I know this was a long one but, hey, it has been a while. I love hearing updates from you all too on your health journeys so please, please, please share via comments or if you don’t like putting your whole life out there on the internet like I do, drop me a message on Instagram!
Fall is my favorite season to shop for. Piling on layers means more chances to mix it up with textures, colors, and patterns. I live for a good textured piece -- fur, velvet, leather, suede, fringe. I try and keep my wardrobe pretty monochromatic and use a pop of color and bold textured pieces here and there to liven things up.
I have my tried and true pieces that carry me from year to year but I like to buy some trendier things each year that I can put into my wardrobe rotation but won't break the bank. Over the past six months or so I have been on a mission to curate a list of tried and true websites that can be my "go to's" when I am in need of something fashion related. There are a lot of sketchy sites out there that make it seem like you can get a really good bang for your buck but they can be total scams or the quality is crap. I can go on the record here and say that all of these sites I am recommending I have personally purchased from and am a fan of the quality, customer service, and delivery time.
1. Vici - I learned about this site from The Skinny Confidential Facebook group and from my first order I have been totally obsessed. They have a mixture of classics and trendy pieces that aren't crazy expensive but still good quality. I bought a ton of dresses for our honeymoon from this site and they were so perfect. They are almost always running some type of 20% off sale (sign up for the emails so you can be in the know on these!) and they also have flash sales where you can get great pieces for $20 and their sale section is often around 50% off. The only downside is that all returns have to be credited back to you in the form of store credit so just know that going into it. I haven't had any issues with this because I can always find something else I want.
I am currently obsessing over this pullover. I have some store credit waiting so this one may be next on my list...
2. Fashion Nova - This site is my favorite for buying pants/skirts/any type of bottoms. They have styles that fit and flatter a wide variety of body types which makes their pants selection a lot more versatile than most online retailers I have come across. A lot of they bottoms are stretchy too which you know I love.
The jeans that I basically live in are these ones from Fashion Nova. I have them in black. They are super stretchy and high waisted so they really suck everything in. I also just ordered these leather leggings which I am pumped about.
3. Lulus - Lulus is my go to for dresses for special occasions as well as shoes and accessories. They will run different kinds of promotions on sale items and during those you can score some great stuff for as little as $10. Their shoes are also so cute but you don't have to feel bad about buying something trendy that may be out next season because they are totally affordable. Returns are easy and shipping is quick. Very efficient.
Last season I got these faux fur mules from Lulus and I am totally obsessed with them/ recommend them to every person I meet pretty much. Oh and they're only $27. Worth every penny.
4. Forever 21 - Throughout high school and college Forever 21 was my jam. I fell a bit out of love with it when I realized I was no longer 21. Or 22. Or 23. And definitely on the other side of my 20s. Their clothes didn't really do my grown up body justice anymore and left me frustrated because.... growing up. You feel me? Anyway, once I came to terms with the fact I wasn't going to be rocking body con dresses and mini skirts on the regular I started to appreciate Forever 21 again. It is truly a great place to get inexpensive trendy pieces. While they aren't the best quality, most of the things I am buying here probably will be out by next season anyway so, not a huge deal.
This season I have been loving all of the plaid they are featuring and I have also ordered a few sweaters this year in fun colors and styles. This sweater has been my go to for casual Fridays.
Drop me a message and let me know what your other online shopping recommendations are. I love hearing from other bloggers what their favorite online retailers are because my list is always growing!
Also, let me know what you think of this post. I am trying to share more of my fashion finds and tips so please please please share what you want me to give details about!
This week I have a total badass babe, Julianna Rubino, on the podcast. She is the creator of one of my favorite blogs, Barre to Table, where she shares her workout routines, wellness tips, delicious recipes, and more. Her content always is super informative and she has me updating my grocery "wish list" every time I watch her Instagram stories. She balances working on her blog, teaching barre classes, heading up Baltimore's Electric Flight Crew, oh yeah, and working her day job in sales. Casual.
That being said, not only am I so excited to have you all hear her tips and tricks in regards to fitness and nutrition but she also has an inspiring take on how to balance everything you have going on in your life. She is the epitome of "hustle hard" but she knows how to still make time for herself and her family. #goals.
In this episode we cover some much requested topics, like time management, food recommendations, and her routine, as well as diving into things like how we feel about today's nutrition trends like intermittent fasting and plant based diets. Throughout the episode she drops some gems of advice and knowledge (along with some of her must have's and favorite products) so I can't wait to hear the takeaways you get from this one!
One of my favorite things about the advice Julianna gives is that her tips are so easy to seamlessly integrate in your life. Think, adding a 10 minute HIIT workout in when you first wake up in the morning or swapping ingredients in your favorite dinner with ingredients that will make you feel like your best self. Her recipes are also actually doable... as in not super complicated and don't take you an entire evening to make but impressively taste like it did. Seriously, her sweet potato gnocchi recipe is INSANE and way less complicated than it sounds. Promise.
Keep scrolling to see a round up of some of our favorite articles on Barre to Table and make sure to follow Julianna on Instagram (@barretotable) to get even more of her fitness and food tips. I am so thankful she came on the podcast and shared her wisdom with every one. I can't wait to work together again soon!
What were your favorite takeaways from the episode?!
BEST OF BARRE TO TABLE
FOOD + NUTRITION
Blonde babe. Maryland native. Crohn's crushing puppy mother to two sweet rescues.
Welcome to my unfiltered commentary on crushing chronic illness in your 20's and everything that goes along with that.