Hi everyone--Bennie and Bratcat checking in

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 552
   Posted 6/26/2009 10:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all! I read the posts daily and think about everyone all the time. I'm glad many of you are feeling well. I hope those that are struggling for remission find it soon.
Bratcat is doing great. She graduated from high school on Thursday! Graduation was beautiful. Can you believe it is almost a year since her surgery? For her, it was the best decision. She had an absolutely fabulous senior year. She started school with an ostomy and had her reversal in November. She just blossomed this year. The peacefulness on her face was wonderful to see. Many of her teachers really got a chance to see the "real" her after knowing her through UC. Many times during the school year I would watch her during a concert or a ceremony interacting with her friends and just glowing. Partly because she had the "senior mentality" (I'm gonna make this the best year ever) and partly because she didn't have to worry about getting sick again.
She got into the college that she wanted. She's going to live at home (we make it way to good for any of the kids to ever move out). She wants to be an elementary educator.
She has her one year pouchoscopy on Monday. The only prep she has is to take an enema that morning. The surgeon's office called us this week. The surgeon no longer accepts my husband's insurance. I checked to see if he would accept my job's insurance because I would have put her on it but he doesn't. The out of pocket cost for us will be $200 (an existing patient bargain). Not happy about it but what can we do. If all goes well, she'll only have to see him once a year. In the back of my mind, I still worry about what happens if she needs him for something more, but we'll cross that bridge down the road. We love him and really don't want to find someone else now.
Her brother, nonamejames, is doing well too. His Crohns seems to be holding. He didn't have insurance for awhile so he hasn't seen the doctor recently. He needed a refill on his   6-mp during that time and it was the first time we could really "appreciate" what many of you go through without insurance. We got him a one month supply for $55. Just before his 63 day grace period was about up and we were going to try to get him on HealthyNY, my job switched from working full time at home (without any benefits) to full time at the office. Luckily my health insurance covers dependents up to 28 with or without being in school! He got his renewal for his 6-mp under my insurance (the pharmacy didn't even count the one month supply towards his number of renewals). I think I paid $45 for 3 months. The pharmacist showed me the bill if we didn't have insurance ($1317!).  He has to go for bloodwork (my only regret during all this time) and set up to see the doctor. Nonamejames graduated from community college in December, had his ceremony in May, and is going back there in September for another associate's degree.
Their younger brother (I think I'll call him TboneBoy cause he's a great trombone player) graduated from middle school on Thursday also. Three graduations in less than a month! It's been great but exhausting.
Not sure if there was a thread here about making Facebook friends (I know the Ostomies forum has one). If anyone wants to friend me, email me and we can "meet".
I'll keep reading how everyone is doing, posting when I feel I can contribute.
Thanks again to all of you. You have been (and always will be) our strength through some of the darkest times in our life and have been there to share many of the joys.
--Mom of bratcat (18 years old) and nonamejames (20 years old)--
Daughter bratcat was diagnosed with pancolitis October 2006
Flared Fall 2006, Fall 2007, Spring 2008
Asacol, Rowasa, hydrocortisone enemas, prednisone, 6-mp, Remicade
7/3/08-Step 1 j-pouch surgery and no more meds!
11/10/08-Step 2 reconnect! Living and loving life as a teenager should!
Son nonamejames was diagnosed with Crohns in Spring 2008
Asacol, Pentasa, 6-mp

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30999
   Posted 6/27/2009 3:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bennie!!! thanks for giving us an update on your 3 kids.
Happy to hear that Bratcat had a great year. I can see how proud you are of her for all she's been through and accomplished this year. It was definitely the best decision for her to have surgery. The year previous was a fairly rough go.

I'm sure she'll make a great teacher!

Definitely good news that nonamejames is doing OK regarding CD...sucks for all he had to go through with insurance..what a relief that you were able to get the meds on your insurance. scary the cost of just maintaining functioning.

Where is nnj's CD?

I don't know what an associate's degree is...could you clarify?

Hope TBoneBoy enjoys his summer!

All well in my corner!

*Heather* Status: maintenance Asacol 6 daily + Salofalk enemas every 3rd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~UC meds: Asacol (3 @ 2x daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares & taper to maintenance 
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma) 
~vitamins/minerals/supplementsProbiotics....(RenewLife Ultimate Flora Critical Care + Primadophilus Reuteri). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 6/27/2009 3:49 AM (GMT -6)   
     That certainly is wonderful news!  May God bless all of you.  You sure have had a very rough going but there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Looks like all your children have promising futures and may they continue with good health.  I will continue to pray for you and your lovely family.
62 yr old granny. South Jersey
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008
Meds as of June 09: Colazal (6 per day), 6MP (50 mgm), Probiotic (upped to 3 per day), Fish oil capsule, calcium, multivitamin, Cort enema nightly, Canasa in morning.  Also taking Benicar and Toprol to control high blood pressure.  Getting old is a b****.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 6/27/2009 9:19 AM (GMT -6)   

Bennie, thanks for the update on Bratcat.  I can't believe it's already been a year!  It's so good to hear that she is healthy and able to continue with her young life.  She's the pefect example of how surgery can be such a life saver.  Thanks for sharing and congratulations on the other two successes!


dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16736
   Posted 6/27/2009 11:01 AM (GMT -6)   
An associates is a 2 year degree.
I don't have insurance and I manage to get everythign for free through patient assistance programs. Your son may be able to do the same but I am not sure if one would qualify if they're considered a dependent of someone. I would imagine that you have to be independent and making under a certain income to qualify.
It sounds like you have all been down a long, difficult road. I am happy to hear everyone is stable and doing well. Best of luck to you and your family.
Diagnosed with mild proctitis in March 2007: Treated with Canasa (as needed)
December 08: Began treating with Asacol 400mg (9/day) + Canasa 2x/day - Anemic
May 09: Off Canasa, taking Asacol (9/day)
Back on Canasa every other night + Asacol (9/day) + Probiotics + Iron
Reducing to 6 Asacol/day + Canasa + Probiotics + Iron - So far so good!!! -SPOKE TOO SOON! Back to 9/day...

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 6/27/2009 4:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Bennie, thanks for posting and I am so glad to read that your daughter is doing so well after her surgery. It gives me hope, just in case...

Mom of Son 17 UC dx 07/02, Prednisone 40mg, Lailda 2 am & 2 pm, Azasan 75mg, Cortafoam (when flaring), folic acid, L. Reuteri, Culturelle, Zyrtec, Iron, Vit/Min

Daughter 10 UC dx 08/07 Prednisone 20mg am & 20mg pm, Colazal 750mg x 4, 6MP 25mg, Iron, Vit/Min., Culturelle

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1580
   Posted 6/27/2009 4:29 PM (GMT -6)   
It's sooo nice to hear some good news especially regarding kids...no doubt prayers and good wishes by many have been answered : ).

Old Hat
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5191
   Posted 6/28/2009 7:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Bennie, thanks so much for updating us! Congratulations to Bratcat on her graduation from h.s. & acceptance to college. I'm sure you're all so proud of her after the tough times she went thru fighting off UC, managing the temp. ostomy, etc. How brave she was!!!!!!! She deserves every success, and may your family continue in good health always. RE $200 for pouchoscopy visit-- we pay a lot more in the city for routine office visits to the IBD gastros, who don't accept insurance. Alas, that's becoming more common in other areas of medical practice also. The more experienced doctors want to be paid up front. It seems like the city doctors who still accept insurance prefer Aetna, Cigna, or United Health. Maybe Bratcat can get insurance thru her college; usually students taking 12 or more credits per semester are offered health insurance & some universities require that students sign up for it or show proof of comparable coverage. Glad to read that you plan to update us periodically, too!!!!!!!! / Old Hat (30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.])

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 6/29/2009 10:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I have followed your story, and appreciated your insights. Thanks for sharing--you sound like a fabulous mom.
Daughter,15 diagnosed 1-08 w/ UC .
Previous drug sampling: Asacol, Prevacid, Flagyl, Prednisone- 50mg to 0, 4 major flares '08.Hospital four x. Low residue diet,
6MP, Colazal , Cortifoam enemas,
Trying probiotics, Niferex, fish oil, Magnesium, Acupuncture.
Remicade 10mg per kilo@ 8wks, since 10-08. Still on 6mp and Colazal

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1766
   Posted 6/30/2009 9:33 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm so glad to hear that bratcat is doing well!
Female, Age 20
Remicade, Colazal, VSL #3 DS, Forvia, Vitamin D, Calcium, Prozac, Turmeric

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 6/30/2009 1:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Great news to hear Bennie! I can't believe it's already been a year since Bratcat had her surgery. Congrats to all of your kids; sounds like things have been tremendously busy for you...all in a very good way. Thanks for updating...and uplifting us!

Remicade - will have my 29th infusion on July 8
Vitamin B-12/Biotin, Probiotics, Vitamin D-3 (2000 IU)
Co-Moderator for the UC Forum

gurgling tummy
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 7/1/2009 4:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow, has it really been that long? I remember when you first started on the board when we used to have our crazy weekly chats. I don't think that words can explain how wonderfully happy that I am for bratcat. She has been through so much and for her to come out on top the way she has is a real testimate to her strength and yours. I wish her the best in College and beyond.

How is NNJ doing with his CD, is he having any symptoms? It's wonderful that you were able to get him on your insurance. Yes, the cost of prescriptions is unbelieveable. Luckily I don't have to pay for any of them through the VA, I truely can't imagine what my cost would be for all my medications I take for my multiple problems.

You have a wonderful family and I wish all of you healthy days and years to come. Keep us informed as to how they are all doing.
Diag. Aug 06 (Proctosigmoiditis), finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 12 August 08, Paxil (1 a day) for Depression & anxiety, Azathioprine (1 every morning)Morphine (three a day) for pain, Tramadol (as needed for breakthrough pain),  Fioircit (for migrains), Phenergran (for nausea), Prednisone (10 mg tabs 4 a day), Omeprazole (for gerd from the pred), Tylenol PM (to actually get some sleep every once in a while), Calcium (for osteopenia), aloe juice (2Xs a day), chinese herbs for energy. And now Pred

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