Posted 4/3/2011 9:07 AM (GMT -6)
Hello all, haven't been around in quite some time. I've been doing my best to handle things on my own, and have actually done pretty well, a lot through the advice that I recieved early on from members of this site. So what has changed in the last few years?
Well, unfortunately I went through a divorce. We had been together for 18 years and it eventually fell apart. Amicable terms which is nice, especially for the kids. On the good side, I got remarried in February, my wife is a police officer like I am (with the brains of a scientist, the body of a swimsuit model....he he...), so she understands a lot more the emotional issues from work, the shift work, etc. Had a great honeymoon, and am now back to reality! I now have 5 children, three boys and two girls, ages 3-11. It's definately a full house. One bathroom too. It's like hell on earth at times......lol!
I've still been able to work, only have to miss the odd day here and there. I've gotten pretty good at cycling my food, meds, and working through the mini flares and such. Haven't had a full out, terrible, debilitating flare since my surgery 4 years ago, so I've been lucky. One thing that I found has worked really well is codein and tramadol. The narcotic based pain killers slow down the digestive process and relieve both the pain, and the diarreah (i never could spell that word). It's a slippery slope though. They can be addictive, and from my personal experience, if you take too much, they also make it very hard to urinate or (sorry if I am graphic, just trying to be educational) ejaculate. So what I have found is small doses, mixed with loperamide during the beginning of a flare seems to knock the symptoms away. If you find a doctor that will prescribe them, it can help balance out your med plan.
My regular meds consist of salofalk 4000 mg a day, and between the codein and the loperamide, i seem to do pretty good. I also have the enemas for when i really want to get the main inflammation area that seems to be sore. I've only been on prednisone once in the last four years, and that was only for a short time.
I had my first scope in the last 6 years and things look better then they did back then. Inflammation only in the bottom 2-3 inches, which is awesome! Still uncomfortable at times though.
I find that most times, the only alcohol I can stomach with no issues is wine. I've pretty much cut out all else. During my honeymoon, I was having probably 2 dozen alcoholic drinks a day for two weeks, and had almost no symptoms, so I'm not sure what triggers things, but I was happy to be able to enjoy myself with little issues. But I wouldn't do that very long.
I still diet and train pretty hard, as does my wife, which helps make it easier to do all the cooking and such. We take turns going to the gym on days off, while one or the other watches the kid(s). I took my yearly physical in february, its a simulated foot chase with a fight at the end, and I scored in the top three for our entire police service (1700 officers). And this is with all the cycling of my food, the ups and downs in bodyweight, energy, aches and pains, etc. I think the consistency with diet and exercise helps, and really helps with this illness. I can almost FEEL my intestines now, and seem to know the exact point when a flare is coming and take the appropriate meds. At 38, I feel lucky to be doing this good.
Not everyone is this lucky, but I hope people realize that there are ups and downs, good and bad times, but you have to just keep plugging along. A few years ago I was so depressed from what this illness did to me, but things have made a great turn around.
Sometimes you have to just have fun with it. I have a brother who has severe diabetes and we joke around alot. He tells me he is going to have a nice big solid poop, while I tell him I am going to go eat a big box of sugary donuts, just because I can. Sometimes you just have to have fun with it and laugh a little to stay focused. :)