It’s three a.m. I must be lonely
When she says baby
Well I can’t help but be scared of it all sometimes
And the rain’s gonna wash away I believe it
One simply does not wake up at 3:00am to decide to write in their silly blog and not include a Matchbox 20 lyric (or Matchbox Twenty, depending on your generation). Thems the unspoken rules; I don’t make them up, I just stick to ’em.
Good Sunday, friends. It’s been quiet over here for a few weeks…since October 28, to be exact. How time flies when you’re trying to avoid the crushing weight of existence, and have become so forgetful you are seriously starting to question a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimers.
Since it has been a while, there’s much to speak of, but since it’s also me, none of it will be earth-shatteringly new, but rather a tedious recap of events because that is, as the kids say, how I roll.
In an effort to maintain your attention and captivate my audience (hi guys!), I’ll start from most recent and travel backwards. Here we go now!
As I’m sure you’ve all heard that the new Disney+ streaming app released recently and if you’re a Gen X to late Millennial, your world-weary heart beat for joy for a bit at the news, then it got all sad again when you remembered that you’ll never be able to watch D+ from a home you bought with your hard-earned money because those goddamn boomers fucked up the housing market back in the 80s.
I was wary of Disney+, and from here on out, I’ll refer to it simply as “DP,” which will make me giggle every time I type it. Wary? Why wary? Well, I’ll tell you why I was wary. I was wary of it because I thought it was going to be all the Disney Channel shit like Hannah Montana or that show with the twin boys living in a hotel, but I was wrong! And pleasantly so! Silly me forgot that Disney had acquired the Marvel Universe of movies as well as Star Wars and National Geographic! Sacre bleu! Plus, there are some classic damn movies on this bitch and I let out a squeal of delight when I saw that “Return to Oz” was available. Y’all RoO is great…at least to me it is. Those of you familiar with my shoddy record of movies are most likely instantly dubious of my claim, and rightly so, but it’s still good. And tiny Faruza Balk before she got all into witchcraft!
I wasn’t feeling the greatest as the day wore on yesterday, and had been invited to hang out with several friends last night, but I ended up going to bed extremely early and unfortunately missed out. I wanted to go, truly. I was looking forward to it for a few days, which is a rare thing for me, so when I started to feel like crap early in the afternoon and had taken two naps during the day, I knew that I wasn’t going to win and had to let the ol’ body dictate the rest of the day, so at about 5:30pm, I trudged upstairs, laid down in bed, fired up my trusty iPad, and decided to watch (“watch” aka start the movie to only fall asleep within five minutes) the Pixar movie “Inside Out.”
Dudes. I stayed awake during the whole thing!! Hey now! Partly because I have never seen Inside Out before, and also partly because I was openly and unabashedly weeping at several parts of it. I should have know that was going to happen as most Pixar films get to me like they just killed my entire family in front of me, but my god. I definitely was not emotionally prepared for this movie, even though I had an inkling of the plot.
What’s it about, you ask if you’ve deemed yourself too cool for school? Well. Allow me.
It follows a girl named Riley from the day she was born until about 11 years old. She has five emotions living in “main headquarters,” and they are Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear. Joy is the dominant emotion but because Pixar had to make the plot interesting and throw conflict in there, Riley and her parents end up moving from Minnesota to San Fransisco and that’s when things go AWRY. Sadness starts touching core memories and turning them into sad, blue ones instead of their usual glowing yellow, and then Joy and Sadness get sucked up out of headquarters in an effort to save further memories from turning sad…yeah. I’m doing a shit job of describing this. Sorry. The first part that got me was when they showed Riley’s parents and their own emotions inside their heads and which emotion is their dominant one: Mom’s was sadness, and Dad’s was anger and come on now. That fucking gutted me. Then there’s a scene where Riley’s old imaginary friend gets found and is trying to help and spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it, but the imaginary friend ends up sacrificing himself to stay in the memory dump so Joy can get back to headquarters and I just motherfucking LOST IT. Not just a few tears crying, but full-on weeping. Motherfucking Pixar, man. At least Inside Out had the decency to save the real gut-ripping for late in the film, whereas Up cut your dick off within five minutes, so that’s cool and considerate of them. Fucking Pixar. So that was my Saturday night.
As I mentioned, I was not feeling great yesterday, and actually haven’t been for the last two weeks, so shout-out to Crohn’s for that. Let me tell you all about it! Yay!
My theory is that being off Humira, the medication that was kind of working-ish but not really is behind this. A year ago when I was misdiagnosed by the first gastro I went to with “ibuprofen-induced ulcers and not at all Crohn’s because I got my degree from Fisher-Price University,” I was having troubles with some food, so I decided to try the low FODMAP diet to weed out possible culprits. It worked for a few months until it didn’t and that’s what prompted me to seek out a new gastro doctor in Omaha, the delightful Dr. Eichele. When I started Humira, my food issues somewhat resolved and I was eating fairly normally. I’m sure the devil’s medication of prednisone helped that, as well, but we all know how I feel about prednisone. Stopping both medications has brought back some food symptoms again and I’m displeased. Stelara is not the same type of immunosuppressant as Humira, as Humira was a tumor necrosis factor blocking agent, while Stelara blocks two specific proteins. I dunno, man, that’s some science-y shit right there. Anyway, my intolerances to some fruits and vegetables is back, and boy howdy, is it ever.
Two weeks ago, I ate some grapes for a morning snack. Grapes used to be cool with me, they were FODMAP-friendly, but not so much fructose-wise. I ended up leaving work early that day because my belly got so goddamned bloated, that by the time I made it home, I was in serious fear of having to cut my scrub pants off of my person because the waistband was so tight, I could barely move. Fun times, great times. Ever since then, my food options have been severely limited, and I’ve been living off oatmeal, yogurt, natural peanut butter because that shit is literally just ground-up peanuts and salt as opposed to the normal stuff which often has a sweetener of some kind in it. Pineapple. A very short list of vegetables that must be cooked to oblivion because any raw vegetable causes symptoms. So, in a word, not much. The “plus side” is that I’ve lost ten pounds of the twenty I put on while taking prednisone, so that’s cool. But I’m really fucking sick of oatmeal now, which makes me sad because I actually like oatmeal.
Luckily, I was due to see Dr. Ike this past week and mentioned this to him, so he’s going to set me up to see a dietitian to help me figure out what the fuck I can and cannot eat. I’ve been trying to do this on my own, but it’s proving tricky because foods on a low fructose diet do not mesh with foods on the low FODMAP diet–aka grapes, bananas, most of the vegetables I like, etc…so hopefully they can help me. Please, dear god in heaven, help me. As a former chubbier woman who obviously loved food to be where I’m at now and developing a healthy fear of food lest any of it fucks me up. Do not recommend.
Also discussed with Ike is the need for colonoscopy #3 in the coming weeks. I’m sure my excitement is palpable through your screens. Why does he want to scope my guts out again for the third time in 18 months? One reason is to check out the status of my inflammation post-Humira/current Stelara. Is the inflammation just in the mucosal layer of my colon or is it sinking into the lining? Is there more of it? If so, whaaaaaat the fuck are we going to do about that? The other reason, and this is the reason we actually want to find, is to see if there’s a stricture in my small intestine somewhere.
What the fuck is a stricture as I’m sure if you tried to google it, your phone autocorrected to “structure” and that’s just silly. A stricture is a narrowing of the bowel by either inflammation or adhesions making it difficult for waste products to exit the building. Not to be gross, but if you’ve also googled Crohn’s, you are aware that one of the symptoms is diarrhea. Most of the Crohn’s support groups I was a part of on Facebook always posted about the diarrhea. I, thank fucking Jesus, do not have issues with diarrhea. I don’t even like typing the word diarrhea. No, my trouble is always constipation. What can constipation be caused by? Why, a goddamn stricture, that’s what! I also meet and/or exceed some of the risk factors for developing a stricture–under age 40; history of previous pelvic surgery (hysterectomy, which can cause adhesions); I smoke because I’m bad…so, as Ike said to me Wednesday morning, “this sounds bad, but I hope we find a stricture because it’s a fairly easy fix and would explain a lot of your symptoms being unresolved despite several drug therapies.” Yeah, boy.
However, if there is a stricture, that unfortunately means surgery for this old girl, and that will be a bowel resection where they cut out the narrowed part and reattach it. This is giving me teh anxieties because I’m reminded of my dad’s bowel surgery and how complicated it ended up being for him. With this type of procedure, there is a risk for developing the usual culprits–infection–but also something called an ileus, which means that the newly joined pieces of your bowel don’t “wake up” and prevent your poop from exiting. Pa ended up having a nasogastric tube put in to–swear to god–suck his shit up and out through his nose. Aaaaahhhhh…
I do not enjoy cursing my father after his untimely death over three years ago, but fucking come on, man. Obviously, that’s a worse case scenario, but still.
Alternately, if no stricture is found, I’m slightly fucked still and will be tossed more medications to control symptoms, so obviously, I, too, hope for a stricture. This won’t “cure” my Crohn’s by any means, which seems rude to still have the godforesaken disease despite cutting out diseased bowel. I’m in this for the long haul, baby.
Not to be fatalistic and dramatic, but I can definitely see why people afflicted with chronic diseases/illnesses end up taking their own lives eventually because it’s fucked up for sure. Dr. Eichele asked me if I was feeling frustrated yet, and yes, I am, but I have only had this horseshit officially for six months, so I feel like I can’t properly admit to the frustration yet because it’s not like it’s been six years or longer yet. I mean, yeah, I’m annoyed with all the failed therapies and having to have another goddamned colonoscopy six months after my last one, especially when I know there are people out there living their best lives and can get away with one scope every 5-10 years, but whatever, man. I am frustrated, but I think I would be even more so had I stuck with the first GI doctor who brushed this off as opposed to having a GI who is trying his damnedest to figure out what’s going on and help me. Ike is good people.
Enough Crohn’s talk! Let me discuss the Idaho thing for a few minutes. Okay!
At this point in time, I’m declining leaving and will stick around Nebraska for the time being. I’m sure that is disappointing to hear for some of you, but since I am a certified and professional disappointment, it’s cool.
What gives? Well, a lot of things. I have been fretting and overly stressing out about this decision for months and to me, that meant I wasn’t as ready and willing to leave as I wanted myself to be. I think the biggest thing was that I was dragging my feet so hard about this that I realized if I truly wanted to leave, the decision would have been a no-brainer and I’d have packed up months ago and boogied out of here. That’s not to say that I hadn’t tried to convince myself to leave, and had actually taken some steps to leave, such as applied for a few jobs in Idaho already and actually had a phone interview with one prospective employer, but ultimately, I choose to stay.
I have a tendency to uh…make rash decisions and go from zero to sixty real fucking quick in regards to some things, and I feel Idaho is one of these things. Things aren’t great here in Nebraska, but most of those things are my own doing and I can take the effort to correct some of them. I’ve been actively looking at smaller/less expensive places to live, for example, a task that very well might do me in because fuck the housing market in this goddamn town. I don’t feel I’m being overly picky or have incredibly high standards in regards to where I want to live, either, but there are places I will not go either for location in town or lack of certain amenities. For example, I, a single woman, probably should not live in the more sketchy areas of town by myself. That’s not being elitist, it’s being common sensical. It’s also proving difficult to find apartments with washer and dryers included in the units, which I also don’t feel is a wild desire, and when I do find places with w/d in them, the rent is either the same as I pay already or dumbfoundingly higher.
For instance, I looked at a place recently that was a 1 bedroom loft, which I actually liked a lot because it would accommodate most of my current belongings. It didn’t have a w/d, but the laundry room was right next to it. Okay, whatever, it’s fine. But by the time you factor in the money spent to wash your clothes either there or at a laundry mat with higher capacity machines to make quick work out of it, it’s kind of silly. They also offered a garage for a stupid fee a month, and again, not being elitist here, but having a garage would be great for extra storage and to park Frigg in during inclement weather. Again, factor that in to the rent, along with money spent on laundry, it would have been the same amount I’m paying now for a 3 bedroom townhouse with washer and dryer and garage. Why pay the same amount for far less? It’s ridiculous. Rent here is ridiculous.
For kicks and giggles, I googled the very first apartment we lived in when we moved to Lincoln 17 years ago (!!) and for a shitty one bedroom garden level apartment just two short blocks away from Ghetto Russ’s Market, we paid $350/month for it. Now? This sumbitch is $700/month. Dudes. Holy shit. But please tell me to cut back on some frivolous expenses in order to pay for the absurd inflation of goods and services despite the fact my wage will not increase to accommodate the increasing cost of living. Fuck off with that noise.
I’m trying to find a part-time job now, but trying to find one online so I can work from home as opposed to working retail again. There are a lot of these types of job, actually, which is cool. Plus, this option is ideal for me when I am stuck at home dealing with a flare, where having a part-time retail gig at say Target where I’d have to drag my sorry ass in would not be cool. If I can’t make it in to my real job, what the fuck makes you think I’d be able to do it for a side job? So. I had applied for one such remote job recently, made it through the screening process, and had to take an exam yesterday about the job (website rater), but I guess I failed it. Ha! Goddamn it. Oh well. I’ll figure something else out. I think. I hope. Wish me luck.
Switching gears yet again! I’ve been on a long hiatus from school and getting ready to take that on again, but obviously very nervous about that because friends, I am stupid. Now, hear me out on this. Having inflammatory bowel disease doesn’t mean the inflammation is isolated to just by colon. Oh, no, no, no. Inflammation is systemic, which means my brain is part of the mix. You might have heard me speak poorly of brain fog before and that is a direct result of IBD, as well. With the benefit of hindsight, I can actually somewhat confidently tell you all that my IBD was probably already making an appearance back in 2017 when I started taking classes again. I’ll elaborate.
Being the somewhat erratic responsible woman I am, I do annual visits to my doctor. After Dad died, I had such a visit in 2017 and had mentioned to my nurse practitioner that I would like a screening colonoscopy just because I was anxious about the high risk factor I presented. Insurance being the cunt it is wouldn’t approve it unless I was having symptoms, which I was starting to back then, but not enough to warrant the exam. Okie dokie. July 2017 is when I started taking classes again and I was having a fuck of a time concentrating, which annoyed the shit out of me due to the fact when I had been in school previously, it was a breeze. I was consistently on the honor roll, maintained a 3.9GPA the entire time, all that academic shit. 2017 proved I had gotten dumber. Sure, it could have just been that I hadn’t been in academia for ten years, my grey matter was rusty, then PIC had to up and move away in 2018 and I know that directly impacted my studies in its own way, but still. I could read and read and read my textbooks but nothing stuck. I think it was Crohn’s making its first appearance. And PIC. I’m not too naive to admit that his leaving also didn’t have a tremendous impact on me because it sure as fuck did, and I’m not blaming him at all for that because that’s just rude, but like I said, I also think CD was at play there, as well, I just didn’t know it yet.
But for real, I’m so dumb now. My short-term memory is trash, I lack focus, driving can be a real nightmare because I find myself zoning out which we can all agree that is not cool when operating a motor vehicle, all that jazz. I’m really going to have to buckle down and force myself to concentrate when classes start back up because I know it is going to be a shitshow. Hooray! And yes, I also know depression and anxiety play a role in this, as well. Double hooray!
And while I mentioned PIC, I had a dream about him yesterday during one of my two naps, and oddly enough, my dad was in it, as well, which threw me for a goddamn loop because I haven’t dreamt about my dad in like, two years. I don’t like to cotton to your subconscious being as influential as some people say it is, especially when it comes to dreams and shit, but gosh dang. Dreaming about PIC isn’t unusual, as he crops up every few months, but the Dad thing in conjunction with PIC was like….whaaaaaaat. It was a nice dream. Apparently, we were visiting PD at his house in Alaska? The content wasn’t noteworthy, just the players. I woke up both perplexed by and also oddly comforted by it. That was also the first dream I have remembered upon waking in many months. I’ve noticed for a while that when I wake up, I have zero recollection of any dreams had, which is somewhat unusual for me, so to have this one stick around and still be there in fragments today is nice. Also, if this is a clue that Dan had a hidden house in Alaska and didn’t tell any of us about it, boy howdy, will I be cheesed off. What else are you hiding from me, old man?!
Alright, that’s about enough of this nonsense. As usual, I thank you all for your support and love lately. It’s been wild, for sure, but knowing I have a pretty good team backing me up has made it bearable.
And for real, if you don’t have Disney+ and want to check it out, holler at me and I’ll totally let you use my login. Star Wars! Marvel movies! Obscure ’80s gems from our childhoods! But honestly, I just want you to watch “Inside Out” and bawl like a stuck pig like I did so I don’t feel so weird for losing it as hard as I did. Seriously, I was not prepared for that at all. Like, I cried so hard my fake eyelashes fell off. That’s impressive. And yes, I have taken to wearing fake eyelashes because I want to feel fancy, and what’s fancier than thick, luxurious eyelashes? Not much.
As usual and always, thank you so much for reading. All my love to you.