Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mel at Home

I'm betting that the title of this post led you to believe it would consist of a bunch of different photos of me lying on the couch, watching endless hours of Netflix. Wrong! Operation Do-It-Yourself Foot Spa was put to the test this past weekend and I have great news. I did NOT waste $3 on mouthwash (fun fact: if you floss, you do not need to use mouthwash). 

My mom had told me about this little concoction while I was vacationing in l'hopital last week so I thought I would give it a try.

1/4 cup mouth wash
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 cup warm water

Soak feet for 15 minutes and dry off with a towel before scraping with your handy-dandy pumice stone.

I was skeptical because I LOVE my diamond foot file and feel like it does a great job keeping my footsies summer-smooth, but I'm always looking to improve (in many, many ways....). I definitely think this was worth a go and will incorporate it into my weekly grooming routine. 

Give it a try and let me know if you got great results!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Product Review: Lululemon Noir Short

Guuuuys....I have a new love. I have been looking for the perfect pair of sporty black shorts for a couple of summers now. I mainly want some to play softball in as my standard Sauconys are wearing thin. Booty shorts aren't an option (not just for me, for any girl playing softball, really) and I don't want to wear leggings in the summer heat.

Enter Lululemon's Noir Short. It sounds like these were designed as a stylish "to and from" option, but they are breathable and the right length. I have had them on most days since purchasing them....I suppose I should get them in blue too, right?

I love the high-rise, the drawstring AND the fact that the front pockets lay flat. I predict that, by the end of the summer, C-Mah will have to have a "noir short intervention" with me.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekend Round-Up

I'm back, baby! Well, back in the sense that I've put make-up on and blow-dried my hair in the past 48 hours. I even sipped on some delicious vino! Starting to feel a bit more human again....thanks for all your messages and comments on my last post. I love hearing "successful" Crohn's management stories and I am feeling super-positive now that I'm back into a somewhat normal routine.

Not surprising, I opted for a low-key weekend which included the purchase of new shorts (check back tomorrow for my review!), selecting delicious pieces of salmon for meals, getting addicted to the above greek yogurt, catching up with my visiting auntie and uncle, planting butter lettuce and FINALLY finishing the refinish of my beloved footstool. Using this hand-sander seriously makes me drunk with power (I don't think it was because I was sipping on wine while operating it).


I hope everyone had a relaxing and fun weekend too!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Diagnosis Crohn's Disease

Last Wednesday, I obviously took the afternoon off to watch the Argentina vs. Netherlands game. I assumed my usual soccer-watching position at the St. Regis, despite complaining to my co-worker that I was feeling "off". I actually had to force down my glass of vino and some soup before leaving to go home and crawling into bed around 5 pm. Truth be told, I hadn't been feeling well for the past five weeks, but I figured the discomfort in my stomach was because I hadn't eaten enough veggies that week or something along those lines. I spent most of the evening reading about appendicitis and gallstones and I set a reminder to stop into my doctor's office on the way to work the next morning. 

That night, I was in and out of sleep with a throbbing pain in my side. It wasn't escalating, but it was uncomfortable and I knew I had to get it checked out. I woke up around 6 am and called my mom (obvz), who immediately said she's driving in to bring me into emergency. She knew I hadn't been feeling well on and off for the past month and was starting to get concerned. I was feeling so terrible that I didn't protest.

The ER

Is it possible to have a fantastic experience in the ER? It was pretty dead when I arrived around 7 am and I was put into my own room. A short time later, a doctor ordered an ultra-sound, where they couldn't find my appendix, it was so inflamed in the area. That led to doctors presuming a) my appendix had burst or b) it's still in tact and something else was going on. I headed in for a CT (this post would have been better with pics, amiright?) and doctors confirmed that my bowel and intestine were REALLY inflamed. Then the General Surgeons and GI doctors started visiting my little room in the ER. 

By 4 pm, a doctor had told me that I should expect to stay in the hospital for a few days (whaaaa???) and that I would need to have a colonoscopy so they could determine why it was so inflamed. Crohn's was mentioned.

Room with a View
Let's take a moment to appreciate this spectacular view. I used it to lure my friends and family to come visit. I mean, if I'm going to spend 8 days in the hospital, I'd better find SOME positives!

The Colonoscopy

I was told Sunday morning that my colonoscopy would be Monday. My insides were still too inflamed to do it any earlier. If you've ever had this procedure done, you know that you have to drink about four litres of a solution that started off being "okay", but ended with me wanting to die. To add fuel, I had been on a clear fluid diet all day. I WAS allowed juice and Starbucks iced tea lemonades, all of which saved me. In case you haven't put 2 + 2 together, all of this was to ensure that I was totally "cleaned out" for the colonoscopy. 

Monday morning, I went down around 11 for the procedure. If you are staying in the hospital, you are brought down to the procedure area on a stretcher, wait fifteen minutes or so, then wheeled into the actual procedure room where the doctor explains a few things, gives you a light sedative, fills your insides up with gas and begins threading the scope through your intestines. I felt discomfort as it rubbed my intestines, so I was given a bit more of the anesthetic which left me pain-free and watching the entire procedure on the big screen. It was actually kind of interesting!

I could hear snippets of the doctors confirming I have Crohn's Disease and telling me they were taking a biopsy of the area, but I was in a pretty big fog by the end of it all. Once I got back to my room, I was so uncomfortable from the gas pain, nausea and major headache I'd had all morning that I was crawling around on my bed while my mom and favourite nurse, Julie, tried to settle me down. I puked a few times, lay down in pain, puked more, tried to talk to JG, who was so great to come visit before flying back to the Island, puked in her presence, lay down in pain, took some Tylenol, puked that up, repeat until about 10 pm once I stopped puking for good. 

I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed and eager to start reading up on Crohn's. What a difference eight hours makes!

I stand corrected

When the GI doctors first speculated Crohn's last week, I immediately felt guilty for ever eating any kind of junk food at any time throughout my life. I'm generally a decent eater, but I DO have weaknesses (get over here, you sexy basket of French fries, you) and I assumed THAT'S what caused the disease.

My doctors and everything I've read about it have reassured me that it's a genetic and an environmental disease. There are some foods that I might want to stay away from if I ever feel a flare-up approaching, but I mustn't feel guilty for having this. Basically, if I start feeling the same discomfort I've felt the past five weeks, I should avoid a high-fibre diet to try and keep the inflammation to a minimum and (hopefully) avoid this severe of a flare-up.

What I learned About Myself

1. I don't ask enough questions. Most of the questions I asked my doctors were questions friends and family asked ME, making me think, oh, I should really find that out
2. I HATE being a bother. In the hospital, I was pretty functional and could do things on my own (hell, I even used my teeth-whitening kit every night), but there are some things patients are not allowed to do or CAN'T do (putting an IV in is hard!) and I always hesitated to call a nurse. Sometimes I would stand at my doorway and peer out, hoping to make eye contact with one...picture a creepy girl with messy hair in a hospital gown staring at you.

Going Forward

There is no cure for Crohn's, so saying "feel better" is probably more suitable than "get better". I will be on a strong steroid for the rest of the summer and then continue on with an anti-inflammatory (Imuran) going forward. I will track what I eat and how I feel after as well as what my pain level is daily. A possible side effect of coming off the steroid at the end of the summer is paranoia so now I'm paranoid about being paranoid. BUT this will hopefully reduce inflammation and get me into remission. I also have to have regular blood work done as the Imuran can cause damage to some organs.

There's an 80-100% chance that I'll have another flare-up, but there's no telling when or how often. As C put it, let's hope it's not for another 35 years!

So Thankful

I am overwhelmed by the amount of love and support I've received from everyone. To all my friends and family who stopped by, sent me texts, Facebook and Twitter messages, sent me "newsy emails" to keep me entertained, who called me when I was bored, gave me a pedicure....THANK-YOU. I love you all and cannot wait to see you/talk to you again when I'm in a more upbeat setting. Hospitals just aren't quite as fun as a patio on the water.

I absolutely cannot forget the wonderful nurses who took such good care of me, chatted with me, answered my questions and offered me earplugs at night. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how valuable our healthcare system is until I actually had to USE it and I have new-found appreciation for everything nurses, doctors and hospital staff  do.

Now it's time to move on and focus on things like pain management and purchasing silly shower caps to help cope with non-hair washing days!

Thursday, July 10, 2014


There will be no new posts for a few days. What I thought was appendicitis isn't and the doctors would like to keep me for some tests. I am already bored out of my mind so keep me entertained with your respective blogs and twitter feeds. Hopefully there will be some major celebrity gossip for me to latch on to soon. I will be accepting all visitors (no crazies, please) and would love to have my hair washed. My sis-in-law told me her hospital experience was great, so I have high expectations. 

When does the mani/pedi person come by my room?