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I am not well. Not sure what is going on but I haven’t been well now for a couple of months. Just seems to be one thing after another. First I got a fever, then stomach aches. Then it actually all went away for a bit which was cool. Now it has come back worse. Stomach aches, a cold and my hip has seized up putting me back on crutches. And, oh my God, I am so very tired.

This post isn’t really about anything. I’m just being self indulgent and ranting a bit. It is quite difficult to cope with something like this when you have spent so much time and energy trying to get yourself better and it all seems in vain. BUT…there is a but…I did find a silver lining. I had to go on a course of steroids but I realised that this is the first course I have had to go on in about 10 months. That is not bad. Once I am over this I am going to see if I can push that to a year.

When you take day to day by the little wins, the big knock backs take a huge toll. It’s always good to take a step back and see how far you have come. I haven’t really lost any weight. I am still stronger than I have ever been and with my current lifestyle I feel I can get over this hiccup quicker. I am trying not to be too hard on myself.

That it I guess. Any other crohnies out there going through something similar than please email me. In the meantime here is a dope French slam poet called Grand Corps Malade. Watch the video and play it loud.

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‘I keep six honest service men

(they taught me all I knew);

Their names are What and Why and When

And How and Where and Who.’

Rudyard Kipling

What is he on about this time. I can hear your thoughts from here. Does that make me an X-Man? Probably. The above was a poem told to me by my martial arts instructor. He told me to always question everything. This is how we learn. This is how we evolve and adapt.

I wish I questioned everything more growing up especially with my diseases. Why am I taking this drug? Why are you taking my intestines? Where the hell do you think you are putting that god damn camera? I was told by the NHS dietitian that food did not affect Crohn’s. I will say that one more time for dramatic effect. FOOD DID NOT AFFECT CROHN’S (I am not knocking the NHS by the way, it is a fantastic institution). I was told to drink calorie shakes and take steroids. I had to sit for four hours in a hospital room with a needle in my arm for my Infliximab infusions. And this was all when I was still in my mid teens.

I’m not complaining. I’m just trying to validate my point. If I had questioned everything before hand, maybe I wouldn’t have had all of that. Maybe I wouldn’t have been operated on at all. Hindsight is a cruel mistress. But I was in denial about what a chronic disorder meant and just did as I was told because they know best right. Wrong. Its your body and only you know how you feel. Prime example. I was then on methotrexate weekly. Every week a few days after I took it, I was majorly depressed. Took me a year to make the link.

This post is mainly for those recently diagnosed with Crohn’s. Question everything and listen to yourself. What works for some people with Crohn’s may not work for you but you know best.

No clue why I called my blog post ‘Tea for every occasion’. I like occasions and I like tea. I really like tea. All teas. And biscuits. Recently I have been quite ill. I think I got a stomach bug or something but it took it out of me. Obviously it was made worse with the Crohn’s and since Humera is an immuno-suppressant, it took me like a month to get over it and recover. But, one thing that I found helped was fennel tea, which I have a hilarious anecdote about. These are the kind of anecdotes that make me the life and soul of every occasion.

So we were having a big family dinner with Cousins and Aunties and jokes and jokes. While everyone was enjoying their wine I was on the teas and obviously everyone was curious why I was drinking tea with bits in it. So I explained “You see, I think I have a stomach bug at the moment and I find fennel tea really helps calm it down”. There were gasps of wonder because instead of using a fennel tea bag, I just used fennel seeds in hot water. Super tasty with something to chew on at the end. Plus we didn’t have any of the tea bags. No one round the table had ever considered such nonsense but they saw the sense of what I was saying and I would like to think I changed some lives that evening.

Moral of this awesome story and my heroic tea is that when you’re unwell, sometimes the simplest solutions are right in the cupboard behind the sugar. Which is not only an analogy for just looking past the sugar and eating healthily (is an analogy still awesome if you have to explain it) but in my case, physically true.

Anyway, I am keeping this post short. Like when you haven’t been to the gym in ages and need to take it slow. Its like that. I shall leave you with some boom bap.

 

Hello. How’s it all going? Glad to hear it (if its good). Have some chocolate (if its shitty). Anyway this post really is about me. I am not sure if this applies to any other Crohn’s suffers (if so please get in touch). And if there are any other Crohn’s suffers reading this, quick question. Do you guys talk to your disease as if it was a person? I do. This has nothing to do with what I want to talk about. Just curious.

So the blame game. I started thinking about this the other day. I have an almost crippling fear of progress. Anything that is unknown. It could be trying something new. It could be talking to someone about something important. All I know is that I don’t like it. A superficial smile and the illusion of progress will do me just fine. But it is not good. It is not healthy and it is detrimental to the disease.

Can I blame Crohn’s? Yes and no. The disease has not stopped me from doing anything that I have wanted to do in the grand scheme of things. Yes it has been a burden, and the signs of that are obvious. But it is also something more dangerous than a burden, it is a crutch. It is so easy to blame Crohn’s. And the more you blame it the easier it becomes. The fear of doing something new turns into apathy with the knowledge that I have an excuse. The comfort of this apathy turns into the fear of the unknown.

I have honestly just realised that I have this fear. It has affected so many parts of my personal and professional life that I feel that I have been stuck in limbo or purgatory for years now. But I am hoping this realisation brings a change. I am already trying to experience new things (like climbing and martial arts) and they have helped boost my confidence more that I could possibly explain. So now it is time to take this into my professional life. And more into my personal life too.

This post isn’t really meant for anyone but me. Writing helps make sense of my thoughts and subconscious. Plus autocorrect helps me sounding more smarter. Anyway lets pick a tune.

I know I only wrote a little while ago but here is just a quick thought.

What is Crohn’s, or any disease? Actually what is any knock in life? It is baptism under fire. Bruce Lee said ‘Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one’. And we do. I trained for 3 hours yesterday. I couldn’t walk 6 months ago.

I have had to make sacrifices. Change my lifestyle. Accept what I can’t have and enjoy what I do. I have been unable to move because moving would make my skin physically crack and start bleeding. I am nowhere near out of the woods. But this is my baptism.

If life was formulaic and easy, there would be no need for thought. It would just be unnecessary because the formula would tell you how to live. Struggle makes us dig deep. Without it we are too afraid to dig deep because of the fear of what we might find. Like failure.

But I think we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. We are also weaker that we like to admit. But this baptism under fire forces us to accept these strengths and weaknesses.

That is all I think. Sorry for the brain vomit but it needs to be done from time to time. Now for the tune. Please turn your headphones/speakers up. You will be disappointed you didn’t.

This post title sound like the album name for some rubbish rock group trying to sound deep. Luckily I’m not a rock group and I’m not deep (or rubbish). This will be a very short post about something I have been thinking about a lot recently. That is the positive and negative cycles we go through. Having a chronic illness accentuates these cycles a lot more I think but we are all prone to them. I know I have gone though both on numerous occasions.

The negative cycle being that cycle of depression. You feel sick. To make yourself feel better mentally you eat comfort food. Comfort food is generally unhealthy. You feel unhealthy. You feel worse mentally. OR..You feel bad mentally. To make yourself feel better mentally you eat comfort food. Comfort food is generally unhealthy. You feel unhealthy. You feel worse physically. It takes a huge amount of fortitude to break this cycle because we don’t generally even notice it. This is why people with chronic disorders are so strong because we have to break this cycle. We don’t really have much of a choice.

The other is the positive cycle. You feel healthy. You want to eat healthy. You exercise to feel even better. You feel great mentally. OR…You feel great mentally. You eat healthily. You exercise to feel even better. You feel great physically. This cycle is the direct opposite of the negative cycle in every way. It is so much harder to maintain but the lifestyle is so much more worthwhile. Anyone that has ever had any illness from the common cold upwards knows how hard it is to get back to the gym or eat well after. And again it takes a huge amount of fortitude to get yourself on that upward spiral. But it is possible. Little steps. Little wins.

That is all really. Here is my tune for the post and it is just legendary.

Sup funky monkeys. I know it has been a while but I genuinely have a valid excuse. Been in Thailand for the past month. Yes I can hear your cries of disbelief from here. What was I thinking, right. I mean I have Crohn’s. I should be following a strict regiment of healthy foods and drugs. Lots of freaking drugs. And doctors. Lots of freaking doctors. Well to all you who feared for me, I say thank you. To all of you who didn’t, I say thank you (I appreciate the faith).

My disease has held me back greatly. Maybe not physically but mentally. I have spent many many years being angry, and even to this day I can have irrational bouts of anger that stem from having Crohn’s. It is not so much feeling sorry for myself but just being angry at feeling diseased for want of a better word. Abnormal. Whatever. Being constantly questioned about my health is a constant reminder that I am unwell. Being reminded that I am unwell is frustrating. This is one of the main reasons I find liberty in solitude.

Anyway, Thailand and Crohn’s. Crohn’s is obviously an autoimmune disorder. Probably not that obvious if you don’t have it and I have not mentioned it before but take my word for it, it is. This is down to an over active immune system and can be linked to similar autoimmune disorders such as spondylitis and eczema. It is not fully understood how it is triggered but there are many theories and different theories to treatment/cure. One theory is known as Helminthic Therapy. This is where hookworms and other parasites are introduced to the body. This gives the immune system a target to exercise on rather than attacking the body. This type of treatment and shown various degrees of success but there is a link below to read up a bit more on it.

http://autoimmunetherapies.com/candidate_diseases_for_helminthic_therapy_or_worm_therapy/crohns-disease_helminthic_therapy.html

Anyway what does all this have to do with Thailand? Well I felt like I thrived in Thailand. The pace of life and the amazing people I met on the way made me forget my disease. As they say, out of sight out of mind. And as my Crohn’s can be triggered by the stress of having Crohn’s, I didn’t think about it at all (unless I was taking my Humera). This was awesome. Also the whole Helminthic Therapy thing. I mainly ate street food. Which is some of the best food I have ever eaten, but not necessarily the cleanest. everything is out in the Thai heat and cooked right there on the street.

I never got ill from eating street food and I think it was because of the preparation of it. My immune system actually had something to do. My mind was occupied and my immune system was occupied so it didn’t have time to worry about Crohn’s. I dunno but that is my theory, and I have never been wrong. About anything. Ever. I can’t even type that with a straight face. Anyway one thing I have comeback thinking is that people hear in the UK need something wholesome to occupy their minds from the relentlessness of life here. Not mind numbing because that is not good. Never has been. Having a numb leg sucks so why would you want that for your mind. Not sure what that would be yet but it is an idea.

I am going to finish this is the tune of the holiday. Ever since I was shown this song I have probably listened to it once a day. Cheers Leigh. Temple.

How de do! Figured I might as well write a post, in between watching episodes of Dragon Ball Z, as I haven’t done so in a while. I haven’t really got too much to say to be honest. It was my birthday the other day and I turned 26. Thanks to those who sent me birthday messages, and to those who didn’t, I will remember this when I eventually rule the universe.

It is strange to think how priorities and the understanding of ourselves change as we get older. I know I am only 26 and I not trying to sound like a profound tool, but this is something that I have realized with this last birthday. The time between my 25 and 26 birthday’s flew by so fast that I didn’t think I had changed much, but 365 days is plenty of time for shit to go down. I had an aggressive Crohn’s flare up and a super aggressive spodylitis flare up. I started and left a job. I reached a pretty awesome level of physical fitness (bordering Super Saiyan) and lost it all.

I am back on a good path now working with loads of amazing people to get me to the place I want to be. I have realized, that by having these disorders, I have the capability to be better than I was without them. Because I have to research lots into diet and exercise, I have the capabilities to be stronger than I was before. I can rebuild me. I have the technology. I do not have the $4,000,000 backing but I do the best with what I have.

Obviously I am simplifying everything because putting down what I am thinking would take forever and a crack team of psychoanalysts to decode. Basically what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (which is obviously a load of rubbish but has some weight in this situation). At the same time I know what it is like not wanting to feel ill any more. I have had Crohn’s for nearly 10 years now and apart from the physical damage, the psychological affects are really starting to make themselves apparent.

This is not a battle. This is a war, and I have learned more about fighting it in this past year than I have done previously. I always took it on the chin and remained positive but that can also be detrimental. Just ignoring what is actually going on rather than tackling it. I am not sure if I am talking rubbish or not. Don’t seem to really have any structure in what I am saying.

Would be great to hear from other Crohnies to see what they think and how they are dealing with their disease.

Lets end with a banger.

Recently, I have been spending more time with my arse in the air than on my throne. Get your mind out of the gutter please. It’s not like that. I have decided to take up yoga. Why? Still not sure. It originally seemed to make sense because of my hip. Stretch it. Get it moving again. But there have been some other quite unexpected results. I most definitely feel about 30-40% more heroic.

As anyone with any inflammatory disorder knows, for some inexplicable reason (gremlins), the morning is always the hardest part of the day. Either my hip is stiff or my stomach is dodgy. Now I understand how movement can help with joint pains and aches; and help loosen the muscles (is that the appropriate use of a semi colon). But I have been noticing that after the practice, my stomach feels fine. Not sure what the cause of this is (again…gremlins).

I have been trying to look online (wikipedia) for a link between exercise and pain relief. Most of what I have found shows that there is a link between exercise and joint and muscular pain relief. Which again makes sense. But I was trying to look at the chemical side of exercise. So this is a call to arms for all people studying people (not stalkers). Is there is chemical link between exercise and chronic pain relief. As in, does a chemical get released into the body during exercise that inhibits the pain receptors in the brain.

It’s an interesting idea but maybe I am thinking too much into it. As this only really happens when I do my yoga, there may be something about the yoga practice itself. There are many stories of people loosing there legs and growing them back again with yoga or whatever, and they mostly sound too good to be true (and not enough credit given to the gremlins). But having noticed this difference, I am changing the way I think. It may be the meditative aspect of it that is pushing the pain out of my head, or maybe the practice is helping me flush out the toxins in my body. Anyway, I am feeling great.

I train at a place called the Training Temple (link below) and would highly recommend it (because my word is law).

http://www.trainingtemple.co.uk/

Now while you take a gander at that, have a listen to (and watch) the below video from Driving Lolita. Proper gets you in the mood for training…or raving…or both!

Oh my ulcerated intestines this has been a massive pain in my arse. I am way more surprised than you that I actually finished this. Ok it was a few months late but to be fair I did the first 8 back to back. Then I just ran out of things to write about. So many, many, MANY stupid supplements people take that it is hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. You could honestly bottle goats piss, slap an antioxident sticker on it and make millions. But now I am just hating for no reason so lets crack on.

Acai berry. Does it count as a supplement? Course it does otherwise I would have to think about something else to write about and frankly I don’t have the brain power. So why this berry? Well I want to really use this berry as a cross-sectional representation (if that is a thing) of other super foods. See there are loads of claims about super foods but they are usually unsubstantiated. So I am going to try and give Acai a bullshit free review (not that I was bullshitting about the others but maybe I got sucked into the hype).

Can Acai make you fly? No. Does it cure you from your crippling ugliness? No. Does it make me funnier? If it did, I would be injecting it straight into my eyeballs. Like most super foods, Acai is an antioxident (and most definitely not goats piss). But lets be honest here. Antioxident is just a throw away word to make us sound healthy but what does it actually mean.

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MMM…Antioxidents

 

An antioxident is a food that prevents molecules inside your body from oxidizing (hence the name). Now bare with me while I try and wrap my head around this while I type. When a molecule in our body oxidizes, it forms a free radical. A free radical is a molecule that a single electron that it wishes to bond to another molecule. Now these free radicals are highly reactive and so therefore will bond easily to another molecule altering its state and also creating more free radicals. This chain of events carries on occurring, mutating the molecules within your body and so causing various medical disorders.

If any of that is wrong then please tell me. It has been ages since I have done chemistry. So there Acai is awesome for that. It is also high in fiber and great for cleaning out the gut (hello Crohn’s peopleses). It increases energy levels and promotes healthy digestion which is always a good thing. For all the Crohn’s sufferers, it does help poopage so you probably wouldn’t want to take it if you are having a (Rick) flare up.

One of the biggest pieces of BS about the Acai berry are the claims that it promotes weight loss. Obviously it is super good for you in many other ways and alongside healthy diet and exercise, you will lose weight. But that is because of the healthy diet and exercise. Popping a couple of these on there own won’t do anything. However, popping a couple of these while on a treadmill might.

So that is my final 12 Days of Supplements and I am never doing it again. Having said that, I learnt a lot myself about the supplements I am taking and how they are benefiting me. Just need to keep it up. I shall leave you with this tune.