Oh, right, I’m supposed to update this thing sometimes…

I’ve been rather quiet on this blog lately. I’m not quite sure why, although I think it’s got a lot do with being tired and a bit overwhelmed and therefore not having things to post that aren’t medical and health related.

My trip to England was lovely and the convention was fantastic. It returned me refreshed, renewed and enthusastic for all the things that I’d been not doing or thinking about while I was sick. I read some excellent, amazing books (I’m on a good book roll right now) and was feeling thoroughly ready to tackle the world again.

Then I got the news from my specialist that my colitis was not in remission and seemed to be prednisone dependent. As my symptoms (the bleeding most noticably) had returned when we tried to taper down the pred, I had to concurr. This meant that our plan to taper off the pred and introduce a nice, cheap, easy-on-the body maintenance drug was not going to work. Yup, pretty devestating news. I’m now waiting to hear whether my insurance company will fund an insanely expensive biological immuno-suppressant called Humira, which has the advantage of kicking in fairly quickly, or whether I’ll have to use the cheaper, non-biological drug azathioprine, which takes several months to reach theraputic levels. In the meantime, we’ve bumped the prednisone back to high levels and I’m dealing with the side-effects (acne, gastric reflux, yay) while also dealing with the anemia from my heamoglobin dropping due to bleeding.

Mostly, this has involved insane levels of exhaustion and me turning into a crazy person obssessed with everything I eat in case that’s the thing that’s killing me and OMG what am I doing to myself?

My specialist keeps reassuring me that this is nothing I’ve done to myself, this is not my fault, and I could be not eating anything at all and I’d still have active colitis. My disease is severe and extensive, but it’s not something that I can fix by diet or by not eating or by turning into a crazy obssessed lunatic.

He may not have come out and said the bit about being a crazy obssessed lunatic. He’s far too nice for that. But it was certainly something he would have said if he wasn’t so lovely.

On Friday, I had a slight existential crisis in the middle of the grocery store. I was exhausted, to the state of being a burnt out zombie, and the exhaustion had been doing funny things to my brain all day. I was depressed, feeling rather desparing and defeated, and it all seemed to fall on me in the middle of the grocery store.

You see, I had this plan to make a Sachertorte at the weekend. For that, I needed ground almonds. It didn’t occur to me until I got to the store and stared at the baking shelves that maybe I’d need to grind my own damn almonds. As I stared at the shelves that had no ground almonds whatsoever, I had a very silent tantrum and viciously crossed all the cake ingredients off my list including the eggs that I needed.

After all, should I really be making and eating cakes when I’m sick? Is that contributing to the being sick thing?

Yup, I had a silent melt-down over the unfairness of it all in the baking aisle of Sobey’s.

I then proceeded on with my list and finally found myself in the freezer aisle, because I had ‘pizza treat’ on my list. This was where I had my second “little moment” and nearly wanted to cry because I couldn’t buy a pizza because I was just too damned tired to deal with left-overs.

That’s right, my world collapsed because I was too tired to deal with the concept of left-overs from a frozen pizza that I hadn’t even bought yet.

Then I spent five minutes just standing in the middle of that aisle, feeling rather unsure of what the hell I was doing or even who I was and generally just feeling like everything was pointless and fruitless and other “less”s. It was all rather sad and silly.

Finally, I pulled myself together, abandoned all thoughts of pizza, paid for the groceries I had (er, not much after removing the cake ingredients, the pizza, and the cleaning products they didn’t have from my list) and went home. For about ten seconds, I thought about ordering pizza in and that overwhelmed feeling came over me again at the thought of all the left-overs.

It seems so silly now, but the thought of dealing with left-overs was pretty much killing me. My brain was obviously fried.

So instead, I put away the groceries, dealt with the laundry, fed the cats and went to bed at 6pm on a Friday evening.

I woke up around midnight, ate a bowl of cereal, and went back to bed until 8am the next morning.

Thankfully, all that sleep did the trick and I woke up feeling happier, stronger, and much more able to deal with everything.

And then I said “Fuck you” to the ulcerative colitis and went out to buy groceries at my boutique grocery store including eggs so that I could make a Mexican chocolate torte.

That is how I had a huge, silent, existential melt-down in the middle of the grocery store.

The end result is that I decided that worrying about whether my eating habits are contributing to the UC is just making me crazy. So I need to stop doing that. My solution? A weekend of cooking and baking!

On Saturday, I made shepherd’s pies. One was for my dinner (om nom nom) and three went into the freezer for easy meals on busy nights.

I also baked a Mexican chocolate torte, which includes pecan nuts and cayenne pepper and thus is something I should probably avoid. Pah! Before my diagnosis, there were no specific trigger foods that made me feel worse/better. Why am I therefore limiting my diet so much now that I have a diagnosis? Particularly when my specialist said that there’s nothing dietarily that will be affecting me? I think that I’ve spent too much time on IBD/UC forums, trying to figure this thing out, and everyone on those forums is diet and food elimination crazy.

So, Mexican chocolate torte. And because the torte is at its best a day or two after baking, I bought myself a little lime pie in chocolate pastry crust thingy at the grocery store for my Saturday dessert. Oh, so good.

For Sunday, I had spotted some new Yukon gold potatoes at the store and some salmon. Well, the new potatoes were just aching to be roasted with garlic, rosemary and olive oil and the salmon was crying out for dill and lemon so that was my Sunday supper, with some lovely steamed veg. For the first time in my memory, the potatoes were the best part of the meal. They were so incredibly amazing that I’m determined to repeat them next weekend. Wow, so good.

And then, with my evening cup of tea, I got to finally sample my torte. Om nom nom.

So, new page. New leaf. No more crazy-making with the UC. I am eating whatever the hell I want (including fibre!) and enjoying it because all I’ve done over the last few weeks is make myself insane.

Best bit? I’ve been symptom free, including no bleeding, since Friday. So all the things that I ate over the weekend that should have hurt me…didn’t. Take that, UC!

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