Saturday, April 26, 2014

A New Grosbeak & My Colon

Yep, a post about my colon!
Hooray for colons!

I had a second colonoscopy on Thursday, and it went great.  Of course, they're never FUN, but the team at my endoscopy center is amazing and they make it feel easy and enjoyable.  They're very professional, but relaxed at the same time. 
my colon around the turn of the liver (hepatic flexure) last May

my colon's hepatic flexure on Thursday

You can see that the inflammation (the part that looks like a rash) covers more surface area and is a little more angry-looking.  So the news is that the inflammation is worse, but still mild.  That doesn't mean that symptoms don't still affect my daily life, but it does mean that I'm not likely to need to have any pieces of my intestines removed - yay!  A bunch of biopsies were taken, and the results should be back next week.  Last year, the results of the biopsies were extra surprising; they showed that I have Crohn's activity ("archetectural changes" meaning that individual cell structures were damaged) affecting every area of my colon that was tested, even though it's not visible to the naked eye.

I have been still using the following supplements (links are to the scientific studies that support use of these substances for Crohn's patients):

plus vitamin/mineral supplementation, probiotics, and rhodolia rosea (for mood stablization and recovery from physical stress/illness)

Greg & I are praying and thinking about what the next steps should be, if any.  It seems as if maybe something should change, but I'm still not excited about immuno-suppressant drugs or steroids, and those are the typical treatments of choice.  I have a follow-up appointment with my Gastroenterologist in a month or so to discuss options.

I'm tentatively planning to send in my documentation for the Crohn's study that's happening in Canada.  I applied and talked to their intake person about the next steps in the process, but I didn't go any farther because I didn't want them to tell me that I'm not sick enough to be of use to them (every once in a while, in spite of the fact that my symptoms are pretty mild outside of fatigue, Crohn's feels like a life-changing thing to me, and I don't particularly want it minimized).  But my Mom helped me realize that it's just like a survey - if I don't fit the target demographic, that's okay; I'll let them make that decision rather than making it for them.  

In other news, we had a new bird at the birdfeeder today!  
A Black-Headed Grosbeak:

Here's a close-up (sorry about the graininess - it's super ZOOM!)

Isn't he pretty?  I love his beautiful orange undercarriage!

Here is a dose of adorable kitten mews for you today.
I was standing by the drawer that holds kitty wet food, and Stephen and Allistair know what's in that drawer!  They gave me lots of cuteness!

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

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