You Got This

As I write this it’s a sunny 12 degree day but we are experiencing gusting 67 km/hr Chinook winds which make it a little dangerous to be outdoors.  So, I called my younger daughter and we had a nice long talk, I was telling her how going to the gym was so far out of my comfort zone that I had to make it so that it was no longer an issue. I got myself into the gym and walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes, which was too long for my first go but it felt good that I accomplished the task of getting in the door!  She in turn quoted “You go this!” and that stuck with me. I remember thinking, “Yeah, I got this!” I noticed it carried into other parts of my life not just the gym. I feel that I have my life under control, even when things come crashing down around me, even when it seems like something is to hard to accomplish, even when my IBD flares and I cannot accomplish anything in a day, I think to myself “You got this” and it helps muster the courage to make it through or to get the job done, or whatever it is that I need encouragement and a dose of inspiration.

Life is as hard as you make it, when you have control over you; you ultimately have control over everything in your life. When you are living with an autoimmune disease more times than not you feel out of control as your intestines, bowel, colon and your gut have a mind of their own. When you are in a flare it feels like you have no control over your body once so ever. I want to sleep all the time, I’m not hungry but know I should eat, what about the lists of things to get done, the I have to do this and that feeling, but the only energy you can muster up is making something to eat. If you couldn’t operate the way you always have if you couldn’t function at your best and things didn’t get done day in day out, imagine that feeling of failure, despair and incompetence.  Not a good feeling!

I don’t want to go out to eat with friends and family as there is so little I can tolerate eating in restaurants, or heaven forbid nature calls at the most inopportune times which have you in desperate need for a washroom…NOW!!!! So, what do you do you hibernate in your home so you don’t have to deal with this bs, however that is not the answer. IBD doesn’t have to control your life, there are ways to cope and find strength! I found that since I have been healing and am on my way to full remission I am getting my life back. In doing so I use key words and phrases like hope, you got this, and slow and steady, to help balance my day, to keep stress and anxiety away!

Taking control is easy once you have it in your mind that this is the way it’s going to be and claim it for yourself.  Looking for words to help in the healing process is a great way to accomplish this and it’s easy to find the key words you can collect and use as you need them.  Hope is another power word, when you have hope you have a glimpse into the future that everything is going to be okay, and with an incurable disease hope is a very strong emotion to feel! It helps you get passed the unknown and the feeling of despair that doesn’t have to exist. The life you want to live is attainable even when living with an IBD.

The autoimmune warrior in you, if you think about it, is always up front and center to do battle when needed. That warrior spirit is always on your side, it never fails you even if you can’t muster the energy or strength to do something today, it will still be there to push you through when you need it. Instead of fighting against it which is a losing battle, work with it which is much more attainable, as you go you will see how the struggle will become less and less. It has for me!

As I heal l can see the day to day changes, how I am slowly regaining my muscle, my skin is almost back to what it should look like, the iritis is gone, my energy and stamina is increasing with each month and I can see a big improvement in my digestion, inflammation and sleep. Slowing working on eliminating the infection in my gut has been a long process but I feel I have almost won this battle. The natural way to heal is homeopathic medicine and biofeedback, what a life saver it has been for me!

~I want you all to know that whatever you are going through, You Got This! ~Andrea

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Kitchen tour

I just came across the 3 links below and was surprised that I hadn’t seen them before.  Against All Grain Danielle Walker’s Tour My Kitchen:

http://againstallgrain.com/2015/07/09/tour-my-kitchen-cooks-tools-and-gadgets/

http://againstallgrain.com/2015/07/02/tour-my-kitchen-the-decor/

http://againstallgrain.com/2015/08/04/tour-my-kitchen-the-food/

The appliances she uses are needed so that the recipes can be made properly and I plan on purchasing all of them, next on my list are yogurt maker and dehydrator. The thing with all these appliances is that even if they are expensive they will in turn, if used, pay for themselves in time.  I figure to be able to eat good food that I love and that satisfies me I may as well go all out, this is after all the way I will be eating for the rest of my life. I find having cookware and gadgets easily available in my kitchen to make food prep quick and easy, I’m all for it! Organization in the kitchen is essential because most Autoimmune Paleo dishes have many ingredients, steps and processes, so having everything I need on hand in my kitchen is essential to my wellbeing!

 

 

To add to this I have mason jars in all shapes and sizes because they are useful for storage, presentation, serving and so much more, zip-lock containers (which I don’t use often because they are plastic), I prefer glass containers like Heritage Hill jars and Pyrex.  I also love my root vegetable wire baskets from Home Hardware and the storage shelves I use in cupboards and pantry for added space.  I need to find a drawer rack for my spices this seems to be the hardest item to find, I’ve been looking for years.

metal-wire-basket-nickel

 

spices

 

Happy organizing!

~Andrea

Woman of strength

 

Strength & beauty a women has inside and out

On November 13th 2015 was my last day of work as I quit my job to heal. I had bought a travel trailer earlier this year and was living in it to avoid renting; I needed to get beyond that and into something I could buy hopefully with acreage so I could start my own business. I had goals and I wanted to accomplish them in the next year or two! Nothing was or is going to hold me back, not even autoimmune diseases!  So, I set out to heal thinking it would take a couple of months, to my surprise it took over 6 months I’m almost to the point I can work again but I’m not completely healed, but enough so that I can function on a somewhat normal level. 

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November 13 2015; my last day of work. Two weeks before being diagnosed with 2 more autoimmune diseases; CD & UC. I knew there was something worse going on than the anemia and couldn’t make this work any longer!

June 30th 2015 and August 5 2015. My first month living the RV life and loving it!

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The start of winter RV living. Still working and driving 2 hours to and from work.

 

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It’s just me and my sweet cat Lucy! She’s great company. My daughters divided the other animals up between them and of course have accumulated a couple of more since May 2015.

I took a trip up to the mountains and had to take some pictures. It’s amazing being that close to something so magnificent.

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When I saw this my mouth dropped…literally! If only I could have turned I would have. Alaska has been calling me for decades.

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Right after I was done work I started colouring every day until I didn’t feel stressed any more.  This was my first November 15th, 2015 and my last was on January 2nd, 2016

Smitten with my new truck. What an accomplishment for me and on my way…

My Chevy matches my travel trailer, gotta love that! I bought her on August 26th, 2015. Having no idea I was as sick as I was and was going to have to quit my job three months later.

My beautiful new 2016 Chevy Silverado grill, then on my way home from Thanksgiving dinner a partridge flew in front of me and got stuck dead in my grill. The bottom right corner picture is my grill mended, not perfect but looks pretty good!

Woodpecker in the tree beside my bedroom, my Lucy’s insulated cat house built by my younger daughter and her boyfriend, and her dog Grizzly, look at that face! They came for a visit and Grizzly was so happy to see me.

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Most recent picture of me taken in February of this year. I can’t wait to not feel sick, it’s been so long that I don’t remember what that’s like.

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Willow Creek Coulee 2012. Never feeling healthy sucks; all you want is to know what is wrong with you so you can feel normal!

 

Thanks for reading!

~Andrea

July 1 2014 – June 30 2015

I have been suffering with iron deficiency anemia since 2013 my worst bout of it so far but also on and off for the past 18 years. Feeling very desperate at this point and struggling to walk any short distance without being out of breath.  Trying to keep going and propelling forward I make a point of doing something outside as much as possible so that I am moving around. I was so excited when I got a Cannon camera for my birthday from my mom. I love taking pictures and experimenting with the zoom and foreground/background and learning what my camera can do. Below are pictures of sunsets at the last rental my daughters and I lived in together along with other pictures during our time in VG, AB.

The front of the house, the back of the house (with a shot of my finger, I was still getting use to the camera LOL) and the awesome long driveway. I love living on acreage and in the country, it’s where I’m suppose to be!

All of these were taken in the back yard, I would watch the sun set from inside when it was cold through the kitchen window. I set up a spot where I could sit and talk on the phone or write or listen to music watching the sunset! Even as sick as I was I still found that life was GOOD!

All of these were taken in the front or side yard. We were on 5 acres which was so nice to walk around and the dogs and cats could roam.

Our kitchen, dining room and living room, this house was gutted so the living space was huge and so nice to be able to decorate, I redid the living areas a couple of times until i got it the way I wanted it. These pictures were when we first moved in, i made it look much nicer than this in the winter. If I could have bought this place I would have. I loved living here!

We are animal lovers and have collected a handful, some were strays and some adopted from shelters and homes.  The oldest is laid-back Lucy, then moody Marley, princess Charlotte and the youngest roaming Forrest.

My daughters dogs: high strung Leo and old soul Grizzly! Sweethearts!

A huge wind storm made 7 trees up root and one landed on the house at 3:50 am. The tree landed on the bedroom side of the house.

Not sure if you can see the difference in my eyes in these pictures, but I took the first one about 3 hours before the second one. Feeling okay in the first and feeling very fevered in the second. Up close you can see that my eyes are glossy and tired looking. With the infection I have been fighting for years I get fevered almost ever day at around 4:00 pm. These were taken about a year ago, so April 2015. Still fighting it!

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Raising my daughters on my own I feel I’ve done the best job I could have to prepare them for the world on their own and have become best friends with both of them so they know I am always here for them no matter what.  Raising strong, independent and confident women with a little free spirit mixed in I know they are going to forge their lives with ease! This is a happy me, moving out of the rental, feeling good that it is summer, my daughters have moved out, the younger on May 15, 2015 and the older on May 31, 2015. I am ready to do this on my own because I’ve already done the empty nest syndrome over three years ago when they moved out the first time and lived together in town plus I do enjoy being by myself. I got to spend the entire month of June by myself here and made all the plans like storage and buying a travel trailer so that I was prepared to start this next phase of my life healing and living the RV lifestyle!

~Andrea