Yearly Gastro Checkup

Today I saw my GI doctor for the first time in a year. Which to me is a good thing. It means that I wasn’t sick enough to have to go in for a visit. I did get sick a few times over the last year but they worked with me over the phone thankfully. It’s a three hour drive one way to go see them.

One thing that I was irked about when I first got there was filling out the paperwork for past medical history.2015-09-15 12.44.59 There wasn’t any place to put down that I have Indeterminate Colitis. Only Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. I ended up writing it in myself. In my opinion this needs to change. Indeterminate Colitis need to be recognized nationally. I shouldn’t have to write in what I have on a piece of paper that lists forms of IBD. I also should have the right diagnosis in my chart.

Anyway, my doctor so far is happy with how I’m doing. The only thing he’s concerned with right now is the joint pain. There isn’t a whole lot that he can do about it right now because I’m already maxed out on the Humira. And the only other option is chronic steroids which I don’t want to do right now. Long term steroid use is NOT good for you. Which leads me to believe that my GI thinks I might have arthritis. Or at least joint complications due to the IBD.

So right now I’m stuck dealing with the joint pain. It’s the worst in the mornings and sometimes at night after a long day at work. During the day they don’t always hurt once they’re warmed up and I’ve been using them for a while. I should also start doing some daily hand exercises to see if that helps. I already found a few online and saved them to Evernote. Hopefully they help and make a difference.

I also got some blood work done today. I’m hoping those labs will be back tomorrow. My WBC count is being checked along with a ESR panel. I’ve never had an ESR done before but it checks for inflammation levels in your body. Hopefully my labs will be back tomorrow! I’m interested in seeing how I’ve been doing since last year.

On my clinical care summary that my doctor always writes up before I go home it mentioned that my BMI is above normal range and that I should talk to my PCP about weight management. Which did bum me out a bit. I was on steroids for 10 months last year and that did not do me any favors weight wise. I was working out regularly earlier this year and did manage to lose somewhere between 7-10lbs. I definitely need to get back to the gym and get in shape. I have about 10 more pounds to lose before I’m back to where I was before I got super sick in December of 2013. Looks like it’s time for me to find some motivation to get back to it.

Fitness Friday #HAWMC

WEGO Health: Tell us about your how you maintain a healthy lifestyle. What is your favorite type of exercise? How do you manage fitness with a chronic illness?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a chronic illness is not an easy thing to accomplish. There are times you’re so sick that it’s all you can do to get out of bed. On those days, all you need to do is focus on yourself and what you can do. Not on what you can’t do.

I’m actually working on getting healthy and back down to a better weight. I’m working on going to the gym three nights a week and walking my dogs when I can. I’m working on doing 30 minutes of elliptical for cardio and I’m also doing some strength training.

I’ve been keeping track of my progress using Evernote. It’s been pretty helpful. It’s nice to see how my progress is coming along. Here’s an example of what one of my notes looks like:

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I also have a notebook to keep track of my measurements and weight. I don’t actually take them that often. So far I’ve only taken them twice this year. It’s not something I want to obsess over. I have gained a lot of weight from being on steroids. I was on it for ten months last year and the weight gain took a toll on how I felt about myself. People have noticed that I’m starting to lose weight. So far it seems everyone is noticing it the most in my face. I’ve been told that it’s thinning out. Which makes me happy.

I also have a Fitbit Flex. I use it to keep track of my steps, my active minutes, how well I’m sleeping and my weight loss. It’s a pretty awesome device and I think that Fitbit is a wonderful company. I recently lost my Fitbit flex and the replaced it for free after I gave them my info and proof of purchase. Which I thought was pretty awesome. It’s some of the best customer service I’ve had on a product ever.