Remission and Relapse

My adventures with Lymphocytic Colitis continue.

I saw my gastroenterologist right before Easter and he told me to go off the medication and see how I fared.  For the first four days after stopping the medication, I had a return of symptoms and was concerned this meant bad things for the long-term, but thankfully after those four days, my system settled down and I actually felt normal again!

True remission – meaning without medication – lasted approximately three weeks.

Thanks to some very stressful situations in my family and work life, I am now on day six of a colitis relapse.  Looking back, I am now positive that the onset of my colitis back in December was solely due to stress.  (To read about the beginning of my Adventures in Colitis, click here.)  Lymphocytic colitis is an auto-immune disorder and auto-immune disorders are often set off because of stress.  I have a sister with fairly severe lupus, another auto-immune disorder, and her disease is also made worse by stressful conditions.

Because of being so ill again for the past six days, I am having to consider my future very carefully.  I have to decide if going back to work teaching this fall will be worth the health risk.  I made a mind-boggling realization yesterday – that I went back to work to help financially and then ended up getting sick and costing us more than $3,000 in medical bills – when I make less than $5,000 for the school year!

I am trying to see the silver lining inside the dark cloud that is colitis.  In the three weeks I was in true remission, I ate pretty much everything in sight – meaning I gained a little weight.  Now, after six days of zero appetite (even chocolate doesn’t tempt me and I ADORE chocolate!) and everything I eat going straight through me, I have lost the weight I gained.  A definite good thing, especially with summer coming!  The downside is that I am a fairly small person, and prone to eating disorders, so it’s never good to lose too much.

My hope is that this relapse is short-lived.  I truly do not want to suffer another 2 1/2 months of agony nor do I not want to go back on the $5-a-day medication (that is for one pill).  Of course, if my symptoms do not improve, I won’t have much choice.

On a positive note, I ordered my new camera – Happy Birthday to Me! – and hope to have it before we leave for our Memorial Day vacation on Thursday.  Hopefully my next Northwoods Journal post will have even better photos!  (Of course, there is always the chance we could discover it was not the camera’s fault, but the photographer’s all along. 🙂 )  I am looking forward to six days in the northwoods and praying I am not still in digestive discomfort the whole time!

I will leave you with a few random photos.  None of these are very good.  Blame it on the camera, or the photographer, or the perpetual dog drool on the front window! LOL

We had a turkey come to dinner. 🙂  She was determined to stay hidden behind the bush.

Female wild turkey.

Female wild turkey.

And a bunny.

One of the many bunnies driving the beagles mad these days.

One of the many bunnies driving the beagles mad these days.

We also had a small flock of juvenile orioles pass through.  This is not a stellar photo but I liked how I caught him with the suet on the end of his beak. 🙂

Yearling oriole eating suet.

Yearling oriole eating suet.

I’m not normally a big fan of grackles, but I caught one absconding with a peanut.

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Grackle getting a peanut.

Ugh, look at all those sunflowers sprouting!  I will have to get out there with the shovel and rake soon.

Wishing you all a blessed day!

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10 Responses to Remission and Relapse

  1. avian101 says:

    I wish you prompt recovery Amy! Your friend HJ. 🙂

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  2. Amy, I went back and read your other post about the start of your condition, and I recognize some of the symptoms in myself, too. I’m sorry you are suffering, may God provide quick and total healing! I’ll make you a deal: I’ll pray for you if you pray for me! 😉

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    • That’s a deal, Jodi!! It’s not fun at all, but I’ve lived with various difficulties of this nature most of my life, so I guess I have “gotten used to it” in some respects. Be well, my friend!

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  3. tootlepedal says:

    Well, I hope that the new camera will make you feel so happy that all your stress will vanish. The old camera seems to be doing pretty well meantime though. Look after yourself.

    Incidentally, every time I read about the costs of being ill in the US, I am very thankful for the National Health Service here in Britain which means I can be happily unwell without going bankrupt.

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    • Thank you, Tom! It seems the more they try to fix our system, the worse it gets. :/ Thankfully we do have insurance, but we have a fairly large deductible we had to pay first. They figure the more you have to pay, the less you will use it, I guess. It’s supposed to act as an incentive to help you lead a healthy lifestyle.

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  4. Bob Zeller says:

    We are thinking about you down here. Hope all goes well for you soon. 🙂

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  5. Well, I’m sad to hear that your health has taken a turn for the worse, I hope that your extended vacation and new camera go a long way towards relieving the stress!

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