Recipe for Success – Repost


I was looking over past post’s and I saw this one  from August 2012 and thought I had to repost it.  I also thought that since I have lost some of my way in life, that rereading this would maybe help me get back on track.

 

“Two weeks ago at my Weight Watchers meeting we were talking about recipes.  We were encouraged to bring in a recipe to swap with everyone.  When it was my leaders turn, she gave us a recipe…but not for food.  I looked it over and thought, this isn’t just relevent to food…this is good for life.  So, I decided to share the wisdom of my leader and give you…The Recipe for Success

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Vision         1 Cup Commitment         1 Cup Discipline       1 Cup Self-Control    1 Cup Sacrifice   1 Cup Conviction              1 Cup Imagination

Directions:

In a large part of your life, add 1 cup of vision.  Make up your mind which direction to go and strive for it everyday.  Add 1 cup commitment.  Commit yourself every day to reaching your goal.    Add 1 cup discipline.  Discipline yourself to do what you must to keep the committment and hold on to the vision.  Add 1 cup of self-control.  No matter what temptation comes, remember you have a choice.  Add 1 cup of sacrifice.  Be willing to give up bad habits for good habits.  Add 1 cup conviction.

Have the courage to stand your ground knowing that you are mixing the right ingredients together in your life.  Add 1 cup of imagination.  Imagine what all this cooking will achieve in the end.  Bring all of these things to a boil.  Now pour it all into the rest of your life and you have the recipe for success.  Keep it always on simmer.

As I read this in the meeting, I was no longer thinking about food.  I know she gave this to us to help us stay on course and keep up with our weight loss.  But I saw a bigger picture.  Living with a chronic illness will do that to you.  I didn’t just see food…I saw a recipe to beat an illness.  I saw a recipe for me to get through life.

I know at times life with Crohn’s or Colitis can be hard.  Sometimes we want to just throw in the towel and say I quit.  But that is when we need this recipe.  Sometimes, we need to alter a recipe and add a little more spice to it.  There are days we might need 2 cups of self-control.  Maybe we need a gallon of vision because all we see is our blanket covering our eyes.  Whatever the day…keep this recipe close at hand.  Make it your first meal.  Make it your last.  Make a big batch of it on the weekend for the whole week.  Whatever you do…make sure to make it at least once a week.”

World IBD Day 2013


HAPPY WORLD IBD DAY!!!!!!

The time has come once again for us to celebrate our disease and spread awareness.  This year I was inspired by CCFA’s poor attempt at marketing IBD.  As you know from previous posts that I was not for their Escape The Stall campaign.  I felt their campaign didn’t show just what our disease is or can do.

So, to keep this brief, I made my own video to show just what this disease is to us.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

A Man With Crohns (Repost)


I originally posted this on May 31 2012.  I thought this would make a nice repost.  I chose this one to repost because within the past year I have gotten many followers and most are women.  When I first started to advocate one of my goals was to get more guys to open up.  I have to say, within the past year I have met a lot more men (and boys) with IBD but I almost feel like it is a woman’s club 🙂  So, this was my guys take on IBD.

 

When I hear the word manly or macho, I tend to think of a guy, muscular, wearing a sports jersey, sitting on a couch surrounded by friends, chips and dip on the coffee table, watching football.  I probably got this image thanks to numerous commercials depicting this.  Some people may have a different image.  Some tend to think of a tall lumberjack in plaid.  Some may think of a fireman running through flames or a cop rescuing someone.  Still others may think of a soldier in uniform fighting for his country, saving innocent people caught up in a crossfire.  My point to this is no one thinks of a guy laying in bed double over in pain who has to jump out of bed to run to the bathroom.  Then on his return trip to the bed, picks up a garbage can to vomit.

Sadly, that is what a lot of us go through with Crohn’s Disease.  Growing up in the 80’s I was what we would now call a nerd.  I was into video games, Dungeons & Dragons, playing with GI Joe figures and spend my Friday nights at Boy Scout meetings.  I would watch some sports (Go Yankees).  I never liked alcohol.  I also was not a ladies man.  I was never macho..but I was still a guy and acted as one.  When I was 15 I got sick with Crohn’s and it would forever change me.

For about 2 weeks I was so sick I would stay in bed all the time.  I lost a lot of weight and eventually ended up in the hospital where I got diagnosed.  I was put on Azulfadine and eventually got better.  When I was 16, I came down with pneumonia and this caused me to flare.  I would not recover and missed my junior and senior year of High School.  I was growing up, starting to form the person I would be and this was all taken away from me.  I would spend my days in bed watching TV.  I also started to learn to cook and do laundry since I was home and had nothing better to do.  Let me tell you…this does not make you feel manly or macho.

Flash forward 23 years.  I am now a grown adult still battling with Crohn’s.  I have found my way in the world.  I met the woman of my dreams.  I do feel like a man now.  I still love my Yankees and try to go to some games every year.  I still cook, but that has become a man’s job now (Bobby Flay, Emerel Lagasse, Guy Fiere, Mario Batalli just to name some).  I like beer (miss my Sam Adams now that I am gluten-free).

But I still have my pains.  I still run to the bathroom.  What my point is, as a guy, we can’t worry about image.  We don’t have that luxury.  Guys…you can feel weak.  At times you will get depressed.  You will have pain.  You will have a fever.  For some of us, we will spend time in a hospital unable to control anything.  None of this make you less of a man or a person.  Do not let social media tell you how you should be.  You are a man no matter what.  You are strong and can get through anything.  If anyone tells you otherwise, then they aren’t worth your time.

It is not week to break down and cry sometimes.  It is not weak to have pain and suffer from depression.  It is human.  We all go through it.  You are not alone.  You are still a man…no matter what.

The Health Activist’s Writers Month Challenge – Day 30 Recap


You made it! 30 posts in 30 days! Today, write a recap of your experience. What was your favorite prompt? Least favorite? What have you learned?

 

And another writers challenge comes to an end.  Somehow this one was a little easier to write for then the last one I did.  But, 30 posts in 30 days.  Really makes me think of burnout.  Not the pit of despair that I talked about on day 20, but writers burn out.  It isn’t easy to come up with 30 posts so fast.  I was given the topics which help but just trying to think of what to write puts a toll on the mind.  After this I need to take another break. 

Looking back over the post I see I had some pretty decent ones.  I think my favorite one, and it wasn’t the longest or the best written, was Day 5 Aspiration.  The more I talk about what I want to do in the future the more excited I become.  Just the other night I was talking to some friends about my dream and they really got me excited over it.  It feels good to have something to strive for in life.

Now, for my least favorite..well this is a hard one.  I think my least favorite was Day 25 Learning.  It isn’t that I didn’t like the post.  It is my least favorite because it is the first time my post caused a controversy.  I got a lot of messages about this one and about what ME is.  I kind of jumped the gun when I wrote the post and didn’t do the research first.   But, as a writer not everyone will like what you have to say and will let you know that.  So I guess that post helped bring me up in status.  I feel I am in the Big Leagues now.

As for what have I learned…well I did learn about a new disease (ME).  I literally learned from my mistake.  I also learned humility and how to accept that I did something wrong and admit to it.  After all, I am human and we all make mistakes.

So, as the challenge ends so does this post.  Spring is in the air and I will probably be stepping away from the computer for a bit to enjoy the season.  But don’t despare.  There is a lot going on in my life and I know I will have more to talk about soon.  So until then, go out, enjoy the day….and see you soon.

The Health Activist’s Writers Month Challenge – Day 29 – Congratulations


We all know Health Activists are awesome. Share three things you love about yourself, things you’re great at, or just want to share. Don’t undercut or signpost!

 

This is a hard post for me to write.  I don’t like to praise myself and tote my achievements.  I am a quiet person and keep a lot to myself.  But for this, I will try to open up a little more and bring you more into my world.

1.  One thing I am great at…or I like to think I am…is cooking.  I took culinary arts in college and have a degree in cooking as well as management.  I may not be the best but I think I can handle my own in a kitchen.  Sometimes I have trouble thinking of dishes to make, but I can definitely take a recipe and make it my own.

2. One thing I love about myself is how I have been able to open up so much.  Growing up I kept a lot of things to myself.  I was a very closed off person.  No one really knew what was going on in my head.  This blog has really helped me to open up.  What has really opened the flood gates to my emotions is my IBD community.  Everyone I have met, whether it is in real life or on the internet, have been non-judgemental and always have an ear for me.  This in turn has helped me to do the same for everyone else.  I am so happy to have found my community as you have all helped me grow.

3.  One thing I want to share is that even though I have grown I still want to be a better person.  I want to do more to help.  Throughout the years I have always felt something was missing from my life and now I know what it is.  Helping others is so rewarding spiritually.  One thing I still want to do is start a charity but I need a lot of help with that.  The one thing I need before I move forward is a board of directors.  Once I get that, I plan on moving on it.  I have tons of ideas…just need the help.

The Health Activist’s Writers Month Challenge – Day 28 Must Follow!


Create a must follow list for your community on a single social network. Share your top 5-10 tweeters, blogs, or Facebook pages.

I look at this topic and think…I have done this numerous times already.  In fact, we have done this already during this month.  So instead I am going to deviate a little.

Last week, I was awarded the “I am a Part of the Family” award from the wonderful women at Below the radar.  The post can be found here http://belowtheradar002.com/2013/04/23/bursting-hearts/.

I actually talk about Amanda from BTR in a previous post.  She was always in my mind because she has been suffering so long and no doctors could figure out what was wrong.  To know that she thinks of me and my struggles give me comfort that what I set out to do is working.  People are starting to know they are not alone.

So of course to accept this award there are stipulations.

Here are the rules for accepting:

  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family
  • Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them

And here now are my nominations:

1. Louise at http://youngcrohns.wordpress.com/

2. Cetta at http://cettawrites.com/

3. Sara at http://www.inflamed-and-untamed.com/ (not wordpress but still family)

4. Kelly at http://sickgirldiary.tumblr.com/ (Again, not wordpress but still a great family member)

5. Mary Claire at http://resiliencyspace.blogspot.com/ (Ok, so these aren’t WordPress…but Mary is such an inspiration)

6. Christina at http://livingsick.com/

7. Marisa at http://keepingthingsinsideisbadformyhealth.wordpress.com/

8. Shay at http://asizcreatives.wordpress.com/

9. Heidi at http://ostomyoutdoors.com/ (She really shows that an life doesn’t end with an ostomy)

10. Stephen at http://stephendempster.com/

 

Each of you are an inspiration to me.  Keep up the great work and thanks for being there not only for me but for everyone.

The Health Activist’s Writers Month Challenge – Day 27 Titles


If you wrote a book about your life, your community, your condition, or your Health Activism – what would you title it? Come up with 5 working titles.
What about your biography?

This is funny because growing up I wanted to be an author.  I had always loved to read.  As I got older I realized I couldn’t write so well.  So that dream died.

Then I go and start a blog.  What is a blog but just short stories.  My parents read this (hi Mom and Dad) and are always saying I should write a book.  Problem is my memory isn’t the greatest so it would be real hard to write one about my past.  But..I can write one about the present.

So if I was to write a book about my life, my community, my condition or my Health Activism…what would I call it?  Hmmm.  Well here are some ideas.

1) IBD…All Guts, no glory.

2) IBD Warrior – How I Fought the Disease and Won

3) My Life as an IBD Warrior (This one is plain but says a lot)

4) No, IT’S NOT THE FLU!!!

5) Poo!  No, Not the Bear.

The Health Activist’s Writers Month Challenge – Day 25 Learning


Share something you learned from another Health Activist (that everyone should know).

First I think you need to read this post from Amanda http://stopthinkingstartwriting.blogspot.com/2013/04/we-know-our-bodies-best.html

I am using this post as a good example.  I have known Amanda from online only.  We were introduced through another activist.  When we were introduced, Amanda had been sick for some time and couldn’t seem to find a diagnosis.  She presented with symptoms of IBD but no GI could seem to find anything.

Throughout time, she would have her good days and her bad days.  But through it all Amanda would not give in.  Even when doctors would tell her nothing is wrong she would fight and look for another doctor.  Eventually some diagnoses would come it but they wouldn’t be the big one she was needing.

Now, she finally has the diagnoses she was waiting for and reason everyone should know this.  She has Mast Cell Hyperplasia (consistent with Mastocytic Enterocolitis).  Now most of you, and I was one of them, probably have never heard of these terms..but Mastocytic Enterocolitis is a form of IBD.

Many people think IBD is only Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.  Those are the 2 main diseases but there are others.  ME is one of those others.  I have often only talked about the former two.  Now I have another disease to learn about and possibly talk about.

I look forward to learning another form of IBD and I look forward to our newest IBD Warrior and her challenges to now beat this disease and heal up.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————–

 

This is being added after this post was already posted.

I have done some research…and was shocked to read what I did.  Turns out Mastocytic Enterocolitis (ME) isn’t IBD.  It is similar to IBS.  ME isn’t chronic and is very treatable.  Here is one link that is reputable:

http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/gard/10176/mastocytic-enterocolitis/case/24223/case-questions

Amanda, I don’t know if maybe you were led astray by a doctor.  Just know that I and many others still care and hope you do get better.  From the looks of it, you will and real fast.  The treatment is a simple one and I wish all disease were easily treated like ME.

I am sorry if I offended anyone that took offense for me saying it was IBD.  I didn’t do the research ahead of time and just got excited that Amanda had a diagnoses.

The Health Activist’s Writers Month Challenge – Day 24 Wordless Wednesday


Create a Pinterest board for your health focus. Pin 3 things. Share the image.

I actually have 2 boards for IBD on Pinterest.  They haven’t been updated in a awhile.  If you would like to add anything to them, let me know.

Here are my boards:

Enjoy

The Health Activist’s Writers Month Challenge – Day 23 Technology


Write about how your life would change if there was no social media.

I kind of touched on this is some of the other posts that I have written.  What would I do, or better yet have done, if there were no social media?

No social media.  That means no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, no Pinterest…etc.  That would be almost no interaction with other people with my disease.  Well, for most of my diseased life, I didn’t have any social media.  I grew up and was diagnosed in the 80’s.  There was no internet.  Computers were still in their infancy.  And  I think by now you know how I dealt with my disease.  I ignored it.  I didn’t know anyone else with IBD.  I didn’t talk to anyone about my disease.   I just lived day to day ignorant of what my disease was all about.

In all honesty, I haven’t been on social networks for that long.   I have only been on Facebook for maybe 5 years…Twitter for a little less.  Since I have had my disease for about 25 years, social media has played a small part overall in my life.  However, it has made a major impact.  It has helped me come to terms with what I have.  I have found an outlet to help speak my mind and deal with issues.

Social media has really helped me in one way.  It helped me get the courage to start this blog.  It was only after talking to some people that I decided to do this.  I would never have met them without social media.  It all started with YouTube.  That is where I saw videos of inspiration.   I then went to Facebook to talk to these inspirational people.   Without those two sites, I would still be alone with my disease.

Social media is also allowing me to help others.  One of my main goals now is to help others so they don’t feel alone with their disease….like I did.  Without social media, I probably wouldn’t be successful at it.  I could still write a blog but not many people would know about it or read it.

Our disease is often overlooked.  It doesn’t get the best research.  It doesn’t have tons of money thrown at it.  Many people don’t know what IBD is.  Social media is helping to change all that.  Us IBD Warriors are now coming together and spreading the word.  Thanks to social media, we have a voice now and maybe one day a cure.