Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New News - A New Design And A Cruise!

Blogger recently introduced new template designer tools which are just fantastic. Hence the new design! I hope it's sufficiently cheery.

I'm feeling cheery because in a few days I'm leaving on a week long Caribbean cruise. There are three couples going- we've all been friends for years and years (plus my boyfriend of 2 and a half years). This is especially exciting for me because since my surgery I have been able to eat almost anything. Prior to surgery the prospect of a cruise was a scary "what am I going to eat!?!" proposition. Now, I'm completely excited knowing that I will not be burdened with extreme diet restrictions.

I am also aware that Crohn's free vacations may be few and far between for me. Who knows how I'll be feeling in the years to come? That said, I am determined to make the most of this trip no matter what. We have snorkeling, para-sailing and a jet-boat ride all booked. Fun in the sun (or rain) here I come!

Many readers might be in a different boat right now. If you are feeling bad and struggling with your IBD symptoms - don't be discouraged! Whether it's a big trip, or even just dinner or a movie with loved ones, we can always remember to appreciate the positive opportunities that come our way. No matter how tough it seems, there is always a little (tame if necessary) fun to be had. It also helps to remember that there may be a treatment out there that will work for you. Never give up!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Have Crohn's? No Donating Blood in Canada

Last Wednesday I did something that took me years to work up the courage to do. I went to the Canadian Blood Services clinic to donate blood. I figured that after a PICC Line and an NG Tube, I could handle this no problem. After filling out the paper work and getting my finger pricked to test my iron levels I was denied based on having slightly low iron. However, the nurse still brings you into a private interview room to explain how to get your iron levels up. During that conversation I discovered that if you are on iron supplements due to your doctor's orders, they won't take your blood because they don't want to counteract what your doctor is doing (building up your blood levels).

Then when I mentioned that the iron supplements were related to my Crohn's disease, she then looked up Crohn's in her binder and discovered that people with Crohn's are 'indefinitely" barred from donating because it would be a danger to the individual. If you had a flare-up or intestinal bleeding, they don't want you to be weakened by giving blood. Too dangerous.

So, there you have it. Got Crohn's? No donating blood for you - at least not in Canada.