Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Two Toddlers And Time Outs

Time for writing on my blog is taken from that all too precious "free time". Oh where have you gone!? Ha! These days I am a work at home mom with a 1 and 3 year old. Time has flown by. Every day is like baby wack-a-mole and I go from diaper to potty to bottle to crying to spills to snuggles and around again. It's crazy! Even crazier is we're thinking about baby # 3! I must be insane.

But life is good despite stress and busyness and doctor visits. I wanted to write a post to fill in my last several months and kick off a renewed determination to write more regularly. Time to dust off the Bright Side blog and get back in touch with readers. Emails I receive that thank me for my positive take on life with IBD, remind me that people struggle to find an encouraging and optimistic voice when dealing with this disease. So, what's new!?
Well, my two boys are turning 1 and 3 in a few weeks. We're having a joint birthday party for them next weekend. That should be fun. The 3 year old (OS) is just starting to be at an age where he understands the concept of presents and parties, which is making holiday events even more fun. My youngest (YS) is, shockingly, a red-head and we have no idea where that came from, but he's the cutest thing I've ever seen! He's been pulling himself up to standing position on the furniture and reaching his big brother's toys. So, yeah, there's a lot of yelling and pushing going on. Lots of time-outs. I think I need a time-out. *laughs*

For myself I've been busy working on a new programming project. The most fun I've ever had in my professional life, combining two of my hobbies: development and games! I've launched a free sci-fi browser game called Roboid. It's completely mobile-friendly and growing quickly. We have over 200 registered players so far! So if you like casual games you can play on your phone or browser... or if you like robots and a good story, come check it out!

Other than Roboid, I've been dusting off some of the blogs, updating things and trying to consolidate my growing collection of web sites and projects. Also keeping busy with the occasional client work.

On the medical side, things are flaring up again. Oh of course. Ug. As often happens, the hormone flip-flops of pregnancy and delivery caused me to have symptoms return after each of my babies were born. My doctor recently sent me for a colonoscopy and I'll be getting an MRI soon, then in to Dr GI for the results. My doctor is big on drugs and has been pushing the major ones like Remicade and Humira on me. But I'm not keen on this route. My husband (DH) and I are considering rushing on our next and probably final baby (fingers crossed for a girl!) to hopefully squash my symptoms and/or to get through the baby making phase of my life before I consider major drug options. So, Crohn's is still knocking on my door. Boo.

To add insult to injury I had an episode of Atrial Fibrillation in December. This is where your heart goes into irregular rhythm. I had to go to the hospital and be shocked back into a normal heart rate! Shocked! Crazy. I'm not surprised or worried much though because my dad has had this for 30 years and I've had rare episodes most of my life that only last a minute or two. So I kind of saw this coming. As I write this I'm wearing a monitor which is recording my heart for two weeks so the cardiologist can take a look. I think there's not much to worry about though.

I've had just about the most stressful year anyone can have. Which is why I'm not surprised about the heart episode. On top of having a baby, I also lost one of my brothers in an unusual and horrible way. I'm mostly zen about it now, but this past year has been, well, emotional. I don't want to dwell though, so I'm focusing on my many, many blessings!

Getting back into the swing of writing, I hope to have more info and posts for you! Share your stories or ask questions in the comments and I'll do my best to reply. In the sidebar you can also subscribe to the blog to get notified of updates.

Hope everyone is well! Nice to be 'back'!


  1. Hi Brightside,
    I'm a 32 (almost 33) year old woman who was diagnosed with Crohns age 12. When I got it first I was really bad, massive weight loss, not able to keep anything know the score. After 4-6 months I was diagnosed and put on steroids for a year and then eventually Sallofalk. By 16 yrs it was well under control and I've been very lucky since, having only very mild flare ups very occasionally. I sometimes think I have some neck saying I'm a Crohns sufferer!
    But here's the thing my husband and I are TTC for the past few months. I'm fairly certain I'm ovulating (took a couple of months after coming off the pill) I'm tracking my temp and there is a noticeable rise. But after the temp rise I get twinges and a burning sensation, slight cramps in my lower abdomen, as well as bloating. Maybe this is normal but I'm really concerned that having had severe Crohns around the time of puberty that scar tissue may have in some way affected my uterus (?), I found one site mentioning fistulas protruding out from the gut and affecting adjacent organs. Any thoughts or experience with this?
    I'm sorry for this rather detailed description but I have found very little info on Crohns and conceiving, and yours is the first site I've found talking about these issues. It's really worrying me now. I thought being so well that Crohns would not be an issue for me wrt getting pregnant but now I'm thinking there could be unforseen complications!
    Any advice you might have would be most welcome
    Thanks a mil
    Anxious TTC

    1. Hi Anxious TTC! You didn't leave an email so I'll briefly reply here and then write a full blog post talking about the same sort of thing.

      Congratulations on having a relatively long remission and generally feeling well. That's great! You're right that there seems to be a dearth of information on conception and pregnancy and IBD. I myself kind of experienced things as I went.

      From what I understand and have experienced (I'm NOT a doctor!) I believe that if you had a fistula you'd know. They are painful, and waste leaking into places it doesn't belong causes infection and abscesses. If you've been well you probably don't have one (again, not a doctor!). It's possible for inflamed bowel to adhere (stick) to other organs. It's definitely possible if you had surgery which results in scar tissue (this happened to me). I didn't experience any scar tissue pain or issues until I was 8 months or so along and my growing size caused scar tissue to begin stretching and tugging painfully. In the early months I'm not sure how much of this would happen.

      The cramps and burning might just be a UTI (common when you have sex more frequently when trying to conceive). I do know that when I became pregnant, both times, even before my first missed period I experienced some nausea and light cramping. So you might want to be patient and see what a pregnancy test reveals.

      If you've had normal (for you) periods for years, and a generally good remission of your IBD, I think that it sounds like a great time to try for a baby. If you have the funds/coverage/etc for an abdominal ultrasound, it's a safe way to check for scar tissue or other issues with your reproductive organs.

      But... let me tell you. When people like us have problems with our 'system' down there, we begin to become paranoid that everything is broken. There's a tendency to jump to the worst conclusions. Relax. Try for a few months, eat healthy, don't smoke or drink, and be physically active. Take basic precautions against UTIs* and just go with the flow. In 6 months if nothing is going on, or the burning feeling continues, go have a chat with your doc. :)

      Trying for a month or two doesn't mean anything. I've had 2 successful pregnancies and DH and I just finished month 3 of TTC for baby # 3 and no luck. I've learned that if you stress about every approaching period wondering if this is the month, you'll drive yourself utterly nuts.

      Good luck!! Feel free to email me if you have more personal questions. :)

      *Note: For anyone wondering how to help prevent UTIs:
      - Wash with warm water and a clean cloth before and after sex. Your partner too!
      - Try to go pee as soon after sex as possible. This flushes the urinary canal.
      - Keep hydrated.
      - Wear breathable cotton underwear.
      - Wipe front to back. Always.
      - Maintain proper hygiene. Never use soaps or other cleaners internally. Rinse well after soaping up externally.

    2. Hi Brigthside,

      Thanks for the insights and advice. You're right about the tendency to assume the worst, I guess our 'system' is a big part of our lives and we spend way more time thinking about it than 'normal' people! You're right being patient and going with the flow for the time being is the best thing we can do.
      Thanks so much :)