Thursday, May 21, 2015

One Hundred Forty Days --- 20 Weeks and 0 Days

Still running … 

Today marks 140 days since I began the RunAmok challenge to run everyday, and so far so good! A few days here or there I missed due to illness or fatigue (not many, however)!  I have gotten into a great stride.  Some days if I ran too hard, too long, my gut ached and I knew I had overdone it.  

Exercise is so important for everyone, especially for those of us who live with chronic illness.  The key is finding the right amount for you personally.  No 'one size fits all' when it comes to the type of exercise, intensity, and frequency.   For some a good walk every day would be just right, where others like myself, need more ….   We know our own bodies.

It's either working hard, or hardly working.  There are two ways you can measure the intensity.  Either by monitoring your heart rate, or like me, how you feel!  Your own perceived exertion.  Everyone is different.  What may feel like a hard run, long tiresome walk, or high energy aerobic workout for you, may be an easy work out for someone who is more fit.  Your heart rate is another way to measure your workout.  Generally speaking, the higher ones heart rate, the higher the workout intensity.  Whether moderate or vigorous, get out and move.  Here are some ideas for both.

Moderate exercise: brisk walk, slow biking, gardening, water aerobics
Vigorous exercise: jogging, running, swim laps, swift biking, jump rope, hiking

It is important with any exercise regime you discuss it with your doctor first. Studies have shown that higher impact exercise can exasperate IBD symptoms, triggering bowel changes.  Leading you to find a bathroom, and quick.  Lower more moderate exercise may be best over all.  

Where ever you find yourself in the matter of exercise, find something you can truly enjoy long term.  Walking is always a great way to get outside, move your body and also enables you to think more clearly.  

Run Distance:  198 miles

Steps: 41811

Be well,

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Still at it…

Still running a mile in my own shoes… 

Sunday and Monday's run are the hardest.  Tuesday only get a little better, but by mid-week I am able to get in my run much easier!   Time is the key.   So many things to do every day.  Husband's work schedule, schooling the kids, grocery shopping, kids activities, kids projects, doctor appointments, household duties, car repairs, emotions, physical challenges for me.  They all play into whether I am going run.

Health wise:  For an entire week I thought my guts were going to explode.  It hurt to run.  It hurt to move.  My guts were not happy with this new routine.  Although I have always exercised to a good extent … running EVERYDAY was not on my day to day program.  The extra added movement caused some pain and challenges.  I had to listen to my body.  Regardless of this desire, listening and being attentive to what my body needed, and not what my mind wanted, kept me from harm.

DAY Twelve through DAY 21:

Day 12:  Had a nasty flare.  But I did it.  I pushed through.  Monday's are going to be my challenge.  Reading through the book of Job.

Day 13:  Made it!  Even saw a movie with my husband.  UNBROKEN.  The story of Louis Zamperini.  The movie was captivating, the real life story, redemptive.  The untold story in the movie was that this man's life was forever changed.  His salvation through grace in Jesus Christ changed his life after the horrid experiences of war nearly tore him and his family to shreds.  Read the book!    Job!

Day 14:  Ortho. appointments, my sons Latin challenges, car repair, gut issues (spare you the details) and a sick kiddo with pneumonia… yet I managed to fit in a run.  Reading in Job.

Day 15:  Wore yesterday's shirt for the third time.  Tired of watching stuff everyday… last day in Job.

Day 16: Uneventful other than crying through after receiving sad news, but thankful for the therapy of the run, and sweat it out praying as I ran.  Back in Genesis.

Day 17:  Another day… pain has lessened in my gut.  Slowed up my pace.  Seems to have helped. Read Genesis 16-18.

Day 18:  Listing to Chris Tomlin.  At the Cross (Love Ran Red).  I owe all to Jesus.  Sad news needs salve.  God's Word, and worship heals. Read Genesis 19-21.

Day 19:  Sun has hidden it's sunshine too long!  Need a little sunshine.  Rocked it and rolled it anyway.  The air hurt my lungs.  My body was tired and my legs hurt.  My gut was happier.  Slowing down my pace.  Easier on the gut!  

Day 20:  Sun is hidden again… feeling a bit blue… but, an unexpected visit from a family member from out of town brought sunshine and it really did!  Sun finally came out later in the day.  Still managed to get a run in.  Reading through Genesis. 22-26.

Day 21:  President came to visit!    No really, he did, and lots of activity around our area today and yesterday.  But, I did it!  Happy to have made it happen earlier in the day today.  Won't try to set a schedule since every day is a different day, and early mornings are not my friend like the days in Arizona.  Had a running buddy who would get up at 4am with me and run, run, run!  Those days were special.  Great conversation and sharing, but wow, not sure I could open my peepers that early any longer…. and, since my days change week to week, I know it's best to plan but not book.  Genesis. 27-29.

Making goals that suit your life style and schedule is the best way to reach a goal.  Be flexible.  Just keep moving your body.  Walking is a great way to stay healthy too!  

Stay well,


Monday, January 12, 2015

Just Run a Mile in My Shoes…

I purposed two things this year; that one, I'd run at least one mile a day, and two, I would spend quality time in God's Word by reading through it Chronologically every day.

'Is this a New Year Resolution?' You might ask.  No.  It's my desire to be more purposeful about my physical health, and my spiritual health.

It began on New Year's Day this new year, by my desire to celebrate with a friend, Serena*, (and a few of her friends) her year-long run streak  Wow, what a great accomplishment!  I wanted to celebrate with her … little did I know I might be committing to running every day for the next 365 days!  

Those of us living with a chronic illness, and Serena does as well, find it hard pressed to stay healthy in normal circumstances, but when push comes to shove, some of us decide we are not going to allow our illness to define us!   

My journal:
DAY ONE:  January 1, 2015, Headed out in 10° weather to Run Amok with Serena and friends! Great way to start a New Year. Brrrrrr!


DAY FIVE:  Harder than days two though four. Only 360 days to go!   M

Her reply to me…  'That's amazing!  I promise, the first three weeks are the hardest and then, it's like you never considered not going.'  REALLY!  I sure hope so, to which I respond; 'Not to sound selfish, but it's a ME year!  Purposed to take care of me... A Body and Spirit Work-Out this year.  Time in the Word daily, chronologically... praying GOD will show me amazing things about Him, and in myself.  Thanks for the jump start.'  RIGHT, SO WE ALL NEED ACCOUNTABILITY.

DAY SIX (was actually DAY SEVEN, lost track of my days):  Uneventful.  Feel accomplished.  Realzing I don't allow much time for the things I enjoy.  Squeezed my run in before dark, or just there after...

I read her BLOG post, and realized I was actually on day SEVEN… I felt rather pleased with myself… I made it through one whole week, and thought, phew, only 51 more to go!

She reminded me … ONE DAY AT A TIME!  Isn't that the reality for all of us who face any challenge.  It truly is one day at a time, every day!  Let's remember this, friends, and not get ahead of our days! 

DAY SEVEN - TEN - Made it happen.  Got 'er done.

DAY ELEVEN:  Nasty flare.  ROTTEN GUT.  Pain level was beyond belief.  Thinking… this isn't a good idea!  But I did it. I pushed through but listened to my body and decided on a mild, easy plod.  Done.

DAY TWELVE:  Nearly missed my opportunity.  Monday's are going to be a bear!  My busiest day with Home Schooling, piano, errands, shopping and the like and not to mention a slam when I went to pick up my prescription and they wanted over $100.00 for two mediations.  Not the norm, but non the less the reality these days....  going to KEEP RUNNING!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Re: Treatments

Answering a Reader:

Dear friends,

Crohn's and Colitis is a challenge to be sure, and once diagnosed many, like yourself, find themselves feverishly, and furiously searching for cures, helps, and most importantly, information about ones/loved ones recent diagnosis. I am not an expert on Crohn's, only that I understand the concerns, having been diagnosed over 35 years ago, when there was hardly a spoken word of it.  It took many years of debilitating physical suffering, before there was to be a diagnosis for what ailed my young youthful body.  

Even though research on the disease has been ongoing since 1937 when Burrill B. Crohn, an American gastroenterologist who was one of the first to describe the disease and later bear his name. Not much is understood.  Additionally, folks need to know that Crohn’s disease is not the same thing as ulcerative colitis, another type of IBD. The symptoms of these two diseases are similar, but the areas affected in the body are different. Crohn’s disease may affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, from the mouth to the anus, but ulcerative colitis is limited to the large intestine.

Recently, I was asked whether I know anything about Fecal Transplant.  Honestly, I don't know a lot about the treatment.  If I understood correctly, they were talking about fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT or fecaltransplantation) AKA stool transplant.  What I do know is the purpose of fecal transplant is to replace good bacteria from a healthy person into an unhealthy person's bowel.  It's certainly not a new treatment. It originated in China.  The Mayo Clinic notes; 'Fecal transplant has been used in the U.S., sporadically since the 1950′s, without much regulation. It has gained popularity in the U.S. in the past few years, although experts estimate that total number of treatments to date in the U.S. remains below 500 patients.'

With that said, I always encourage my readers to do their research and discuss any and all treatments, medications, diet, exercise, life style changes, and so on with their physicians.  With every person, the disease and treatment will be different which makes this disease so cunning.  What one must remember is that there is not a 'one size fits all' treatment for those diagnosed with any IBD.  Sometimes it can take years for relief.  This is not to discourage the reader, only to encourage the reader to keep seeking, asking and be your own medical advocate.  There are many things besides medication and alternative treatments to ease discomfort.  Stress - ease up. Rest. Diet and exercise. Illuminating those foods/beverages that you know triggers a negative bodily response.
Even today, after 35 years living with Crohn's Disease, it's still one of those medical mysteries that is still poorly understood.  

A great site to find additional information and helps is

Be well,

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Don't ignore the unusual…

I will be having outpatient surgery on an area of my leg to remove skin cancer.

About a year ago, I noticed a dry patch of skin on the back of my leg. From time to time it was bother, but I ignored it. I thought it was just a bad case of eczema. A nuisance at best, and only more of an issue when it bled.  I even had my primary physician look at it a while ago, but he didn't seem to think there was any concern.  But, he recommended if it wouldn't go away I should see a Dermatologist.

At any rate, I did notice it, but then I would forget about it.  It was on the back of my leg!  Not a place I I spent much time looking at but it began to get worse so I saw a Dermatologist recently, and upon examining the area the doctor recommended performing a biopsy.  I was told the pathology report on the tissue would take about 7 working days to return results.  Instead, I received a call from their offices just a day later.  It is indeed skin cancer. I will be having Excisional Surgery on the location next month. 

Skin cancer statistics are staggering.  Every year, 3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed in the U.S.  The type I have about 2 out of 10 people are diagnosed with every year.   Those of us diagnosed with Crohn's disease, it's important that our doctor check our skin regularly, especially if you are taking a Biologics mediation. A recently published finding suggests the inflammatory bowel disease can raise risk of melanoma.

Those of us who are on Biologics, which suppress the immune system, such as Humira, in order to relieve Crohn's symptoms and keep us in remission, carry an increased risk of infection and other serious diseases.  Makes it doubly important to look for anything unusual around all health concerns.

Things to watch for:

- Changes in skin, especially a mole or a new growth.
- Skin scaling, similar to eczema, oozing or bleeding of a sore.
- A wound that is itchy, tender or painful and won't go away
- Melanoma is irregular, has uneven borders, has a variety of colors, continues to change and is larger than o.6cm.  

Moral of the story?  Should not ignore a persistent skin nuisance.  

Rejoicing in all things,

Thursday, July 17, 2014



I had hopes of sharing our vacation travels over 11 states in 13 days as we trekked, but unfortunately, due to cell service and data issues, I never had the opportunity to share our vacation with you as it was happening, live!

Suffice to say, I think the biggest challenge over all was car time, and a few unfortunate 'rest stops' along the way!  The midwest and closer to MI, have the best Rest Stops.  Sad to stay Idaho, and Utah were the worst, over all.  Some were less than desirable, but I will say, that if you decide to make a car trip across the great US of A, prepare to make several stops along the way.  Not just for necessity sake, but for sanity sake, and to stretch the midsection and exercise the body!  

The travel out east was much more enjoyable.   The set of miles on our way home were more challenging since we made two more days stops going out, than we did coming home!  I paid for it.  I think we all did.  

But, friends, I made it!  It was far more ominous thinking about 'what might be' than what truly took place.  Because we prepared, it was an awesome experience.  Several preparations were; where to stop, and when to stop.  There are several apps online that helped us on our way, not to mention the travel ideas from Roadtrippers.  Apps included gas stops, rest stops, restaurants, etc…  

Apps we found useful:

1. Roadtrippers - Great little Road Trip Planner.
2. Yelp - Don't believe all the reviews, we found some really great places to eat along the way, less the reviews. 
3. Gas buddy - Lets you check area prices before you buy.
4. MotionX-GPS - Great GPS app for the iPhone and iPad.

Because we are not fast foodies, we stopped at 
-Subway's and -Jimmy John's, quite a few times for healthier choices, and cleaner facilities.   Both of these restaurants always have clean facilities, and healthier food choices over fast food places.  

When we had no choice but to stop along the way at Rest Stops - we took along our trusty ready made 'Rest Stop Carrying Case' stocked with travel size T.P., Seat Covers, Coleman Camp Soap (50 sheets - just add water. Works with hot and cold water, ideal for traveling, camping), and finally Antiseptic Wipes.

All in all, traveling with Chronic illnesses do not have to be a nightmare.  Plan to take your time, be prepared and plan for surprises.  

Happy Travels,

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Plan

Leaving soon . . .  And also, we're just getting started. 

Our greatest little find…  and, the neatest thing we came across, in deciding 

where to stop along the way to our final destination, making our trip more

comfortable for all, was using Roadtrippers, by definition;

'Roadtrippers is a simple and intuitive USA road trip planner. Search along a route or plan a road trip with our online trip planner for free, then sync it with your smartphone for turn-by-turn navigation. Roadtrippers is a powerful route planner, perfect as a RV trip planner or family trip planner, as it not only let’s you plan a route on the map, but seamlessly syncs your travel itinerary to turn-by-turn navigation via our iPhone app.Roadtrippers is currently perfectly equipped to help you plan a USA road trip, such as Route 66 or a Canada road trip. European road trips, Australian road trips, and other countries are coming soon!Check it out. Has a few things we'd like to see added or changed, but all in all a great help!'

Great little help, and also, there are several things we would change, or add,

but all in all, a great help with a long distance trip.  Check it out!