For me, right now is one of life's perfect moments. The house is quiet. My son is down for his afternoon nap and my girl, aka Auntie Lou Lou, is quietly doing homework in her room. I just finished putting away the groceries and am about to start prepping for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I was unsure about the Holidays this year with how much our lives have been turned upside down, but I am so excited for tomorrow. Our house is going to be full of family. There are going to be kids everywhere, darting in and out of the house, filling their pockets and cheeks full of goodies. I was concerned that we might lose traditions and it wouldn't feel the same, but instead of we are bringing back some of the lost traditions as well as making new ones. This is the first year that my son understands what the holidays are about so I think is the perfect time to start fresh. "Thanksgibing" and "Mis Mis," he calls them.
One of the most common tradition in our family is the food that is served on the Holidays. This year we bringing back some of the dishes from my childhood. I will be making the side dishes that my Grandmother used to make. I can remember the Holidays at her house just like they were yesterday. They were the best of times. My Aunt and I had so much fun recently diving into the old family recipes. Most of them were hand written with little notes in the margins. I was lucky enough to be able to keep recipes from both my Grandmothers after they passed away. Your can tell which ones were their favorite because they still have food stuck on them....a little batter here, a little oil there. One of them still smells like Cinnamon, I don't know how, but it does.
I am realizing that I am going to have to make my own recipes too. I am not able to eat the butter or the flour or many other ingredients that are in traditional recipes. I can't eat them because of the textures either, so I must adapt. Once I am over the Crohn's flare and am able to eat more, I am going to start searching for ways to alter our favorite recipes in order to make new ones that we all can enjoy. It's not going to be easy. I made Apple Cinnamon Muffins yesterday that were both Vegan and Gluten Free. They smelled amazing and although the flavor was okay, the texture was horrific. It was as if I was eating something that was a result of a strange gelatinous science experiment. The consistency reminded me of the stretchy gummy frogs that you throw and stick on the windows. I'm telling you it was weird. I will not be doing that recipe again.
Anyway, I wish you the Happiest Thanksgiving. I hope it is full of love and laughter and many of your favorite traditions.
Despite the many days of rain that we have been having, I am becoming more and more thankful for this time of year. The stormy weather makes me want to hunker down indoors and seek out warmth and comfort. I find that my son and I spend more time in the kitchen on rainy days baking up all sorts of goodies. We made banana bread and applesauce cake yesterday. I love these two recipes in particular because they are kid friendly. No mixer is needed, just a bowl and a wooden spoon. We are usually covered in flour by the time we are done and have batter on our faces, but watching him learn and have fun is what it is all about. He is learning to count and measure and is recognizing what goes in each recipe. "I get three bananas mom?" he asks. "Yes please bud!" I say.
With me needing time to rest and recover, our life has slowed down at bit at home. We spend extra time snuggling, reading, and playing quiet games like play dough or puzzles. I have been feeling less inclined to go outside and play with how poorly I have been feeling, so I am secretly thankful that the rain has kept us indoors. Instead I've been taking the time to appreciate the little things, like how he still asks me to rock him to sleep from time to time. He doesn't fit in my lap as well as he used to, but he still reaches his arms out and hugs me until he falls asleep. I know that this won't last forever and I am very thankful for the time that we have together, especially in light of the recent events that have taken place around the world. I know that there are families that do not have this opportunity.
I also have taken up knitting. It may seem like an odd thing to start out of the blue, but I find that it is relaxing. I have a lot of pain in my abdomen and I am physically exhausted, yet the steroids that I am taking make my mind race. I feel as though I am wide awake all the time, even in the middle of the night. Knitting is proving to be helpful because it keeps my mind busy while allowing my body to rest. I began following instructional videos by what I think is a little old lady on YouTube. I say this because I can only see her hands, but they remind me of my Grandmothers and that alone is comforting. I'm not very good, so don't look too close at the picture, but you never know I might be some day.
The rain has also brought by husband home. I feel blessed that he has been able to come home earlier at night even though I know that it hard for him not to be working. I think that he is enjoying it more and more as the week goes on. He has been able to participate in our night time routines and even cooked dinner with us tonight. The three of us made Chicken Pot Pie. I can't remember the last time the three of us cooked dinner together, last Thanksgiving maybe?. We are sharing the pie tonight with family. This is another blessing that I am thankful for. Prayers before dinner and family around that table.
I hope you have a wonderful Sunday wherever you are and that you too are blessed with a full belly and family around your table.
Today is day 4 of treatment for my first official flare up and let's just say this whole Crohn's thing is far from sunshine and roses. I was told I have this incurable disease, given medication and sent on my way. Right now it feels as though I am fumbling my way through the darkness. It is a good thing that I am good at researching and putting the pieces together because if I wasn't I may not be able to make heads or tails out of this whole thing.
I am still trying to sort out how I feel about this. I'm afraid that I have been a bit of a mess the last few days, both mentally and physically. The corticosteroids are a miserable drug that make me feel awful and my face all puffy. Hopefully I will only be on the highest dose for a few weeks. Then we can slowly reduce the dose until I have healed. I'm still only able to eat food in liquid form and even that is painful. I have to have less pain and be able to eat solid food before they will decrease the dose so we will see how this goes. The other thing I am struggling with is the feeling of loneliness that often follows a diagnosis like this. I have people who love and care about me, but they don't understand how I am feeling. They do their best to sympathize with me and show their support, but their life still goes on just as it always has. However, I feel as though I was just handed this bomb that has changed everything and now I have to figure out what to do with it. Does that make sense? I can't take a break from life. It still goes on and I still have to do all the things I have had to do before no matter how poor I am feeling. My son still needs to live life to the fullest and my family still needs to be taken care of. Though sometimes I wish I had someone there to take care of me....silly isn't it?
But that's what days like today are for. Whether I felt ill or not we were going to have a great day, and we did. We had a mommy and son movie date. It was so much fun. My best mommy friend and I took our boys out to lunch and a movie. We had the whole back of the theater to ourselves and the boys got their wiggles out by exploring the isles and making their way up and down the stairs. It was a 3D movie too so they felt extra special with their 3D glasses on. They loved the movie and made through the whole thing. That's impressive for our two energetic boys. We may even do it again. After Thanksgiving I think.
I am finding that even in the middle of this haze, there are still things that bring light into your life. Dear friends are one of them, and for me cooking is another. I know crazy right? I'm allergic to everything, I can't physically eat hardly anything, but I still love to cook. Last night I made Lemon Chicken with Baked Green Beans and Baby Potatoes. I couldn't eat it, but it didn't matter. My son loved making it with me. He learned how to zest and juice a lemon and had a blast using the garlic press. He did dilute the lemon juice when I wasn't looking, but it still turned out okay. Plus, my husband was able to come home to a warm dinner after he'd been out in the rain all day and tonight I am turning the left over chicken into a variation of "Asian Chicken Noodle Soup" by www.cookingclassy.com. (You can find the recipe at: http://www.cookingclassy.com/2015/09/asain-chicken-noodle-soup/. )
I'm a big fan of using what I have on hand when making recipes so for this one I used Sweet Onions instead of Green Onions, Button Mushrooms instead of Crimini Mushrooms, added an extra carrot because my son likes them, and omit the Sriracha sauce and dry Ramen Noodles. Why did I omit them, well I would have substituted a Gluten Free Noodle for the Ramen Noodles, but I didn't have any and I currently have an open sore in my intestines so spicy foods are not a good idea at the moment. The broth of this soup on the other hand, is delicious!
I always seem to close with an interlude about my son needing my attention somehow. It is true though and is what always seems to happen when you have a little one attached to your hip 24/7. Right now he just woke up from a nap where it looks like he was dreaming about ice cream. He is going to be very upset when he finds out we don't have any. Let's see if a Popsicle will do.........hmm apparently not..... I must go dry some tears and provide snuggles now. What a hardship...snuggles!!!
I wish you all the best! Talk to you soon,
I have had a lot of testing done the last few weeks and last night I received confirmation that I have Crohn's Disease. The doctor said that it was a possibility when the results from the abdominal MRI I had a few weeks ago came back abnormal. He sent me in for a colonoscopy last Thursday and they did find an erosion and inflammation in my terminal ileum. Again the signs pointed to Crohn's Disease, but they wanted to see the results of the multiple biopsies they took before confirming the diagnosis. Well, wouldn't you know, they showed inflammation, infection and Crohn's Disease. That was the phone call I received last night.
At first I didn't know to take the possibility of Crohn's Disease. It is not a pleasant autoimmune disease and it is one that lasts a lifetime. I thought, another chronic gastrointestinal disease, you've got to be kidding me. I mulled it over a little bit and after researching about Crohn's Disease, I started to be okay with it. Then I got the phone call last night and apparently I wasn't as okay as I thought I was. I was crushed.
I was surprised that my husband wasn't as crushed as I was. When I asked him why he seemed to be so okay with it, he said "It could be worse. It's not cancer, and you are not dying." He was right. It is not cancer and I am not dying. This disease is a hard one to have, but it is not the worst that I can have. This is a well known disease and one that has many treatment options. We plan on taking this "flare-up", as they call it, head on. Tomorrow morning I am going to start on a heavy dose of an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid hormone and we are going to beat this into remission. And during this process I am going to be researching all the holistic approaches to this disease, starting with food first. I am going to find which foods I should be eating, and which foods I should not be. I did read that milk chocolate is frowned upon. It is now on the do not eat list, so I am indulging in my last piece as I write to you now. So long milk chocolate, I will miss you!
I hear my little man reeking havoc in the next room. It sounds like he is jumping on the couch with the enthusiasm of an acrobat, so I must be going. Thank you for following me on my journey. The plot has thickened, so hold on, it looks like it's going to be a bumpy ride!
Talk to you soon,
Hi there! Welcome to Grace In A Glass. My name is Danielle and I am so happy that you are visiting this site today. We all have something in life that we are working to overcome. I began blogging about my struggle with overcoming Esophageal Dysmotility and Crohn's Disease with the hope of reaching others with words of encouragement and hope. Thank you for letting me share my stories with you, and hope you have the most wonderful day!