Wednesday, 1 February 2017

January 2017


A monthly update

I've been bad at keeping up with my monthly updates. This month was sort of an exception because I had a good excuse; last Friday I received a call concerning some recent tests I had performed and I was notified that my doctor wanted to see me asap to review tissue biopsies. It's a little concerning to hear the words "biopsy" and "asap" thrown together, the sense of urgency made me rather uncomfortable. The tissue samples are from my large bowel. Although I was told that I had no obvious signs of inflammation or anything else in there, they still required tissue samples to rule out anything else. What that "anything else" could be was left up to my imagination. My family has a history of digestive disorders, my father has Crohn's and has had precancerous cells present in his biopsies. It's a little nerve wracking but my fears were put to rest - at least temporarily - when the gastroenterologist explained that all they found was the possibility of lymphocytic colitis. They say it's a disorder that causes inflammation in the bowel that is only detectable under a microscope. Woo. He also says it's "merely a nuisance" and encourages me to take over the counter medicines to keep my stomach in check. This was a disappointing diagnosis (if we can even call it a diagnosis because he's not certain whether the inflammation was caused by that or if I may have accidentally taken ibuprofen at the time of testing); it doesn't account for my fevers, body aches or weakness. It doesn't account for any of the symptoms that have held me back from work! It merely addresses what we thought was IBS. It's disappointing but he's determined to conduct other tests to rule out the possibility of Crohn's disease (which would account for all of my symptoms, including the hair loss), or other digestive issues involving the stomach and small intestine. 

We almost bumped up the upcoming CT scan to the 8th but had to reschedule for March when I told him his resident had advised that I go off of gluten. I've been on a gluten free diet for months, indulging in a cookie or pastry only on occasion. In order for me to successfully be tested I have to go back on gluten consistently, which is something I'm dreading. I know when I eat gluten I get a host of digestive upset symptoms. My stomach feels like razor blades are in there, I might get runny stool, I might puke, or feel like I drank a 40 of vodka the day before. I don't think I need to be tested for Celiac disease, I clearly don't get along with gluten and my life has been better without it, but the gastroenterologist is thorough and he wants me to eat bread for SIX WEEKS. I have finally gotten back to my original weight that I haven't been in YEARS! Now he's telling me to put this dreadful, fatty fucking bread shit in my body?! It's so full of carbs and sugars, it's so refined and processed, it make me so bloated that I look like a marshmallow. I've tried to cap it at only two pieces of bread in the morning and at night, of the most organically healthy bread we could get our hands on (thank god my guy drove me to a health grocery store and didn't just assume I wanted Wonderbread). Making bread a healthy diet staple sounds like a joke to me. Of course I've been living off of fresh fruit and vegetables with ground turkey and mussels for almost a year, so anything outside of my diet seems unhealthy to me! I'm going to try to make it work, but you bet your ass I'll be dropping gluten out of my diet the moment the tests are over.

I can already see problems from going back on gluten, even if it's only been a short time. I had upset stomach immediately after consuming a day's worth of breads. It was doing flips all night. Today I'm having similar issues. I have shakes and stummy aches and feel way worse than I already have been. I kind of question why we care so much about Celiac when all of these other symptoms are already a problem for me. Like I'd really love to get rid of the fevers and body aches first and then save investigating food allergies of foods that I'm not even eating for another day, ya know? 

Blogging

As you can tell blogging has been slow. I've sewn part of a dress but abandoned it to work on my art. I bought a new art program for my pc. It's called Clip Studio and I highly recommend it for any of you who like to draw on your computer. It's a thousand times better for a digitizer tablet than Photoshop, although the user interface is fucking hideous and they've made some features more complicated than they need to be (like how it doesn't use right click for anything unless you map it to your stylus). I've been forcing myself to draw comic pages with detailed establishing shots and things I had neglected in my art before. I'm hoping to get a small web comic posted online at some point. It's mostly just for fun, considering comics don't actually make people real money. Instead I'm hoping it'll be a segue into another creative career, possibly allowing me to make connections with other artists or people interested in my work.

I want to sew more soon, when my hands have the strength again. I'll have time this weekend so I might finish the dress. I need to prioritize making things that I can wear regularly. I bought some cute separates for my wardrobe secondhand so I would like to focus on building off of those pieces. I think I'll post about wardrobe planning sometime soon. I really would like to sew a 1940's summer dress for when I hopefully go on vacation, but I must prioritize the things I need first and indulge in the more creative, fancy projects later on. I also want to focus on chipping away at my fabric stash, it's getting too big to be contained!

What have you been up to, lovelies?

Best

10 comments:

  1. Damn that again is a lot of bad health stuff, hoping things get better asap! :-/

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    1. Thank you! It is a lot, but it's been consistent for a year. I can at least say that, it's been reliable lol. I just hope we get some answers soon because I don't want to lose my job over something like this.

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  2. Oh jeez, I hope you get some answers soon. Hang in there!

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  3. hope you feel better. Take it easy. I bought my husband a drawing pad and it IS pretty hard to use on photoshop. Maybe another program would work. My sister wants to ditch the pad completely and just get a Surface so she can draw directly onto the screen. Artists I follow on instagram seem to be going that route...but that's crazy expensive.

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    1. Thank you! :) I've been using Photoshop and Wacoms for ages and I've always struggled with pulling a line on high resolution images. I found that when documents are at 300 res and up it makes it harder to create smooth lines, and the more zoomed out you are the worse it gets. People figured it was a problem with wacom's software, some felt it was the hardware like scratches on the tablet, but really it's Photoshop lol. They don't make Photoshop with illustrators in mind. Clip studio is much better for line work at any res because it uses vectors - which is awesome for editing. My biggest beef is that it's originally from Japan so there's tons of broken English and you can't search their material library in English, you have to translate terms into Japanese, but at $60 CAD I can't complain, it's affordable and better than Photoshop.

      I'm happy with my Intuos 4 but I've always toyed with the idea of getting a Cintiq. It's only really justified if you draw a lot. I know people who are terrible at drawing and do it only for a hobby and they have purchased Cintiqs. It's almost like a status thing, people like flaunting their more high tech tablets. The reality is that it's still a technology in its infancy. I've heard a lot of cons about using a Cintiq, primarily that it needs to be re-calibrated often, the screen gets hot, some people aren't used to drawing on an angle and it hurts their wrist, there's a delay when using the stylus, colours aren't great and the screen is too dark (and Wacom "conveniently" sells a device to fix that for $100 USD); it has a lot of bugs to work out. Alternatives to the Cintiq cost less, but not by much, and I've heard that they have a host of their own issues, including burning out after a short amount of time. It's a huge investment and I want to make sure my money goes into something awesome. At the end of the day, it's $2100 CAD, I'm choosing between a Cintiq and a face lift some day... I'll probably take the face lift lol.

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  4. I really hope you find out some answers soon about your health! You have been through so much and are continually to go through more! I would hate to start eating bread again! I wish you all the best!!! I would love to see your 1940's dress, if you create it! Big Hugs!

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    1. I will definitely post the 40's dress if I finish it! I'm going to post whatever I manage to sew this year lol. And thank you! I'm holding out for good news. :)

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  5. I can't imagine what you have to go through, it sounds horrible :( I didn't think you had to eat gluten to check for celiac disease..? My niece has it.
    It sounds like you don't have much variety when it comes to bread in your shops? We have quite a selection of whole grain, no added sugar etc etc. I hope you can find some good alternatives soon!

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    1. I am in a lot of pain. >.< They call it the "gluten challenge" on celiac forums and such. The idea is that gluten has to remain in your system for six weeks in order for it to register on blood and tissue tests. Because I have been off of gluten (inconsistently might I add) and there was a risk of me taking ibuprofen the doctor felt the tests were inconclusive and need to be retaken. What bugs me is that he's kind of creating a problem, instead of focusing on the cause of the excruciating pain I'm normally enduring he's making me go through pain caused by gluten. My worry is that he's trying to find something he can solve rather than address something he maybe can't solve. Doctors are always happy to give you an answer, even if it's not to the question you asked.

      I'm on healthy fresh backed organic whole grain bread, and it taste well enough, but the symptoms are very brutal. I'm more lethargic than before and my stummy feels just plain awful. I've been considering taking time off of work until I adjust but I've heard that the effects of eating gluten can last up to six months for some people.

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