Why Yoga

sun-salutationWhen talking to a friend over the weekend, he mentioned that he had been going to yoga a lot recently and that he, his wife, and his new baby were all better off because of it.  He is debating taking the teacher training at CorePower (which, of course, I gushed about…not biased at all seeing as that’s where I teach), and he wanted to know if it deepened or weakened my practice.  That question put the fire under me to write this post that has been sitting patiently in my brain until now: WHY YOGA?

For me personally, I practice yoga because…..actually, let’s back up.  A little history with why I started yoga to begin with, why I continued with yoga, and why I am waking up to practice tomorrow morning despite writing this post well past midnight.

I took my first yoga class at CorePower Yoga (or CPY) back in March 2009.  As an understatement, I’ll say that I was not hooked right away.  This was not love at first pose.  I, in fact, was only there because my friend Silvia invited me and I have a hard time turning things down.  Plus I think Silvia is cool and I wanted to be cool too.  Combine that with the fact that my sister had already been practicing yoga for a few years and was chirping at me to get in the studio ASAP!!!  Like most things Michelle insists that I will like if I just freaking try it already, I resist as much as humanly possible, inevitably give in, and invariably fall in love with said suggestion.  It’s a fun cycle.  For me, anyway.  Not sure about her sisterly interpretation.  :)

Off I went to yoga class.  And it was honestly pretty terrible.  I won’t say I hated it, but I definitely did not enjoy it.  But Silvia kept inviting me to different yoga studios around PB and it became a little bit of a Saturday morning outing for us and a few others.  I didn’t go consistently, but I went….semi-regularly.  At the time, I knew I had to do something active and I couldn’t find an adult dance studio that I liked.  That’s what I really wanted to do was dance.  I loved my adult jazz class that I grew up with (started sneaking in when I was 12 despite the minimum age being 13), but there was simply no San Diego equivalent to the amazing Tim Hill’s class.   So I persisted with this yoga thing, kind of half-heartedly because I didn’t feel I had many other options.

Why did I initially get turned off by yoga?  The answer I told myself: I sucked at it.  And I hated that I sucked at it.  In general, I can pick things up pretty damn quickly.  I take it for granted that typically (outside of sports), if I focus on something for a relatively short amount of time, I’m decent at it.  Yoga was not one of those things.  I was sore, I was out of shape, I was falling over, I was out of breath, I was in my head and I was “bad” at it.  I did not like going in, time and time again, feeling like I sucked.  To add insult to injury, I didn’t even improve right away!  I didn’t feel comfortable in a yoga studio for about a year.  A year!

But I kept going.  A big reason is that there is a ton of free yoga in San Diego, and who doesn’t like free stuff?  I was bouncing around studios, trying out free week trials and figuring out what I liked/didn’t like about various yoga studios.  This one was too hot, this one too cold.  This one had great class times, but a bad location.  That one had a great location, but crappy teachers.  This one was not enough of a workout, that one left me feeling like I ran a marathon.  Me being the Goldilocks in this situation, CorePower was just right.  I like to call it the Starbucks of yoga.  It’s commercialized, but it’s a top-notch, consistent product.  There’s a lot to be said for that.  Plus I loved the format: we did sit ups in the middle of class, it was heated but not ridiculous,  there were classes all the time, and so many locations that I could drive to four studios within ten minutes of my house.  They have beautiful locker rooms with hairspray and tampons always stocked….they know their audience.  I decided to become a member a full year after that first class.  As you may remember, 2010 was a big year for me trying to finally take care of myself and not be such a doofus anymore about my health.

As I found out along the way, yoga is not something you can suck at.  Turns out the answer I told myself years ago (“I sucked at it”) isn’t actually the true one.  The true answer is that I was not ready to embrace yoga, or to embrace change in my life.  If you compare my yoga timeline to my food/nutrition/lifestyle timeline, yoga came first.  Well, technically the chiropractor came first, but yoga was a close second.  :)  And most importantly, yoga has stuck around the longest.  I think it was inevitable that I stuck with it.  It almost wasn’t even a choice.  I think my ego told myself that I had to keep going in order to “get better” at it.  The reality is that my body needed it, my spirit needed it, and the universe used my ego as the carrot to keep me going back.  Honestly, I’m so grateful that I have yoga now in my life, that I don’t care why I kept going.  I’m just glad that I did.

Being the person I am, I took CPY by the horns once I got there.  I enrolled in a few boot camps, I started cleaning as a trade to get free yoga all the time, I became pretty immersed in the culture and actually starting enjoying myself.  I had a few cathartic moments on the mat and was finally hooked.  Pretty soon, everyone was trying to talk me into teacher training.  I had zero intentions of becoming a yoga teacher.  I’m still not 100% sure why I decided to do it.  However it happened, in the fall of 2011, I found myself enrolled in a 200-hour teacher training program for an activity I had only taken seriously for less than two years.  I was in way over my head.

Teacher training is a 8 week format at CPY.  That’s 200 hours to get done in 8 weeks.  I was extremely naive about how quickly I could become trained.  Even in a 10 week format, that’s an extra 20 hours a week to your normal routine!  Luckily (?), CPY makes you do what is called an “extensions” program once you are done with the first 8 weeks, which meant I then had an additional 4 weeks to get more teaching practice in, and to finalize my hours.  Although teacher training was a grueling process, it was one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done in my life.  It changed how I approach my mat, each of my postures, my breath, my life.  That was the one life-changing event where yoga went from a task I enjoyed to an activity that affected my mind-body-spirit health.  There is SO MUCH to learn and teach about yoga that cannot be contained in this blog, but suffice to say that it truly changed my life.  I now teach twice a week and try to practice three times a week, although I don’t always hit that mark.

One of my fellow UCers once said to me that they are pursuing this holistic lifestyle as a treatment method because they prefer meditation, not medication.  That sums up where I am with yoga today.  Yoga has introduced me to meditation, retreats at the Chopra Center, regular therapeutic massage, and I know that I would still be on my medication if not for yoga.  The short answer I regularly give people when they ask why I practice yoga is that it allows me to breathe.  If only for one hour, I allow myself to shut up, breathe, meditate in motion, and relax.  There is incalculable benefit for deep breathing all on its own!  Yoga inspires me, forces me, enables me to keep breathing.  Today, that’s my why.

ALISA’S MUSIC CORNER

I found this band….or actually, Spotify thought I would like this band (cocky jerks!), called Lake Street Dive…and Spotify was right.  I like them.  They can get a little repetitive, but the lead singer has a really cool Alabama Shakes meets Adele thing going for her.  Two great people to rip off if you ask me.  I was listening to their studio album, but then Jon found this fun video of them singing Jackson 5 live and I was sold.  Check it out!

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Categories: Balance, Colitis, Healing, Yoga | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

“Your diet confuses me”

confused

I get this a lot.  Or variations on the theme:  “I don’t understand what you’re eating right now.” “Are you allowed to eat that?”  “Can you eat _______?”  Well, in theory, I could eat tinfoil and wash it down with bacon grease.  It’s just not a good idea for me at this point.  I got this “your diet confuses me” from my well-intentioned friend Jeff recently.  To be honest, your diet confuses me, Jeff.  haha.  Not really, yours is very straightforward: rare steak, cheddar cheese, Ritz, ranch dressing, Coke and dark beer.   Done.  Oh and Bombay Sapphire, of course.  :)

I think what confuses most people about my “diet” or what I eat is that it is not entirely consistent.  I change it a lot.  I cheat quite a bit now that I’m healthier and my colon is feeling better.  My food choices depend on the day at this point.  But in the end, my main goal is simply to eat a lot of vegetables.  It’s funny how the old, stereotypical message of “eat your vegetables” turns out to be my basic truth!  I would venture to say that we all need to be eating a stupid amount of vegetables.  And fruits of course.  But the green stuff just is going to help you.  Period.  The slick part is that the more green stuff you’re eating (and I don’t mean the apple flavored sour candy), then the less of the other stuff you’re eating.

I happened upon this article titled, “blah blah blah, recycled information that I’ve read 1000 times on mindbodygreen.com, etc., etc.”  Oh I’m sorry, my mistake, it was called Don’t Overthink Your Diet, Just Eat More Plants.  And here I am, super hypocritical, retyping the same message.  But you absolutely can’t hear it enough.  It’s like in teaching where you will say a concept 100 times and the student is not getting it.  But then a guest speaker comes in and says the exact same thing and the student’s like “hey, I wish someone would have told me that earlier!”  And then the teacher wants to punch themselves in the face…..but they are also happy the the student finally got it.  So I feel like if it gets mentioned enough, then at least one new person will get it every time.

At the hippie place in OB where I buy my tea for my kombucha, I was talking to the tea guy about food and eating this and that, and he gave me an example I definitely relate to.  He said he loves and drinks tea because it’s the opposite of nachos.  My reaction was of course, laughter.  Then: “What?  What does that even mean?” “Well, nachos taste amazing.  Sometimes, you really enjoy eating them.  Then later on?  You feel like absolute crap.  Your stomach hurts, you have to run to the bathroom.  But with tea…maybe it sometimes it’s delicious or sometimes it tastes like crap when you are drinking it.  But my goodness.  You feel amazing later on.”  That’s how I want my food to make me feel.  Like a million bucks.  It’s what I have to keep reminding myself of when I want to reach for that extra piece of bread or the free cheesecake that’s on the dinner table at the fancy event I went to tonight!  Hypothetically speaking.  (I ate the cheesecake, by the way.  And felt like crap later on.)

The other side of confusion is helping those who want to eat better but aren’t exactly sure how.  I am pretty good at knowing my body at this point, what’s going to make it feel good and not.  I call my diet “Food That Doesn’t Make Me Feel Like Crap.”  This handle on what’s good/what’s bad does not mean it’s super easy to stick to, but at least I have a little bit of that awareness.  Many people don’t, which is fine, but the lack of knowledge definitely can make picking out what to eat for meals and snacks a challenge.  Keep it simple, as mentioned before: don’t stress over it and eat more vegetables, as close to how you found them in the ground as possible.  I find that when I’m having a stretch of days like today where I’m feeling….not great….then I take stock of what I’ve been eating and it turns out to be mostly non-vegetable.  It’s a continual practice of bringing those foods back in, again and again.  Staying creative and making it interesting helps a lot.

Here’s to green foods and happy tummies.  Now if I could just kick that craving for dark chocolate….

ALISA’S MUSIC CORNER

This is tough because I’ve been listening to a lot of old stuff recently, nothing too new to report here.  I will say that it is the 30th anniversary of Thriller coming up in December.  I was only….1.83 years old when the video came out, which means I didn’t appreciate it right away, but I love it.  I use it often when I’m teaching College Success courses because it’s around this time of year that they learn about note taking.  I make them practice taking notes with the Thriller video!  I learned today that it was the first real music video ever aired by MTV.  Talk about setting a high standard.  Geez.  That thing is epic.  So basically, I listened to a lot of Michael Jackson today.  Truthfully, this was all set off because John Mayer covered a slow, bluesy version of “Off the Wall” when we saw the show last week.  It was great and that song has been in my head ever since!  Enjoy.

Off_the_wall

Categories: Colitis, Food and Diet, Outside viewpoints | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Frozen Happiness

Frozen kale cubesHello, hello and happy September!  It’s the time of year where a crisp, cool breeze bites through your sleeves and reminds you that autumn is on the way.  Oh wait.  I forgot.  Apparently, it’s just freaking hot.  All the time.  When did September become such a ridiculous heat wave?  Goodness.  (Edited to say that I started this entry a few weeks ago, but I’m sticking with it, even though it’s cooled down and semi-irrelevant now!  Deal with it!)

Football has started again which is pretty exciting.  We’re heading into my 11th season as an NFL watcher (coincidentally when I started dating Jon).  Although for that first season, I think 90% of my football “watching” was really just me sleeping.  Aaaaand not much has changed, really.  I get a LOT of sleep and a LOT of snuggles during football season….which helps explain why I’m so excited that it’s here!  Plus it is fun to watch occasionally as I slip in and out of consciousness, just like the football players!  Of course, the Eagles haven’t been any good the last few years, which means Jon is not always as committed to watching it every Sunday.  We’ll see how this year plays out.  So far it’s been a roller coaster of emotions that usually leaves everyone confused and angry.

But what have I been doing to keep cool?  Well, my air conditioning in my car went out.  After many years of nothing being majorly wrong with my dependable Corolla, on the first day of the heat a few weeks ago, BOOM, there was no cold air rushing through my vents.  So I’ve been embracing the window.  The fun part is that since I was 21 when I bought this car, I had zero money and opted to not get power windows and doors.  For the extra $2,500 I was saving, I figured my friends could roll up their own windows (lazy bums!).  What I did not think about was that in ten years, if I wanted my passenger side window to go down because it was approaching 100 degrees in my non-AC vehicle, that I would have to awkwardly lean over and try to reach the little turny knob thingy across the whole car.  Super classy.  It has since been fixed, but that was an interesting couple weeks.

What I’ve been doing to keep cool through food is a lot of smoothies.  We left for a wedding in Philly two weeks ago and I had a ton of fresh, delicious vegetables and fruits in my fridge (shocker).  But what to do?  They would all go bad in our absence!?!  Typically I would freak out, try to juice or blend them ALL and end up with a big brown disgusting mess that smelled weird.  Of course I would drink half of it out of spite, but by the time we got to the airport, that thing would be trash.

So I’m standing there at my sink, wondering what I should do and I started to put things in the freezer.  At first, it was stuff that made sense and that I froze all the time: bananas, strawberries, raspberries…..but then I started thinking, hey vegetables can be frozen too!  What a concept!  I am obviously a genius for thinking of this very new concept of frozen vegetables.  But they were weird ones for me to freeze, I think.  I chopped up my zucchini, cucumbers and broccoli into smoothies sized pieces and stuck those in the freezer.  But why stop there?  I started freezing the celery, the kale, the spinach, even my romaine lettuce!  I got carried away and ended up freezing tomatoes and oranges…I haven’t tried those yet but I was on a roll!

After the trip, I went to make a green smoothie with all of my delicious frozen weirdness.  It. Was. Awesome.  I couldn’t believe how well everything held up, right down to the last lettuce piece.  I have been a freezing monster ever since.  My smoothies have never been more delicious and I don’t have to feel bad when things start to go bad in the fridge….I just transfer them up to the freezer!

Now for all the hardcore yogis out there, ayurvedically, frozen beverages are not balancing my whacked out vata dosha.  :)  They are kind of feeding it.  But I am justifying it because it’s crazy hot outside.  I am still drinking my warm ayurvedic tea throughout the day, so I’m good right?  Whatever helps me sleep at night, haha.  I’ll switch to warmer, soup-type options as we ease into colder weather, I promise.

I figured I’d include a smoothie recipe to end this off in case you’d like to try it at home.  The problem is that I don’t follow recipes in general.  But if you take these ingredients and play around with amounts, you will find a combination that you like in a few tries, I promise.  Happy blending!

Alisa’s typical green smoothie:

  • green apple….1
  • celery…1.5 stalks
  • kale…..1-2 big pieces
  • juice of one lime
  • spinach…..a big handful
  • green grapes…..a small handful
  • cucumber….a quarter of a whole cucumber
  • zucchini…..a quarter of a whole zucchini (at first I was cutting off the top and bottom, and then I was like, wait a minute, I have a Vitamix!  I can just throw the whole thing in there!)
  • green bell pepper…..only if I have it around, and I use probably an eighth of a pepper or so
  • apple juice…..enough that it can blend pretty easily.  I also add water if it gets too thick.

Pretty much anything that is green in the fridge goes in.  Enjoy!!!

 

ALISA’S MUSIC CORNER

John Legend’s new album came out recently and I love it.  I especially have been obsessed with his Common cover of “The Light” which he has renamed “Open Your Eyes” and put in new lyrics, etc.  I love the original and I may even like the cover better!

John Legend

Categories: Balance, Colitis, Recipes | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

One year later

calendar

A peek into my day today:

  • Wake up!  Hooray, I’m still here!
  • Take two probiotics
  • Go to the bathroom….another great bathroom trip!
  • Get dressed, grab my fresh green juice and head to yoga
  • Have an awesome yoga class with one of my favorite teachers, Tara
  • Come home, eat a homemade Clif bar, finish my juice, get ready for work
  • Simmer my ayurvedic tea for 10 minutes before putting it in my adult sippy cup
  • Head to work, eat leftover yellow curry with lots of veggies and brown rice/quinoa for lunch
  • Snack on nuts, dried mango, grapes, fresh orange/carrot juice
  • Come home, take my multi-vitamin, triphala and curcumin with aloe vera juice
  • Put the SCOBYs into the new batch of kombucha I started last night
  • Eat a salmon burrito and black beans with my beautiful husband
  • Write a blog entry
  • Take one more probiotic
  • SLEEP!

Whew!  Why is today so important that I felt I had to chronicle the whole thing?  Because today is the official one year anniversary of me not taking any medication.  It completely snuck up on me!  It doesn’t seem possible that I haven’t had a hamburger for a year.  How have I survived?  It has been an interesting road.  The experience has been a struggle at times, but worth every second in the end.  If you could look back even just a few years, this daily routine would have seemed ridiculous!  I mean, everything I do is shrouded in hippie-ness.  I love it, it’s just odd to reflect back on how much has shifted over the years.  Gradual changes and tiny steps… and then one day you look around and it’s all new!

I need to once again thank YOU, my friends and family for your seemingly unending support during this last year.  You have all been really patient with my strange food behavior and my sober ways.  Especially when I was being uber-strict, it was tough to maintain socially.  But no one ever made me feel bad or weird or whatever for doing what I was doing.  In fact, it went the other way, where many friends and family members shifted their own approach to food as a result of this blog and how I’ve been eating.  Most notable are my two amazing parents.  Over the last year, my dad has lost 100+ lbs, my mom completed yoga teacher training and actually started some self-care practices….my dad is even walking!  These are things that I used to only dream about.  I’m insanely proud of them.  So thank you to you all for making that happen through your understanding.

In terms of the colitis itself, I keep getting better and better!  This last month in particular has been really smooth and virtually symptom-free.  It’s pretty incredible.  I’ve already started to ease up on my eating habits, and have transitioned into being more flexible with bread or cheese here and there.  I’ve even had a few drinks!  Gasp!  haha.  Still no meals of steak and ribs or anything like that, but I found that I was becoming a little obsessed with the food I was eating.  And as I am constantly reminding myself, it’s not ALL about the food.  I didn’t want to develop an eating disorder, which I could feel brewing.  So I instead found patience with myself, allowed a moderate amount of processed foods to enter my body and I took them in with love.  For the most part, it is okay when that stuff happens.  I can feel in my body where it is off after I derail from the plan, but the whole system is nowhere near as sensitive as it was.  It’s pretty exciting.

At this time last year, I was having 3 or more painful bowel movements per day that were mostly or entirely blood.  I wasn’t even moving real product anymore.  I had the “burny butthole feeling” virtually all the time.  I was bloated, gassy and pretty sad about the whole thing.  I was still taking 3 pills, 3 times a day of asacol and its effectiveness had gone to zero.  I knew I had to make a drastic change (well, many drastic changes), but even so, it was a risk.  Thank goodness it paid off, and then some!  I’m so glad it did.  What a difference a year can make!

Here’s to many more years of learning, growing and continuing down the path of healing!  Cheers!

 

 

ALISA’S MUSIC CORNER

Rent

 

I think it’s safe to say that I grew up listening to the musical Rent.  I think I’ve seen it three times?  I forget.  But I must have listened to the soundtrack at least 200 times (almost as many times as Les Mis).  Every time I hear “Seasons of Love,” I fall even more in love with the whole show, and most of the time I end up in tears.  I can’t think of a better, more fitting measurement of this last year, medication free.   Measure in love.  Enjoy!

Categories: Colitis, Healing, Patient History | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

Supplementary manifestations

Light on the end of railway tunnel.

Supplementary manifestations….sounds more lyrical than “new stuff,” or “current updates” doesn’t it?

There’s a lot to share, but I’ll try to keep it to a reasonable amount of words.  I had a follow-up appt with my GI at the beginning of the June (seriously, has it been that long since I wrote on here??).  He went over the photos with me and re-iterated how well everything is going.  Two things that stood out:

1-I don’t actually have any ulcers right now.  What?  Yeah, apparently it’s just inflammation and mucus.  Although this is good news, it is confusing and frankly, disorienting….which is probably a good thing.  I think it makes for good character development to have your freaking world rocked every now and again.  I’m so used to identifying with these damn tiny little ulcers that I have to now redefine myself.  Do I have to change the name of my blog?  Maybe I should dye my hair a new color.  Do I have to get all new friends and buy new clothes?  I hope not, it all sounds like a lot of work.

2-the “healthy” part above the inflammation is still classified as “inactive colitis” according to their biopsies.  Although this should not have come as some huge surprise to me, it did.  Basically, this stuff doesn’t go away easily, or at all.  It’s like the UC is saying: “Hey, in case you forgot, I will be with you for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.  Just making sure you don’t forget and F things up again!”  I realize it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but goodness, it would be nice if it just freaking went away already.  And for good.

The doctor patiently explained again why a daily medication would be helpful.  It would reduce the chance of another bad flare by 50%.  He likened it to a vitamin that you take in the morning, just to make sure everything is running smoothly.  He explained it as a topical intervention….it goes directly to the colon, where it needs to and only affects the first few levels of cells.  The one he wants me to take is not an immuno-suppressant like many other UC drugs are.  It’s safe and relatively harmless on paper. He complimented me on all of my hard work and said I was 90% of the way there.  This just helps you get to that last 10%.  It all sounds very natural and easy when he says it.  :)

Fast forward to a yoga class I took on Saturday with one of my favorite teachers.  After working us really hard for 60 minutes (I thought I was going to die a few times during the flow), he had us sit and meditate.  He asked us to think about our greatest teacher in life.  What it is that keeps us inspired and focused.  What keeps us coming back to our mat.  He asked us to thank those teachers and pay respect to all of them.  I just sat there and cried like a crazy person.  I have had amazing, humbling, brilliant teachers.  But none of them comes to close to changing my life like UC has.  What choice do I have but to be grateful for this annoyingly efficient teacher and spotlight?  And I’m close.  I’m ridiculously close.  I’m 90% of the way there.  I don’t want to turn it off now with a prescription.  I’m still a work in progress.  Maybe I always will be.  But at least I’ll have found my way by listening to my mind, body and spirit.  I know what I’m doing may not work for everyone, but I am absolutely happy that it’s working for me.

Which leads to my other MD appt I had in June, this time with an integrative, Ayurvedic, yoga teacher who just happens to be my new primary care physician.  She is amazing.   I am grateful to have her on my side.  We had a two-hour appointment where she went through the most comprehensive health history that any doctor has ever walked me through.  She (ironically? fittingly?) said the same thing as my GI: Alisa, you’re almost there, we just need to tweak that last 10%.  The HOW was different though.  She prescribed VSL#3 which is a behind-the-counter, super strength probiotic.  I didn’t fill that prescription either.  I’m so stubborn!  haha.  I already have a probiotic that has been working great for me, therefore I’m happy with it, no need for the VSL.  She did make a number of recommendations that I am following, though.  In terms of herbs, I’m now taking triphala, curcumin (turmeric) and aloe vera juice.  I’m also supposed to be doing a digestive tea daily with fennel, coriander and cumin, but I’m still working that one into my routine.  In terms of lifestyle, she recommended more restorative yoga, warming foods, soothing activities, and of course, less stress overall.

For today, there is a growing light at the end of the tunnel: I won’t always have to have colitis as a reminder to be nice to myself.  It’s fine for now (that’s for you, Papa!) but it’s not exactly a sustainable situation.  Knowing that makes it that much easier to let it go, which I’m doing slowly.  I’m learning how to be a real person, functioning in a healthy way on my own, without the help and guidance of my colitis.

ALISA’S MUSIC CORNER

Does it make me a teeny-bopper if I love the new Bruno Mars song?  Is that who buys his stuff?  I don’t even know.  I’m not saying I celebrate his whole catalog, but I’m digging his new wannabe Michael Jackson/Earth, Wind & Fire song, Treasure.  I never got into disco music overall, but this song is just fun.  Check out the music video and you’ll swear it’s actually the Jackson 5 dancing around.  Despite what I said on my last post, I do love when people rip off other people and do it just as well or better.  So keep on rocking it, Bruno.

Bruno-Mars-Treasure-Video

Categories: Balance, Colitis, Healing, Love, Patient History | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Colonoscopy prep

First of all, thank you for all the kind texts, emails, comments and in person comments (real life comments? is that allowed?) about my recently reported reduction in inflammation.  It is truly amazing how lucky I am to have such great people in my life.  Thank you.

Also, many people have been asking about the colon cleanse that I went through instead of taking the drugs that were prescribed for the procedure.  I did not make this decision lightly, and no I didn’t consult my doctor on it.  I did write him an email about a week prior, asking if there were any alternative supplements or anything like that I could take, but didn’t exactly let him in on my plan.  Like so many things in life, I figured it would be easier to ask forgiveness than permission.  This was a dicey maneuver on my part, I realize that.  But it made no sense to me (still doesn’t) why you would ask someone who has diagnosed UC to take such a strong laxative.  Many UC patients have daily symptoms of diarrhea, bloating, stomach cramping, and painful passage of stool.  Then the doctor wants you to take something that induces diarrhea, bloating, stomach cramping, nausea and for many people, vomiting, anal irritation and painful passage of stool (which, granted, probably just comes from all the pooping).  To me, it just doesn’t add up.  Additionally, every single person I talked to who already had a colonoscopy said things like: “The prep is the WORST!” “Good luck, the prep is terrible!” which didn’t add to my excitement.  As a result, I decided to take matters into my own hands and change it up.

There is a decent amount of work that went into the prep, so I created a new page for it.  I hope it serves as a good reference if you ever want to take on this challenge for yourself.  I will say that it was a challenge.  As you may remember, I tried a three day liquid diet in December and it was too hard to stick to.  I didn’t get into too many specifics in that post, but it was a difficult time emotionally, physically and mentally.  I broke down after only a day and a half and made soup for goodness sake.  I didn’t take it seriously enough and was still trying to maintain my everyday life, despite taking in zero calories.  Now that makes no sense.

This time around, I had a larger incentive to “do well” because of the scheduled colonoscopy.  If I didn’t clean out my colon, they couldn’t see what they needed to, and I’d have to reschedule the whole thing.  I did not want that outcome.  Plus I knew that I was breaking new ground by not going the normal route.  I wanted to be an example for other UC peeps to follow (and anyone else that may want to try it for their own colonoscopy).  I was very mindful of clearing out my calendar, and only committing to one social event for the weekend, which is a big deal for me.  I knew I had to let my body fully relax and come into a place of healing on its own, without trying to add in extra stressors.

Check out the new page, feedback is always appreciated and encouraged.  :)

ALISA’S MUSIC CORNER

Over the last year or so, I’ve been semi-obsessed with Allen Stone.  One of my favorite live songs of his is a cover of Bob Marley’s “Is This Love“.  The arrangement is just killer, beautiful harmonies, etc.  The other day, I was watching an old episode of Parenthood (I love that damn show) and in the background, I heard a woman singing the same freaking arrangement!  I immediately jumped on the google machine to figure out this mystery and it turns out that Allen Stone is just ripping off Corinne Bailey Rae’s version!  Granted, he still kills it.  His is a much bigger production with the band, etc.  But the concept was hers…I think?  Who knows, really.  Kind of goes back to an old argument that I’ve had with Jon and the Pirazzinis over whether or not a song is “better” if the person singing is the one who wrote it.  I still stand to the fact that just because a person wrote the song doesn’t make it inherently better when they perform it.  Some songwriters are terribile performers.  Some performers are terrible songwriters.  But for better or worse, wind was definitely taken out of my sail when I found out the innovative arrangement I fell in love with at an Allen Stone show had little to do with Allen Stone himself, other than his great taste in covering cover songs.

Oh yeah, back to what I was listening to.  :)  Corinne Bailey Rae on Spotify, of course.

corinnebaileyrae

Categories: Cleansing, Colonoscopy, Patient History | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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