Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Crohn's Chronicles :: Flare Up + Vitamin Deficiency

So one of my new year's resolutions was to become a Crohn's expert. I may not actually become an "expert" per se...I mean, it's a disease that all the smart people can't really pinpoint. But my goal is certainly to know more about it by the end of 2013 than I did at the beginning. Which shouldn't be too hard, considering I didn't know anything at all when I was diagnosed :)

I had been feeling pretty good and had started to regain some sense of normalcy. I started getting a little more adventurous in what I was eating. A few days ago, I started feeling sick again. The flare up was not as bad as things were before, but it was definitely not fun. The sad part is that I don't know what I ate that caused it, if anything at all. Now is about the time that I would have experienced another attack or flare up in my timeline pre-December-hospital-stay. Thankfully I am feeling better today, just tired. Something about being in pain for several days just wears you out!

My doctor called today with the results of my blood work. Turns out I have a B-12 deficiency. I guess to go along with my Vitamin D deficiency {which I now know is linked to Crohn's. Who knew?} Anyway, my body just doesn't absorb nutrients like it's supposed to, so I am at higher risk of vitamin deficiencies. In particular, B-12 is absorbed in the lower ileum, which just so happens to be the part of my intestines that is inflamed and affected by Crohn's. Fun stuff, right?

So I have to start a series of B-12 injections. One every day for a week, then one every week for a month, then hopefully only monthly after that if my levels are back up. Thank God for insurance. And for a husband who is willing to be trained to help me with my shots. I know it's what my body needs- I want to avoid anemia, nerve damage, and memory loss- but I just don't love the idea of more shots. I know I need it, I just wish I didn't need it. The good thing is that because my B-12 levels are so low, it is partly what is contributing to me being tired all the time. So hopefully increasing that level will also increase my energy!

Today has definitely been a reminder that I have to be super diligent about this disease; I can't slack on anything or become complacent if I want to be healthy. It is certainly a reminder that our bodies are so temporary. And it also reminded me that there isn't a cure-all to make all of my symptoms go away. Of course, my mom is praying that the Lord just remove the disease altogether, and there is absolutely nothing impossible with Him! But my dad reminded me today that the Lord uses difficult and challenging circumstances to grow us and bring Him glory. My prayer is that I can have the strength to be teachable and point all of this to Him.


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