Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Why I'm not worried about not having a job

Ok, so maybe I'm a little worried because it is a sensitive topic. I'm not in serious debt, however I still have concerns about the continuous medical bills. A good day for me is when the mailman shows up empty handed. This means that I don't have another bill to add to the pile.

The truth is I've been living off of my savings. I've always been good about saving money and I'm grateful that I have enough for such life emergencies. I know I can't continue to live this way. I'll say what everyone is thinking: its stupid and dangerous. And I agree. Sure, I don't have the kind of stress that a 9-5 job would bring. But being at home all the time brings upon a different level of stress. I don't like it and this is no way to live either. I am young and capable. I should be out in the world. Living like this is embarrassing. I feel like people are frowning upon my ways. My family gave up on me a long time ago and they don't know how to help me. I get criticized for not picking a stable field of work. Believe me, if I were to do my life over, I wouldn't have picked artist. Its a tough industry to get into, especially if my network is the size of a pea.

If you've been following my blog and videos, I have been miserable for more than a year. This has a lot to do with the job I accepted in August of 2008. I wasn't comfortable with the opportunity, but I accepted it in lieu of the recession. I had money and insurance, but I also wasn't myself and I didn't like it. The job transformed me into a monster. Every word that came out of my mouth was a complaint and the stress made me sick. It was a huge relief to become laid off but it isn't fun to deplete my savings. As much as I hate to admit, I feel that this hiatus (aka living like a bum) was necessary for me. I'm confronting a lot of the problems that I've had for years. I've taken time to re-evaluate and focus to what I really want and what I need. I've improved the quality of my life by eating better, exercising, and learning how to relax.

The reason why I'm not worried about not having a job is because deep down inside I know that my life won't be like this forever. I wouldn't have believed this a year ago because my previous employer made me feel worthless. I felt trapped. That aspect of my life made me feel like I was going to be miserable forever.

The mind and body are incredible things. Unfortunately for us suffering with UC, our bodies aren't reliable. These limitations make it easy to fall into a depression, so you have to keep your mind strong. Its the only thing you can control. I've used this time to make my body stronger but this was only possible because didn't allow my brain to lose its optimism. Even if my optimism was low, it was still there. I held on to it as tightly as I could, and its still there.

So here I am at the end of 2009 and the the beginning of 2010. The vacation is over and its time to aggressively find a job. It took me a long time to figure out what I like and what I want to do. I finally have a place in mind where I think I belong. I don't have feelings of dread anymore when it comes to finding a job because it doesn't seem impossible. Unfortunately I can't tell you where this place is. I don't want to jinx my luck or increase my competition. So you'll have to wait until I'm there before I can tell you :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Its ok to mess up, but not ok to give up!

At the start of the month I was absolutely pumped about exercising. To tell you the truth, I have gotten lazy. It wasn't like that at first. I treated myself for a job well done for including exercise in my life. I would going out with friends and stay out late. A few weekends of staying awake too long turned into three weeks of insomnia. My entire schedule was thrown out the window because I would be awake until 4am. I wish I had a lot of cool adventurous tales about secret espionage and midnight rendezvous... in reality, it was me going to bed at 1:30am staring at the ceiling (and occasionally the clock) hoping to eventually doze off. Most mornings at this new schedule I would wake up somewhere between 10am or 11am feeling like a zombie. Zombies can walk for miles, but they are terrible at the treadmill.

I will not allow myself to give up! I set a goal to match or succeed the 15.75 miles that I completed last month. I am not only doing this for myself, but I am doing this for you. I can't let you down after all the wonderful messages I received. A few of you mentioned that you wanted to start exercising after reading my blog! I was amazed and flattered :)

When things don't go as planned, I started this new thing where I ask myself a few questions like, "What can I do?" or "What am I doing differently now?". I find that if myself simple questions, I can approach a situation differently and hopefully find a solution. So what am I doing about this? I am blogging about it again! I want to feel the same excitement that I had two weeks ago. There are still a few days until January and I've re-arranged my schedule to fit the missing miles.

Miles completed to date: 8.22
Miles left to finish: 7.53 (within 9 days)

This doesn't seem daunting because my goal was to complete 7 miles within 7 days. If you asked me about my progress yesterday, I would have given you an exasperated sigh of defeat. Yesterday morning my complete number of miles was only 5.12 and I still had to walk 10.63 miles before the end of December.

I bit my tongue and worked through my frustration. I factored in the amount of time I would be spending with my family during the holiday, I know my time would be limited. Yesterday I ended up walking 3.10 miles! I needed to complete a larger chunk of miles to make up for lost time. It is difficult enough for me to do light exercise daily, but to triple my routine within the same day is crazy talk! Guess what! Even if I tripled my routine, I still followed rule #2 which is: Don't push yourself. This took a small amount of planning. I, as a recovering insomniac, vowed to wake up early, eat a light breakfast, and walk one and a half miles before noon. Then sometime in the early evening, I would walk another one and a half miles. This is how I completed three miles! Its easy if you make it easy!

It is the day after and I was surprised that my body isn't sore. I am planning on doing this again today and then the rest of the week should be a breeze knowing that I have less miles to cover. Its ok for me to mess up, but its not ok for me to give up! I'll continue walking one mile per day. And to all of you, good luck!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Say it with Sugar: The Cookie Trap

I'm in a difficult position in my life right now. Aside from the fact that I have no job and my family is being weird around me because I have no job... the biggest and most heart-aching issue that I am dealing with right now is the topic of friendship. I don't feel like I have any friends to hang out with. I know it sounds like a bold thing to say, but in some ways its true.

I've isolated myself because I feel like my disease and I are a burden to everyone. Its a lot easier for me to deal with conflict if there are no people have have conflict to exist with. And so, slowly but surely I shyed away from almost every social network that I knew. This was a stupid thing to do, but at the time it felt right. I couldn't find a reason why people would want to be around me when:

• I'm too sick to go out
• Too broke to do anything
• Paranoid that I smell like ass
• Stayed home too much and too long that I'd have nothing to talk about
• Being embarrassed about the times when I got sick in public

In hindsight, all of these reasons sound silly, but some of these are a constant worry for people suffering from Ulcerative Colitis. Who would tell me if I smell like ass or not? Who would tell me that they don't want to hang out with me because they know I will say 'no' anyway. Not anyone that I know because those are mean things to say. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me or worry about me. Less conflict makes sense. The only consequence is that it leaves me feeling very lonely and unsure about how to re-connect.

In the spirit of the holidays I'm getting that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Enough time has passed, the bad blood is gone, and I want to start over. My confidence becomes stronger when I'm feeling healthy, so I have to take advantage of my remission and make connections. Looking for answers, I feel pathetic Googling a topic like How to Make Friends, but hey I have to start somewhere! Its a well-written article with very simple and practical advice.

In a nutshell, the article was about being interesting, engaging, but most importantly about taking initiative! I was thinking about how I can become all of those things. My answer is food.

Food brings people together, and if it is free, there will be a stampede.

I've decided to take on a new hobby with baking. This all started back in October when I was experimenting with the many uses of fresh pumpkin filling. I've baked dozens of SCD cupcakes for myself (I have an expanded waist-line to prove it). And now I'm taking it to the next level by baking for other people. Last week, I went to the library and picked up The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett (Let me warn you now, gentle viewers, that this is NOT a specific carbohydrate diet book). I'm putting my will-power to the test out of desperation and loneliness to win friendships back! I will triumph through their hearts and through their stomachs and with lots and lots of sugar.

Baking cookies will give me an activity to take my mind off things and have something to offer to start a conversation. Sure it sounds a bit like a gimmick, but this is my approach to a peace offering. Its impossible to have feelings of ill-will in the presence of homemade cookies. You might be wondering why I'm offering "real" cookies instead of SCD cookies? I've had real cookies in my past life and SCD cookies in my new life. To be honest, SCD cookies aren't satisfying enough. Its been years and there are still some food substitutions that I'm trying to get used to. Flavors may come close, but I don't believe there is anything that can ever replace chocolate. Unfortunately for us SCDieters... chocolate is off the list! Because of this sad fact, I don't want to force people to eat food that I have to eat. I'm approaching it from this perspective: A vegetarian can't force other people to become vegetarians, but they can politely offer vegetarian dishes as an alternative. I'm not a vegetarian... but well... you get the idea.

So I'll offer real cookies along with my SCD cookies. I cross my fingers that they'll be open-minded to the SCD flavors. Or maybe I won't tell them and let their palates be the judge.

I'll let you know how my social experiment goes. To be continued...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fernpixel store at Big Cartel!

I'm happy to announce that I opened my store at Big Cartel! These are super amazing things all handmade by me! Please take a look for some cute heating pads and accessories.

I love the heating pads because they are reusable and you don't have to fuss with hot water. Instant heat in 30-seconds in the form of a cute animal to soothe those stubborn Ulcerative Colitis aches and pains. They also make great ice packs! Yay!

Details about my store:
• Payment is paypal only
• I ship all around the world

I'm happy to answer any questions about my items. Just sent me an email: fernpixel[@]

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

15.75 miles

If you've been following my Twitter I walked 15.75 miles in the month of November. This is really impressive for my standards because I HATE exercising. If I had a choice between spending 30 minutes of my time watching a reality show [rerun] or power walking. I would be in favor of lying on the couch with my hand on my belly, glazed eyes, and anticipating the poorly edited antics of wannabe Hollywood IT boys and girls. I know its pathetic, but you do it too. In fact, you would be doing it right now if you weren't reading my blog at this very moment.

We all know the health benefits of exercise and yet most of us don't do it. I can think of a million trillion things I'd rather do than exercise. I will start with the most important of the least desirable tasks I'd rather be doing and end with the "What the fuck?! You'd rather do this than exercise??" in a top ten list:

10. Pay bills
9. Laundry
8. Back up files in my computer
7. Vacuum the car interior
6. Throw out expired food and condiments from the refrigerator
5. Delete things I don't want anymore from my Amazon Wish List
4. Organize my CDs in alphabetical order
3. Roll coins to be deposited in the bank
2. Scrub the toilet
1. Pluck the white hairs on my head

These are samples of excuses that all of use make because we somehow cannot invest 30 minutes of our time out of a 24-hour day to exercise. I can't speak for everyone because some of you might genuinely enjoy exercise. But I can speak for most of America because I have proof. The news said that 30% of all Americans are considered obese. I am not obese, but I am one of them. I have an exclusive membership card to a large organization of people who won't get up and move their asses!

I have read that exercise can lead to benefits such as providing more energy, make a person feel good, look good, breathe better, digest better, have stamina, and live happier lives. That's pretty impressive! Isn't that what I want? Then how come I never do anything? It is because I always found 10+ excuses to do something else instead. And most of those excuses are things that I am not proud of. Organizing CDs in alphabetical order?! What does that matter? I'm the only person using my collection. Shouldn't I already know where my CDs are? They're excuses. Lame excuses.

Living with Ulcerative Colitis is all about second chances. I've lost a lot of things (energy, friends, support, and at times my mind). I live with a disadvantage and I have to work twice as hard to get what I want. I fight self-pity and self-doubt daily; sometimes winning, sometimes losing. But most of all I fight for control. This allows me to have my second chance and win back my life.

This all started on a Tuesday night. I remember this because I was watching the remake of 90210. I wasn't interested in watching Melrose Place so I flipped through my 6 channels (I really have 8 channels, but my digital converter has a love/hate relationship with CBS and the CW) and found The Biggest Loser. I've had my fair share of reality-tv show addictions, but never gave this one a chance. Most likely because it coincided with a prime-time drama that I like. I saw Bob's glowing face and Jillian's tough love attitude as they genuinely wanted to help some troubled people and I was hooked. I felt connected. I saw myself in these people. They felt like their lives have been robbed and they were fighting to win it back. They struggle with new diets and alien foods. They battle depression. They crave acceptance. Does this sound familiar? Was your mind blown?

How is it possible for these people to perform those Herculean tasks? They work out for hours! And mind you, they are working with all the disadvantages that come with obesity: Heart disease, diabetes, low energy, weak knees, shortness of breath, hot flashes... I am going to step off of my Ulcerative Colitis soap box now. I am pathetic in comparison.

Unfortunately I don't have Bob or Jilian to cheer me on or to provide structure. I came to the realization that even if I did have their help, it wouldn't matter five years ago. I wasn't ready. I wasn't physically able to. I had to relearn how to walk and the lacerations within my guts made any sort of bending too painful to move. After I got that sorted out I wasn't emotionally ready. I was too hung up on the trauma of living with my disadvantages. I was all alone and I gave up. I've been wandering for five years trying to figure out what this is, who I am, and where do I go from here. I still am. But you know what? Its ok. I'm willing to change now. I am ready. I'm starting with my body and moving forward with baby steps.

In the month of November I decided to confront my fear of exercise head on. I was successful because I did it my way. I turned it into a game. I made rules and I followed them. Its easy because I only made up two rules:

#1 Use equipment that I already own. While its always nice to take a walk or jog outside, sometimes the weather doesn't permit outdoor activities right? Wrong. These are more excuses. I have a treadmill so there's no reason for me to not find the time to exercise. If you don't have a treadmill, walk around in public places like the mall, the grocery store, or even Walmart. You're not obligated to buy anything, just walk. You have legs, so use them. Its free.

I also own Wii-Fit. I had a crick in my back for weeks and one day of Wii-Yoga fixed my weeks of miserable blubbering. Sometimes I forget I have Wii-Fit. I don't know why. Its fun when I remember.

#2 Don't push yourself. I know this sounds contradictory to the rules of exercise, but these are my rules remember? When I use my treadmill, I limit myself to 7 miles within 7 days. I can split it up however I want. I can walk slowly or sprint. I can take a day off, but that would mean the next day of exercise I would have to double my routine. It didn't matter how I split up my routine as long as I finished 7 miles within 7 days. I learned two lessons from this (a) doing this is a lot harder than it sounds, but the rewards and sense of accomplishment are priceless. This is coming from a person who HATES exercise. And (b) I would rather do 7 days of light exercise than 2-3 days of heavy exercise. In living with Ulcerative Colitis I have learned the limitations of my body. One day of heavy exercise would leave me completely exhausted and I would lack the energy and motivation to continue. I have tried the heavy exercise routine before. It leveled out to me exercising one day per month and that is not enough. I am amazed that the light exercise routine allowed me to walk 15.75 miles!

I am feeling so good and confident that I added light weights, modified push-ups, and crunches to my routine while still following rule #2. I'm looking forward to what I can accomplish in December. And if this continues maybe I can brave a bikini in 2010. And guess what, I still hate exercise. If I can do it, you can too.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

SCD Thanksgiving

Hey Everyone! Here is my Thanksgiving video. Offering some advice from personal experience.

I compiled a sample Specific Carbohydrate Diet menu just in case you need to to some substitution cooking. I tried my best to find recipes that are simple and have easy to find ingredients. For example, I didn't include any recipes that use almond flour or dry curd cottage cheese because these can be hard to find.

In this long blog post you will see Specific Carbohydrate Diet alternatives for:

• Whole Roasted Turkey will be substituted with a flavorful all-white-meat SCD Turkey Breast
• Sweet Potatoes will be substituted with SCD Squash Pie
• Green Beans with crispy fried onions and mushroom soup will be substituted with a simple SCD Spinach Dish.
• For dessert, instead of Apple Pie, I found an SCD Apple Cobbler

Continue reading for the recipes!

I found this turkey recipe from Giada de Laurentiis while I was watching food network and it seemed really cool! Very different from a traditional turkey. I altered the recipe so it can be used for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

The original recipe can be found here:


* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 1 tablespoon dried oregano
* 1 teaspoon allspice
* 2 teaspoons chili powder
* 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/4 cup whole-grain mustard (optional) If you can't handle the seeds, substitute the mustard for olive oil.
* 1 (4 1/2 to 5-pound) turkey breast, on the bone, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
* 10 cipollini onions
* 3 medium carrots, peeled, and cut into 2-inch pieces
* 2 cups SCD chicken or vegetable stock
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, garlic, cumin, oregano, allspice, chili powder, and oil. Place the turkey breast in a 9 X 13-inch roasting pan. Spread the mixture over the top and sides of the turkey to form a crust. Add the onions, carrots, and chicken stock to the pan. Roast for 45 minutes. Cover the pan loosely with foil and continue to bake for another 45 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 175 degrees F. Allow the turkey to rest for 20 minutes before serving.

To serve, slice the turkey into 1/4-inch slices. Arrange the turkey slices on the serving platter with the roasted vegetables and serve with the pan juices.
This is a a substitute for Sweet Potatoes found at SCD Recipe

2 cups squash or pumpkin (I use baked butternut squash)
3 eggs beaten
1 cup yogurt or DCCC puree (I use the yogurt strained in cheesecloth)
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I use 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp. cloves)
1. First I put everything in my food processor

2. Next I bake it at 375 F (200 C) for about 1 hour.

This is a a substitute for Green Bean Casserole found at SCD Recipe. I deleted some of the hard to find ingredients. It still looks simple and delicious. To see the entire recipe, check out the SCD Recipe site.

0.5 kilogram frozen spinach
0.5 liter homemade yogurt
3 spoons olive oil, extra virgin
1 onion
3-4 pieces garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1. Fry the chopped onion with olive only 1-2 min.

2. Add defrosted spinach mixed with crushed garlic.

3. Add some salt and pepper to taste and stew this about 10 min. under a cover on the small fire.( It should be quite hot)

4. Cool and add yogurt

5. If it's needed add more salt to taste.

This is a a substitute for Apple Pie found at SCD Recipe

5 to 6 medium baking apples cored, peeled and sliced up
butter to grease pan
nutmeg to flavor apples (fresh ground preferred)
1 egg
1/4 cup butter (melted)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 cup "Old Fashioned/Natural" peanut butter (Peanuts and Salt only)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Layer apple slices in bottom of 2"x10"x13" (or similar sized) butter/greased cake pan.

3. Grate nutmeg (you could use cinnamon, but I prefer nutmeg) over top of apples.

4. Put in oven and let them cook for a few minutes while you make the topping.


6. Put egg, melted butter, honey, baking soda and vanilla in food processor.

7. Whip it up for a few minutes.

8. Put peanut butter into processor and whip all ingredients together. Mix em up well, but don't burn out the motor in your processor!

9. Pull apples/pan (warning it is hot!) from oven and carefully pour the peanut butter goo evenly over the top of apples.

10. Return to oven and bake at 300 Degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

11. You can check for "done-ness" if a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.

12. Can be eaten warm or cold. Store covered in fridge.

Friday, November 6, 2009

How to make "Yogurt Milk"

The homemade 24-hour legal yogurt is very important for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet since we don't have many options for calcium intake. Our options are limited to:

• Homemade 24-hour yogurt
• Dry Curd Cottage Cheese (however, this can be difficult to find)
• Certain cheeses, but some people cannot tolerate cheese in large amounts... and its not good to eat large amounts of cheese anyway.

So the Homemade 24-hour yogurt is probably the best option. But here's the next problem, when will I ever get an opportunity to eat my yogurt? If I had a full refrigerator, yogurt is probably the last food I would want to eat. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood to eat it. Sometimes there's nothing to eat it with. And sometimes a batch comes out a little sour and I'm reluctant to eat it. A big bowl of tart, and slightly sour yogurt? No thanks.

I've come up with a way to have your daily serving of yogurt in under 2 minutes! Turn it into "Yogurt Milk"! It goes down smooth and fast. Here's how:

Yogurt is pretty versatile. If you start to get bored with your yogurt milk, experiment with it! Here are some other ideas:

1) Yogurt Milk with honey as a sweetener
2) If you have a blender, you can blend yogurt, water, a bit of honey, and one strawberry to create "strawberry yogurt milk"
3) Add a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg for a spiced milk
4) For a savory drink, add a pinch of salt, pepper, and cumin to it. I know it sounds strange, but its actually pretty good!

Just in case you missed it. Here is how to make the 24-Hour Specific Carbohydrate Yogurt using the Yogourmet Yogurt Maker

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Garden Delights

Hi Everyone!

I try to eat as healthy as I can. We've always had a garden. I've been able to have access to the freshest produce possible since I was a kid! Here's a quick tour of what we've been growing!

This is the end of the season, so I have to pick what's left and wait until next year.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Carrot Cake experiment

I'm messing around with a carrot cake recipe. I've found several SCD recipes for carrot cake, but none of them had ingredients for the kind of carrot cake I was looking for. I wanted to create something that would remind me of the spiced carrot cake that my grandmother used to make.

I don't tolerate the almond flour very well, so I like to use peanut butter as the "flour" and came up with this version:

Carrot Cake by Fernpixel

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup pureed carrots
1 egg
1/2 cup dry curd cottage cheese
2 Tablespoons homemade apple sauce
1/3 cup honey (or 1/2 cup if you like your cake sweet)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon allspice powder
1/4 teaspoon clove powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon orange zest

Preheat oven to 350F
Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
Bake for 30 minutes or until edges are brown

I think its too many ingredients to work with. I just happened to have all of these in my pantry. If my stomach wasn't acting up, I would probably add some raisins too.

The cake came out very moist and fluffy! I'm going to bake this again later this month to test if it was skill or a case of beginner's luck.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Dry Curd Cottage Cheese

Hi All!

I made a video about Dry Curd Cottage Cheese also known as DCCC, Farmer Cheese, or Baker Cheese. Its a very important food if you are following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet since it is high in calcium and protein and still sugar free!

For more information on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) please check out a book called Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall. Its available at Amazon or where books are sold.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chef Fernpixel

Hi All!

Its been a great week for cooking, however a bad week for my health. I have been on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) for 4 years now. I was 100% on the SCDiet when I first started. But now that I have been getting better, long after most of my symptoms disappeared I started introducing a few "illegal foods" into my diet. Right now, I would have to say I follow the diet only about 85% - 90% of the time. To get the general idea of what is allowed and not allowed on the diet, I found a short list here, as compiled by Happy Tummy". A detailed list can be found by Elaine Gottschall, the matriarch of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, on the Breaking the Vicious Cycle website.

I tolerate "illegal foods" when eaten sparingly... such as buffalo wings here and there, or maybe bottled salad dressing when I should have been eating plain oil and vinegar instead. I have to admit, I have been over doing it. The summer has been great and I've been hanging out with my friends a lot. But the trouble with illegal foods usually starts when we go out to eat. It is difficult to eat and be strict on my diet when I'm away from home. So here we are in the first month of Autumn and my digestive system has waged maximum carnage against me.

When I start noticing recurring symptoms, I back off, and go back to what is called the Intro Diet version of the SCDiet. It is hard to break temptation and its boring to eat, but I cannot stress it enough, IT HAS TO BE DONE if I want to get better. It has been a week since I started over and I am already starting to feel amazing. I am reintroducing the more interesting SCD foods this week and having a lot of fun in the kitchen.

Here is what I have been eating (All SCD legal foods that I made myself):

Chicken Soup
Pizza with extra cheese
Cinnamon Applesauce
Strawberry Mousse
24-hour Yogurt
Lime-infused Basil Chicken

I have been on this diet for so long and at times I still struggle with it. Its not easy but I make it fun. I have learned to love cooking and experimenting with SCD recipes.

In order to be successful on this diet, you have to be persistent, and if you get bored with your food, surprise yourself and try a new SCD recipe.

Tonight I experimented with the Strawberry Mousse for the first time. Its in the fridge and waiting for me to eat it tomorrow when its set. I normally wouldn't have prepared this because I absolutely HATE whipping egg whites into stiff peaks. [Tip: If you ever need to take out your frustration or aggression, just whip up some egg whites by hand. I guarantee that you will not feel upset anymore. You will feel tired and forget about whatever it was that made you mad.] As I mentioned before, I needed to surprise myself so I won't be inclined to cheat on my diet again. Tonight I'll be dreaming of my fluffy strawberry mousse! And what a triumph to have made it all by myself! I feel pretty amazing!

I hope all of you are doing ok too. Make it a point to eat healthy and have fun in the kitchen!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The RETRO archives

Hey everyone!

I'm so sorry I didn't post a RETRO archive yesterday. To tell you the truth, I was being a couch potato and didn't even realize it was Wednesday. I was watching a crummy movie too. Anyway, I was looking for a RETRO entry to share tonight and I couldn't find one after December 2005. I have been writing a lot about my Ulcerative Colitis journey since April 2004 and it suddenly stops during the winter of 2005. From what I remember, there was a big change going on in my life.

I am a huge believer in second chances and I always look forward to January because of New Year's resolutions. Its kind of a rebirth for me - a time to start over. I have been so sick and miserable in 2005, that I decided to lighten up and focus on the good things in my life. This happens to me periodically and I ignore the negativity. Which is good, but this also means that a piece of my life is missing because I didn't write it down. I start writing about colitis later on, but its much later.

For anyone who is just tuning into my blog, I have all of my retro blog entries starting from my diagnosis in 2004.
If you'd like to catch up on reading, please click right here. And you'll find all the retro entries on there. I tried my best to put them in chronological order. It starts with the most recent retro entry first, but there might be a few that are mixed up.

I've decided to put the RETRO entries on hold for the time being so I can reorganize my archives and post them on a regular basis again.

So what happens now that the retro entries are on hold? Well, I'll keep you updated on what's going on right now. Hopefully I'll be just as interesting. haha! :)

Also, you guys should check out Arden! She's a fellow Ulcerative Colitis patient who is also on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. She's a pretty cool chickadee, so check out her blog if you get a chance.

Arden's Blog: Arden Eats

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Hey everyone!

I recently started getting involved with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). They're a non profit organization. They seem genuinely focused on finding a cure for all things IBS.

Check out their website at: They have tons of information about their research, events, and community outreach programs. The BEST part is that most of the people involved either have IBS or know someone that does. This tells me that that they work that they do comes straight from the heart. (Ah! I know... I couldn't say it any other way without sounding CORNY!)

But seriously, if you guys live in the USA, its worth checking out. If you live outside of the USA, search the internet for something similar. I heard that Canada has their own non profit organization for Crohn's & Colitis, so there may be others available.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

RETRO 5.21.2004

Hey Dudes, I found a very early RETRO entry from back when I was first diagnosed. This is a few weeks after having to stay at the hospital for the first time. I stayed for eight days and I did not have insurance. The bills started coming in the mail and I had a follow up appointment at my doctor's office. I was able to pay for it with something called Charity Care and with my parents help, but it still was a struggle. I didn't handle it well... I freaked out because I had no money and I was too sick to work.

(This was originally written on 2004. And I can tell that it was written by a much younger [and annoying] version of myself. Yikes! I'm such a cry baby!)

Got back from the doctor... Man... having no insurance really is a dent on the wallet.... They let me off easy by taking $20 off the co-pay the last two times but refused it this time.

The secretaries were nasty bitches and they made me cry. I cried and cried and cried. And then I cried and cried and cried to the doctor. I managed to have my bill lowered almost 50%. I feel like shit for doing so... but seriously... If I can cry my way out of a bill... I'll do it because these are really too much.. For example. WITHOUT insurance: 1 bottle of medication comes out to $200 dollars already. The hospital bill? I could've owned a luxury car by now... And this is money I don't have. I need to find a real job... and fast. Bleah... it seems I am better off dead than to be drowning in all these bills. I wish I never had gotten sick.

I didn't write this down, but I remember that day pretty clearly. I was very emotional because after my appointment, the doctors and secretaries were being very nasty because they realized I didn't have insurance. They were unwilling to help me any further. I was frustrated, angry, and immature. When I was escorted back to the lobby, I trashed the place by throwing the pamphlets and displays all over the place, messed up the chairs, spat on the carpet, and slammed the door as I left. I wouldn't normally do something like that, but I was a different person considering all of the circumstances: I had prednisone pumping through my veins, sleep deprived, starved, weak, and broke. I was a bomb ready to explode. I'm embarrassed to admit that this happened. Coming to terms with this disease is not easy. Remember, at this time there is no cure and no known origin so there will be a lot of frustration. There will be times when you reach that dark place and unpredictable things can happen.

If I could go back in time, I would warn myself. I would tell myself to count to 10, then breathe and relax. Find solutions and ask questions instead of acting out in rage. Live and learn. Stay optimistic.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

RETRO 12.24.2005

Originally written on 12.24.2005

I don't know why I can't be happy. I feel so empty inside. With my poor health I'm relying more and more on the assets that I still have. I mean, I'm not ugly and I would hope to say that I'm fairly attractive. This is probably making me sound like a vain person. But really, I don't have much else to hold on to. As every day passes. I feel like I don't have as much talent as I thought I did.

I really should stop comparing myself to the success of others, but if I did have talent, wouldn't I have been rewarded by now? Really, what does it take? Money won't buy me happiness. I just need a certain amount of success to make me happy.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Big Cook-off!

I like to set aside one big cooking day and eat leftovers for 3-4 days. Its too tiring to be cooking nearly everyday. Tonight was one of those occasions.

All of these are Specific Carbohydrate Diet foods.
Here's what I made today:

-Roasted tomatoes with Tuna-Melt Filling
-SCD pizza
-Zucchini Lasagna
-Peanut Butter and Banana Brownies
-Tomato and Basil Salad

Most of my dishes have tomatoes because we've been gardening all summer and its almost peak time for tomatoes! These tomatoes are amazing this year! So sweet and juicy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

RETRO 12.15.2005

Geez... its Wednesday already? Where did the time go?
Originally written on 12.15.2005

I wonder when or if I'll ever meet with success. Its December now. Its been quite a year. It started off great but who would ever thought that it would end up like this. Maybe this is only the beginning. Maybe this is part of the journey. Maybe this is an important stepping stone for me to be creative. The summer was so unusual. 2005 was the summer of prescription drugs. I can't even believe I was loaded with five or more types of prescription drugs. Maybe I've gone crazy but at the time I felt like I knew everything. I had no control and my mind just wouldn't stop moving. I had trouble seeing because my eyes were rolling around on their own. I felt drunk all the time and it wasn't from alcohol. It was the prednisone. And when I wasn't feeling drunk, I was probably going through withdrawal or dehydration. People see so much potential in me. How come I can't see it? How come I'm not successful now?

I was going through my journal about a year ago and its the same shit. If I got back another year its probably the same again. When will things change? If it continues this way I have nothing to look forward to if everything is the same.

In the past month or more my hair started falling out again. It started in August. After the wedding I attended in October I cut it really short to save my hair. I look like a boy and I'm horribly embarrassed about it. I also hate having to explain it. Its depressing. I don't want to remember. Looking at myself keeps me in the same place. I can't move forward.

The difference between me and the next person is that I do everything alone. Maybe if I were to team up with someone or if there was someone willing to help. Have I been unapproachable all these years? Is this how everyone sees me? Looking back at my old journals, I don't really have any dependable family or friends. No one is supporting me. They're just watching me from the sidelines and maybe expecting me to fail. Or maybe they don't know how to help. Everything is maybe. It sucks.

Somehow I feel that if I moved out, things would be different. I would be granted a certain freedom and without the constant nagging from everyone. My mind might have been clear and I'll be able to work. But I can't do that now... its not realistic. There's no way to maintain an apartment without a job and I'll have to find a roommate. This is impossible without any friends...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

RETRO 11.13.2005

Here's another entry that I found. Ahhh! So disorganized and out of order! Oh well.... I guess that's how my life is. But not for long!! I'm working on a lot of things to make my life better. I'm learning from my past and I won't let it keep me down.

Originally written on 11.13.05

I'm really unhappy... I've been this way for a long time now. And its not the kind that can be fixed with ice cream. I think this might be something much more serious...

I have big plans... but how can they be done if I'm so unmotivated? My body is working against me. I'm tired all the time... and probably giving in. My mom told me that she always feels like crying when she sees me because she doesn't know how to help me. She says that since she's my mom, she should know how to fix everything. Oh how I wish things were that simple. I wish I wasn't sick. I've been pushing everyone away because I don't want them to see me like this.

My mom knows how terribly unhappy I am living here... But how is this so? I have lived here my entire life. And this should be my home. But it doesn't feel like home anymore. This town has been polluted with negativity. She suggested that we run away together temporarily. Anywhere really. It would be her sacrifice so I would be able to have a change of environment. It sounds like an adventure at first, but after a while, I know it would be a tremendous strain on my family. We don't have a lot of family so it would just be me and my mom trying to make ends meet. I can't say yes to the suggestion. I don't want to split my family apart. I can't leave my Dad while the two of us leave. I would feel guilty for being selfish. I can't do it alone either... I'm not well enough to take care of myself yet. She's truly amazing... for not turning her back on me. She said that I could never be a burden and prays for my health every night. Its quite different from my dad. I love him... but he only watches from the sidelines. He wants to help, but gave up trying when the hospital said that there was not much anyone could do. He's watching me fade away.

This would be much easier if I were able to work... but at the present... I cannot. I feel so useless. I feel ugly too... The medicine that is supposed to help me is hurting me. Its making my hair fall out. I had to cut it very short. I look like a boy. Why can't I look like one of those cute girls with short hair? My hair is still falling out... And all of these side effects....

I can't stay. I can't leave. There is no place for me.

I hate this self-loating. I don't want to feel like this anymore. Maybe things would be different if I met with a certain amount of success I'd have more confidence and not doubt my abilities. Maybe if I didn't fall in love, or what I thought was love. Maybe then I wouldn't have gotten distracted and worked harder instead. Maybe this... maybe that... I've worried myself sick over the years. All this because I can't get a damn job. I wish everything was the way its supposed to be.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Outer Beauty

Hey everyone!

Just a small tip on how to build confidence. I just think its classy to be presentable.

I'd love it if we can go back to old-hollywood glamour.
Like Grace Kelly, now there's a classy lady!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

RETRO 8.10.2005

I also found a retro entry from four summers ago.

Originally written on 8.10.2005

I hate my medication [prednisone]. Its making my body change so dramatically in short amounts of time. I didn't mind that much when my pills made me feel crazy, but now they make me feel ugly. So now I am crazy and ugly. I have developed a third eye and have grown a thick mustasche and chest hair. Just kidding. Blah... But really, it made my face swell. It looks like I gained 25 lbs, but only in the face and I'm starting a double chin. Like a lolipop. Big at the top and skinny at the bottom.

I have an anime convention coming up so the swelling better go away soon! I'm also not sure if I'm going to fit into my outfits, the medicine keeps me bloated. Blah... its not a big deal, but still, this puts a huge dent in my self-esteem. I know it'll go away eventually, but I wish it was now. I'm ashamed to go outside and show myself. I'm not going to see people until I feel pretty again. It sucks because there's nothing I can do about this but wait till it goes away. *sigh*

Oh yeah, and remember that job I was excited about? Over the phone they told me that I had the job. But a few days later I get a rejection letter. I told my department and they were excited for me but then just as outraged when I told them the bad news. I think it has something to do with rumors about my illness spreading around the office. I know its probably illegal... but how can anyone prove that?

Anyway, I'm going fishing with my dad later. That should cheer me up.

I feel so gross. :(

Banana Pops!

Hey Everyone! Summer is almost over... it makes me sad because I like everyone's laid back attitude right now. Once fall is here, everyone will stop smiling as much and start getting serious.

To keep summer alive, I made a recipe video on my favorite summer snack! Its super easy to make too! Ooh! Bananas!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Easy Asparagus Soup!

Hey Dudes! I thought it was about time to make another cooking video. This recipe is nice for the summer because its quick and can be served hot, or cold if you can't stand the summer heat!

I got the recipe from a fantastic book called: Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet by Raman Prasad
Its available where books are sold. Might want to check online for it.
Out of all the cookbooks I own, this one is my favorite because most of the recipes I tried came out right the first time!
They're simple enough for beginner cooks but also tasty enough for all. Best of all, the recipes use easy to find ingredients.

Raman's website is down the first week of August for technical service, but should be up next week!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ask Fernpixel

I answer questions from a previous video!

Hopefully I can get some cooking videos up soon!

Monday, June 29, 2009

My menu... and Whoops!

Hey Everyone!

I totally forgot to post a RETRO entry last week because I went to see Transformers: Rise of the Fallen on opening night and completely forgot about blogging... that's total fail... I'll probable either post the entry tomorrow or maybe two on Wednesday. We'll see...

On other news, I was busy grocery shopping and cooking today and so far I've made some fantastic SCD foods:

-Grapefruit Punch
-SCD candied carrots
-Lime infused basil chicken
-homemade pesto sauce

I'm so tired!!!

p.s. I got a new movie camera. It looks like this:

I was playing around with it. The quality isn't spectacular, but for the [sale] price I got it for, I can't complain!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I got my insurance claim in the mail for my colonoscopy. If I didn't have insurance at the time, I would have owed $8,882.00
I'll throw out some numbers on what some of the charges were if I had no insurance.

In my claim it lists some of these:

Drugs: $297.00 (This is the anesthesia used to keep me asleep during the procedure)
Anesthesia supplies: 1,000.00 (I'm guessing that this is for the IV set up in my arm, oxygen mask, and the needle they used to inject it)
Recovery room: $1000.00 (This is for them putting me in a bed and waiting for me to wake up - ridiculous!)
Facility Charges: $4,500.00 (This is for me hanging out in the hospital in a day - insane!!)

WITHOUT insurance my total for the day would have been $8.882.00
There are other charges in there for laboratory fees and such. But that's a huge burden I'd have to pay if I didn't have insurance.

How much did I really pay? The bills are starting to trickle in, but it is nowhere near the amount above. I'm probably paying close to $200 only. But seriously... I don't understand why some of the costs are so much. Really?! $1,000 for me to sit in a bed?! These people are crazy.

If I didn't have insurance I could easily burn a hold into my savings. I know I'm stubborn about seeing the doctor, but mostly its because I just can't afford it. I have insurance now, but it will run out in December. I need to find a decent job by then, but with this economy I really don't know if that is going to happen.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Darkness and Light

Sometimes I feel sad when everyone else is happy. I get jealous that they get to live normal lives. Ulcerative Colitis has altered my fate. I need to realistically think of what may happen to me. People are constantly telling me not to worry about what I'm about to reveal to you, but they cannot possibly understand why I think about these things. Maybe you can understand...

My cousin worked at a cemetery and told me all about the business. Its not wrong to write a Will or buy a coffin and a plot. We'll all die and need these things someday. It occurred to me that he's absolutely right! Smart people plan ahead of time.

Why am I bringing this up? Knowing that I have Ulcerative Colitis, I've thought about what might eventually happen to me. At the best case scenario, I will grow old and have a run in with the occasional flare-up, but otherwise life will progress normally.

At worse case scenario, I've asked myself the following questions: (Its fine if you disagree with me. But I must bring up these topics because no one else will. You may not want to continue reading because I'll be talking about morbid futures that may parallel your own. Consider yourself warned.)

Relationship issues
1. Would it be fair to date someone/get married knowing what burden I might become because of my illness?
2. What if someday I need to get surgery, will my partner still find me attractive if I have an ileostomy bag attached to me? One that is filled with stool? (Please note: I am not poking fun at anyone)
3. Will my partner be willing to assist me if I become completely helpless?
4. Will my partner be willing to clean me up if I soil myself?
5. Will my partner be able to handle my financial burden if I become unable to work?
6. Will my partner still want to be with me knowing that I have increased risk of colon cancer? Will my partner be ok with seeing me go through expensive treatment and a horribly slow and painful death?

Future Family Issues
1. Would it be fair to have children someday? The causes of Ulcerative Colitis are still unknown, however, it is not out of the question to assume the possibility of the children inheriting the disease.
2. Will becoming pregnant cause danger to myself or my offspring? I've read that there have been many mothers with Ulcerative Colitis that have had successful births, but would there be complications and risks of a flare-up? I'd imagine that steroid [prednisone] treatment would not be possible.
3. Is there a possibility that I may die during childbirth, but the baby lives? Would it be fair to the child to grow up without a mother?
4. Is the SCD diet enough to sustain a pregnant woman?

I'm not looking to get pregnant in the near future, but I ask myself these questions now rather than be surprised, overwhelmed and disappointed later.

Again, I bring up these topics because no one else will. These questions sit in the back of my mind. I think about them everyday and it makes me think that thanks to Ulcerative Colitis, my life is ruined because I don't have much to look forward to. I know my disease may get in the way of getting married or having children. My disease bounds me to my home. My disease keeps me isolated. I wish I could go back in time and be the person I was six years ago; extremely happy and optimistic. But I can't be that person anymore. Ulcerative Colitis has beaten me down. A part of me has already died. I lost my zest for life.

I stopped thinking big... my goals are smaller. Much smaller... My top three list consists of:
1. To be able to look into the toilet and find a formed bowel movement.
2. Eat a slice of pizza someday.
3. Not think about Ulcerative Colitis.

Strangely enough, with the entire universe against me, I keep going. I'm holding onto my little scraps of hope. I think about my family and friends that still want me around. I think about my pets that depend on me for their care. I think about all of the Ulcerative Colitis Supporters (you!) who thank me for being brave and inspiring... but I'm just being myself and honest about a subject that no one wants to talk about. I'm not really that special... because I'm sure we are thinking the same things. The only difference is that I'm putting it on the internet.

And last, I'd like to mention that I hold on to the smallest glimmer of hope that one day I'll be able to make a living making art and traveling the world.

Today, Ulcerative Colitis may have won the battle, but it hasn't won the war.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ask Me Anything (June 30 Deadline)

I'm back!!! Sort of... Just a few things on what I've been up to. Now that my internet seems to be up and running, I'll be more present on the internet.

"Ask Fernpixel" Rules:
1) Ask me a question on this blog entry (or on the attached YouTube video)
2) Please don't ask anything weird or too personal - I won't answer those
3) You can ask more than one question if you want
4) Ask before June 30th

Answers to the questions will be posted on a video in the first week of July.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I disappeared again!

Oh man! Its been an on-going war with the internet company, but it appears to be fixed. If the internet guy has to come over my house for a third time, I'm switching companies. How annoying!

Anyway... not much has been going on, I'm only starting to explore the culinary world again. For a while, I was playing it safe and eating boiled carrots, yogurt, and chicken soup to take it easy on my stomach. I've been ok, so now I can start eating more interesting SCD meals which I miss.

Here's a really late video!!!
I'll see if I can start up those retro entries again. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Colonoscopy Preparation

Hi Guys! I'm finally catching up on video editing! Huzzah! So here's the second part of my colonoscopy preparation. Its not a how-to video or anything... really, its just showing me drinking that horrible mixture for the procedure. I'm not a chemist or anything, but I read the ingredients for it and it looks like it was made out of baking soda and salt.... yikes... I hope my kidneys will be ok!

I heard that there are pills now, but you still have to drink about 20 cups of liquid. I'm not sure if one is better than the other.

Just for my reference... the MoviPrep kit costed me $50 with my insurance (its $65 without). Bleah... medication has gotten so expensive! Its tough not having a job. I am living off of my savings right now. I've had this mentality of counting all of my dollars and that really isn't a good way to live. However, I've been feeling healthier. Staying at home has its advantages. I am eating well and exercising. I'm not quite ready to jump into a job yet even if I'm feeling good now. I've actually had a job offered to me a few weeks ago, but I turned it down because I knew it was going to be stressful. Working too soon might make me spiral into a flare again and I'm not going to let it happen. I'll go when I am ready.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I'm here.. sort of...

Hey dudes! Many apologies... I thought I was going to have lots of time for the internet since I'm not working, but I've been so busy! I can't even believe it myself. I'm so behind with my video editing... I left all of you guys at a cliffhanger! haha! Well... the colonoscopy was a success other than finding a mild flare. Which I'm recovered from by the way.

So the question that everyone keeps asking... Where have I been?! The truth is, I spent some time to chilax in Florida!

So now I'm back and hopefully I'll have time to get into my video editing... I had it all scheduled out too! But between packing and finishing up some stuff, I really didn't have any time. I'll see if I can get something out soon. I'm involved with a few art projects at the moment so we'll see how everything goes.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Recognize Your Mental State and Defeat it

I found this article quite helpful. It links Ulcerative Colitis and Depression. Probably better than I could describe.

Ulcerative Colitis and "The Depression Cycle"
Ulcerative Colitis and "The Depression Cycle"

Quick things about YouTube

Hi All,

I heard that YouTube will be changing their interface pretty soon. I think its going to be very much like where you can watch and not so much create. I don't know what's going to happen to my channel. I don't know if the site navigation will be weird or difficult or if anything is going to happen to my videos. I guess I'll have to see what happens when the update comes. If anything you can find me here on my blog or email. And to keep everyone connected, I started a Twitter account. I haven't posted anything yet, but I think it'll be easier to keep everyone up to date with blog posts, videos, and silly random things that Twitter users tweet about.

I'll let you know if I have to move my videos somewhere. Its still too early to tell.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm still alive!

Apologies everyone! I've been ok after the colonoscopy. I had to take it easy after a few days. Then I thought I'd have some time to do video editing but never got around to it. Actually, I kind of got sucked into watching a lot of TV again which is bad... but I'm getting back into the swing of things now.

Thanks everyone for all your thoughtful messages and I'll be back shortly.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Things I don't want to go through

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

For the lazy baker

Hey dudes! There's an SCD bakery in the U.S. where you can order goodies online! I found out about it when it was blogged on Raman Prasad's website here

I haven't ordered anything yet. I'm starting the diet from the beginning and have to myself to certain foods. Hopefully I'll be able to order in a a few months when its safe to eat almond flour. I'm not that great at baking, so this will give me an opportunity to see what SCD goodies are supposed to taste like. haha! Maybe it'll inspire me to improve my own baking skills.

Check out the SCD Bakery!!
Be sure to read all the information on the website. They bake in small batches so their recipes change every week. It looks like a "get 'em before they're gone" kind of thing. I find it exciting! When I get a chance to order, I hope they'll have cupcakes!

They ship all over the United States!

p.s. This is NOT an April fool's joke. Its a real bakery!

Monday, March 30, 2009

3.30.09 update

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My 2 weeks in a nutshell

Hey dudes... been missing in action because I've been trying to get my complicated situation sorted out. Just listing some stuff here so I won't forget. I'm planning on making a video update, but just needed to list it here so I won't forget.

March 16: lost my job
March 16-22: Spring Cleaning
March 23: Doctor's appointment and my pet passed away :(
March 24: Dentist appointment/picked up 2 new prescriptions/started taking new drugs in the evening
March 25: lots of phone calls to insurance & doctors to get more appointments scheduled
March 26: another doctor's appointment

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Its not worth the distance.

Friday, March 6, 2009

1 year with meee!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

SCD legal yogurt using a commercial starter

I'm getting back into video editing. I filmed this in August, but didn't get around to it until today. Oops!


Specific Carbohydrate Diet
24 hour homemade yogurt (legal)
A yogurt recipe for people suffering with digestive disorders

Using Yogourmet Electric Yogurt maker
Dannon Plain yogurt as a "starter"

DO NOT USE LEFTOVER homemade yogurt as a starter - EVER!
Always use a fresh starter or freeze-tried starter packages.

Do not use soy milk!
I use Cow's Milk because you can find it everywhere.

More information on 24 hour yogurt:

Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall
Eat Well Feel Well by Kendall Conrad


Thursday, February 26, 2009

blood and guts?

I can't find my journal at the moment... I'll post those retro entries when I find it. haha!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some symptoms return

This sure is an unwelcome surprise... I'm going to play it safe and eat boring food till I get better.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

RETRO 11.30.2005

Hey guys, another update from meee! haha! I'm so proud of myself about being good about posting on Wednesdays. Now I just gotta get back into making videos and we're all set huh? A quick note about this next Retro entry. I refused Remicade back in 2005. I have never taken it in my life. It was recommended to me at one time because my doctor is very impatient and only wants to see quick results. He wouldn't hesitate to switch my medication. Every time there is a new drug he brings it up and wants me to try it even if I'm on remission. I don't want to be a test subject. If I had taken his advice, I would've gone from Asacol, to Colazal, to Remicade, SURGERY, and now there's a new one that they asked if I wanted to try. I forget what its called but it starts with an "L" and the dosage is only once daily. His reasoning is, "its better because you just have to take it once so you won't forget to take your pills". I'm not going to take a drug just because its more convenient for my lifestyle. What if one pill is more potent than the 9 pills that I already take? Please remember: this is MY body!

Just because a drug is new, it doesn't mean that its better. Besides, back then I didn't really have a choice. Without insurance I could barely afford anything so I put all my effort into the drugs I was already taking and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Luckily it works for me.

And on a personal note. I hate my doctor. He's a turd. I need to find a doctor that I'm comfortable with. Are there still doctors like that? I don't want another person that is quick to give me pills and send me away. I want someone who actually cares to see me get better.

Retro 11.30.2005
Ok… I did some research on a new medication that they might start me on. I don’t know… I don’t think I want to do it. With every new medicine that is tried on me, I just get progressively worse. I stopped my very first medication because my hair was falling out. That was a bad idea because a few months down the road, stopping my maintenance drugs and a bad diet landed me in the hospital. I switched doctors and was put on even more medication. At one point I was taking thirty pills a day! It was so awful. I felt terrible all the time. Now I’m only on one drug and my hair is falling out again!

The doctor wants to start me on monthly Remicade injections that will cost $4,000+ for each injection. The side effects include certain cancers, pneumonia, liver damage, tuberculosis….

The treatment is probably worse than the disease! I think I’ll take my chances going bald. I’ll stick to the diet I’ve been on for months now too, that seems to be working and the only treatment that I can trust.

Most of all, I have to stay positive, but its getting really hard to do so…

Friday, January 30, 2009

false alarm?

Hm... no blood to report this morning *whew*. It must have been something I ate. I've been eating a small handful of nuts everyday for the past two weeks. Now, I don't really like nuts. I never have. But I'll eat them if they're around.

Before I had even had Ulcerative Colitis I preferred everything without nuts - ice cream, cookies, chocolate...

Since I don't really eat nuts, and that's the only thing that I've been doing differently, I'm almost positive that it caused the bleeding. I don't think I'll get a flare up. I'm far into the diet where I'm allowed to eat nuts. I might have overdid it and should take it easy on the nuts. I don't like them anyway. Its no big loss.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I saw BLOOD this morning!!! OMG OMG! That's not good... I thought things were going ok.
Hm... I will have to do some further investigation tomorrow. This sucks...

More later.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

RETRO 11.26.2005

Yep! Its Wednesday! And you know what that means... its RETRO time! But before I get into that... just a little tidbit from me. Try to remember a time when you had a cold or the flu. Remember how your body and mind felt so crummy and you didn't want to do anything? Its the same thing with colitis... except, you don't know if you'll ever get better. With a cold or flu, you can expect to be better in a week or two. With ulcerative colitis, you never know how you're going to feel. Because you can't really do anything about it... you start feeling helpless and you start to doubt yourself. Or at least... that's how I know how I am. The best thing to do is to turn the negatives into positives. Make lists and goals. For every negative thing you think about yourself, you have to make it a rule to celebrate the positive things about yourself. For example:

negative: I hate that I feel tired all the time
positive: I'm glad I've never had a problem with my skin. I've never had acne and its been fairly easy to manage :)

Keeping a positive attitude is very important to survive. Once you reach a depression... its really hard to climb out of it. Its not impossible, but it certainly will be a long a difficult road.

Another thing to keep in mind... Do things that make you feel better. Some of the things I like to do to perk up a gloomy day:

-watch a favorite movie (for me, its currently "The Terminal" and "Mean Girls")
-take a bubble bath
-play around with my make-up even if no one will see me. I do this for myself. (its very shallow, but it works if you live by the phrase "look good, feel good". A small change will go a long way if you let it)

I'm like everyone else and there are times when I allow myself to sulk, but I snap out of it. It might take a week or more, but honestly, why would you want to waste your energy being sad when you can be happy? I don't know about you, but I'd rather be happy :)

I needed to mention all of this because the Retro entries around this time are very negative... but you'll see here towards the end that I try to make the most out of it. I plan things. I have good intentions.

(Originally written on 11.26.2005)
I'm watching prime time cartoons. I feel disgusting. I have lost almost all desire to do anything. I am sick, unmotivated, and I kinda just wish I were dead already. I'm running out of reasons for staying alive.

I'm just wondering how much longer will my life continue like this? I am incredibly lonely and unhappy with everything. I wish I knew what would make me happy. I feel so inadequate. Am I really a good artist? All of this work I've been doing... maybe I'm not any good. I mean, I don't think I'm even accomplished in anything. What can I offer? Am I at least the industry standard? How will I even get started? All I feel like doing is laying under the covers of my bed where it is safe. Last night I was awake wondering when the last time I was happy. I just couldn't remember. Maybe everything was a lie. Maybe all of this isn't real? I feel so stupid.

I read lots of books now. I'm trying to make a habit of it. My plan is to read a lot and if I find a scene that interests me, I will illustrate it. I really have to get my portfolio going. Its so outdated. I wish I could have some professional advice or a portfolio review. I don't think I am good enough anymore. I don't want to make excuses, but part of the work flow keeps getting interrupted by my illness. I've had periods where it was weeks or months before I was able to pick up a pen to write let alone a pencil for drawing.

I don't know anymore. I'm probably not approachable anymore. I don't know who I am anymore. Am I still the same person in the pictures? Was that me smiling six months ago?

I wonder if people who are successful felt this way? And how come I can't smile anymore? You know how people say, "At least you have your health". Well... I don't have that luxury anymore. Maybe my phrase is, "Be thankful you are alive". I really wish things were different. I don't know what I'm good at.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

RETRO 11.22.2005

(Originally written on 11.22.2005)

The doctors have been weening me off my [prednisone] medication slowly so now I am only on one kind of medicine. I have to tell you that the side effects are pretty unpleasant. The doctor thinks I am allergic to the medication (Colozal) and yet again I have to switch. I’m scared that the new one will be very expensive and will bring upon some more nasty side effects. I read up on a new one on the market. After weeks of using it, patients revealed that the medicine is toxic and emits radioactivity in the bloodstream after three weeks. Scary!!! How is that supposed to help me?! There is another alternative which is monthly injections. I still have to look up information on that method. Again, it will be VERY expensive. Bleah… it would be more cost effective if I were dead. Ugh… alternatives? Stick to the diet. Prayer? Win the lottery. Hope is not lost, just trampled on a bit.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

RETRO 11.17.2005

Hey everyone, I'm trying to be good about updating. hehe! Hope you're having a good week!
Retro 11.17.2005

Man, my legs are tired from standing. I just finished cooking. I made a lot of food but they all taste bad! My dish came out all wrong because I substituted pork for ground turkey and all the liquid evaporated making the whole thing dry. I also made like 25 mini burgers. Some are burned and all of them taste bitter. I think its because I added cheddar cheese. Bleah... this is the worst. I love to cook but if it comes out bad I still have to eat all of it. Maybe its because I'm angsty. If you don't put love into your food, it won't taste good.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

RETRO 11.13.2005

When people see me they think they have me all figured out. They think, "How can a girl like that have any problems? She's always smiling and having a good time". That's only a small piece of me. My life is far from perfect.

The thing about Ulcerative Colitis is that it does not discriminate. It effects people of all ages and both genders. So you never know. I've been more sensitive about things ever since I've encountered this illness... because you really don't know what anyone is going through unless they tell you. There's this phrase that's been getting popular around here. Its when something "unfair" happens to a person and they "wish diarrhea upon ______". Man... I can tell you that it does hurt my feelings. I know its an absurd thing to think that a person can have diarrhea for the rest of their life. I mean... come on, it doesn't sound real. But it is. And it happens to me. And I hate it. I don't think its funny when people bring it up. It reminds me of those times when I'm sitting on the toilet for an hour, shitting my guts out, and wishing I were dead.

You can't assume anything anymore. You can't assume that everyone is healthy. You can't assume that everyone is in a nuclear family. You can't assume anyone's sexual orientation.
So whatever it is, please take other people's feelings into consideration. You really never know.

Retro 11.13.2005

I'm really unhappy... I've been this way for a long time now. And its not the kind that can be fixed with ice cream. I think this might be something much more serious...

I have big plans... but how can they be done if I'm so unmotivated? My body is working against me. I'm tired all the time... and probably giving in. My mom told me that she always feels like crying when she sees me because she doesn't know how to help me. She says that since she's my mom, she should know how to fix everything. Oh how I wish things were simple. I wish I wasn't sick. I've been pushing everyone away because I don't want them to see me like this.

My mom knows how terribly unhappy I am living here... But how is this so? I have lived here my entire life. And this should be my home. But it doesn't feel like home anymore. This town has been polluted with negativity and I'm afraid that its starting to hypnotize me with its siren's song. She suggested that we run away together temporarily. California? Florida? Or even out of the country. Anywhere really. Its her sacrifice so I would be able to have a change of environment. It sounds like an adventure at first, but after a while, I know it would be a tremendous strain on my family. We don't have a lot of family so it would just be me and my mom trying to make ends meet. As much as possible, I would like all of us to stay together. I can't say yes to the suggestion. I would feel guilty for being selfish. I can't do it alone either... I'm not well enough to take care of myself yet. She's truly amazing... for not turning her back on me. She said that I could never be a burden and prays for my health every night. Its quite different from my dad. I love him... but he only watches from the sidelines. He wants to help, but gave up trying when the hospital said that there was not much anyone could do. He's watching me fade away.

This would be much easier if I were able to work... but at the present... I cannot. I feel so useless. I feel ugly too... The medicine that is supposed to help me is hurting me. Its making my hair fall out. I had to cut it very short. I look like a boy. Why can't I look like one of those cute girls with short hair? My hair is still falling out...

I can't stay. I can't leave. There is no place for me.

I hate this self-loating. I don't want to feel like this anymore. Maybe things would be different if I met with a certain amount of success. Maybe then I would have more confidence and not doubt my abilities. Maybe if I didn't fall in love, or what I thought was love. Maybe then I wouldn't have gotten distracted and worked harder instead. Maybe this... maybe that... I've worried myself sick over the years. All this because I can't get a damn job. I wish everything was the way its supposed to be.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More RETRO 9.15.05 - 10.1.05

Hi Everyone! Happy New Year! I hope everyone is well rested from the holidays! Have you made your New Year's resolutions? I have a few... and one of them is keeping up with this blog. Now that all the holiday family obligations are over I can get back into the swing of things and continue my story on the road to recovery.

I don't know how many entries I owe by now... I sorta lost count. So tonight I'll give you two entries and I'll try my best to post more Retro entries on Wednesdays. And hopefully I can squeeze in time to write about my life now to keep you up to date!

These entries are really difficult for me because they're part of the lowest time of my life. At the time, I just finished treatment from a major flare-up. I was probably on Prednisone too. This part of my life is very foggy and the entries written during this time are very angsty. I still can't believe that this was me three years ago. I wasn't my usual self and I can't even imagine how I was effecting everyone else. I can't believe I lived like I was going to die. I somehow managed to climb out of depression. It wasn't easy but I got through it eventually.
Retro 9.15.05
My hair is still falling out. I don't know how much longer I can stand this. The past few days I haven't felt like I'm in the right mindset. Awful thoughts keep coming through my mind. I feel very useless... I mean is there any real reason to keep waking up in the morning? I really don't have anything to live for.

Two months ago I was thankful to be alive and now I wish I were dead.

Maybe its because I'm not getting anymore attention. I realized that I live in a very lonely world.

Retro 10.1.05
I am uninspired. Its not like I don't have time to do anything. I'm a bum! I spend hours goofing around the internet, watching tv, and closely monitoring my money as it drains away. When will I get my lucky break? I'm tired of how everything is.

Part of what I'm feeling is jealousy and the other part is rage. I seriously cannot stand people in relationships these days. I just get so pissed off! Even when I see it on tv. I don't know why! How am I supposed to get better if I'm constantly stressed out and full of hate?

Music is one of the simple but powerful tools that helps me survive. When I was crapping the life out of me, I sang. I sang loud. This is while I was on the toilet so I could distract myself from the pain. I probably could have died that day... Those days were so painful... I wish I were inspired again. I feel like a different person. I also feel ugly. My hair is falling out in bundles. Blah... what keeps me going? I'm getting depressed again. Or maybe I feel numb? I need direction. I have to be reminded of what I live for. It was or seemed to be clear when I was sick but I don't see it now. Maybe it was the medication? The starvation? The cabin fever? It could have been any of those things. I feel like I'm lacking attention, but when I have it I just want to be alone. Does that make any sense?
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