Category Archives: Crohns Disease

Lets Talk Crohns!

GREETINGS FROM CONFEDERATE POINT: Hey everyone. My sabbatical has been going great, despite rumors to the contrary. My health has improved significantly, and my outlook is positive. To my fellow Crohns disease sufferers, I give a special hello, may you find peace, and power despite the ongoing struggle. I know how you feel. Be blessed in your endeavors.

While I am on the subject of Crohns disease I have some technical stuff about the problem I want to share, and hopefully help someone who is struggling.

First off to my friends in the medical community I need to take you to the wood shed. You have utterly failed your patients if you regularly prescribe habit forming, and mind altering drugs without first exhausting every resource at your disposal. We want good outcomes; do we not? While there are cases where there is no choice but to prescribe such substances, it should always be the very last resource. Some of these medications are very dangerous, and seem to have a way of messing peoples lives up. Always remember to treat the underlying problem, if you can. If it is beyond your expertise REFER the patient. Unless the patient has proven to you extensively he/she can maintain a grasp of the technical details regarding his/her disease/injury/sickness be suspicious, and remember to always be positive with your patients. The power of nature, and the mind to balance the body can be quite impressive, and when you see good outcomes, it will help balance out the terrible things you see on a daily basis. I respect you for standing in the trenches, and trying to make a difference. Perhaps one day I will be able to join you again in the trenches.

To those who are suffering with Crohns and have had terrible/extensive problems with treatments, as well as poor outcomes I know what you are going through, and it sucks. I have found it is better for me if I can maintain as much of a mental hold over my illness, and surroundings as possible; however that is not always possible. I have found that getting with the right doctors, or in those cases where NEW doctors have been suddenly thrust upon me, a good rap session even a couple of hours with the physician opens the door for potentially better treatment . I have found educating the physician, if I can, is helpful. Sometimes though it is difficult to educate the atypical physician, and you must deal with it. This is where keeping as strong of a psychic hold over my illness helps a great deal. I have found coping skills have much to do with our outcomes, and ANYTHING that could potentially undermine said skills should be treated like the enemy they are. I have found it is hard and almost impossible, in the real world to succeed with a disability such as Crohns disease. Kudos to those of us who are working fulltime jobs and dealing with the BS from the Crohns disease.

Thanks for stopping by. This is my offering to you for the day, a blessing, as the dew in meadow let your problems be.

Mark
BLOG OWNER

Sunrise

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Filed under Crohns Disease, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Personal, Technical

The New Oxycontin – Is It Non-Addictive?

Hey everyone! WOW! I have not blogged quite a while now. I have had a whole lotta stuff going on. I am getting on great these days, in case anyone was wondering.

I did a bit of an experiment with my pain medication. Everyone who reads this blog knows I take pain medication. You all just do not know the type I take. ONE of my pain medications is Oxycontin. Recently the manufacturer of this medication remade the formula for the pill, so as to prevent people from crushing them up, and doing lord knows what with it. This new formula makes the outside mix in so much with the inside of the pill that it is basically unusable for use other than what the doctor prescribed. The manufacturer is also touting this knew formula as being more, or less non addictive. We all heard this same statement when this drug originally came out, and we know what happened with it. It became “Hillbilly Heroin”.

Being the curious person I am, I decided to test this medication to see if it indeed has qualities making it so it is not hard to come off of. I abruptly quit taking it, and stayed off of it for a number of days. I had absolutely NO withdrawals from this medication. I hurt like hell, but I had no withdrawals. It looks like, at least for me, the manufacturer got it right this time.

If you know anyone taking this medication, please be sure to pass this tidbit on to them.

On to other news, we have some tropical systems gearing up in the Carribean, so I have to get off here and make sure I am ready, just in case.

God Bless, and Stay Safe!

oldsoldier

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Filed under Crohns Disease, Health, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Personal, Uncategorized, Veterans Issues, Weather

Lance Armstrong, Cycling, Etc

“Does Lance Armstrong enjoy cycling? Of course he does! He has a ball!”

I saw this one today, written by Kuruis, on Reddit Jokes, got a laugh, wanted to pass it along, so here it is…lol

I am lurking the web, newspapers, movies, and documentaries mining for material to go into my next blog entry. The jokes help keep things into perspective. Sometimes, I try too hard to come up with an entry, and write a bunch of crap, or nothing at all.

Thanks to everyone who has, and is still supporting me in this time of difficult transition, in my life. Having Crohns Disease, and all the body falling apart problems 28 years of it entails is a harsh reality, in and of itself. Adding the marriage breakup to the mix, makes for some real crappy days. Thanks to all of you for cruising my blog, and sending the well wishes.

This too shall pass.

Cheers,

mark – aka still need a car to get back and forth to doctors’ appointments – armyveteran ūüėČ

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Filed under Blogging, Crohns Disease, Humor, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Personal, Sports

Could Thalidomide Be The Answer For My Crohns Disease?

As I was doing research on treatments for Crohns Disease, I ran across some interesting research where Clinicians are using Thalidomide to treat Crohns Disease patients unresponsive to other treatments. In several studies, even the patients who dropped out of the clinical trials because of side effects, ranging from drowsiness, neuropathy, and constipation, had positive results from the use of this drug, on their disease. The positive effects on Crohns disease were prevalent even in lower doses, with some patients attaining total remission

Thalidomide was banned in the mid part of last century due to severe birth defects, so it would have to be carefully monitored as to who would be able to use it, if approved, and accepted by the Medical Community, for widespread use; nonetheless, for people like me who have had a bad reaction to everything except steroids, to treat my Crohns disease, this may be an alternative I may be able to take. I will be asking my GI doctor. This drug is an earlier version of the new main line Crohns disease treatments, Anti Tumor Necrosis Factor (anti TNF) drugs. I will definitely investigate this.

My GI doctors want me off the steroids, and I fully understand why, but we have not found an alternative yet. We thought we had an alternative, but when I got the prescription, and checked it against my records, I saw where it caused me a significant GI bleed. I was throwing up dry blood from it several years ago, so I cannot use it. Maybe low dose Thalidomide will work, or maybe not. I will keep looking though. Lucky for me, my GI Clinic is affiliated with the University of Florida, and Shands Gainesville, so I get access to treatments before others, if I choose to participate, in clinical trials.

Thanks for stopping by. I still need a car if ANYONE can help me out with a clunker. I would be happy to make payments. I just do not have a down payment. I am planning to move closer to the hospital, but will need a car so I am not stuck, in a new town, with no way to go. I guess we can say getting a car is on my “Bucket List“. I really, really, really need one, and hate to ask, but at this point I am about ready to beg.

Take Care,

mark

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Filed under Blogging, Crohns Disease, Health, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Personal, Veterans Issues

My Visit With My New Doctor & Compliments to Lake City, FL VA Hematology Clinic

I had an appointment at the Veterans Clinic in Lake City, Florida today. I was a bit apprehensive about this appointment because I have a new Primary Care doctor. Those who know me know that this is my 5th Primary Care Doctor in the past two years. I have never had so many doctors, in such a short time. What happened was the doctor assigned me when my old doctor got promoted quit because she did not like all the computer BS the VA makes the doctors do, and they had a hard time replacing her. Of all these doctors, I only saw one, back last year, for a whole 5 minutes. Needless to say, I felt like I was being put on the back burner, all the while my health kept declining from an already diminished state. I was in and out of a local private hospital because the pain of the pancreatitis, which they now say is chronic, was too much for me, and the medications I had would not touch the pain. The last time I was hospitalised, June of last year, on top of all the medications I take routinely, they were having to give me 1.5 mg of Diladud every 2 hours. I was very miserable until it cleared up. I could have taken care of things at home had I had something for the intense pain, other than what I already take for the myriad of problems I have. Moreover, I were in the middle of a dose adjustment when the doctor who was supposed to be my new doctor quit. I did okay, for a while, then I needed another adjustment, yet had no doctor who knew me to call on.

The Primary Care Doctor is very important in the VA system. They are the proverbial Quarterback of the team. When you have a severe health problem you do not want second string replacements, you want a real Doctor who is going to stay, get to know you, and you them, so as to develop that special relationship a severely ill patient needs with their doctor.

I am glad to report my new Primary Care Doctor seems to be a good one. It is going to take time for her to get to know me, and understand fully my problems, but we had a great start today. She did not pull any punches with me, and gave it to me straight. I respect that. Moreover, she discovered some medications I had been taking for a long time that are not exactly good for a man’s prostate, and discontinued them, lest I develop prostate problems.¬†I appreciate that. I go back in 3 months. I will see how it goes, but thus far, all is good.

My blood has been tired for over six years now. I had a significant GI bleed back in 07 that created many problems for me. I want to take this time to tell whoever reads this how nice, compassionate, professional, and efficient the Hematology Clinic at Lake City has been to me. I truly appreciate them. Of note, is a nurse named Amy, and an NP named Ruth. They have bent over backwards to accommodate me, and I am truly grateful. Stacy deserves an honorable mention as she is another one who has helped me. Kudos to these front line troopers. The VA needs more like them, especially Amy, and Ruth.

As I have mentioned, my health has been giving me fits. I now have chronic pancreatitis, and it hurts like hell. Most of the time, about 70 percent of the time, my regular meds work, but the rest of the time I am in sheer agony. I had to go to the ER last month for a pain shot. I also am dealing with the crohns (from Accutane given me for my service connected disability), the effects of 11 abdominal surgeries, 5 surgeries to repair a broken bone in my face (Army injury), sacroilietis, fused disks in my neck, myofacial syndrome, osteoporosis, joint pain (severe in my hips), and neuropathy. I am dealing with more than this, but to list it all would take more space than I wish to use. Suffice it to say, I need your prayers, if you pray. Anyone wishing to send cash, that will help too, although it will not take the pain away. I have been in constant pain now for 25 years, 15 of those being severe up to now. I hope that together my new doctor, and the pain team can come up with a workable, practical, and EFFECTIVE treatment. I am grateful for what I have now, but I know they can do better.

Thanks for stopping by!

mark

ENJOY YOUR FREEDOM? THANK A VETERAN!

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Filed under Crohns Disease, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Personal

Flipping Through The News – Influenza, Terrorism in Africa, American Military, Economy, Gun Control, Super Bowl 47, Health Tip – Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Hey everyone! I apologise for not writing for a while, and especially for not responding to your blogs. As is par for the course, I have been dealing with health issues, and the personal BS needlessly lurking around me, has not exactly made this a walk in the park. Much has been going on, in the world too, so I am going to kind of flip around the news dial, give a few views, and end this with a health tip, for the day, instead of blabbing about my personal problems. ūüėÄ

Looking around the hospital emergency department last week, when I had to be whisked in, for some problems, and looking around the Veterans Hospital when I was there, for some eye appointments last week, I must inform you, if you do not already know, the hospitals are full. Some hospitals are at maximum capacity. Of course this backs up the Emergency Departments, making for long waits. I waited 15 hours for a five-minute exam by a doctor. Turns out I had gotten dehydrated from crohns related stuff. Nonetheless, I have it on good authority the flu has mutated a little bit from what the vaccine was. Most people who got the flu shot are able to shake it, but others are getting really sick. There is a comparison to the H1N1 outbreak back in 2009, just not as severe, for now. For some reason the press has not picked up on the mutation aspect, yet. Needless to say, if you need to see the doctor, try to stay out of the Emergency Department. They are overflowing, and this makes for an excellent breeding ground for influenza. Be careful!

The terrorists are on the move in Northern Africa, Al Qaeda to boot. Apparently they seized hostages, and a natural gas plant, in Algeria. The Algerian government stormed them, some of the hostages got away, and we are waiting for the rest of the details. I applaud the Algerian government for not delaying their attack against these thugs too long. Swift action is a must when dealing with these types. All they understand is brute force, and the swifter they receive it, the swifter the message gets across their actions are futile, that the world will continue to battle against them, and we will find them no matter where they hide. I am very concerned over the location of this incident. North Africa has a power vacuum with the governments of Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt having been overthrown during the so-called Arab Spring. I am mostly worried about Libya becoming a safe haven for terrorists, and the caches of arms left from the Quadaffi regime being used to hurt, and kill innocent people. In essence, I fear Libya may become another pre 9/11/01 Afghanistan. If the United States is forced to occupy Libya, or any other nation, we must reactivate 2 more divisions, of the Army, at a minimum. We may even need to reactivate the draft. We have stretched our professional army to the breaking point. The pain needs to be spread around the entire nation. These wars would not be lasting as long as they have been if more families had to deal with their loved ones being shipped to hostile areas of the globe. The fight we are engaged is a necessary war. If it were not, I would say so; however, we need to use our Armed Forces in a way we are not stretching them to the breaking point. Trust me, the Department of Veterans Affairs, although intending the best, is not geared to help our returning Veterans in a way that will assist them in starting to heal in a way that is dignified, compassionate, and complete. We need more soldiers, plain, and simple. If we are to see the war on terror to a proper conclusion, we will be occupying more nations, in the future. Our professional forces are going on 20 plus tours, per soldier. That is too big of a strain. Please tell your representatives, in DC, to appropriate the funds to activate more divisions, of the Army, so that our men, and women are not being called on to do the impossible. These soldiers, God willing, will have to come back into society, at some point. We want that transition to be as smooth as possible, and one way to see to this is to have more units available for rotation into the war areas without breaking the back of our military. Regardless of what the Pentagon is saying, I know this is smart, and correct strategy. Ask any returning veteran who served front line duty.

Next up, the economy. The answers are not going to be easy, the solutions will be difficult to agree on; however, Republicans, and Democrats need to stop posturing, saying they will/ will not do this, or that, and work out a middle way. The American people want both sides to come together, and for the solution(s) to come from both sides. The key is to bring the left’s solutions, and the right’s solutions¬†more to the center. The middle¬†is where the answers are at. Stop posturing, and start working for the American people. Failure is not an option.

Gun control is unfortunately back on the radar, of the nation, due to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. I can only imagine how the parents of these most innocent victims feel. My heart breaks for them, and my prayers, for their comfort, are being offered on a regular basis. I am not immune to the suffering of this, and similar tragedies. Everyone wants a solution, or solutions, to keep this from happening again. I do too. However, I want us to be really careful we do not rush into anything. Our 2nd amendment rights are there for a reason. Our forefathers had to use the gun to get rid of a tyrannical government, and they wanted us to be able to do the same, should it become necessary. I do not see how we could overcome a tank with an assault rifle, but look at the Syrian rebels, and one can see if freedom is wanted enough, small measures, by determined hands, can effect solutions. The bottom line on gun control, for me, is we need to stay off slippery slopes, and really think this through before enacting draconian measures. The first thing needing the be done is gun owners need to lock their guns up when they are not using them. Being a responsible gun owner can do much to keep them out of the wrong hands. Thorough background checks, which I thought were being done, are a no brainer, and a must before anyone is allowed to purchase a gun. These are just a couple of common sense solutions that will yield results. We want results to come out of our endeavours to prevent another Sandy Hook tragedy; therefore, we must demand solutions that are workable, keep guns out of the hands of crazy people/felons, all the while protecting a key right under our Constitution: the right to keep, and bear arms. Once again, God Bless those mourning the losses of the victims of Sandy Hook, and other gun violence.

The Super Bowl should be interesting this year. Baltimore verses San Francisco, with two brothers head coach of the opposite teams. I totally missed the championship games yesterday because my antenna is not working right, so until I can review some tape, and hear what the sports masters have to say, I cannot call the game yet; however, I would like to see the Ravens win. Middle Linebacker Ray Lewis has overcome many obstacles in his life, and this is his last year playing the game. It would be a good thing to see his team win the Super Bowl.

That is all I have for now. Happy Martin Luther King Day, please take time to remember the sacrifices of the Civil Rights era. Our society is a better one for it. Surely, I would not want to go back to segregation, and Jim Crow. I thank all, living, and dead who participated, on all levels to effect this much better society.

Good luck to President Obama, on his second term.

——–HEALTH TIP—— Can’t sleep? Take a wash cloth, wet it with cool water, wring it out, and place it over your abdomen. This has something to do with blood flow, and the bodies electrical pulses, pulling them to this area, creating a relaxing effect that leads to sleep. I tried this, and had a great night’s sleep. For me that is huge because I am an insomniac! —HEALTH TIP—–

Cheers.

mark

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Filed under Afghanistan, Black History, Blogging, Crime, Crohns Disease, Democrat, Economy, Football, Health, Life as a Disabled Veteran, National Football League, Political, Republican, Sports, Uncategorized, Veterans Issues, War

Jaguars, Fiscal Cliff, and I Need A Car

This is a bad time to be a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars. This season has been, by far, one of the worst since the league expanded and added the Jaguars back in 1995. With only two wins under their belt, and one game left in the season, there is nothing to be excited about.

Injuries have been the main stay this season. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert, Running Back Maurice Jones – Drew, players on the Offensive line, and on the Defensive side of the ball have combined for a next man up, and “can we find a war body to field” scenarios. Having thought we had settled our Quarterback problems, Gabbert got hurt at a key point in his progression, and Chad Henne, although performing heroically, looks to be replaced, or at least made to compete for a job against Tim Teebow. Teebow, by the way, has been warming the bench in New York not because they refuse to play him, he just aint that good. Jaguars owner Shad Khan seems like he will trade-off all of our good draft picks to acquire him next season to have fair weather fans buy tickets for a stadium that has not been blacked out for some time now. I will not buy a ticket to see the Teebow circus. We need a team, not Teebow, and his one man show. The biggest mistake we could make would be to trade away the stock we have in next years draft to acquire him. Certainly, continuing to round out our roster, should be the priority.

Onto other matters. If Congress, and the President do not come together, and agree on something, America will be going over the fiscal cliff come January. Personally, I think they will once again kick the can down the road. I hope they do not. I hope they can stop arguing over their differences, and work out a deal on the points they agree. These are dark times in United States history. I hope the Republicans, and Democrats see the light.

Anyone out there with a generous heart, I really need some help. I need a vehicle to make it to my doctors appointments. I go at least once a month, and the trip is 120 miles round trip. Even if I move there, to that city, I will still need a vehicle. I am having a heck of a time even buying food because I do not have a car to get to the grocery store. I have been living out of the Family Dollar. I see these cars, KIAs, for no money down, and 99 a month. I could afford that, plus the insurance, but they will not approve my credit to get one. I am hoping something comes up for me soon. Trust me, if I could work, and get off disability, I would not be in this position; however, I can’t, and I am really struggling not having a car.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas!

cheers,

mark

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