Posted in Adventures In The Kitchen, Crohn's Disease, Health, Wordless Wednesday

(Somewhat) Wordless Wednesday


Pizza crust recipe: here. I make many things from scratch because of my Crohn’s disease. This way I avoid a ton of craptastic preservatives and artificial flavors that make me feel really lousy. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have. 🙂

Chronically Fabulous,

P.S. This is a GREAT activity with your kiddos. Jude loves making his pizza as cheesy as humanly possible.

Posted in Crohn's Disease, Health

Chronic Illness: The Mental Game

For those not “in the know,” I’ve been dealing with the effects of Crohn’s Disease for awhile now and was just diagnosed in January.

After you get over the diagnosis, the fatigue, the malaise, the pain and the scary medications they may put you on, it really becomes a mental game with the worst conclusion to any game you have played:

You will never get better. You will always have to deal with this. You will forever have medical bills. You will always feel like a burden.

There, I said it. Some days I can shut this voice off, but when the house is a mess, the bills are stacking up and I’m constantly fighting with my insurance company, I really can’t help it.

Some days I really just feel like a burden.

I’ve heard this echoed from others that have chronic illnesses such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, etc. It doesn’t help when you’re lying in a hospital bed feeling as if you’re contributing nothing society. Sure they love you, but you really feel like you’re just inconveniencing their entire life by even existing; that they may be happier without you.

This is why it is SO important for anyone to have a support system when dealing with these types of conditions. No matter how large or how small, being there for someone that needs it can make a huge difference in their mental outlook. Even if it’s just an ear without really any advice to contribute, it helps just having someone to vent frustrations to. I believe a more positive outlook makes a huge difference when it comes to managing chronic illness — at least it did for me.

Damn, that was deep! Are you someone managing a chronic illness? Do you ever feel the same way? To use a networking cliche, “I’d love to connect!” Leave a comment below.

Until tomorrow,
~Katie ☙

Posted in Crohn's Disease, High Five For Friday, Life

Friday, Friday, Gettin’ Down On Friday….

You’re welcome for that title. Good luck gettin’ that out of your head. 😉

  1. From Our Home:
    Jude’s room now contains the solar system!
  2. Adventures In Crohn’s Disease:
    P.S. It seemed to help!

  3. Jude Had A Cold All Week:
    Pfft. Week! Who am I trying to convince? Try almost two weeks. Either way I placed Stress Relief and Relax in his warmer all week to help him breathe at night. That worked too. 🙂 BayMax
  4. Epiphanies Were Made:
  5. My Infatuation With Tsum-Tsum Has Grown:
    Not very well helped out by Target since they started carrying the product line, might I add. Add me on Line! User name: Zekora.

Until next week!
Katie ☙

Posted in Crohn's Disease, Health, Life

An Update On Us….

Oh boy….

In short, we’ve been busy!! There are weeks I feel like I’m not home all week and then suddenly there will be a day that we have absolutely nothing planned.

Pink Zebra

Pink Zebra has been keeping me amazingly busy with the launch of our new Soaks line of products. I have a great group of customers that also order on a regular basis now. I’ve given up on vending shows in my area because of how poorly they’re attended and focused more on building relationships and giving back to my customers and I’ve been having great success with it. I enjoy it more now, but I do miss my vending buddies. I added another highly motivated team member in February. In short, life has been good in that aspect.

Crohn’s Disease

As many of you know, I was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in January after a horrendous year of medical issues and hospitalizations. My doctor recommended going on Humira and then promptly suggested I stay out of the sun to reduce the lymphoma risk. I live in Southern California, have an active 3 year old, and love to garden; staying out of the sun is not a viable option for me.

He also said I’d be unable to breastfeed with the next child should we decide to have another and that’s something that’s just so, so, so important to me after feeding Jude up to 18 months…his saying that was like a stab in the heart. Considering I now know what I’m fighting and I’ve made several dietary changes that have almost eliminated flares, I’ve decided not starting the Humira is the best decision for me right now. If my condition were worse and absolutely chronic, then yes, by all means I’d most likely start the injections, but it’s not and I’m just not willing to start it.

Watching this short video moved me to tears! I’ve gone through so many of these medical tests it was like watching myself in a mirror. It also made me feel less alone, so if you’re able to contribute to this lady’s project, The Crohn’s Moans, that would be a amazing. Many are not familiar with Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis or IBD and having something to show treatment options to others would be a great thing. Heck, right now my spell check is going crazy over all those medical terms — it’s obviously not part of our regular verbiage.

…And Scrapbooks, Oh My!

I’ve also been scrapbooking again, which has been nice for getting things put together and organized. I love seeing everything flow together and flipping through completed pages always motivates me to complete more. I can’t wait to get our Disney and Knott’s photos down on paper. My Cricut has also been getting a healthy workout. 🙂

Okay, that’s enough out of me right now. This post got really lengthy!!

If you’re still around, thanks for reading,
Katie ☙

Posted in Adventures In The Kitchen, Crohn's Disease, Health, Life

Bake It Off….

“When you’ve spent all morning on the phone with various medical billing companies, you just ‘gotta bake, bake, bake it off.'”

The aftermath of dealing with medical crap from yesterday! If you follow me on Instagram, I post little tid-bits from our lives off and on.

Thanks for reading,
Katie ☙

PS This muffin recipe has made appearances in the blog before!

Posted in Crohn's Disease, Health, Life

Medical Bills, Insurance and Crohn’s, Oh MY!!

I know I haven’t been updating much, and there’s a reason why. I just haven’t felt like writing with everything else going on. Most of you know that I’ve been battling pacreatitis since March 2014 and the doctors had struggled to figure out why. I finally switched doctors during my last bout with it who sent me to have an endoscopic ultrasound who then found a stricture in my duodenum which then prompted a blood test in December which diagnosed me with Crohn’s a few days ago — OFFICIALLY. This was something the doctor had suspected in Irvine, California, but my local doctor was a skeptic and wanted more testing. (So, neener, neener, neener, doc, your colleague was right!)

So, what now? More testing. Gotta love it! And each time I’m referred, I really wonder just how much it’s going to cost us. I have about $2000 in unsettled bills from last year in some sort of financial limbo. Some are in appeals with our insurance, others haven’t hit the company billing department yet, and others referred us to collections even though I offered to pay the bill in full if they’d send me an invoice. Now I don’t know how much my prescription is going to cost (20% of 7K/yr, if what I Googled is correct), so now we’re holding our breath until February when I start it.

To align themselves with the ACA (A.K.A. “Obama-Care”) our insurance changed our maximum Out Of Pocket expenses to $2500/yr medical and $4100/yr for prescriptions starting 2015 per individual. I’m not sure where they think a family making about 50K/yr is going to come up with $6600 (or, the horror if you had to pay it for family which comes to $11,200 for the year), but if the politicians say we can, I guess we can right? Before this disastrous bill was passed, the most a family could expect to pay was $5000 with our same policy provided through my husband’s employer, now we’re looking at more than that just for the maximum out of pocket for ONE person. I guess the theory of medical costs going down because “everyone would be insured” went straight out the window, eh?

I’ve been a little “down,” that’s for sure.

So, readers, what do you do to help cut down medical expenses? What programs are available to help the lower middle class? I already coupon, we cut out cable a looooong time ago, we hardly ever eat out, the car payment will be done in May and we have minimal credit card debt that should be paid off in February provided nothing else explodes in our face. That leaves an additional $150/mo I need to make up somewhere after all those other expenses are paid. I just don’t know what else to cut!! 😦 I think it’s safe to say buying a home or any vacationing is out for quite awhile…if ever.

Thanks for reading our woes,
Katie ☙

Posted in Crohn's Disease, Health, Life

I FINALLY Have A Diagnosis!!

9bdb5060aa1eb54b8787a8d04de1e260If any of you have read my recent entries on my pancreatitis, you know this has been a rather miserable year for me. I just spent another miserable day in the hospital yesterday and part of Tuesday evening waiting for an MRCP after having an EUS Tuesday afternoon. If any of that is Greek to you, I’m sorry and I’m even sorrier that all these acronyms are not Greek to me anymore!! I finally got to sleep in my own bed last night and my wake up call this morning was from the Gastroenterologist that performed the EUS procedure Tuesday morning with a diagnosis:

I have Crohn’s Disease — well, unofficially. More testing is needed in November to officially make it official, but after reading about trigger foods online this morning and after eliminating MOST of those trigger foods from my diet already through trial and error over the past year, it make so much more sense!! The scarring from my Crohn’s was in my small intestine near the pancreas so my flare ups were causing the pancreatitis, not the pancreas causing the flare ups! This whole time it was a symptom and NOT the cause!!

It’s been a horribly emotional few days, but I actually see hope in this mess for the first time this year and that’s a really good thing. Also, knowing I’m not crazy when my doctors were telling me eat low fat and I was and was still ending up in the hospital or with pancreatitis cases here at home is a huge relief!!

Oh, and tomatoes? Those are the DEVIL! (To me anyway. They were the key to my last hospitalization, not the burger I’d had 2 days before my attack! Feels so nice to be able to eat again! :D)


Thanks for reading,
Katie ☙