Well, after must procrastination, I made an appointment with my gastro doctor on Monday. I got in to see him today, and I’m really glad I did. I must admit, I don’t like going to the doctor – I’m one of those people who “hopes” and “assumes” things will get better. But after a rather embarrassing incident on Monday (lets just say – I didn’t make it…) I realized I needed to see my doctor….
So I’ve been on the Budesonide for two months now and things are better. But they’re not remarkably better, as you can tell from Monday’s incident. I have tried to cut out gluten and dairy from my diet. This is challenging – I’ve found this makes it hard to get in the calories I need and really does eliminate “snacking”. I’m on the Budesonide, Salofalk, a multi-vitamin and an iron supplement.
As of tomorrow, I’ll be adding VSL#3. This is a very powerful probiotic that has reportedly good results for people with Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. I found out about this probiotic from a fellow professional cyclist who has Crohn’s disease. My doctor is totally fine with me adding this into my regime. Only problem is that it is hard to get in Canada. But luckily I discovered that trusty Costco will order it in. So tomorrow my package of a one month supply will arrive – for the princely sum of $201! Yep, not cheap and not covered on my health plan. But, it is a small price to pay for something that could help a lot.
The second result of my visit is I’m now scheduled for an endoscopy and a colonoscopy on Sept. 28. Sigh, not my favorite tests in the world – but they are super useful. My doctor wonders if I might be celiac and he thinks my ulcerative colitis has moved around in my colon. So I guess we’ll know soon enough.
The challenging part of all this (apart from the day-to-day life issues) is that my racing season starts next weekend. This will be the first time I’ve raced while being in a flare. I’ve learned now that the worst times for me are the night and the first three hours after waking up. I can’t get through the night without numerous trips to the bathroom and it seems that for the first three hours, I can stray far from my bathroom. So I’ve learned to adjust. If I need to be somewhere at 9 a.m., I get up at 5:30 to make sure my body has time to “settle down”. As for the night – well, there is nothing I can do about this.
At first blush it might not seem as though I’m moving forward, but I really feel I am. Just the fact that I called my doctor and got an appointment was a big step for me. I know that I shouldn’t be having these symptoms and I need to let my doctor know what is going on. I’m hoping the VSL#3 makes a difference.
I know that many of you are reading this and saying to yourself “what about SCD?”. Well, I tried it and I just couldn’t train and function like I need to. Perhaps when my racing season is over and I’m on a break from training (February), I can give SCD another try. Really, I’d prefer to not be taking any drugs and just be in remission, enjoying the foods that currently are making me ill. But perhaps this is wishful thinking.
If anyone has any pointers to good gluten-free recipes/web sites – please post them in the comments section. As well, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada is now accepting nominations for the Gutsiest Canadian. Visit the website to learn more about this.
If you want to learn more about my bike racing and what I’m up to, please visit my website: Ottawa Cross.
As usual, thanks for reading and for being part of this super supportive online community. Maybe one day some of us will meet face-to-face!