Hi everybody and thank you for following the website. I hope that everyone is finding some time to enjoy yourselves in a specially take part in some relaxation during the summer months.
As many of you know I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis back in October 2008. At the time, my disease was extremely severe in the entire diagnosis was a major shock to both myself, and in many ways to my family members as well.
As I’m sitting here on the couch on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of August I realize that it has almost been 10 years since I was diagnosed. Absolutely, most definitely,there have been many ups and downs in the months and years since my diagnosis. There have been times where I thought “how can I continue moving forward with the symptoms.” I’m sure there were times when my family members were wondering the same thing.
With this said as an introduction, I would like to give you and update as to how I’m doing and what I have been up to. This summer has been quite a special one. I have taken off more time from work and I have in the past many years, and I am happy to say this was time off spent on vacations of my choosing. I have had my ulcerative colitis under control and it has not caused me any issues along the way.
The first trip that I took this summer was from the Czech republic to San Diego California. This was the beginning stop on a two week trip. After four days in San Diego, My wife and I drove up to Laguna and stayed with a friend and his family. We slept on the couch, Hit the beach up one day, and had some meals together, it was great. After Laguna, we drove to my old roommates house in Santa Barbara California. We stay with him and his wife for a couple days and had a great time. From there we went further up the coast back to Santa Cruz, and eventually over to the bay area where I’m from and I stay with my family for several days. It was definitely a road trip, and there was many meals in restaurants, quite a few tacos, and I was definitely enjoying some smoothies in the smoothie shop.
But it was a great time, and I even continued with doing some pull-ups and push-ups, which is part of my workout routine that I’ve been doing for about five months now. Maybe, just maybe, you might notice that I’m looking a little different physically. I’ve even put on about 5 pounds from my relatively stable weight that I’ve had for many years now. If I put on one or two more pounds, which is about 1 kg for The Europeans out there, I will be back to my pre-diagnosis weight. That would be a pretty big deal for me.
The second trip that I went on this summer, was a two week trip. I left Prague in the Czech Republic, and headed with four friends to Lake Balaton, which is in Hungary. I actually was the person who was in charge of putting this whole thing together. I found an Airbnb house to rent it was five guys in two rooms, it definitely did not smell too good after about one day. But we had a great time. We did some swimming out in the lake, we rode the ferry boat across to a different town, And we did quite a bit of partying.
To hit on the party in a little bit, I would like to explain that I do not drink beer. I also rarely drink wine, and if I do, it’s a half a glass of red wine. I do drink alcohol but specifically I drink vodka with ice. I have found that that works the best with my system and for those of you who like alcohol and for those of you who haven’t found something that works with your colitis, you may want to give that a try. Take it easy though don’t overdo it. I’ve done that before too, and that’s not what you want to be doing.
After about a week in Hungary, I flew from Budapest, to the western part of Ukraine. In western Ukraine, you have a magnificent mountain range called the Carpathian mountains. They are semi remote, and by that I mean that they are not heavily traveled to buy hordes of tourists. There are many places in Europe which have an incredible amount of tourists in the summer, the Carpathian mountains in my opinion are flying under the radar just a little bit, and I love it.
I spent the night in a relatively large city, of about a half a million people, and made some final preparations before boarding the train for three hours into the mountains. I stayed in a small village and rented a room from a local family. There was excellent hiking in this village, and for me, awesome sight to be seen everywhere. I really like log cabin houses, and the styles that they build them in this part of The world, is awesome. As for food, I was eating at the two local restaurants this village has to offer. This was usually eggs in the morning, quite a bit of potatoes, and some other local dishes. I have to say that quite a bit of the food was not specific carbohydrate diet legal. But I want you to know that for several months now, I have slowly started to add in foods that are not part of the SCD diet. I have started to eat a little bit of bread, and when I was in Ukraine, I was eating some of these things that are similar to dumplings. I can’t pronounce the name, and because the alphabet there as different characters that I’m used to, I will just have to guess what they were called.
Something that was very interesting to me, was how much I reduced my meat intake while in Ukraine. Back in my normal life, I rarely go more than two meals without having some meat. But in Ukraine I was often going to meals sometimes three without having meat.
The local people are super friendly, of course English is sometimes hard to come by however, there are still a handful of people who speak very well.
There was one particular event which took place that I’d like everyone to know about. It was the night where I broke my mobile phone, I cracked the screen, and I could not access it at all. This meant that I had no way of communicating with the outside world, and the outside world had no way of communicating with me. This went on for an entire week, and at first, during the first few hours, I was a little bit irked. But I’ll tell you what, come the first afternoon after realizing I had no phone, and no Internet, it was pretty amazing. It was the first time for me in years, that I was free for all of the modern technology stuff I’ve been putting my body through for so long. My colitis did not have a flareup, and I think it was even happier than it already was. For anybody who hasn’t gone off line for a week, you may want to give it a try.
Between the river rafting, hiking, the home cooked meals at a few places I stayed, in the very relaxed lifestyle of the locals, it was A great vacation. Ukraine is very inexpensive especially compared to Western standards and prices, and maybe that’s another thing which was awesome, simply not thinking about the cost of expenses that came up along the way. This might be something for other people to consider as well when going on vacation. Maybe there are some places you can go on vacation with the costs are much less than you’re used to.
Another vacation that I just came back from, was a simple two day trip to a local mountain range. Only a 1 Hour Drive from Prague Czech Republic.
My wife and I went hiking both Saturday and today, in between the two days we covered roughly 25 miles. Around 35 km. There are some pictures of what the hiking look like, some of it was strenuous with lots of ladders and steep inclines. Some of it was relatively easy and flat. Again it was a great time. I don’t want you to think that I’m some absolute extreme outdoorsman because I’m not,but I am able to go on a 4 to 5 hour hike and not have to worry at all about running to the bathroom. That is a big change from 8 to 9 years ago when I was diagnosed. Right after my diagnosis, I definitely didn’t know if it will be possible to do these types of things again. The types of activities I was doing before my diagnosis.
So there you have it, so the things that I’ve been up to. And I know that I have not been nearly as active on the website for many months now, and I’m hoping that changes moving forward. I really do enjoy trying to put ideas thoughts and stories out there, for the rest of the UC world to me and maybe learn from. Along with learning, there is something to be said about hearing somebody else who is been through what you’ve been through or maybe what you’re going through right now, and knowing that they’re OK.
Shortly after my diagnosis, I met a girl with UC, she was different than me. She had been diagnosed a while before me, and when I met her she was symptom-free. I had never met anybody in my life who had UC up until her.and I was amazed that she was living a normal life doing the things she wanted to do, but still living with ulcerative colitis.
It gave me hope, and maybe some stories from this website can do the same for you. Have a great rest of your summer, and if you’re in the southern hemisphere, have a great winter too.
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis sometimes it may seem to never end, but they do. Each and everyone of us has the opportunity to move forward with our lives the way we wish.
Best to everyone of you, Adam
Diagnosed October 2008
Please enjoy some of the black you see in my hair and probably shouldn’t tell you she will allow to be there ha ha