Summer of 2017 & My Colitis Update

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.

us down in Ocean Beach, San Diego getting breakfast started (June 2017)

Brad and I in Santa Barbara, June 2017…hitting up a new breakfast place (thx Bob for letting us crash at your apartment!)

me with Bob, Brad, Becky and Misa in Santa Barbara June 2017

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.

on the wall, those three things hanging are cheese in cheesecloth, dripping into the buckets below…adn the 500 liter caldron in the back is making up some new cheese…was very smoky from the wood fire in this hut…not sure how he handles so well:)

No english speaking in this mountain hut…just some old fashioned cheese making going on..this guy has 34 cows roaming the mountain meadows, and he makes 2-3 types of cheese in this very hut. I tried them, excellent…I would call it “farmers cheese”…another was very salty..both good.

my post blueberry picking stained hands…with the Ukrainian Carpathians in the background

This was a tiny village at the trailhead where the hiking up into the higher mountains began…about 3 hour up is the beginning of some incredible blueberry picking…and there are lots of local kids/college students that do that in the summer to make some extra cash.(and they float up the hills somehow…in rubber boats in-case it rains…amazing:)

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.

that’s me earlier today (Sunday August 13th.. 2017). Looking way better than I did on October 2008 after my diagnosis…heck, i think I’m in the best shape today than I have been in in over 10 years…hoping to continue that.

wife doing some ladders from earlier today actually…this was our second day out…she is not big on high up ladders..nor am I..but we did it. her phone said we climed 58 flights of stairs today…I’m pretty sure it was many more…

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

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17 Responses to Summer of 2017 & My Colitis Update

  1. Regina Beitel August 14, 2017 at 5:03 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your awesome update.. I haven’t written my story, but am an avid reader of your website. It got me through my worst days and gave me hope. I couldn’t begin to tell you how much I learned or how much you helped me. So thank you for keeping your site going and for helping countless people. I will be forever grateful. I am so very happy that you are doing so great. I love your positive attitude, and your sense of humor. Bless you and your family.
    Regina

  2. Bev August 14, 2017 at 9:03 pm #

    Adam, you look great and you are great.

    A truly wonderful man who deserves all the good things that he has.

    Cheers to you.

  3. Angela August 15, 2017 at 7:57 am #

    Awesome update!!

  4. Mariela G Andrews August 15, 2017 at 9:23 am #

    Adam, I am so glad to know that you are doing well. Thank you for sharing your update. It gives me hope that my son, who has UC, and who I talked to you about a few months ago, will be ok too.
    You look great. Please keep us posted and enjoy the rest of the summer. My regards to your lovely wife; she must be a great person helping you through your fight with UC.
    God bless you.
    Mariela

  5. Cathy Miller August 15, 2017 at 10:02 am #

    So great to hear of your life. You are doing so well. I feel like I know you as we have had very similar experiences.
    If this were a contest I feel I came close to the end more than you…so encouraging that in the U.S. people with this condition aren’t given the last rights with no help at all, as was the case with me. I too am doing amazingly well. I still see blood..just a tad now and then, and then I go straight to the husband implant and I’m fine again for months and months..some times I do two in a row….and I do continue with SCD. It is so powerful for me personally, to not only stop having symptoms, inflammation and all the anxiety, now staying so well without drugs. Equally powerful to know I have a remedy if things go sideways.
    I hope readers can find my Cathy’s Free E book easily on your site. So kind of you to do so. I feel strongly to give people hope and faith.

    My husband is a musician, although no one hears his music but me and his song writing and producing partner. He doesn’t want to work with others, just musicians to write and play all thru his life. He will not take money for his art as he feels he would need to compromise himself and his fellow musicians feel the same. They call themselves Crash and Burn…I think…they change the name if need be (the last thing they need is a law suit). They often call themselves “No Hit Wonders” too. Point is, he wrote a beautiful song when I was in hospital for so long. I adore the song and think it would bring a tear to your eye and a great feeling of gratitude knowing how far we have come. You can hear the pain/love of how our loved ones cope and search for resolve.

    If you would like to hear it he says I could send it to you. Let me know how, if you would like a listen, and maybe some others would identify with the feelings he expresses.
    Much Love and Admiration
    Adam

  6. Shelly From maine August 16, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

    AWESOME update, Adam and kudos to you both! Continued happiness and health to you both! Keep the adventures going…cookbooks and travel books now!

  7. Kate August 17, 2017 at 9:43 am #

    Like many UCers I have spent many hours trawling the internet googling the condition and came across your website a few years ago. I read your ebook and really liked your honesty and humour. As everyone says your positivity is so encouraging and now this is my go to website when I’m thinking about UC. Thankfully my symptoms are pretty much under control at the moment but just wanted to say thanks.

  8. marko August 19, 2017 at 3:04 am #

    Hey man,

    Very nice read! Come to Romania also if you’re in the neigbourhood :)

    I’m also great, symptom free for about 3-4 years with just one recent flare up which lasted for about 4 weeks (lost 15 kilos, gained them back in no time), but then back to normal. Diagnosed in late 2009. And I can drink beer with no issue, hah.

    We’ve come a long way :)

    • Adam
      Adam August 19, 2017 at 5:34 am #

      What up Marko!

      Hey bud, I was thinking of you when out there knowing you’re just over the border. And for sure if I get to Romania, I’ll hit you up. A whole bunch of the local in the Ukrainian carpathians were saying the Translyvanian carpathians are even better:)) I’m sure its awesome over there, and glad to hear you’re doing well bud! (Send in an update story with some pictures when you got a moment amigo!)
      -Adam

  9. Caroline August 19, 2017 at 3:41 am #

    Adam,your story is certainly something to aspire to.I have huge admiration for you and am delighted you have achieved so much.Many thanks for your help and encouragement.

  10. Sonja August 19, 2017 at 4:10 am #

    So lovely! Thanks for updating us on your summer travels! Enjoyed all the photos too! I love hiking so read your update with great interest! For me, managing UC naturally and staying off the scripts is working. I found you when I was suffering about a year ago. Thanks for all the information you share with this community! You are an inspiration.

  11. Trish August 19, 2017 at 5:05 am #

    Thanks Adam. It is inspiring to read about your getting out there and adventuring .
    I was only diagnosed last November. One if my best friends nearly died with UC so I am well aware of what’s possible. It has been a massive journey in that time since November 2016.
    I know I had lost my confidence to even do one sleepover away from home in case my system went haywire and undid any progress. I’ve gradually had weekends away. And one whole week last week in hot sunshine doing intensive yoga and wining and dining ! And I’m very well. I just had a sigmoidoscopy yesterday and things are looking good fingers crossed.
    I’ve been using diet, meditation, good company, and mostly an awareness of the need to step back and engage less in stress indusing situations. Even if this means less work or cancelled social occasions. We can’t and don’t need to DO everything.
    I am a mother of young children. And that is busy too. But learning to slow down and not feeling guilty about it affects my colon positively it seems.
    Anyway. Thankyou so much Adam as I have certainly found you inspiring along my shorter time with this which has felt like ages!
    If I am out of the woods after the end of this year I will list here my route here.
    Wishing wellness to one and all.

  12. Alice Bookman August 19, 2017 at 5:19 am #

    Thank you Adam for sharing your great Summer 2017 adventure and story. It is just so wonderful to know a UC patient can have the opportunity to travel and venture to new foods and styles. I love your encouragement that keeps others with the same diagnosis hopeful. Your wife is a beautiful person and amazing to understand your condition- it takes a special person.So happy you were able to have a much deserved vacation. Wishing you many more years of good health.

  13. Lisa August 20, 2017 at 11:35 am #

    So happy to hear you are thriving right now!

  14. Angela October 10, 2017 at 7:22 am #

    Thanks for sharing Adam and good to know that eventually I can get my UC under control without worrying whenever I go out. Thank you for your website and for everyone sharing their experience and advice.

  15. Tricia October 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm #

    Hello. I’ve read Adam’s website a few times. My husband was diagnosed with UC last March 2017. He’s what I would call a type “A” when it comes to his work and exercise. Side note: discover he has HCM (heart condition) in 12/2016 and had a defibrillator implanted same month. So, UC came about shortly afterwards. It’s been really tough on us both as he doesn’t feel like I’m doing enough to provide UC friendly meals. I k ow he’s anxious and depressed about his heart and UC diagnosis so I’m trying to be patient. I’ve been trying my best to follow the SCD diet. Has worked well and we’re seeing improvement. Any advice as to help him improve attitude? I could really use some advice. Feeling the need for some alone time.

    • Adam
      Adam October 28, 2017 at 11:41 pm #

      Hi Tricia,

      Have you (or him) ever thought about trying to find somebody in your local area who also has UC and perhaps having the opportunity to link them up so they can talk together?

      I think it would be very powerful for him (and as well benefit you as he would then be able to share some ideas/feelings/thoughts about the disease with someone who also has it/living with it etc…). This for me was a big turning point, when I finally met someone else who had been living with the disease(somebody in person).

      Adam

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