Monday, November 11, 2013

First Blog Post!

Hello and welcome to my blog! Here's the story on how this blog got started. . .

5 years ago my eating habits changed drastically.  After months of stomach pain, high fevers and significant weight loss I eventually learned that I was suffering from crohn's disease.  I was so happy to have a diagnosis, but was nervous since this disease is not curable.  Thankfully, I was able to stay home during my spring semester of my junior year of college to get healthy again and start a steroid treatment called remicade to help treat this disease.  During this time I tried to continue to live a "normal" life and started a marketing internship at World Vision Headquarters.

After 3 months, I found out my remicade treatments were not working and my pain was continuing to burden my everyday life. I decided to undergo surgery so that I could return to Gonzaga University for my senior year!  The goal of the surgery was to remove all of the inflamed areas of both my large and small intestines.  Success!  It took me a few months to fully recover, but I was able to make it back to Spokane, Washington to resume summer classes and be a student again.

The next year, I worked hard to figure out what triggered my stomach pains ("flare ups") and learned to manage my stress levels through running and gym workouts with my sister and college roommate.  Through a well-balanced diet, healthier choices and exercise I have been (mostly) pain free!  To this day I still am required to undergo lab work every 3 months and see my specialty doctor every 4 months.  As a part of my daily routine I take Azathioprine to help reduce any inflammation.  I am so thankful to be in remission!

I also started to run (a lot) senior year!  It was so empowering.  No, I was not the fastest nor did I go as far as the cross country runners.  But I was running for me and that was the best part.  Eventually, I signed up for a 10 K, then a sprint triathlon and even a half marathon!

"C'mon mom let's go running, woof!"  
Dustin and I before running our first Bloomsday 10K run.
Marissa (my roommate) and I at our first spring triathlon.
Later that year, I received a message from Stephanie Wilson with Runners Feed.  Stephanie heard about my story through her sister and my good friend, Lynn.  Lynn is a long-time runner and was diagnosed with Colitis during her senior year.  Stephanie asked me if she could interview me about my struggles and how I used running to cope with crohns, of course I agreed!

I feel blessed that I have found a solution that helps me feel better AND keep my stress level down so that I can remain pain free.  Through life's ups and downs, family struggles and sickness, I will remain constant in my eating, faith and exercise.

Romans 12:12 - Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.

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