This holiday was actually on Monday. Apparently, it marks the first day milk was delivered in bottles in 1878. I can't stand it by itself, but mixed with something like chocolate syrup, or in a recipe, it's amazing.I've heard some people say we don't need it, but you can use it in so many different ways. It can change its form, too. (Turn into cheese, butter, etc.) It might be one of the things some people take for granted. So, it makes sense that there'd be a holiday for it.
My IBD symptoms seem to have gotten worse lately. The joints in my hands are stiff and really painful. They started to especially worsen Monday night. I think my left elbow joint is starting to hurt, too. Tylenol only helps to take the edge off, doesn't actually take the pain away. So, at the moment, I don't really have anything to take for it. It's interesting that sometimes when I go to touch something, I get a weird spiky pain in my hand joints.Having a hard time really carrying things, too. Especially in the morning.
I'm still nauseous at times, too. My stomach is starting to hurt more often in addition to it. Also, bruising more often. I find all these symptoms oddly interesting, though.
I emailed my gastroenterologist during the weekend, and got a response yesterday. She also called me last night. She seemed concerned about all these symptoms. She said these symptoms suggest continued inflammation of the colon, despite increasing the azathioprine. The inflammation can travel to the joints, causing stiffness and pain. It was odd that I was getting close to 'normal' or 'remission' level with my sed rate, and then suddenly with the last blood test it started going back up. So, azathioprine helped for a bit, and then I guess it stopped soon after.So, she wants me to go down to 2 pills a day of the azathioprine, go down a dosage and stop when I'm done with my current prescription of balsalazide, and start taking prednisone tomorrow. The steroid might help with the inflammation, and with absorbing the azathioprine better. Also, she thinks the higher dose of azathioprine was the cause of my nausea and stomach pain. Prednisone sounds scary.If I don't improve (or get worse than I am now) after taking it for a month and stopping, she wants me to switch to either remicade or humira. They're much stronger than azathioprine is. And, I might have to get injections with those. This is starting to scare me more, but we'll see what happens.She's a bit worried about the weight loss, too.
I also thought I should probably attend an IBD support group. I feel kind of detached about it.Like it's not really happening to me, but I know I have to take care of it. I guess it's not complete denial...I also feel like no one would believe me if I brought up these symptoms, and yet that's never been the case. With this, most of the time, they've taken it very seriously. I also tend to have test results that indicate that things aren't 'normal' during those times. So, I have evidence that it's real. It might be nice to at least talk to more people that have it through a support group. My gastro said she'll ask her colleagues about a local one, and email me back the response.
So, she ordered a bunch of blood tests that she wanted me to get done either today or tomorrow. I did it today. There were about 7 or so vials they had to fill up. 3 were of the largest vials, and a couple were of the smallest ones. Kind of a range, but a lot nonetheless.She said she can see if the increased dose of azathioprine was really the cause of my nausea and stomach pain. She probably wants another sed rate done. There will probably be another general panel one, too. She said she wants to do a variety of different ones to see how the inflammation is, see how I'm metabolizing certain things, how my nutrition is, and I think more to do with my liver. Some of that has to be done anyways just before I take prednisone. This time the lab tech was very quiet. I get a strange feeling, and have passed out before, if I focus too much on the blood draw. I need someone to talk to me or some sort of distraction, in order to avoid that sort of thing.I did manage to draw out some sort of conversation with him, though. Of course it was about IBD. The only thing I could think about, when someone is running tests for it.It took a while, too. At least the vein didn't roll, and he was able to find it.
Afterwards, I picked up the prednisone at the clinic's pharmacy. Apparently I have to start off at a certain amount, and then start tapering it each week. So, she has me on 10mg pills, and I have to take 4 of those a day for a week. The next week will only be 3, and so on until I run out. I like that they gave me a little schedule sheet to keep track of how many I should take each day. It seems handy.They said I have to take it in the morning with food. A common side effect is insomnia. It gives you a high energy boost for a little while, and then you crash. Some people think they're 'cured' during that boost. But, it's like a false hope on that. You could be a lot better while on it, though. It also is more likely to upset the stomach if not taken with food. You can have an irritated stomach even with the food. I already have nausea and stomach pain, so I'm not looking forward to it possibly being worse.The pharmacist was surprised I was prescribed this at first after I told her about the nausea and such, but when I brought up Crohn's, she immediately agreed with it. Saying the benefits will most likely far outweigh the risks. I could also be incredibly hungry and gain weight. But, I'll be on it for such a short time, it might not happen. For many people who experience side effects with it, they tend to go away pretty quickly after stopping it. At least that's what a lot of people say. So, if I do have any side effects, I'll go along with thinking they won't last after stopping it. That'll give me a little hope on that.
I mentioned a while back that I'm interested in exploring modern orthodox Judaism, or at least becoming more observant than I have been. I decided to actually start this. At least, making some steps toward it. (Finally doing something about it, rather then just talk about it.) For this coming Shabbat, I'm going to try and 'unplug' or not use electronics, and start/end it on time. So, no iPhone, no TV, no computer, etc. If it starts before we usually eat, like it would now, I'll light the candles and such at that time, then eat at the usual time. Technically you're supposed to light the candles 18 minutes before sunset Friday night. With Havdalah, which ends it, it's about 50 minutes after sunset Saturday night. So, these are rather early this time of year. Which might be perfect for starting that. When Shabbat starts later, I could have dinner and then do the candles. I just want to see how it feels, too. It might be nice to unplug at a certain time of the week.I might add more things slowly over time, we'll see. Depends on how this will go for a while. I might have my iPhone with me when I travel still for emergencies. Plus, I might let myself take a pic of something I haven't had before, but not mess with it until later. While waiting at a restaurant, I can just take a book out or something, instead of my phone. I've also started watching more of Chabad's videos on their iPhone app. They're not 'modern' orthodox, but will give me more insight, I suppose. (They are an orthodox movement and organization, though. Specifically, under the movement, Lubavitch Hasidism.) So far, a lot of it's been interesting. Many of it I knew already. Probably because Mom was very knowledgeable about Judaism as a whole, and because of the books I have as well. Should be interesting to see where this takes me.
I finished going over/editing my 2nd novel, Sweet Endless Terror, one last time. Then, I decided to fix a couple of things with my 1st novel, Alliance, reuploaded it to Smashwords, and changed the price to 'free'. It took only about a day and a half to go all the way through to getting back into the premium catalog. (There are 2 reviews it goes through. The 2nd one for a new book usually takes longer to get the ok from.) It was very quick. I'm going to publish my 2nd book next. I'll have it start off on pre-order for a few weeks, and then it will go 'live'. During the pre-order period, I'm going to have it cheaper than when it goes live. That might be an incentive for some people. I also decided to switch the price of the 1st novel to free for during the pre-order time period. (Or, technically, just before until the pre-order ends.) After that, it'll still be slightly cheaper than the second book. These books aren't connected, but it might give some a chance to read the first book beforehand. Kind of like people might discover it as well this way. Pre-order sounds really interesting. Once the pre-order period ends, the author gets all the sales during that time, at once. The readers get it right away, too. The only downside might be that Smashwords doesn't do pre-orders with their catalog, but they still can put it as a pre-order through 3 other online retailers. (I think, from what I've read.) I'll just have to direct people to those first. But, after the pre-order period, it'll go live almost instantly on Smashwords itself and at other online book retailers. It can't go on Amazon until you make $100 on that book. But, it'll pretty much go anywhere else. They keep adding new retailers from around the world, too. Libraries can buy them, as well. Should be exciting to see what happens with it.I think it's better written than the first, it's a bit more personal since the short stories are based on my recurring nightmares, and people might be more interested in horror. I'm thinking of rating it mature for violence, being graphic, psychological, etc. There's no sexual content. (Which is what I usually first think of when I see 'rated: mature'.) These are based on nightmares, so it might not be suitable for certain ages.
I finished watching the Japanese drama, Siren. It was very short, but really well done. There were some plot holes, but if you ignored them it was good. The fight scenes were a little awkward looking. It was really twisted, funny, sad, disturbing, complex, and the music fit. It kept you guessing until the very end. Other than the fight scenes, it was very well acted. Kind of like a wild, bumpy, and oddly satisfying ride.
Also, finished reading the manga, Magico. It was really good.Seemed very unique, but the last few chapters also seemed rushed. The series could have gone on for a very long time. At least, they let us see the wedding and gave us a somewhat happy end.
I recently started watching a drama called Yami no Basosha or Partner in Darkness. This one's also short, but very good and interesting so far. Has some actors I like, too. It's essentially about a killer mangaka (manga creator). He killed 4 girls (if I remember correctly) a long time ago. He decided to draw/write out one of his crimes into a manga. He left it in another mangaka's storeroom, and expected no one to find it. A secretary for the second mangaka was going through that storeroom a little after that mangaka died. When he found it, he asked an investigator to look into it. Especially because there were newspaper clippings about the murders mixed in with the manga. She's not familiar with the manga world, so she asked a manga editor to help her with the mystery. They want to know who the mangaka is, if he really did kill those girls, and what was his motive. They now suspect he has a continuation of the manga somewhere. They don't even know why he hid the manga there in the first place. Recently found out that the secretary was actually the little boy that the mangaka talked to in the manga. He saw him bury one of the bodies as a kid, and he had a fascination with killing things ever since. He wanted to be just like that mangaka. However, after the secretary finally found him, that mangaka didn't want a 'partner' and recently killed him. He might have killed many more people, but the only ones they know about were the ones that were reported missing, and/or their bodies were found. Only one of them wasn't found. This is getting better and better with each episode. I think I read that this was based on a manga, as well.