This holiday was actually on Sunday. Yay for cookies!Kind of seems like a vague one. Some of my faves are: snickerdoodle, chocolate chip (with huge chunks of chocolate), pumpkin, thick sugar ones, cowboy, iced gingersnaps, butterscotch, lemon coolers, and more.Except for the gingersnaps and lemon coolers, I like my cookies really soft, gooey, and slightly under cooked.
This is my wallpaper for December. It's Amaimon and Mephisto from Ao no Exorcist or Blue Exorcist. They're demon brothers, and half-brothers to Rin and Yukio. Mephisto is the Demon King of Time and principal of True Cross Academy, which is odd because it's where some students are trained to become exorcists. He's also an honorary knight. Amaimon is the Demon King of Earth, and has fought against Rin a couple of times. In the manga, Mephisto broke Amaimon out of jail, and recently enrolled him into True Cross Academy as Ambrosius Faust. Claiming him as his nephew. Not sure where that's going. Thought this would be a fun one.
My beagle calendar has an adult beagle sitting with a beagle puppy. The adult looks tired of the puppy. The puppy looks like they're nibbling on the adult's neck. They seem to be near some flowering bushes. It lists some facts about having a beagle as a pet. The fun fact was about how in 2014 American Eagle Outfitters had an April Fools joke promoting a clothing line called American Beagle Outfitters. The response was overwhelming, so they actually produced the collection in real life.
My Jewish calendar features a menorah, made out of brass, and has an unknown maker. There's no mention of a year or where it's from. It looks old, though. The design is interesting. There are thick vines around the front. Vines, flowers, and leaves for the sides and back. The candle holders are a bit odd. They're slightly open at the front, and the shamash candle is so high from the other ones that I almost didn't see it. Usually the shamash is slightly above the rest, but this seems exaggerated.The shamash candle is the 'helper', and we light the other candles with it. It also features another menorah, made out of silver, by an anonymous maker, Netherlands; 1805. This one's more traditional looking. Very thin, though. Cool to see such an old one. It also features another menorah, made by Arie Ofir, out of titanium and silver, Jerusalem, Israel; 1983. The candle holders look like they're ascending pipes, with a silver staircase behind them. Interesting. Oh, technically these are hanukkiah, which are specifically Hanukkah menorahs (menorot for plural usually). Menorah lit. means 'lamp'. A regular menorah has 7 branches, and a hanukkiah has 9.
There's only one interesting month-long holiday this time: National Egg Nog Month. I love egg nog (of course the non-alcoholic kind), despite it being associated with a holiday I don't celebrate...I like to put a little nutmeg on top. Recently got some egg nog flavored tea. It doesn't really taste like it, but it's pretty good.
Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Week started on the 1st and goes until tomorrow. I added a twibbon filter for my profile pic on facebook. Might have shared one or two articles related to it. Not much. Although, with the pages I follow related to it, they rarely post things that I feel strongly enough about to share. (Or, even to like.) Not a lot of interesting/useful things, to me.In fact, some of the general science pages I follow, have more interesting stuff on it. Like they'll occasionally share stuff about autoimmune diseases, how the gut affects the rest of the body (including the mind), some actual Crohn's/Colitis related stuff, etc. I get more from them.
There's a big difference between IBS and IBD. When I went to try and get a blood draw done for the MRI on Thursday, I had to tell them I had IBD. I should have just said colitis instead...The tech immediately said: "Oh, so, for IBS?" No. I told her that we're not sure if it's Crohn's or UC yet, and she understood it more then. Turned out there wasn't an order for the blood draw, and it didn't matter.I've had IBD be confused with IBS before. Although, not often.
IBS is Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBD is Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Right away you can tell one is a syndrome, the other a disease. (Also, one is irritable, and the other is inflammatory.) IBS doesn't cause inflammation, ulcers, or other types of permanent damage to the bowel. So, there are no signs of a disease with it. People can have abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, or alternating bouts of those last 2. People who have it also don't have intestinal bleeding, or the harmful (sometimes fatal) complications that often occur with IBD. Those people are not at a higher risk of colon cancer, nor more likely to develop more gastrointestinal diseases. IBS seldom requires hospitalization, and treatment doesn't usually involve surgery or powerful meds, such as steroids or immunosuppressants. I personally am on an immunosuppressant that's also a chemo med. I've been on prednisone in the past, too. IBS can cause a lot of pain, and I'm totally not belittling that, just showing how different they are.After all, I don't personally know what it's like to have it. I really do feel for those who have IBS, and wish they didn't have to go through that pain. Going over the facts, IBD is a lot more severe. IBS is also not an autoimmune disease. My immune system is attacking my digestive tract. That's why I need things like an immunosuppressant. That just slows it down, though. There's no cure, and when people go into remission, it's not 'gone'. Just slowed down so much that we don't suffer symptoms. It's still slowly eating us. Also, being on an immunosuppressant, I'm more likely to get sick often. Haven't been that great about trying to keep myself from getting sick. Doesn't help that I haven't gotten my flu shot yet. I either keep forgetting, or don't have time for it. There aren't malabsorption issues with IBS, either. I haven't been absorbing protein very well for a while now. There was something else that I'm not absorbing well, but can't remember. I think my memory's slightly affected by that immunosuppressant. Not a lot, but I've been blanking on some things. It seems, to me, the longer I'm on it, the more it's affecting me in some ways.My new gastro, mentioned that we'll go over the nutrition stuff soon. (This is probably affecting me, too.) After I get the current thing taken care of, or at least know what's going on. Also, IBD can affect other areas of the body. Like, your eyes, bones, hair, muscles, joints, mouth, etc. Not to mention the side effects of the meds/other treatments added to that.
On Thursday, I had my MRI- Enterography. It's imaging of my small intestines. I was told not to eat anything after 8am, but I decided to make it easier, and started with not eating at around 10pm Wednesday night. Didn't eat again until close to 4pm Thursday. I hadn't fasted like that in a long time. Mainly because I have to take my meds with food.
They gave me 3 large bottles of barium contrast. I apparently drank them faster than they wanted me to.I thought it would be good to get that part over and done with as fast as I could. It tasted pretty good. Kind of like blueberry soda. They put me in a large cold room alone. It was originally made for another MRI machine (it wasn't there anymore), but they were in the process of remodeling it. At least, I was sitting in a big recliner, and they gave me a warm blanket. They wanted my feet up for some reason, and grabbed a chair for them. A nurse gave me a few magazines to read, saying they were the only female-type magazines they had. Kind of seemed sexist, even though it came from another woman.One was a travel one, another a beauty one, and the last was a Martha Stewart one. Looked through the travel one, but most of it was full of ads. I wasn't interested in the others. I had about 40 minutes of alone time beforehand. (This was without my iPhone.) So, I got bored really quickly. Even with staring at the huge pic of a mountain scene on the wall beside me, and one with a tree scene on the ceiling got old real fast. So, I fell asleep.
Oh, they had me get into a hospital gown, some weird pants, and socks. The gown's always too big for me. I've never worn those pants before, or was told to before. They were too big for me, too. It even had a draw string, but didn't pull it close enough. It also had holes in the front. If there are holes, what's the point?I suppose they wanted me to keep warm or something. The socks were too big, as well. It was hard to walk around in that sort of outfit. I had to hold things up.
When they finally were ready to do the scans, they took forever to get the IV in. There were 3 nurses, instead of one. Many of the things I read for it said that there would just be one. They gave me a shot of another type of contrast. That one slows down the movement in your intestines, so the pic is less likely to be blurred. Almost immediately after that shot, I felt like I was going to throw up. They started to fuss over me more, and put a cold compress on my forehead. That fussing around just made me feel more nauseous. Managed to calm down and keep it together eventually. It was a very heavy feeling. I had an interesting sloped pillow put under my legs. Had about 3 or 4 other pillows around me. I guess to prop me up enough to get in the right position. At first, they gave me a thing to squeeze to alert them in an emergency or if I had some sort of an attack. Apparently, that happens with a lot of people. I actually love tight enclosed spaces. The machine looked and for the most part was cozy. My arms were in strange angles, so they were essentially the only parts of me that were not in a comfortable position. About 10 minutes into it, they pulled me out, and said my bladder was too full. They couldn't see around it. One of them said that I must be extremely uncomfortable, if not in pain because of it. I told them I didn't even know my bladder was full. Had no feeling that it was. They seemed even more worried about it after that, and told me to go to the bathroom immediately. Kind of embarrassing and weird.I almost wonder if something is going on with my bladder? A few minutes after I got back and was still in the machine, they gave me another shot through my IV. I'm guessing it was to put more of that contrast in. That part was a bit scary. I had a hard time holding my breath long enough at times, and my abdominal muscles would involuntarily move. Maybe they thought if my muscles were doing that, another dose of that contrast would help? The whole 'procedure' was about an hour and a half. One of the last things I was told, was to drink as much as I could so I could flush things out of my system.
On the way back to the car, I immediately needed to go to the bathroom. I guess my intestines had woken up. Dad and I decided to go to Mizuki Buffet for dinner. It was close to 4pm by the time we got there, and I still hadn't eaten. I felt really horrible and sick on the way. I think it was partially what they did to me, and partially because I hadn't eaten for so long. I needed to go to the bathroom again once we got there. Kind of felt weird.Once I started eating and drinking, I felt a lot better. The buffet has a wide variety of food. Not just Asian. There's a sushi bar, barbecued (I think) salmon skins (I love these!), prime rib, sausage, frog legs (I didn't have this, but it seemed new and interesting. Didn't have the prime rib or sausage, either), mac and cheese, garlic bread, chicken teriyaki, broiled fish, egg tarts, fried rice, bok choy, garlic green beans, sesame balls, Chinese donuts, potato salad, miso soup, and more. They have a chocolate fountain where you can dip marshmallows and fruit in. Lots of different types of cake, puddings, creme brulee, chocolate bark with little chocolate decorations on top, and more. Pretty much something for everyone there.Probably the best place to be when you've fasted for so long. I think I ate a little too much, though. It was worth it. Stomach was very sore for a couple of days after the procedure.
My gastro's assistant called yesterday morning. Saying that my gastro got the results of my MRI and wanted to discuss it with me. I was reluctant to, because she had told me she'd email me what she thought of it, unless it's serious.I called back in the afternoon. Apparently, I was so backed up and constipated that she couldn't see much. Especially, in the lower part. It was really compacted. Of what she could see, there wasn't any inflammation. This makes me more worried. She seems more concerned about it than before. too. I still think I have something like a partial obstruction or adhesion. It still could be a possibility. She knows, at the very least, that there's something up with the constipation. We've tried a lot of things to clear it, too. So, her assistant told me that she wanted me to go on a liquid diet for 2 days. Take miralax twice a day during that time, as well. I'm unsure about citrucel, but I'm going to take twice the amount, too. After 2 days, they want me to an x-ray of the area done. I hope I'm more cleared out by then. So, this will probably be Wednesday afternoon.
So, last night I got chocolate flavored Boost Plus for my 3 main meals during the day. And, butterscotch pudding for my snacks. I'm not used to things like Boost. Tastes like a chocolate milkshake with a slight aftertaste. Pretty good, and better than expected. It has less of an aftertaste the longer it sits in the refrigerator. So, the one I had for dinner last night had the strongest aftertaste. The pudding is a nice treat, and I also thought it'd be filling. I've noticed I get pretty full as is with the double dose of miralax, double dose of citrucel (drinking extra water with it), tea with my 'meals' and 'snacks', more water with my regular pills, and probiotic gummies. I switched over to the pill version of citrucel recently. I have to cut those pills up, or I'll choke.Learned that the hard way the first night taking them. They swell as soon as they hit my throat. Dangerous stuff. Not sure which is better, the pill form or powder, though. I switched to a pill form of the probiotics tonight, too. My belly's bloated up and feels dense, too. I wonder if all this is just filling up my stomach and not going anywhere?
I don't know what will show up on the x-ray, or what will happen next. Scares me quite a bit. My next gastro appointment is on the 14th. Not sure if she'll email/call me beforehand about the results. Or, if she'll tell me to do more things. I hate not knowing what's going on.
Well, some good news is a lot of my fave anime are coming back soon.A lot of them during the coming winter season. Ao no Exorcist and Gintama being big ones. I didn't think Gintama's last season was going to start so soon. (In January.) I don't think many people did. The announcement was pretty recently. It's my fave anime. elDLIVE will start it's anime version next month, too. I like the manga so far, and it's created by the same mangaka that did Hitman Reborn. Another one of my faves. Should be interesting. Kuroshitsuji: Book of the Atlantic movie is coming out next month, too. Probably won't be available for a while, but awesome! I loved that arc in the manga, and should be interesting to see an anime version of it. Kekkai Sensen's 2nd season will be soon. They're not clear exactly when. Just sometime in early 2017. Uchouten Kazoku's 2nd season is coming up, too. Also, sometime in early 2017. It's been a while since its first season. Didn't know they'd make another one. It seemed to be wrapped up well at the end. So, I'm not sure what they'll do for it. Should be good, though.
Also, catching up on Naruto Shippuden. Almost to the most recent episode. The 2 episodes I saw today were actually really good. Made me tear up. Sasuke made me cringe at times, but he finally came to his senses. I want to like him, but I just can't fully do so. Liked him a little more after those episodes, though. He seemed more human and warm about things. Parts of it were shocking, but I won't reveal too much about that. The last episode had a pretty good ending. Not sure where they'll take it from there. The big war is over, and things seem more peaceful than they were before. I looked at when the manga started, and it was a one-shot in 1997. It was turned into a series 2 years after that. The first anime series (just titled Naruto) started in 2002, and Naruto Shippuden started in 2007. It's much older than I thought.(Or, remember seeing.) I haven't been watching it since the very beginning. Although, I have with Shippuden. (I have watched the first series, as well.) I only stopped watching close to a year ago, since the 'fillers' were getting to be too much. Only skipped those fillers after coming back to it recently. It's infamous for its fillers. Many have dropped it because of that. I do want to know what happens with the story and how it ends, and I'm glad I went back to it. Also, glad I got to skip all the pointless episodes in between.
Hanukkah starts the night of the 24th and goes until the 1st. It's kind of late this year. It's a very minor holiday, but one of my faves. We get to light the candles, have oily food (like donuts and latkes), sing, play dreidel, and maybe have some gelt or chocolate coins. For kids, there usually are presents. They're usually cheap little things until the final night, where they might get what they really wanted. I think the presents thing came about when some kids saw their Christian friends get presents on Christmas, and they wanted something like that. It used to not really be a 'thing'. Students used to give coins to their teachers as gratitude during the holiday, before the present thing came about. I think that's why we also have gelt. To symbolize it. I like the idea of kids giving back to their teachers more. Although, I did get some cool things during Hanukkah as a kid.It's a warm and light-filled holiday. Nice during the winter. Rosie seems to like to watch the candles. Not sure if I'll even have the energy to make latkes from a box. Although, it would be nice to have latkes for at least one of the nights. Saw a good looking recipe for sufganyot or jelly-filled donuts. Didn't know you could make them at home like that. Maybe I'll do that next year. Not sure if I'll put decorations up for it. For the past few years, I've been putting very little up. So, we'll see.