A year of Sandy

Sandy, my baby girl turned one today. I am so happy to have sucha sweet, kind and loving baby girl, she is the calm in the storm, the sunshine in the darkness. It’s been an abnormally rough year, and I feel bad for her, but at the same time so thankful, because many times she was the one that made me see what was important. I know this post will sound like a rant, and it kind of is, but I feel like after a very heavy year it is good to reflect on what has been and what will be.

After a very crappy summer with a house renovation from hell and just crappy weather I was feeling gloomy in the fall. Then I got the bad news that my autoimmune Crohn’s disease had gotten worse and that I would, if nothing changed drastically, undergo surgery. Then my back suffered a bad trauma, a musucular cramp that held on for most of the fall. Sandy was very sick throughout fall and with me working 40 hours a week with a baby tag along this took a toll on us both.

Just before christmas Sandy got RS and our trip to Mexico was nearly cancelled. Luckily we made it there, a week later. In january and february Sandy was so super sick and Cléo was giving me hell as the terrible threes started kicking in. Then I went to germany for treatments which took a toll on all of us and the diet following that took a toll on me. Then after I lost the battle against perscription drugs and had to start taking them, the side effects has been severe, so severe I was put off the meds now while the doctors think of a solution.

And all the while I have been under severe negative stress and pressure and not being able to find any other solution I decided to quit the company for now and find myself and my strenght elsewhere.

This year I have learned to say no. I have learned to ask for help. I have also been blessed with two new people who have become very important, two friends, J & L who I cannot imagine to live without now that they are in my life. I have also learned that I need to prioritize myself sometime, and do things out of enjoyment, with no thought of duty or performance, just to be. Sandy made me realize this. One of the hardest days in my life, and I come home to her, and my head went blank, my chest filled with warmth as she came towards me as I came home. Her wet kisses and hugs and mama mama just made everything fall off, like a bird shedding it’s feathers to grow new and stronger ones. Cléo said something so wise the other day, which I will carry with me forever. She was throwing herself backwards onto a mattress. I complimented her on being so brave, and she looked at me qith her infinitly blue eyes and said: Mum, you just have to dare a little. ❤

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Bring it (Crohns update)

So, I was in this hell of a crossroad for a long time, a choice between “two evils”. Either try to cure Crohns naturally with the risk of failing and having to be operated OR take the meds and live with the consequences and side effects, not knowing if I would still be operated. I was diagnosed with Crohns in 2013. I started taking Asacol but quit when we decided to try to have a baby. We were extremely lucky to concieve quite quickly, and since then I have refused meds due to pregancy and breastfeeding. I am certain that I would have known then what I know now about integrative medicine and natural methods I would have been able to get the autoimmune disease in check. However, now my time is running out. I have been having pains, which is a sign that I’m having a stricture (a part of the intestine is blocked due to inflammation swelling and scar tissue). If it gets really bad I will be opereated and a part of my intestine will be removed. I am okay with that, as I knew this would almost be inevitable at this point. But, being operated when you have an inflammation is NOT a good idea. It can cause a cascade of problems, like new inflammation or even a colostomy (a bag on the stomach) to get the inflammation down.

I went to the clinic in germany as you can read in my previous posts and I was on a very strict diet for two months. The results were astonishing. I managed to get the inflammation down to 1/3 of what it had been, but it isn’t enough. And now my time is up. So today I started to take my meds. One medicine to get the inflammation down quickly and an slower but long-time medicine, azathioprine.

I feel okay with this now, because I put up a good fight, and I didn’t lose. It just made me more confident and okay with whatever will come. It’s not so dramatic, tens and thousands of people eat the same meds, and will do so before someone figures out why the heck autoimmunediseases are spreading like wildfire and will start to find cures for the diseases root cause, not the symptoms. And, with a combined effort of good diet and meds I might have a small chance to get into remission, or if I do have to go under the knife, at least it will be with less inflammation.

My 10 days at the clinic

In my previous post I wrote about me being at a german clinic to take care of my crohns. It was a journey, physically and mentally. Since I have been almost symptom free I have been telling myself that I’m not really that sick. I wanted to live a normal life with no restrictions. I also hid behind my busy life and told myself that I cannot uphold a diet or strict supplement scheme because of this or that. But the stay at the clinic put me to face everything, face myself and my lies.

I came to two revelations. First, that I really am sick. And two, the more scary one: I will die of this if I do not change my lifestyle. Not now, not in a year, but I will not have a normal life, as there will be complications and many things that trigger autoimmune diseases and increases inflammation in the body also leads to cancer. Crohns patients have an increased risk of intestinal and colon cancer.

The clinic gave me a boost, invigourated my cells, my blood and I got more energy now, which unfortunately is quickly sucked out of me with badly slept nights and lots of work this week. That is my third relevation: I need to cope with stress in another way. Stress is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to Crohns, and also cancer, so I need to adress this very soon, I just don’t know how yet.

So, back home now, I started a strict diet, the auto immune protocol. The idea is to eliminate everything that causes irritation and inflammation in the intestines, to heal the leaky gut that caused the autoimmune disease in the first place and then slowly reintroduce foods back into the diet. You can read more about AIP on DR Sara Gottfrieds blog and Paleo mom.

I will write soon about my first week on AIP, I’m two days in and allthough I eat loads I feel hungry all the time. As a sleepdeprived mother taking away my morning coffee feels cruel. Wine for that matter too. 🙂

 

 

So, here goes, a long one it will be..

Right now I am at a integrative medicine clinic in Bad Emstal called Arkadia Praxis. The reason for me being here are two. My crohns disease and my father, who persuaded me to come here.

I was diagnosed with crohns 2014. I have been without symptoms more or less this whole time…or so I thought. Underneath the surface I have had an active inflammation which now slowly has caused something on it’s way to become a stricture, which will probably lead to a operation at some point. I also now see that I am utterly and thoroughly exhausted. Exhausted because my body doesn’t have the energy needed or the nutrients needed, and exhausted under severe mental stress I have had over the past years. These two in combination with two small kids and not having very many all nights sleep in three years has taken it’s toll and has given my autoimmune disease the fuel it needs.

So.. here I am, to re-energize the body, the cells, my blood, mytocondria and all other stuff needed to take down this damn thing. Ten days of all kinds of treatment, many treatments similar to what they help cancer patients with to strenghten their systems to fight cancer.

I realize here that I really am sick. Which is a scary thing to admit but at the same time very important to admit in order to start doing something about it. I realize that life as before has to change, or I will die. Not now, not in a long time, but earlier and with lots of complications along the way. My body is cancerous, I do not have cancer but my disease and the way my body works at the moment with an over active immune system, bad flora in the gut, constant inflammation, these are all things connected to cancer in the long run.

After the ten days the real life begins, when I have to take a more active role in becoming well again. It starts with a strict diet and then goes to a little less strict but in a normal persons eyes overly so. I will eat loads and loads of anti-inflammatory supplements and if needed, also cortison. These will hopefully get the swelling down in my intestine, which in turn can get me going without surgery. And, if surgery is needed, I will be in better shape to handle the surgery and heal faster.

Mostly, I feel greatful. Greatful to have the means to be here, parents who help me in all ways possible and a husband, who I hate being away from, and miss every second. Two more days and he will come and give me the support I need to finish my ten days programme. I am also greatful I have a very mild crohns, which is treatable with lots of things before strong medication or surgery, and that I have been able to live a normal life so far, even with Crohns. The price I will pay to continue doing so is very small, tweaks in a diet and supplements, makes me greatful.

The sauna

So, the most holy of holy on an island, the sauna, has been in very little use for the past few years. When the stove finally retired last fall we decided it was time for the very much needed facelift.

The facelift however turned out to be a full scale renovation as we found mold in the walls and a few more unpleasant surprises. The builders were awfully late and now, in November I can conclude we will not be using the sauna this year. However, the guestroom is almost done and I can now reveal the first pictures of the before and after.

So here’s the before:

And here is the after:

The chairs and tables are weathered teak, something we’ve had from before, the net I found at an antiques fair and the bed is Ikea. The cow hide I got from a friend who wished it a better home and the handira is from zoco home. Most of all I am in love with the industrial tripod lamp, I bought it from a dutch seller trough 1st dibs. The reindeer hides I bought at Kankurin Tupa and the table ware is Broste, found at Stockmann.

So there, what do you think?

The day you were born

I woke up early by the sound of our toddler who had woken. I went to her and she fell back asleep. Usually this kind of awakening makes me wind up but I felt so calm. I had worried about the coming due date for months, will we make it to the hospital, who should take care of Cléo, what if I give birth at home, etc. But all worried were gone this morning. I went back to sleep once Cléo went to kindergatden and once I woke just before noon I felt rested and happy. I had a shower, got myself ready, had lunch and went to see my friend to enjoy a soda in the sun. My husband had the same idea and joined us. We then went to get the dog and walked the short walk to kindergarden. 

On my way to see my friend I felt something that resembled menstrual pain, but it recided quickly. On our way to kindergarden I had a real contraction, it was around 15:00. I started calling a cab while my husband went in to get Cléo, it took nearly 10 minutes to get a cab, and all the while the contractions got more intense. When we came to my parents house I said we weren’t staying, and called the hospital. I was allready feeling the contractions quite bad, having them every three minutes or so. 15:25 I called our doula and right after we left for the hospital. I had a Tens machine to ease the contractions. There were no taxis to be found, one was 15 min away but we decided not to wait so my father drove us. The traffic was insane, it felt like half an hour for us to get to the hospital, I’m not sure how long it took. Once in the hospital they took me into a checking room and saw I was 6-7cm open and the contractions were coming like waves with short intervals. We went straight to the birth room and I got to sit on a gym ball and hang from a hanging cloth. My husband massaged me and brought me water, we listened to latino music so that i would remember to move and dance the pain away. It wasn’t long until I felt the need to push, so I shifted from the ball to the stool, having my husband behind me. I had pushed for maybe 10min when our doula  arrived. Then the real pushing began, and suddenly the water burst. I thought it was the baby so when I heard it wasn’t I had a few moments desperation. I think I even cried “pleade get her out allready!”
I pushed and pushed and then, finally I hear the magic words: don’t push, breathe, breathe, now a little push, breathe breathe, one more push, and then, there you were! Covered in white slime, grey, screaming, and oh the relief of not having to push anymore. That last phase before the light in the tunnel is the worst! 2h20min from the first contraction and I felt like a superstar! No stitches were needed, and no syntetic oxytocin either. As you climbed towards your first meal I was allready lactating. 50cm, 3656 grams, weeks 38+2, during full moon, just like I had predicted. 

We stayed in the room for 3 hours, giving you milk, I had a shower and dad got to hold you. I then sent him to get us something to eat, I hadn’t ad anything since lunch. The midwife brought us some coffee, juice and a yoghurt as we were waiting for transfer. After 3,5 hours we got to move to the dormitory. The nurses came to check on you, you had quite a bit of water in your lungs so the first night I stayed awake to listen to your breathing and clean up the puke. Now it’s 6 am, you are sleeping and so will I 🙂

Expecting baby no2

Some might say I seem to be made to give birth. Pregnancy with no or very little problems, fast deliveries, fast recovery, plenty of milk etc. However, this does come with a downside. Our baby girl Cléo was born 2,5h from when the contractions started, ambulance ride and very mindboggling. This time around seems it won’t be any different. The likelyhood for baby girl no 2 to be born even faster is very high. At the doctors I found out I’m about to “pop” any day, having four weeks left to due date. This means more worries ofcourse, because if the baby is born before week 37 she might be in for a longer hospital visit and complications. As for us, having a national holiday this week, recieving these news was very discomforting because we had no one to babysit our toddler. Our doula made it very clear that we need to leave the second I start feeling discomfort or if my water breaks. There is no time to wait for a babysitter to come from far away. This is the part that stresses me the most, to get someone here and to know my beloved girl is safe. After that, let baby no 2 come wherever and whenever she wants! I’m also worried about maybe having to give birth at home, if the baby decides to be super fast theres no going to the hospital. Ignorance is bliss, having my first I had no idea what could or might happen. Now I do, which keeps me up at night. But, at the same time, I believe in myself and my abilities and the baby will come, soon, one way or the other. 

Time flies!

It’s been ages since I’ve written anything! Time flies having fun or having fun and having a toddler and a full time job! 

Needless to say interior projects has been on the low, managing the normal family routine. I am so greatful for my husband, together we make a good team. And when in comes to interiors I like to say we are in sync, he again likes to say he wishes not to meddle once “I’m in that mode again”

Which I am, constantly. I’m seriously thinking of taking a course in interior styling. I think this is some sort of nesting instinct, as we are expecting our second child. We are refurbiahing our living room and dining room and we just decided to completely renovate our country house sauna building! To completely different styles is hard to keep in check. The sauna is going to be beach shack inspired, micro concrete meets warm wooden tones and naturals, while the city is getting a revamped look, a modern parisian apartment, where old settings meets new modern furniture. Phew, so there will be more blogging in the near future! 

Fat people are harder to kidnap

Always look on the bright side eh? After a very party filled summer I stepped on the scale, “It can’t be that bad” I thought. But oh it was, so so bad. As a side note: It’s funny, while men can brag about them gaining weight, women gaining weight is a subject neither men or women wan’t to talk about. 

Anyhows, I was on the right track in spring, having 3-4kg to lose, now I upped the ante and will now have to loose 10. A little challenge. I find it hard to find motivation, because I only see the end result, and I know how much it will take to get me there, and that makes me less than motivated. But what does motivate me is that I have been there, feeling awesome, and that feeling is something I want back, the hotdamn ass and awesome biceps comes as a plus. 

So, where to start? A journey starts with a step.

Step one: Get breakfast in order and ensure water intake

Step two: Leave out dairy from all meals

Step three: Start eating four times a day

Step four: Skip gluten from all meals and ensure protein-carbs-fat intake is sufficient. 

Step five: Move, get moving, three times a week, if possible four, two cardio and two gym sets. If not given the time, make time, take time. 

There, that’s my not so secret recipe, and with that I lost 17kg two years ago.

Really being there

Today in the park I watched this:
Two boys climbing on the roof of a playground castle, the mother mumbling that they should get down and kept looking at her phone, a little boy who so wanted to climb that castle, but the parent was far away and didn’t see or hear, also looking at his phone. Then there was the parents happily chatting to eachother but still keeping a watchful eye over their little ones, and the ones who were so fully submerged in their childrens play that they didn’t see or hear anything else, their phones happily tucked away in a handbag in the pram somewhere along the borders of the park. I’m not saying one or the other is right or wrong, everyone does as they see fit, I am somewhere in between the two extremes myself. But I could never forgive myself if something happened, like falling off a roof, and I will always help my baby climb the castle and play when she wants. I also believe that children should be allowed to explore and play independently, but under the supervision of a parent. But I am saddened that a phone is more important and fun than your child.