Wednesday, February 19, 2020

You Might Be A Crohnie

If you would rather drive 20 miles to use the toilet instead of using a public one
... you might be a Crohnie

Saturday, February 15, 2020

For Sale !!

I have signed on with RedBubble  to sell my art in different forms.
I have also added my blog's logo and one of my favorite sayings,

"I don't LOOK sick...You don't LOOK stupid...LOOKS can be deceiving"

Check everything out here:

Friday, February 14, 2020

CBD (cannabidiol) Will It Work For You?

I myself don't use, nor have I ever used, CBD or cannabis, before or after my diagnosis. 

Having said that, it does not mean I won't endorse people using it if it works for them.
I may use CBD in the future, who knows, but there is too much evidence to support the use for those of us with chronic illnesses.

Can CBD Offer Hope To Those Living With Crohn's And Colitis?

Let's take a brief look at how CBD could help improve the lives of those living with colitis and Crohn's Disease.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term that covers a group of conditions and disorders involving chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Crohn's disease is a form of IBD that can impact any part of the GI tract, which may affect the entire thickness of the bowel wall. Colitis is a series of chronic digestive inflammatory diseases that specifically impact the innermost lining of the colon.
IBD and related conditions currently affect an estimated 3 million Americans and millions more throughout the world. With so many people living with these chronic conditions, many often wonder if there are safe and effective companions to traditional treatment to help manage their symptoms.
From gummies to bath bombs, CBD-infused products have swept the nation and emerged as the latest health and wellness trend. Over the past year, CBD has garnered a massive amount of buzz for a host of potential benefits to treat a myriad of symptoms and conditions, but is there any truth to all of the hype? aims to help answer this question once and for all in an intuitive patient-focused portal. Combining currently available scientific data with anecdotal experiences from people just like you, seeks to be a primary informational database about CBD and its impact on a wide variety of symptoms and conditions.

What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid, the second most common and one of 113 identified cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are closely related chemical compounds that interact with cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, also known as the endocannabinoid system. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most common of these cannabinoids and is most often associated with cannabis for its potent psychoactive effect.
An important distinction between CBD and THC is that each binds with different cannabinoid receptors in varied ways, producing unique physiological effects. Another key difference is that CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning users don't risk intoxication or failing a drug screening.
A wealth of peer-reviewed scientific evidence repeatedly demonstrates that CBD and CBD-based therapies provide patients relief from a wide variety of symptoms and conditions. Several preclinical and clinical trials have shown the efficacy of CBD therapy in treating conditions ranging from ADHD to PTSD, including a variety of inflammatory bowel diseases.

Can CBD Help Those Living With Colitis Or Crohn's? has a wealth of anecdotal experiences from people all over the world about the impact CBD has had on their inflammatory bowel symptoms. However, they've also compiled an extensive database of peer-reviewed clinical trials and academic research, establishing specifically how CBD can impact these conditions.
For example, researchers from the University of Naples Federico II testing the impact of CBD on a variety of factors, including oxidative stress, to help understand if CBD may be beneficial in treating inflammatory bowel diseases. They found ample evidence that CBD is protective against gastrointestinal inflammation in rat models, warranting additional research and offering promising hope for similar results in preclinical and clinical trials.
Another example is a clinical study from the Medical University of Graz, which found that CBD and other phytocannabinoids help play a direct role in regulating the digestive system, affecting conditions such as colitis and Crohn's. Researchers have found this physiological mechanism to be driven by the CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors.
Research out of the University of Hertfordshire found that CBD reduces inflammation in the intestines along with lower occurrences of other functional disturbances associated with inflammatory bowel diseases such as colitis and Crohn's. The team concluded that CBD should be utilized as a supplement alongside standard treatment, or additional research should be focused on the development of novel CBD-based drugs.
An analysis from Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz notes the fairly extensive medical history and research behind the use of cannabinoids for treating a variety of gastrointestinal issues, including pain, diarrhea, and gastroenteritis. After assessing currently available research on the matter, the authors conclude that the endocannabinoid system is a viable therapeutic target for treating gastrointestinal issues, particularly inflammatory conditions.
In addition, a study from the University of California, San Francisco, found that CBD directly impacts the gastrointestinal system in several key ways, including regulating motility and intestinal secretions, as well as reducing overall inflammation and pain in patients. An impressive point to note from the study was that over half of the participants were able to stop taking at least one daily medication for their IBD, thanks to CBD.

Does CBD Work?
As mentioned, there is extensive peer-reviewed academic research highlighting the promise of CBD for those living with inflammatory bowel diseases such as colitis and Crohn's. Gastroenterologists and healthcare professionals across all disciplines have been advocating the use of a properly supervised CBD regimen to help treat and manage a wide variety of symptoms and conditions.
As with health and lifestyle change, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider to avoid conflict with any other current treatments or medications. Additionally, your healthcare provider may be able to answer any additional questions you may have, as well as help you create the most effective treatment plan to manage your specific set of symptoms.

Written by: John Alois

Have you or someone you know used CBD to help manage their colitis or Crohn's disease? is currently gathering experiences from millions of people, just like you, who have used CBD to help treat and manage symptoms of colitis and Crohn's disease. No matter if CBD worked for you or not, they would love to hear from you about your experience; these stories help those suffering see that there may be a solution out there for them.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Keeping a Journal

If I could go back to 1988 and visit my young self, I would stress to me to keep a journal of my symptoms and keep writing in it no matter what. No matter how long... I wish I still did. 
I did in the beginning, but stopped about a year or so later when I had emergency surgery and bowel resections. I didnt think I "needed" it anymore, but I wish I had kept it going.

The one thing I tell the newly diagnosed is to definitely keep a journal.

Typically, I would start in the morning and list what I ate, what time, was there any pain and if so, how intense and for how long. Also when I had bowel movements, consistency (watery, semi formed, etc), was there pain, blood, color, etc.  It's a great way to track results of what you ate as far as bowel movements.  Also to track food reactions and the combination of foods. 
I personally havent had a regular bowel movement in 32 years! 😳

There are some great journals out there and I like this one, designed by a Crohn's sufferers' family member:

Whether you use a journal like this one, or design your own, keeping a journal is highly recommended.  Not only for you, but for your doctors.
The more information you have can only help with your Crohn's or Colitis journey.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Humira : Day 29

Honestly, I don't see any difference between Remicade and Humira.
I don't feel any different.
I don't look any different.
The only real difference is time.
With Remicade, I had to drive out to the clinic to get infused, get the infusion and then drive maybe 3 hours total.
With Humira, I take it out of the fridge to warm up a bit, then inject... so maybe 20 minutes total.
Also with the Humira, I don't even half to have a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast...nothing.
I do though.
BUT... I don't HAVE to if I don't want to and that's a bonus!!
If I showed up unshowered and naked to the infusion clinic, I think I might be sent home...
 or arrested 😆

Thursday, January 23, 2020

IBD Support Groups

I must confess, in the 32 years I have had crohn's, I have never been to a IBD support group. I never thought I "needed" it, so I went through everything on my own in a sense. I had/have family and friends and now a growing online community to vent, but never a sit down, face to face meet and greet.
I'm an introvert and have trouble speaking in public especially if I don't know anyone, even though we might all be going through the same thing.
Now, having said all that, I received an email from Crohn's and Colitis Canada (like I always do), letting me know of a meeting for the Fraser Valley West Chapter , which is my local chapter. I thought this time maybe I'll go.  I mean, what could it really hurt? On the night of the meeting, I got up the nerve (and a little push from my wife) to drive out to the meeting and see.
It was in a nice meeting room in a library and as I walked in was greeted very nicely by three people already there, one of which was the Chapter president, Hailey. In total, there were 8 of us sitting around a couple of tables and it was obvious to me that I was the odd man out. Not in a bad way, but it became more aware to me that all these people have met before and for some time. Hailey started with introductions where everyone introduced themselves and a little about them as far as IBD was concerned. I said my name and that I had crohn's for 32 years and I don't think I said anything after that, I don't remember. Pretty lame, I know. Others went into more details and after hearing everyone, I'm thinking, "I should have said that, damn it!, I've had lots of surgeries too". LOL
I'm not great with speaking in public, only the written word I guess, but I made myself a resolution that 2020 was going to be the year I try and meet up with other IBD or chronic illness people.
The meeting was 2 hours and by the end I was feeling more comfortable and everyone thanked me for coming out and nice to meet me which made me feel more comfortable. I chatted with a gentleman on the way out about his experience with an ostomy as he is fairly new to it. If my crohn's gets any worse, an ostomy is the next step. Something to think about as it is always on my mind and the psychological aspect of it is hard for me.
They meet every third Tuesday of the month so I marked it down on my calendar in the hopes that maybe I'll attend again. Nice group. Maybe I'll open up a bit more as each meeting comes and goes, but there is only one way to find out.
So, the point of this post?
Don't be like me and wait 30 years to go to a group meeting.
If only just to go out and meet with others like you.

On a side note, thanks to the group for the feeling of being welcome.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Humira : Day 14

Well, so far so good. No problems. Pretty simple injecting myself. All's good!

I was a little surprised at the box that arrived to my house, though, the day before my injection.
I was expecting a little package, but it came in a large box. Inside the box was a large white Styrofoam cooler.
When I took off the lid, there was several frozen gel packs covering the two boxes of Humira.
I took the boxes out (I had to do two injections this time and then one in two weeks and another two weeks later) and there were more gel packs!
I checked out the Humira pens to make sure they were ok and put the gel packs back in the cooler, sealed the box back up, affixed the return label and called the courier to come pick up the box to return to the pharmacy.
Seems like alot to do, but still alot easier than driving half an hour to a clinic, spend and hour sitting in a chair to get infused with Remicade.
Ahhh, Remicade... my long lost friend, I hope your cousin Humira works as well as you did for me.
I did some calculations and one of my injections will be while we are away, so I am going to have to take it with me. I was hoping to avoid it, oh well. 

We gotta do what we gotta do

Friday, January 3, 2020

Humira : Day 1

Well, I'm giving Humira a go this time as the Remicade stopped working for me. My body started to become immune to the drug. It's too bad really. Remicade was a "god send" (if there is such a thing). It worked miracles for my symptoms and took most of my problems away, but the disease lingers still which was prevalent during my last colonoscopy. I never expect that it will ever fully disappear, but comparing colonoscopy results a year apart proved that the Remicade was not working anymore.

So, my Remicade lasted 2676 days, or 7 years, 3 months and 28 days.

I had my first 4 Humira injections yesterday, so I am at day 1.
I went to a clinic for patient instruction as I have never injected myself in my life and I never thought I couldnt do it, but wanted to make sure I did it properly. Better safe than sorry. They wanted me to wait for about 30 minutes after the injections to monitor my blood pressure, etc. just in case, but all's good.
I will do my next injections at home now. I have 2 injections in two weeks and then maintenance dose of one every two weeks.

Fingers crossed.....

Monday, December 30, 2019

You Might Be a Crohnie

If you think you're feeling better but your IBD starts to laugh at you
... you might be a Crohnie

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Goodbye 2019

Looking back at 2019.... not very exciting really, as far as my crohn's is concerned.

I only had one hospital visit for my pesky little peri anal abscess which included a minor surgery and 24 hours admission.

My Remicade infusions were going fine, but I was starting to feel tired all the time...all the after several tests, including a colonoscopy, it was determined that my body was becoming immune to the drug and it was time to start something new. So, having said that, my 2020 will start with a new drug, Humira. My first injections start January 2 and as I have never injected my self, ever, it should be an interesting way to ring in the new year. I need to get 4 injections the first day.... fun.

On the upside, I was nominated for two WEGO health awards, which is always a great honor. To be recognized by your peers is a humbling experience and I don't take it lightly.

In 2020, I'm looking to maybe meet some fellow IBD'ers or other chronic illness fighters. I have had crohn's for over 30 years and have yet to meet fellow warriors, so that's somewhat of a new years resolution I guess.

Finally I'd like to thank everyone that has come by and read my blog, left comments, emailed me or contacted me through Twitter and Facebook. Your support and input has been uplifting and I appreciate everything, thank you.

Happy new year everyone and all the best for a happy and healthy(er) 2020 !!

~ Vern