"Ch-ch-ch-changes"

by on Thursday, September 30, 2010 4:21
This entry is filed under: Coping/Support

I think that”s how the song went…Anyway. Lots of those happening here! First off, I decided at the suggestion of my surgeon to apply for disability. My, there”s a lot of paperwork involved…Second, we are moving to Texas! In two weeks! My husband got a job offer out there that was just too good to pass up, so we are leaving Portland for what we hope are greener pastures. I”m looking forward to becoming involved with the CCFA there as I continue to fight back against IBD.

I returned last night from a trip to my home state of KY for a family reunion. (Just in time to take my sick dog to the vet for exploratory bladder surgery, and pack up our apartment.) I spent time with my mother, aunts, and uncles, and spent lots of time talking with one aunt who is an auto-immune brethren with lupus. She got diagnosed later in life, which is atypical, and nearly died from her first flare. We noted similarities in our symptoms, one being that our teeth were falling apart! When I go to KY, I always schedule a visit with my best friend, honorary sister, and dentist, Alex. She has a practice in our home town where she gives me the once-over when I am in home. Despite daily flossing and the twice daily use of my fancy Sonicare toothbrush, I have multiple cavities every time I go in for an exam! This has really surprised and upset me since I take such steps to insure my oral health, which is something I previously felt I had some control over. Prior to the last two years, I never had any significant oral health issues. Now I have 3-4 cavities every time I”m examined, my gums are receding, and I had a bony-growth in my jaw! Luckily, the growth was benign, as told to me by an oral surgeon Alex rushed me off to. (It”s so nice to have someone who loves you in charge of your dental care!) Anyway, after three hours in the chair, and three visits, my teeth are again good-to-go. I suppose my decline in tooth health upsets me for a number of reasons. The first being that I am really sick of my body continuing to fall apart despite my best efforts to keep it in tact. The second being that I never had problems with this before-my healthy teeth were something I could always count on. My insides might be rotten, but my chompers were strong and pearly white! Also, I think a lot of it is a vanity thing. When talking with people over the years about my illness, a “compliment” I always received was, “but you look so good! So healthy and pretty. Your skin is gorgeous, you have bright eyes…” Yada yada. Basically, “You look healthy and hot. You don”t look sick.” When talking with my aunt and mom I likened myself to a lemon sports The Center for Digital Government is pleased to announce the winners of its 2005 Best of the Web con brooklyn driving school and Digital Government Achievement Awards. car-I look good and shiny on the outside, but nothing runs quite right where it counts. Form, without function.
I suspect my teeth are decaying for a number of reasons, none of which I have much control over. Autoimmune diseases ravage your body and don”t allow you to absorb nutrients properly, so there”s one hypothesis. The other is years of steroid use, and the newest is my weekly (double dose) of a certain biologic medication. I”d rather end up with dentures than a hella bad Crohn”s flare, so I”ll keep shooting this crap into my body every Saturday without question. Even with all the drugs I am on, I”m still in a mild to moderate flare as revealed by my last scope. That”s okay, but it does make you realize how unfortunate our options for care are. It”s a gamble all the time. A currency exchange of side effects vs. disease symptoms. “I”ll give you four rotten teeth for bloodless shit.”

“There”s birth, there”s death, and in between, there”s maintenance.”-Tom Robbins, Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates

Anyway, on to the good stuff. I am excited about exploring a new part of the world. I am proud of my husband for being offered this opportunity, and I look forward to the new perspective of Texan doctors. I am grateful for my wonderful, supportive family, without whom I could not survive, and for my loving friends who take such great care of me-clinically and emotionally! I am glad my little doggie is able to have vet care. She has been my mini-nurse since I was 19, and I will do the same for her as long as I am able. Also, I am grateful for this blog! Grateful for the opportunity to connect with others dealing with this life, and motivated to get the word out and advocate for IBD patients. I think our efforts are working because I do notice a heightened knowledge of IBD out there. I notice more research being done, and I notice that fewer people look at me like an alien when I mention IBD…they recognize it! This is a huge step for us, but it also means there are growing numbers of the disease, which we need to reign in. Let”s all remember to do our part. It”s a very satisfying and I think, necessary thing, for patients to do something positive and feel like they are making a difference for themselves and their community.  So go brush your teeth and get out there and do something positive for your people!

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4 Responses to “"Ch-ch-ch-changes"”

  1. avatar

    Elizabeth Newell says:

    October 1st, 2010 at 3:34 am

    You are the bravest person I know!!!! Can’t wait to see you in Dallas! We will just keep praying that an answer will come, keep the faith, all of you!

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  2. avatar

    Arlene says:

    October 3rd, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Congratulations to you and your hubby on the move to big D. We moved to Arlington many years ago from New Orleans. It was quite a culture shock! I pouted for two years, but now I am over it. It is a great place to live. If you want any recommendations on great docs in the metroplex just ask. My son, Chris, is the the j-poucher in the family. He is on the board of the CCFA chapter in North Texas. He has volunteered at Camp Oasis the last two summers. He loves it. Good luck with the move.

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    Lizz Reply:

    Thanks, girl! I want recommendations on everything!!! Good places to eat, docs, fun things to do, etc. I already called their CCFA re: volunteering. I’m on the NW chapter’s walk board, but haven’t heard back from the TX chapter yet. Also inquired about Camp Oasis, which I would love to do, but wonder if I’d be able to keep up with the kids…We are thinking of living Uptown at the suggestion of our realtor.

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    Arlene Reply:

    Lizz,
    I can definitely help you get your bearings in Dallas. E-mail me at atvonderhaar@hotmail.com. My daughter, who happens to work for Abbott and reps Humira, lives near downtown. I have a son that lives very close as well. I look forward to hearing from you.

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