Friday, January 29, 2010


Some of you know about my 7 year battle with abdominal issues. I have been told that I have Crohn's Disease, but there is no cure and there is no perfect method of treatment for it since they don't know what causes it. From February of 2003 until September of 2006 I tried dozens and dozens of different medications and we finally found some that worked. The medication that worked for me from September of 2006 until around September of 2009 has started to be less and less effective and the last few months have been agonizing for me. I am in constant pain and have constant nausea and I don't enjoy many things since I am suffering pretty much all the time.

In December I received my 5th colonoscopy so they could see if there were holes in my intestinal wall...but everything came back "normal". As grateful as I was that everything was "normal" I was also upset that I was going thru such a bad flare-up and I wasn't getting any relief.

My G.I. Specialist decided that it was time to do a test that I've never had to do before. It's called a Small Capsule Endoscopy and the gist of the test is that I swallowed a MASSIVE pill (seriously people, it was the size of two Jolly Ranchers stuck together) which was really a little camera that was taking pictures every few seconds and it transmitted pictures to a little computer that I wore for 8 hours.

It's been a week and a half since that test and I finally received a phone call from my doctor yesterday to discuss the results. He told me that for the first 4 hours after I swallowed the pill all of the pictures were from my stomach. The pill never left my stomach. Then after 4 hours I ate a small lunch since that was what I was instructed to do, and he said for another 4 hours the pill took pictures of my stomach full of food.

The average person's stomach empties every 60-90 minutes. He said that "worst case scenario" the soup that I had for lunch should've left my stomach after 60 minutes. But after 4 hours it was still there.

Knowing this won't solve all of my problems, but I am grateful that I'm not crazy :) and that we have a good starting point to know what I need next.

The next step will be to get an endoscopy where they'll look at the ulcers I now have in my stomach (another thing we discovered from this test), then they'll pull the camera-tube-thing back up, they'll wake me up, I'll sallow that dang horse pill again, and then they'll knock me out again, put the camera-tube-thing down my throat again and they'll guide the pill past my stomach so they can check out the rest of my intestines.

The point of this post wasn't to have people feeling sorry for me, nor was it to gross anyone out, but I just have to say that I am overwhelmed with gratitude at this moment. I am grateful that I have a boss who is trying to be as understanding as possible when I have to leave for an hour or two to get some medicine and lie down for a while, that I have a family who loves and supports me and who prays and fasts for me often, and that I have been blessed with amazing doctors in my life who don't want me to suffer anymore. I really am truly grateful that we can get more answers soon and that one day I can be some-what normal :)

(Below is a picture of one of the pill-cams available...mine looked a lot like this one, but it was bigger and it had different coloring...)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Goodbye 2009

I saw this little quiz on one of my friend's blogs and decided it would be fun to give it a try...feel free to do this on your own blog if anyone reads this because I would love to see what your answers are.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you had never done before? Went to Hawaii! Man was it fun, I can't believe I waited so long to go there. Hopefully we will be going again soon!

2. What would you like in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? Thicker skin...

3. My best memory of 2009? My niece Cameron being born. That chick is hilarious and I am so grateful that she is part of our family!

4. What was your biggest achievement? Hmmm...good question...I guess I'd say getting straight A's in my first semester back at school.

5. What was your biggest failure? We don't need to talk about it ;)

6. Did you or someone you know suffer an illness? Oddly enough this was the healthiest year I've had in a long time. That was one of the best parts of 2009 in my opinion. But the biggest illness my family experienced this year was the recovery of my brother-in-law Ryan when he gave his kidney to a friend. But he's the one who sacrificed the most (and my sister Marissa sacrificed a lot to do that to). Good work Ryan, you are truly amazing!

7. What was your best purchase? Tickets to Disneyland :)

8. What behavior merited celebration this year? Being less of a procrastinator then I used to be. I still procrastinate, but it's gotten SO much better.

9. What behavior appalled or depressed you? Anxiety

10. Where did all your money go? Our house. I don't spend money very much, so the house payment is the biggest bill we have in our life and I'm grateful for that!

11. What was your favorite song for 2009? Paramore's "the only exception"

12. Who was your biggest influence of 2009? My sister Marissa. She had a baby and took care of a husband recovering from major surgery while still managing to be her charming self. She's always so good to me and I'm just so grateful to have her as my big sister. I love you Marisk!

13. What was your favorite new TV show? Modern Family

14. What was your favorite new book? "Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict" by Laurie Viera Rigler. I randomly purchased this book while I was in San Francisco on a lovely weekend get-away with my Mom, step-dad Tim, and Jesse. They were sweet enough to treat us to this trip just for the heck of it and it was one of the greatest trips of my life. Thanks Mom and McTimmy!

15. What was your favorite new movie? I can't decide between "Up" by Disney/Pixar, "The Blind Side" with Sandra Bullock, who I LOVE, and "Sherlock Holmes" with Robert Downey Jr., who I also LOVE. They were all fabulous for different reasons :)

16. What is your favorite new fashion? Cardigans are a pretty big fashion currently, and since I LOVE cardigans I am very happy that I can find them pretty much anywhere and they are in fun colors and prints.

17. What has kept you sane? Meg, of course. Though sometimes she is the reason why I'm crazy, she is also my sanity. LOVE YOU MEG!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Holiday Season...a little late...

The 2009 Holiday season was a great one. We had tons of fun parties to attend, and as usually there was good food to be had.

First of all, there was the Anderson Family Christmas Party. Since I was a little girl this has been my favorite party of the year, and though it's not the same now that all of my cousins are grown up and have their own children, it is still fun to get together to chat, eat and have fun. First we went bowling...I don't have pictures of this, but we did have a blast...and I think I might have had the worst score out of everyone. Is it just me, or does anyone else have bowling games that are over 100 or under 30? I can't be in the middle. I am either really good, or I really stink at bowling...and I happend to be having one of the not-so-good bowling days :)
After bowling we went to a nearby church to eat and have Santa come talk to the little kids and bring them presents. My poor cousin Marcee had just had surgery a couple of days before, but she was a good sport to come along for the ride anyway, and her cute husband Marc had never been to an Anderson Family Christmas Party but he'll be more prepared for it all next year :)
(from left to right: Marc, Marcee, Colby (one of my step-brothers), and Jake (another step brother))
My Mom went nuts with the bowling themed turned out so cute! My Mom is amazing at everything she does (oh, and Meg made the snowman centerpieces, which were amazing too...the apple doesn't fall to far from the tree in Meg and my Mom's case)...oh, and my sister-in-law Amy made these amazing cupcakes with white chocolate bowling-pin toppers :)
Some more of my cousins :)
Our next Holiday celebration was Christmas Eve. We always celebrate Christmas Eve in Heber City with my Dad. Christmas Eve with my Dad is one of the best nights of the year. We always eat amazing food, then we sing carols for hours, play a game or two, exchange presents, and then head home to get some sleep before the big day. Here are some pictures at my Dad's house on Christmas Eve:

Meg and I bought matching Christmas outfits...we HAD to people...we are twins after all :)

My sister Ashley and my niece Cameron hanging out before the festivities...Cameron was getting some new teeth so she was a slobbery mess. I love her as a slobbery mess!

Meg showing Cameron a picture of herself...
Singing carols...
Exchanging presents...
Alright, I can't talk about Christmas anymore, it's making me miss it too much...I will post about Christmas day later...I hope all of you had as much fun during the Holidays as we did. Happy New Year! I can't wait for 2010 and all of the possibilities ahead!