Friday, October 7, 2011

A sad day...

Today is a sad day. It's not the end of the world. And I am grateful that I do not have thyroid cancer, but today I had some scary news confirmed.

I have Graves Disease.

And I think they couldn't have given the disease a scarier name.

I will see an Endocrinologist in 2 weeks and we will decide whether to do radioactive treatments to pretty much kill my thyroid or if we should completely remove it.

To be completely honest I would rather get the stupid thing out so that the worst parts of this incurable auto-immune disease would be stopped in their tracks, but we shall see what he has to say.

But for today I am going to cry a bit and let myself feel sorry for this crap that has been put on my plate.

And tomorrow I will move on and be positive.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Today I had to wait 2 hours to find out if I had Thyroid cancer. Those were some of the worst 2 hours of my life.

After waiting those 2 hours I went into my Doctor's office and he said he is "extremely confident" that I do not have cancer. I can't tell you the overwhelming joy I felt when those words came out of his mouth.

I am going in for a thyroid ultra-sound in an hour to see if there are any growths on my thyroid. They believe it is shutting down. My sister Marissa had half of her thyroid removed a few years ago and has had no problems since, so let's hope I am in the same boat as her.

I just had to post and say how grateful I am. Some days are extremely hard and I have been pretty sick lately, but I am so grateful that my illnesses are not going to make me leave this earth anytime soon. I am also grateful for my amazing boss, my amazing husband (who changed his flight to come home early from a work trip as soon as I called him and told him that I might have cancer...he is ALWAYS so good to me, but it's times like this that I am reminded of his devotion to me...and of mine to him), for my Megs...she takes more stress & pain from me than I probably even know...and for my cute Mom who has the busiest life & doesn't have a moment for herself, but she is always willing to drop ANYTHING to be by my side.

I am overwhelmed and grateful.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crohn's Disease Article

My mom sent this article to me and it made me cry. The way the lady in the article explains the way Crohn's controls her life is exactly how I feel and it was nice to hear someone else take the words right out of my mouth.

I also appreciate that there are doctors out there searching for the cause of Crohn's so they can help cure it so that people like me can live life more fully without wondering when the next flare up will be and how long it will last. I am so grateful that I live in this day and time when I can get the help I need and continue to have hope. I am also very grateful that none of my cousins, siblings, parents, or aunts and uncles have this disease as far as we know (the article talks about one family in which several cousins have the disease and I hope my family continues to not share in this statistic).

If any of you haven't heard my Crohn's story and want to know more I am always willing to talk about it. Leave me a comment if you have questions or if you want to hear more. I am not going to write it all down here unless I feel like people would actually want to hear it.

Thanks for listening to me...

Here's the article from the Deseret News:

Discovery of 'hitchhiking' gene at University of Utah could bring scientists one step closer to defeating Crohn's disease

SALT LAKE CITY — It began with a stomach ache when Charlotte Shragge was in her 20s.

At the time, she thought it was due to the poor diet of a typical college student. But then it got worse.

"I started getting sick and having a lot of digestive issues," she said. "It got to the point that I didn't even go out in public, it was so debilitating. I really didn't feel safe leaving home and not knowing where I could find the next restroom."

Her parents took her to a doctor and she was ultimately diagnosed with Crohn's disease, a debilitating and painful chronic bowel disorder that affects an estimated 700,000 people in the United States.

Scientists believe there is a genetic link to the disease, but finding a cure remains elusive because its cause is thought to be linked to as many as 70 different genes. One Utah doctor believes his research may bring scientists one small step closer to reaching a better understanding of the causes of Crohn's, and hopefully closer to a cure.

Now 37, Shragge treats her disease with a variety of drugs, monitoring her stress, and staying away from certain foods when she has a flareup. Still, drugs lose their effectiveness over time and she must be re-evaluated for new ones. Flareups can come on suddenly and can last anywhere from a week to as long as four months.

"Having a chronic disease can be a bit of a roller coaster. I've had long periods of feeling great and I've had other periods of feeling just downright ill, and wondering what the next step is," Shragge said. It's not uncommon for body fatigue and joint pain to settle in as well.

"We've looked at Crohn's disease recurrence in families," said Dr. Stephen Guthery, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah who also treats Crohn's patients at Primary Children's Medical Center. Guthery said the link among family members is evidence of a genetic risk for Crohn's.

Shragge said after being diagnosed she discovered she had several cousins who also had the condition. She said she recently lost a cousin who suffered from chronic ulcerative colitis and succumbed to colon cancer. She said she wanted to share her story in order to spread awareness.

"It's not something that I'm going to hide or be ashamed of," she said.

There are genetic risk factors for a variety of diseases, such as heart disease or obesity. Guthery said with Crohn's there are believed to be around 70 identified genetic risk factors, making it an extremely complex condition to understand.

Taking samples of 100 Utah Crohn's patients, as part of over 1,800 patients across the country and in Russia, Guthery and his group traced protein levels to their genetic origins. What they found was a history that went back as far as the first humans to grow domesticated crops. In a study published this month in the British journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, Guthery and a team of other researchers traced the early origins of a key digestive gene. What they found was that genetic mutations that allowed early humans to better digest domestic crops had a "hitchhiker" gene that contributes to Crohn's.

"Our work suggests that one genetic mutation in this region became common in Europeans because it was beneficial, and that neighboring disease-causing genetic changes hitchhiked and became more common," Guthery said.

The story actually goes back further to the Fertile Crescent area, which is now parts of Iraq, Iran and Israel. Early crops, such as lentils, peas, wheat and barley, were low in the amino acid ergothioneine and humans genetically adapted to better digest the food. However, other mutations also took place.
"In this case, we think an adaptation to a transient change in diet around 12,000 years ago resulted in a genetic predisposition of Crohn's disease that is present in about half of all Europeans today," said Chad Huff, the study's lead author and human genetics research fellow at the U.

"We feel that we're getting closer," Guthery said.

Meanwhile, people like Shragge manage their condition with drugs, diet and exercise. Shragge admits that one of her favorite foods is Mexican. When her condition is dormant, she can handle it just fine, but it's always taking a chance.

"It really is kind of like playing Russian roulette," she said.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I am looking forward to:

For those of you that don't know, I am going to be in The Wizard of Oz at The Grand Theater in Salt Lake City. I am so excited to be in a show again. The Wizard of Oz isn't my favorite musical in the whole world, but it will be fun none-the-less. I can't wait to sing and dance and act again. It is so nice to pretend to be someone else for a while and I can't wait for rehearsals to start. I am sure I will be tired and sometimes I will wonder why in the heck I signed up for it, but I am so excited for all of the fun things that come along with being in a show!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Random Allergic Reaction...

A week ago I got back from lunch and while I worked at my desk I felt my lip begin to swell a little bit. For those of you who know me, you might know that sometimes my lips swell when my Crohn's is flaring up, but when it happens it only happens to my bottom lip.

The swelling last week was to my top lip. It felt hot and itchy, but I took one Benadryl and thought that would take care of it.

3 hours later I was pretty uncomfortable, but I figured it would just go away.

I went to our Young Women's activity in which we were going to weed one of our neighbor's yards since she recently had knee surgery and couldn't kneel down and pull weeds. While at the activity my throat felt like it was swelling up, but again, I tried to put it out of my mind.

Soon it was bad enough that I excused myself from the activity and headed home. I took 2 Benadryl tablets and 30 minutes later my lip was so swollen that it had several blood blisters underneath the skin and I couldn't swallow.

Jesse was with the Scouts swimming so I couldn't get a hold of him to see if he thought I should head into the E.R.

I didn't call Meg yet because I knew she would tell me to go right away and I needed a calm person to tell me what to do (I appreciate that Meg is so protective, but I didn't want to spend money on the E.R. if I didn't have to) I called my sweet friend Tara who is a nurse and told her what was going on. She was home with her kids and she said, "I am coming over right now. You can't be alone. You need to go to the E.R. and I will come be with you until you go just in case." I got emotional of course (I am emotional in general...I know, surprise, surprise, but I get really emotional when I don't feel well and people are sweet to me).

I told her not to worry since it was so late and that I would walk over to my neighbor's house and be with them until I could get a hold of Jesse. And so I walked over to the Seethalers. They happened to be outside and as soon as Manon saw me she stopped what she was doing and said she wanted to take me to the E.R.

We called Meg and Jesse and told them which E.R. I was headed to and we were off.

Manon and I are great friends, but we are SO different. The whole car ride I was a little on edge, but Manon helped me feel like everything was going to be OK. She kept my mind occupied and helped me laugh a bit, which I appreciated more than she will ever know.

We got to the E.R. and they took me back right away. The nurse who took care of me that night was so much fun. I appreciate it when I get medical professionals that are not tight-laced. I am so dramatic that I need the people around me to be at ease and to understand that I am making jokes because I am scared to death. Anyway, the nurse and the doctor were both so sweet to me the whole night and took such good care of me.

This is getting long, so I will try and sum up the rest of it....

They gave me an Epi shot and some other meds through an I.V. After the pain subsided a bit and I could breath easier I looked down and noticed that my feet were SO DIRTY. They were BLACK. I didn't realize that when I was weeding in flip-flops my feet had been covered in dirt. As soon as I saw it I said, "Look at my feet! They look horrible" and Manon started laughing. The doctor said he thought I probably had a shopping cart outside because I looked like a homeless person. It was a funny distraction and when Meg walked in I asked her to wash them for me (Manon would've done it if I asked but I was too embarrassed to ask her to do it).

As I stated before, I am extremely emotional when I am sick and seeing Meg wash my feet made me get choked up. It just reminded me of Christ. And it was so sweet to sit in a room with one of my best friends, my twin, and my husband and realize how blessed I am. I am so grateful that I have so many people around me who serve me continually. I do have random crap happen to me, but I am one of the luckiest people in the world and I appreciate the abundant blessings the Lord gives to me.

Sometimes I recognize these things at the oddest times, but it made the night so much easier when I sat back and realized how fortunate I am.

To close, I am feeling better. I felt funny for a few days and sometimes I had a hard time breathing and swallowing...and I looked like I had been punched in the face 50 times for about 2 days but it has gone away now and I am planning on never having a random allergic reaction again!

Thanks for listening peeps...and thanks to Tara, Manon, Meg and Jesse for taking such good care of me!

Sweet Tara (Tara...I stole this off your blog...)

Fabulous Manon...(and her hubby Jake...who was sweet enough to put the kids to bed while Manon sat with me in the E.R. for 5 hours)

And you know these kids...they are the center of my world...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Another "Grateful" Post...

I feel like posting some random pictures. For some reason I started looking at the random pictures that are saved on my work computer and some made me laugh so I decided to post some...and they are in no particular order.

Along with some pictures I thought I would list some things that I am grateful for....because I am in a horrible mood today and need to pull myself out of it...

1. Meg. I know, I know, anyone who reads this blog knows that I am grateful for Meg but I am saying it again. She knows me through and through and loves me for all of my faults and all of my strengths. She makes me laugh harder than anyone else can and sometimes we are in the middle of a store and we are laughing so hard we are on the floor and people must think we are crazy...and I don't care if they do. I LOVE laughing with her and I appreciate how much of my burdens that she shoulders with me. She is so strong and I wouldn't be able to function without her.

2. Jesse. Again, I talk about being grateful for him too, but he is so good to me. He is so patient and understanding. He and I are so different, but he balances me out in a way that I have never had from any relationship before. He tries to understand my dramatic-self and I try to understand his worry-free-self. We have learned so much together and I am so grateful that he is so patient with me.

3. Young Women's. I have the best calling in the world. I have always loved Young Women's and am so grateful that I work with such amazing women and that I get to hang out with some of the sweetest and strongest girls I have ever known. They listen to me teach every week and they love me anyway, even when I don't have all of the answers or teach a lesson that probably isn't very informative or entertaining. I am trying to be better and be a good teacher and a good listener and they are so good at being patient with me.

4. Patience. I have used that word several times in this post already and I am so grateful for the patient people in my life. I am not a patient person. I never have been. But I am grateful that I am surrounded by people who have been blessed with this amazing attribute and who use said attribute when dealing with me. I am one lucky so many ways.

Life is good. June was a long month for me and I am so glad it's almost over. Yea for July! Fireworks, paid-holidays, and BBQ!

And now...randomness....

(Jesse, me...and a chicken...I was thrilled to be holding you can see...and my hair's all messed up...I was not prepared for Jesse to hand this chicken to me and to have someone take our picture...)

(Meg, Ford, and Me at her wedding...this chick is about to have twin girls...yep...2 more Chelsea & Megan's running around this earth...get ready world :)

(I love Jesse's face as he pushed me off that huge tree. It really was SO high up. I tried it once and swore I'd never do it again. But I tried it again last summer and it re-affirmed the fact that I do NOT like jumping off things)

(Our wedding day...I loved every minute of it!)


The end.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Words that must go...

Just some ramblings by me, myself, and I.

Some words/things that must go:

-Thread (i.e. "I can't 'thread' the vein"...I am getting woosie just thinking about it)
-Laceration (man that makes my skin crawl)
-Effaced (I don't even want to know what the complete definition of that word is...)
-Having a hair in my mouth (it reminds me of that time I ate the Barbie hair...if you know that story you are probably laughing right now, and I am dry heaving) -De-glove (thanks to Meg for teaching me that one...yick...)

That's all I can think of for now.

What are some words/things/phrases that make you sick?

I know, I know, I am an odd duck...but you probably have random words that make you sick know you do...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Man Up Chelsea...

I know, I know, I need to blog more. I have a hard time blogging when I don't have anything fun going on in my life, and right now my life is pretty dull. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have dull than have another ambulance story or something, but still, dull....

The point of this post is to say how much I love my physical therapist. Her name is Erinlee Boden and she works at Utah Physical Therapy Specialists. I have been going to see her twice a week for the last 4 months.

For those of you who have never been to physical therapy you should know it's not a walk in the park. They find the weakest parts of your body and make you do the weirdest exercises to build strength in the counter-muscles. Anyway, it's say the least. I have been to physical therapy several times in my life (I am not planning on ever going again, because getting hit from behind 3 times is enough for one lifetime...I have decided and so it shall be). Anyway...I have had some good physical therapists and I have had some GREAT physical therapists and Erinlee is one of the GREATS.

She reminds me of a mix of two of my favorite people in the whole world so I felt comfortable with her right off the bat. She is also hilarious and I appreciate a person who can really make me laugh. Over the last few months she has been there with me on some of the worst days I've had and has helped me reach some great milestones too. Last week she told me that we would only have one more appointment together and then she couldn't do any more for me. I had known that day was coming and I dreaded hearing it. I was relieved because I would have more time on my hands after work and because it meant that I didn't have to get beat-up multiple times each week, but I was more upset than I was relieved. Whenever physical therapy is over I get emotional. I just appreciate the amazing people in my life who have helped me heal. I am not back to my old self, and we don't know that I ever will be, but she has worked so hard with me and for me and I appreciate it more than she can ever know.

On my last day with her I brought my twin sister with me for support (since I'm a big baby...hence the title of this post "Man Up Chelsea". I really need to get over this emotional side of my personality...sheesh) and I also brought Erinlee my favorite treat. What better way to thank someone than by bringing them Cakebites from The Sweet Tooth Fairy?!

So that's what I did. I brought her some Red Velvet Cakebites and I thanked her for her help and went on my way. I just wanted to post and say how grateful I am for her and for the staff at Utah Physical Therapy Specialists. And I am also grateful that the reckless driver that hit me had insurance. That is another great blessing. I have learned so much over these last few months and Erinlee has given me a lot of tools to take care of myself and continue to build strength at home. Thanks again for listening...if anyone out there is actually reading this :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Twins & Tigers

I know it's a little late, but I thought I better write about one of the best days of my life while I still remember all of the details of the day. First let's start by saying that this day was an absolute dream come true for me and Meg. We got to meet baby white tigers! No joke! They were about 3 months old when we met them. They were twin babies, a boy (Titan) and a girl (Athena). They were magnificent and fun and awe-inspiring. I couldn't believe that we were in the presence of such great animals. Meg and my sweet step-dad Tim gave us this meeting as our Christmas present. Sufficeth to say it was the best present ever!

We got to feed them bottles, clean them up after said bottles, and play with them for an hour.
**Side note: Some of these pictures are a little blurry...these kitties moved A LOT so I tried my best**

(Meg & Titan meeting for the first time)

(Me & Athena getting acquainted)

(Me & Titan getting to know each other)

(Me showing the babies that I am ready to play...don't worry, they weren't hurting me at all...they were so sweet!)

Titan waiting for his bottle...

Meg cleaning Titan up after he "drank" his bottle. (He really just played games with Meg and got the goats milk EVERYWHERE)

It was an amazing day and it was so hard to walk out the door when our hour of play time was up. Thanks McTimmy (my Step-dad) for making Meg & my dreams come true!