A healing journey
[00:00:00] Today's episode is going to be a little bit. Different. Several months ago, last, sometime last spring, I did an episode called a new healing where I talked about. The reoccurance I have had of ulcerative colitis after an eight year. Beautiful remission.
And I thought it would give an update. And it's not the update I was hoping to give.
In July, I started on a new medication. A biologic medication. And biologic medications are. They're kind of fascinating to me. So they target. One specific [00:01:00] thing in the body. So in the case of, and I don't know about for other issues or other. Other conditions. I do know that for all sorts of colitis, the biologics target one specific path of inflammation in the body. So there's multiple different pathways of inflammation. And even though the end result could be ulcerative colitis for every patient with ulcerative colitis, the pathway of that inflammation can be different. So each biologic medication has one specific jobs.
So it targets one pathway and you may need to try several different biologics until you find the one that targets your specific pathway. So I, I tried one last spring. The first one I tried it completely failed. It didn't work at all. There was no change. So we tried a different one and started that in July of this year. [00:02:00] And I saw a difference within three days. It was remarkable.
I mean, these medications are so advanced. So this one specifically targets a specific protein. I feel like I'm saying the word specific a lot. But this medication targets one specific protein. That causes inflammation in the colon. And it blocks that protein. That's it. And so it has. Little to no side effects. Because it's doing one specific thing.
It doesn't go anywhere else in the body. It doesn't affect any other system. It's pretty miraculous. And so I thought great. Like we found the right one for me because within three days, all of my symptoms were gone. And I started to feel incredible and I was feeling. Amazing. Then in August, we went on a road trip to Alberta to visit my family and. I had a sudden reoccurrence of symptoms. And I treated it as a healing crisis in the body.
So [00:03:00] sometimes when the body is healing, You go through, what's called a healing crisis where symptoms could return for a short period as the body is healing. That's what I thought it was. It came on very suddenly. We were visiting. One of my husband's friends on her farm. And I suddenly got this horrible abdominal pain. And this is my first time meeting this friend of my husband's.
So I didn't want to make a big deal out of it. And I didn't say anything. I just sat there quietly. Dealing with this horrible, horrible pain. Um, And, you know, I mean, that's. That's one of the. Positive effects of having a chronic condition your whole life, I guess. Is, you know, how to deal with pain. So I know how to manage my pain.
I know how to dissociate from it in the moment. And I can handle quite a bit of pain.
Uh, just, it's just how I've learned to cope over. [00:04:00] 30 some years of having this condition. Uh, so I thought I was hiding it really well. Actually. I thought no one knows I'm in pain or struggling right now. I'm I appear fine. My husband knows me really well. And at some point. He just said, he's like, well, I think it's time for us to go.
We should probably get going. And I was like, yeah, sure. And we got into the car and I told him, I said, I'm in so much pain right now. And he said, I know I could tell. And that's why I suggested we leave. I was a little bit offended by this because I thought I was doing such a good job, masking my pain.
And I said, how could you tell? I thought I was doing a great job of hiding it. And he said, you were. You are no one else would have guessed that you were in pain, but I know what you're like when you're in pain.
So we're driving back to my mom's house, where we were staying. Which is all the way at the other end of the city. And the pain is getting worse and worse and worse. And here's your TMI warning.
So if [00:05:00] you, yeah, if you're not okay with TMI, Uh, Here. Skip ahead. So we had to pull into a gas station. Guys, ulcerative colitis is not a pretty disease. And I had to urgently go to the bathroom.
And I was bleeding. A lot.
It was shocking and. Upsetting because here, I thought my symptoms were gone. They were gone. And then suddenly in the space of a couple hours, I was back in a full blown flare up. That's how quickly colitis can happen. That's how quickly a flare up can happen.
So it was pretty upset and we went back to my mom's. Uh, we went out for dinner that night with my mom. I didn't eat much. I didn't feel like I could eat much. And the rest of the trip was a little bit. Um, a little dicey because I [00:06:00] didn't know how I was going to be. Day to day. I wouldn't have gone on a road trip if I had still been having a flare up.
And now here we were on our road trip. And a, and I'm sick. I have a sec.
So we finished the trip. We got home, the symptoms seemed to subside fairly quickly. I had my next infusion of the biologic medication it's done through IV every eight weeks. So I had my next infusion. And. It was feeling way better. Again, everything was great. I thought this is it. This is it. Even my gastroenterologist was excited for me because he said we don't expect to see this kind of. Result this early. So with this particular biologic medication, there's a loading phase where they do a few infusions closer together, and then they space them out every eight weeks after that. So he said we don't expect this until about, uh, till after the fifth and fusion. So. He said, this [00:07:00] is really promising.
You're doing really well.
I was feeling great. I started working more again. Um, You might remember from the previous episode, I really cut down my business. So I could take care of my health. I started taking on one-on-one clients. Again, I started building my practice up again. Everything was going really well. I was excited feeling like I got my life back and. Then I had my fourth infusion in October. Still feeling good. And then suddenly. I started getting tired every day.
It was time for me to do my lab work anyway.
So I went and did my labs. My iron was really low again, which. I couldn't understand. I just had a round of iron infusions in June, so my iron should be good still, but my iron is now depleted.
And I'm very anemic [00:08:00] again. So it explained why I was tired, but it didn't explain where's my iron going. Where's it going? I'm not having an active flare up right now. I'm feeling good.
And, you know, that's one of the. That's one of the complications of ulcerative colitis is iron deficiency from not being able to absorb, absorb it properly. And then from blood loss, losing. Blood. And losing iron, but I wasn't bleeding. I didn't think I was bleeding.
And then this past week, and it's, it's kind of funny. Like not funny. Haha. But funny. Because earlier this week, I thought, you know, I should do an extra episode this week where I talk about where I am on my health journey now.
And then on a Monday, It all came back again.
And suddenly I'm symptomatic again. And then yesterday, which was Thursday. I got [00:09:00] back the results of my fecal calprotectin test, which is a stool sample test. To test inflammation in the colon. And my numbers are still really high. I was expecting them to be low. I was expecting them to be quite a bit lower. So this test to give you an idea, a healthy person without inflammatory bowel disease. So they don't have Crohn's or colitis. Would be, I think my doctor said about 50 or 60. On this test. And. My test came back at 431.
So too high, it means there's lots of inflammation. Still in my colon. Last spring, it was at four 20. So that's, it's on the way up. Not down, not, not a huge increase, but it's still on the way up. It's not going down.
And in that moment, I just felt defeat.
I waited for myself to get angry.
Because I thought I would [00:10:00] be angry.
But I didn't get angry.
And I waited for myself to feel sad about it and he didn't really get sad. I just. Went flat. Numb.
And felt defeated.
And this is just. I mean, this is, this is how this disease works.
I know my gastroenterologist has told me before you can have active disease and active inflammation and not have symptoms.
You can have symptoms and have very low inflammation.
And the important thing is bringing the inflammation down because it's the inflammation that will cause more severe issues.
So the goal is always to get the inflammation down. For someone with inflammatory bowel disease. At anything under 200. [00:11:00] The doctor's not worried. Anything under 200 is, is good. And I'm more than double that.
So this isn't the update I wanted to give. I wanted to give an update that my body was healing.
That. And that I'm. Feeling great and doing really well. Um, but the fact is that's, that's not it. And. What it appears to be happening. Is that I'm going back into a flare up again. And it sucks.
So that's where I am in this journey.
The part I didn't tell you, was that in. August. Or I didn't tell you. Yeah, I'll tell you now. In August when I did have that reoccurrence it was short by the way, it was like a week. When that did happen. I had a moment. It was after we had come home from the road trip.
And I just, I was home alone and I [00:12:00] just. Broke down. I was sitting on my bed and I just started sobbing.
And I begged. For God to take it away.
And I surrendered, I had this moment of just.
And I remember saying. I can't handle this anymore. I can't do this anymore. So you have to take it. You have to take this because I can't handle it.
I can't live this way. I won't live the rest of my life this way. So you take it.
And by the next day, My symptoms were gone and I really felt like. I had had this miraculous. Healing once again in my life. And from that point until earlier this week, I felt great. [00:13:00]
And so with it coming back again,
And becoming symptomatic again and having my inflammation. Be hi. And being anemic again.
It's hard for me. To hold onto that faith.
And. Yeah, because I thought God and I were good. Like I thought we, we sorted it out between us. We had a conversation. He took it away from me. He. You know, took it off of me.
And now here I am. So.
There's still something in this disease for me to learn. Or to get there's still something. That's stopping my body from totally healing.
I have theories of what that is, because that's always, the question is what do you think it is? And I have a [00:14:00] theory. I have a theory that over the last month with everything happening in the world,
It's caused me a lot of emotional pain. And struggle.
For reasons I'll talk about.
Maybe possibly. And in another episode,
And then I had over the last couple of weeks, I had two losses.
And I think all of that emotional turmoil. Combined. I think, I think my body was still too fragile that I was kind of teetering. On the edge of going into remission or being sick. And I. That's what it feels like to me anyway. And I feel like all this emotional stress over the last month.
Brought it back. [00:15:00]
I lost. A woman who I greatly admired.
A couple of weeks ago.
Uh, to cancer.
And she was a client of mine in the past. I helped her launch a podcast.
And suddenly she was gone.
And not even a week later, I found out that another client who I worked with over this past summer, Who I became very close with. Um, We developed a friendship and I've been so grateful to have her in my life.
She found out she has terminal cancer and not a lot of time.
So within a short period of time, I was hit by these two. Major events of loss, even though [00:16:00] the second one, she's still with us, but it's the anticipation of grief. It's the. Or it's the anticipation of loss. Kind of grief.
So that's where we are. Healing is not a linear journey and it's not an easy journey.
And with this has come all kinds of feelings of. You know, am I still going to be able to. Too. Maintain this trajectory, my business that I have found myself back on that I'm enjoying.
Am I still gonna be able to keep doing these things that I'm loving doing right now. What is this going to look like?
And, um, and I don't know.
I've been thinking of the idea of starting another podcast.
And I want to know what you guys think. Cause you're my [00:17:00] audience. You matter, the type of content I create here is for you and your, what you want matters to me.
When I'm thinking of doing is documenting. My journey.
And exploring. Health and exploring healing. In a totally holistic sense. So from all aspects of healing, so talking about it from an allopathic standpoint, looking at it from alternative sources of healing, from spiritual healing. And exploring healing on all levels. Through this new podcast, I would create. But it would be a private podcast by subscription only because it would be very intimate and very raw and candid. And.
Yeah, I'm thinking of doing that.
So. Can you let me know. You can email me. Or send me a message on [00:18:00] Instagram, if you would be interested in that. Um,
Yeah, let me know. Let me know what you think of that. Or. Or if you just want to hear updates. Here on this show because I can. Do this once in a while and talk about it. Um, but it's kind of different than my regular content. So I don't know if you guys liked that you, you might hate this kind of episode.
But if you want to hear about this journey and if you want sort of regular updates on it, and you want me to explore those ideas with you, like. What I've been talking about on this show, I can do that. If you'd rather it be a separate show, I can do that. So.
Give me some feedback. Let me know. Let me know what you'd like.
And the reason I want to share this.
Is because I think. [00:19:00]
So many people struggle with chronic illness. Every day.
And we struggle silently, especially. I mean, I can only speak for my experience, but especially people with all sort of colitis or Crohn's. 'cause they're not pretty diseases. They're not things that people like to talk about. There. You know, we were talking about poop. People don't want to talk about that. And yet that's our day-to-day experience living with inflammatory bowel disease. Is we deal with. A lot of shit.
Pardon? My language will be deal with a lot of shit. And owned it. Doesn't get talked about it's something people are very uncomfortable. With and.
So I'd like to open that up and start those discussions and not just about ulcerative colitis, not just about inflammatory bowel disease, but looking at. [00:20:00] You know, what are, what are the things that we don't talk about with chronic illness? What is it? What is the experience like? And what are ways that we could heal our body, because I truly believe that healing happens on all levels on the physical plane, the mental, the emotional, the spiritual plane.
That healing has to happen on all levels.
There isn't one approach to healing. That holistic healing really is looking at it from all options on all sides. So, if you're interested in those conversations, if you're interested in that content, can you let me know? And if you're interested in it being just on this show, Woven into my regular content. Or if you would prefer it, be a totally separate show. I'm open to both. But I do think it's a conversation that needs to be happening and. I have someone who's comfortable having those conversations.
So thank you for joining me today. I think that's, I think that's it for today. Thanks for joining me. Thanks for listening [00:21:00] and spending some time with me. I know I had said after the last episode, that the next episode would be. Heather Gray Stewart. Uh, bestselling author and she's going to be talking with us, but she will be on the next one because this one I'm kind of slotting in between.
So the next episode. We'll be bestselling author, Heather grace, Stewart. She'll be talking with us about the creative writing process. How do you write your first book? How do you self publish the ins and outs about selling on Amazon? And all things between, so make sure you come back next week for that episode.
And if you have any questions that you want me to ask Heather, Send them to me on Instagram. I have a channel. I. I don't think I've talked about this here. I have a channel on Instagram, a secret. Got a secret, but up channel. On Instagram. Um, called success in mind, beyond the podcast where. It's set up to talk about things behind the scenes of the podcast.
If you go to my Instagram at the Terry Holland. If you go there and you join my ch my channel.
Uh, you can actually sign up to attend the recording online. Of that episode, where you can ask questions in the chat. You won't be on video. You won't be on audio. You'll just be in a chat room where you can post your questions. And then I can ask Heather. Live. And you get to watch us create the podcast live, which. Maybe kind of fun. So it's the first time I'm doing it that way. And I'm only making the link available to people who are on that channel or who are in my level up club community. So you have to be sort of in my inner world to get that link.
So if you want it, then if you want to be a part of that, Ah, go to Instagram. Join that channel. I'll put the link in the show notes. And then you can come hang out with us for a live recording. Of that [00:23:00] episode. So come back next week to listen to that, it's going to be amazing. Heather is someone that I've met through social media and she is hilarious.
And. Super talented and delightful, and it's going to be a great conversation. So thanks for being here with me today. I appreciate each and every one of you much love to you, and I hope you have a fabulous week. Bye for now.