Thursday, June 16, 2016

Oh my, 2.5 years since last post!

I thought I was just going to let this blog kind of die in the vast land of internet space, but apparently I still care about it. I just did some light updating of my pages, including adding a page for my favorite gluten free products and giving an update in my About Me - warning, there is a tad bit of a depressing aura in the update lol. SO HERE ARE SOME RANDOM ADORABLE PICS FROM THE INTERWEBS TO MAKE THINGS BETTER.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Birth Control & Crohns Disease / Ulcerative colitis

Ok. I know the topic is weird and personal but I really really need to tell people out there with ulcerative colitis and crohn's some info. 

I have recently gone to the lady doctor for the first time in my life because I wanted to go on birth control before I get married this Spring. 

They gave me Natazia. For completeness sake, here is the drug info:
  • 2 dark yellow tablets each containing 3 mg estradiol valerate
  • 5 medium red tablets each containing 2 mg estradiol valerate and 2 mg dienogest
  • 17 light yellow tablets each containing 2 mg estradiol valer ate and 3 mg dienogest
  • 2 dark red tablets each containing 1 mg estradiol valerate
  • 2 white tablets (inert)

I was taking it for a few days when I noticed my legs falling asleep really easily, and then it wasn't until my leg was literally not waking up as I was walking around a lot that I realized.
birth control. legs falling asleep unnaturally. blood clots. I'M GOING TO DIE.
So I called my lady doctor and asked about that and they were like "that doesn't sound like a side effect of birth control but we will ask the doctor and call you back."

They called me back and said that I probably couldn't take any birth control pills if I was going to react that way, but it might just be a fluke. I was in denial of course. EVERYONE ELSE GETS TO DO WHATEVER THEY WANT AND THEIR BODIES ARE FINE.

So I was like, maybe it is a fluke. It's a cold winter. Maybe my legs are just getting really cold and falling asleep because they have less blood. So I asked if she thought it was just a fluke for sure and she was like, "well you can try it for a week longer and log if it happens again and which side of the body and where and call us back." so I was like, Ok, I'll do that. 

Then I started thinking that I probably wouldn't be able to take birth control and it wasn't a fluke because my body hates life. and I was like, maybe I should ask my GI if he knows about this?
 So I called the GI's office and was like, "This probably isn't related at all, but do you know if crohn's can affect anything with birth control? Or not let my body accept birth control easily?"

nurse: uhhh I don't think so. Yeah I'm pretty sure that has nothing to do with it. I mean I could ask the doctor but I don't think so. 

me giving up: yeah, you can ask him but I don't think it is either.

I stopped taking the birth control and after the sides of my legs went numb. Tonight, I decided to research the hell out of all of this. 

I found several things worth noting.  Granted, I used the internet run by cats, so don't take my word as golden, but I did try to read case studies and reputable sites. 
anyway, information found: 

If you have crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, you are three times more likely to have blood clots. You are also three times more likely to have a relapse.

From all of the tons of replies I read from people with crohns about the birth control pill: 
You need a no to low estrogen pill. They have pills called Ultra low dose as well. 

I saw lots of happy responses from seasonisque and loestrin. Literally, the only two mentioned that anyone was happy with.

It is also possible to get a progestin-only pill. There are 8 types of progestin and some are safer than others. 
Here is a good reference for progestin (I'm copying info here in case link dies):

1. Norethindrone

Norethindrone: Ortho-Novum 7/7/7 Photo (C) GSM
Norethindrone is a first-generation progestin of low progestational and slight estrogenic activity. It tends to be less androgenic than the second-generation progestins (levonorgestrel and norgestrel), but more androgenic than newer progestins, like desogestrel. It is available inmonophasic, biphasic and triphasic formulations. In low doses (any pill containing less than 50mcg of ethinyl estradiol), which is what most pills contain, this progestin improves lipid profiles by raising HDL and lowering LDL.

2. Norethindrone Acetate

Norethindrone Acetate: Junel 1.5/30 Photo (C) GSM
Norethindrone acetate is a progestin of low progestational activity and slight estrogenic affects. It is a first-generation progestin. It tends to be less androgenic than the second-generation progestins, but more androgenic than newer progestins, like desogestrel. The brand Estrostep was designed to more closely mimic a woman's natural menstrual cycle by providing increasing levels of estrogen with a constant progestin dose. It is the only triphasic brand with this progestin. This brand may be helpful for women who experience minor estrogen-related side effects such as nausea, migraines or fluid retention with other pill combinations.

3. Ethynodiol Diacetate

Ethynodiol Diacetate: Zovia 1/50E Photo (C) GSM
Ethynodiol diacetate is a first-generation progestin of medium progestational activity. It has minor estrogenic effects and little androgenic activity. Ethynodiol diacetate is a derivative of norethindrone, so it is easily converted to norethindrone within the body. Birth control pills containing ethynodiol diacetate tend to be associated with increased early or mid-cycle breakthrough bleeding and spotting as compared to other combination pills. However, higher estrogen dosages can counteract the likelihood of breakthrough bleeding, so pill brands that contain higher levels of estrogen can alleviate this side effect.

4. Levonorgestrel

Levonorgestrel: Seasonique Photo (C) GSM
Levonorgestrel is a second-generation progestin and is the most widely prescribed contraceptive progestin worldwide. It has high progestational and androgenic effects. Levonorgestrel negatively affects serum lipoproteins. Several low-dose estrogen brands containing this progestin are available. Levonorgestrel birth control has also been FDA approved for emergency contraception (such as Plan B One-Step and Next Choice). The FDA has stated that all combination pills with this progestin are safe and effective for emergency contraception under the Yuzpe method. The FDA has also approved three extended cycle pill brands that use this progestin -- Seasonale,Seasonique, and Lybrel.

5. Norgestrel

Norgestrel: Lo/Ovral 28 Photo (C) GSM
Norgestrel (a second-generation progestin) is a mixture of both an inactive and active isomer -- dextro-norgestrel (inactive) and levonorgestrel (biologically active). Norgestrel has high progestational and strong antiestrogen effects while also being high in androgenic activity. It may cause LDL cholesterol to be increased while allowing for HDL cholesterol to be lowered. The FDA has said that. However, none of the brands have specific FDA approval for this use.

6. Desogestrel

Desogestrel: Cyclessa Triphasic Pill Photo (C) GSM
Desogestrel is a third-generation progestin with high progestational selectivity, minimizing androgenic effects and estrogenic activity. It shows less negative impact on metabolism, weight gain, acne, and other side effects typical of older progestins. It shows positive effects on lipoproteins as seen by a slight rise of HDL cholesterol. Clinical trials show a possibly higher risk of non-fatal venous thrombosis with desogestrel pills versus those with levonorgestrel. Mircette (a low-dose estrogen/desogestrel pill) provides a shorter placebo interval, which may be helpful for women who have migraines, dysmenorrhea, or other negative issues during that week. A low estrogen/varying desogestrel triphasic pill, Cyclessa, is also available.

7. Norgestimate

Norgestimate: Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo 28 Photo (C) GSM
Norgestimate, a third-generation progestin, has high progestational activity while showing slight estrogenic effects and tends to be less androgenic. It also has minimal effect on serum lipoproteins as well as on carbohydrate metabolism. The low androgenic effects of norgestimate have resulted in successful treatment of acne. In fact, birth control pills that contain norgestimate are the only ones FDA approved to help reduce acne. Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo is a brand that provides norgestimate and a mid-level dose of estrogen. So this pill may be helpful in lowering side effects such as nausea and vomiting while not causing an increased incidence of spotting (typically associated with low-estrogen pills).

8. Drospirenone

Drospirenone: Yaz 28 Photo (C) GSM
Drospirenone is the only progestin derived from 17a-spirolactoneis. It helps suppress the secretion of the hormones that regulate the body's water and electrolytes. It also has low androgenic activity. Drospirenone and estrogen seem to lessen symptoms associated with mild PMS (increased appetite, negative mood, and water retention). Drospirenone may cause higher potassium levels, so women with kidney, liver, or adrenal disease should not use it. The brands YAZ and Beyaz Beyaz have 24 days of active pills and 4 days of placebo pills. This combination may cause fewer hormone fluctuations than typical pill packs. YAZ has also been FDA approved to help treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder as well as treat moderate acne in females aged 14 years and up.

I read this article a doctor wrote and he said "The safest option with regard to the risk of venous thrombosis is an oral contraceptive containing levonorgestrel combined with a low dose of estrogen"

Of course, new things / dangers / risks will continue to be discovered so remember to do your own research and make sure you get up to date information.

Extra bad stuff:
I read terrible things about Yaz and Yasmin (aka Gianvi, Loryna, Ocella, Syeda, Vestura, Yasmin, Yaz, Zarah)

Drospirenon - FDA concluded that drospirenon has a much higher risk for blood clots than other types of progestin. It is unsed in Yaz and Beyaz brands.
Two ultra low dose estrogen pills i found: 

low dose estrogen pills: 

There is a pretty good blog article written about some birth controls

Ok, so basically. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. Before going to the doctor, before anything. And be aware of Crohn's reaction with whatever you take. And birth control with the medicines you are on. For me, I'm currently taking sulfasalazine and birth controls are less effective when taken with sulfa drugs. 

So be aware. and try not to let your body go numb and die. Or you know, anything else. 

Best wishes, and good luck.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Friends graduating, last summer, engaged, my graduation, california, change.


I haven't written in so long!!!! Ok, let me run down a quick list: 

So this past year was my senior year of college. I SURVIVED. And let me tell you, that is no understatement. I took the most hours ever my last semester, AND apparently I was severely anemic this past year. Like, if I had gotten a wound, I would have bled out before anyone could have helped me. Kind of puts things in perspective, right? So my last year was extremely stressful, busy, and I was NOT myself. I was so tired and exhausted and kind of just going through the motions of each day, trying to survive so much school work and other things that life brings. 

I managed to go out a few times this last spring semester, and also Jonathan bought us Country Western dancing lessons for the month of March. It was like...old school country dancing, so not like northgate two step, but rather complicated and it wasn't exactly wranger style but a little. I would LOVE to learn Aggie Wrangler style dancing SO MUCH. Sean, my friend, took lessons and he has gotten incredibly good at it. 

Also, I do not seem to have much luck with feet and the month of April. Last year I stepped on my shower drain catcher and cut my foot open and couldn't walk on it for a good 3-4 months. This year, I sprained my ankle dancing and couldn't walk on it for about 3 months. I had it x-rayed again and apparently it was just a heck of a sprain that lasted forever. 

Jonathan and I also went to Ring Dance in April.

In May, I got my first part time job since high school, as a computer systems assistant for the Chemistry Department Help Desk on campus. 

Pretty much all of my friends graduated in May as well. We went out to northgate as our one last night all out together. 

In late May, I had a blood test and found out I was severely anemic and had to get a blood transfusion immediately. I got two units of blood which brought my hemoglobin from a 5.2 to an 8.5 (combined with iron pills). Average for a woman is 12-15. Then I had a lot more medical things done over the next month. You can read more specifically on my "About Me" page, since I fill that with more medical facts than my posts these days.

In June, Jonathan and I went to Austin for the weekend to visit and...he proposed on June 15, 2013 :)

We went to Zilker Botanical Gardens, which neither of us had been there before, so I wasn't expecting anything at all. I went happily bounding along the trails while he kept staring at this phone looking at the map he had taken a picture of and suggesting paths to take. I kind of ignored him, but happened to go to the pre-planned place where he was going to propose. There were stairs of stone next to a small waterfall and I kept trying to go up the stairs until he physically stopped me after saying "Brittany" in a slightly pleading tone several times. I think subconsciously I was suspecting it by then but not believing it and in denial, he normally didn't call me back to him to slow down or anything. So I finally retreated down the stairs to him and then he tried to position me on the rock and I almost fell because my shoes had a little heel on them and I was standing on uneven rock. Then he said, "Brittany...You know we have been together for two years, right?"
and I was like....omygosh it'shappening. I think I laughed like omg and my eyes widened, "Yes..." He continued, "And you know I love you a lot..." I laughed yes, as he had been painstakingly try and pull a ring from his pocket, then he got it out and held it up to me as he got down on one knee, "Will you marry me?" and of course I said yes...he stood up and went to put the ring on my finger, but since I was so hot my fingers were swollen, "I don't know if it will fit..."
me: Oh yes it will, here - 
and I helped him put it on and then I hugged him and he kissed my cheek and I was just pulling back to look at him and tell him so many words caught in my throat and kiss him, when he pointed to the left, where his cousin, cousin's boyfriend, friend, and sister were chilling taking pictures of us. I was a little jolted and then unsure of what to do, so we went up and hugged them and then walked and took some pictures in the gardens before going to the gift shop and then leaving and meeting at a frozen yogurt place in Austin. 

I took summer school, Electrical Engineering Electronics (325) all 10 weeks of summer and KINE: Self Defense during June. 

Self Defense was a lot more hardcore than I expected, and I was body-slammed many more times than I thought possible. Don't worry though, the person body slamming me had their turn :)

Electronics sucked a lot. The end. 

This month, in early August, I graduated...I was incredibly nervous during graduation too. I guess I've never had to wait for anything like that before. I was always first or among the first because of my last name. This time, I was almost last out of about 700 graduating. Thankfully, graduation was much smaller because I was an August graduate. Jonathan kept annoying me via text that if I didn't turn around on stage he wouldn't get a single picture of me because their seats were behind me. He suggested turning around while I was walking across stage or taking a selfie with the president. I vehemently denied that I would ever take a "selfie" with the president on stage, but as the time got closer, I knew that if I attempted walking backwards on stage to smile up at him so he could take a picture, I would trip and fall undoubtedly. It became my safest option to take a selfie with the president. And I did. 

Thanks to me, Jonathan, and Holly watching me on her TV at home, I've got a panoramic view of the event. 

LIKE A BOSS. Glad Holly took the picture too, because A&M was like "Hey wanna buy this picture for $65? I did buy some pictures for that amount though, because check out this one: 

I asked my Facebook friends to anoint me with an eagle, because MURIKA, and got the following results: 

I mean, how epic of a graduation photo is this? I AM AN EAGLE I AM SO PATRIOTIC. OH, AND I HAVE ONE AS A PET TOO.

So yeah. 

Then I went on a trip to California with Cindy!

We went to Sausalito, Sonoma, Napa (and surrounding areas), and Walnut Creek. We visited Hall Winery, went on the wine train, and Castello di Amorosa. In general, I kind of hate wine, but the castle had one, La Fantasia, that I really liked. We had two massages, and hung out by the pool, and I discovered an entirely new appreciation for cheese. I also had amazing coconut milk gluten free pancakes with pineapple syrup and really good fingerling and new potatoes with onions. I tried mussels which were alright and steak tartare, which I would rather forget about. Apparently I'm "small town," and you know what? I'm perfectly ok with that. 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bucket List and Dreams

This semester is the first semester of my senior year of college. I have already accepted a job offer with a good company and will have a job as soon as I graduate next August. I've got it a lot better than most people and I am so thankful that I am still not job searching. But earlier in the semester (I've gotten better now) I had a major breakdown of my realities and dreams. 

It's not that I'm ungrateful. 

I just....not to go all Belle on Beauty and the Beast on you here, but I just wanted more.

I started thinking about how I had always envisioned my fantastic romantic perfect life, and life kind of kicked me. I don't have my dream job at the FBI. Not that I can't get it, but it's not my job right now. I'll be coming out of college with about 80k in debt, which will take a couple years to pay off, if I live cheaply. Considering apartments are about $1000 a month where I need to live, plus utilities, cell phone, insurance, gas, and my super special expensive diet...things already look pretty dull. That, and I plan on having children before I'm 30 and I still want a career. It's like I'm being torn into all these different directions and I can only have one. I wanted to travel the world! Do things I'd never done! Be crazy and bold and daring! 

And here I am, about to settle into my desk job, spending the majority of my days shaking, almost blacking out, with stomach aches and pain and currently, quite a bit of depression. 

How can you change the world when the world just makes you do what it wants? 

How can I be crazy and irresponsible when I have to be sane and responsible? 

In the middle of my breakdown, I decided that I would make a bucket list. I wanted to see my dreams and think about them, and maybe, just maybe, accomplish them one by one. Some are so small they are silly, and some are pretty big. Here are some I thought of in no particular order. 

Witness a wedding proposal. Wouldn't it be fun and sweet?

I keep saying I'm going to get Lasik...

Write a book. Or several. I'd be content with just one though! About my life, just like Anne of Green Gables did.

I will have a spiral staircase.

Wouldn't this be a relief? To be able to make my own food. Maybe I wouldn't get so sick!

Attend a masquerade in a beautiful gown with a real mask from some place like Pier 1 or Italy, and dance perfectly all night long. Then lose my shoe at midnight.

Have a date under the stars! This looks like a comfy solution. I wonder if they have one for bugs.

Ride in a helicopter. Maybe even get my pilot's license...That's only like...15k

I do, I want to walk the red carpet. In some ridiculous looking dress.

I'd feel just like I was in Harry Potter

Low goals man, I haz them

Ohhh, to dance....

Run in a color run, and have lots of pictures taken

Haha, I want to. Sounds crazy!! 

How can just a metal structure be so romantic and beautiful? 

Why not? I've always been a huge fan of the movie "Pay it Forward" besides the whole horrible ending thing. I want to have a Pay it Forward project....and see magic happen. 

Travel the world, one place at a time.

It looks horribly messy and colorful and I'd probably regret getting so nasty afterwards. But...I want to do it.

Because surprises make life worth it.

What a beautiful dream it must be to attend one of these lantern festivals.


Be published in a magazine

I've always wanted to, for some reason.

Learn spanish. So simple, yet so hard.

Be an extra in a movie. Seriously, how do you get this job? It can't be that difficult.

Normandy, France. So beautiful.

And have a picture taken of kissing. But since my boyfriend doesn't like kissing pictures, I'll probably have to hire someone to get this picture.

Visit a vineyard in California, and the California Redwoods, and all of those places.

Think of all the amazing pictures I could get at one of these places!

Just like all those analogies I make.

And see lots of movie stars and get pictures and autographs. 

I swear, I'll never get someone in one of those booths with me. 

Like your very own vacation house, ready to relax you at any time.

Oh, how I wish I'd never given up my diaries.

Have a secret passageway! and a ladder on my bookcases. My house will be remodeled so much!!

I've been saying I'll get them...

Blanket forts (and pillow places) will never cease to be amazing.

Visit a Lover's Bridge somewhere, attach a lock, and throw the key in the river. This one is in Paris. Just gorgeous.

Make this happen

Dance my heart out, and have perfect form while doing it.

I'm sure I'll have more as I think about it. I also have a list of places I want to visit (some were in the pictures above because they were specific): 

The top of the list: 
New Zealand

Next in line: 

Not as far: 
New York, New York again
Nashville, Tennessee


While I am thinking about all of my dreams, my sister has actually accomplished and is working on one of hers. She has just published her first novel in paperback and Kindle edition (and for the next week is having a book giveaway at her webstite). You can check it out here: 

Her site and book giveaway:

Facebook page:


She has worked very hard on it and I can't help but want her to be famous for many many reasons. Among them are: 
1) it's one of her dreams, and everyone deserves having their dreams come true (cue cheesy music, i know, but I mean it. I never realized how important thinking big was before I realized life keeps making me think small.)

2) If I can't write a book now, or start checking off my bucket list, or making my own dreams come true, I want to make hers work. I want to see her happy and successful with this.

So if you happened across this post, please go check it out, like her page, buy her book, enter her contest, or just check it out. You never know how much the little things you do can mean so much to a person.