I’m about to go on vacation to Newfoundland for my cousin’s wedding! I’m so excited; we’ve been planning this trip for months, and finally we have all of our reservations in place and our bags packed. All of the places we’ll be staying at will have a fridge, if not a whole kitchenette/kitchen, thanks to me and my food needs!
How have I been feeling lately? Well, as I had quickly mentioned (perhaps sugar-coated) in another post, I had started seeing symptoms again at the beginning of May, after two months of being practically symptom-free. Here’s the true scoop: Since then, I’ve had some ups and downs. I was fine to be at school and still had energy to hang out with friends and such, but some symptoms were slowing picking up.
In mid-June, I tried a new probiotic, S. Boulardii, which is technically a yeast but is classified as a probiotic. My herbalist had had good luck with it with another of his patients with UC, and I researched it and found that this patient was not unique in seeing improvement with the probiotic. I started slow anyways – just replacing one of my regular probiotics with it every other day – but I got whacked with worse symptoms; I started waking up several times at night needing to use the bathroom, the amount of blood increased, and I just overall didn’t feel well. I hoped that this was due to a bacteria die-off, which I read about online; it means that one might have a reaction after beginning a new probiotic (or antibiotic) because bacteria is dying off, but if you wait it out, things should turn around. Things were not turning around for me, though, and I couldn’t wait any longer and stopped taking it.
After stopping the S. Boulardii, I felt much better, and my symptoms quieted. However, I was still worse than before I had been on it (although initially I thought I was better), so I saw my herbalist to have my herbs modified. He looked through his notes on me, a mix of English and Chinese writing, and he put me back on the herbs that I had begun with when I first saw him back in December. It’s not that my symptoms were as bad as they were in December (very far from it), but that herbal mix had worked so well then that he thought it would be good to return to them.
He was right! The night of the day I restarted my December herbs, I didn’t wake up needing to use the bathroom until after the sun rose. The nights since then have varied a bit, I think depending on my intake the day/evening before, but fortunately I am still going less and am seeing less blood. (Regarding intake, there was one evening when I drank a lot of water right before bed, which caused more frequency, and another night, I had gobbled down quite a number of potato chips while at a friend’s, justifying to myself that they’re just potatoes. Actually, they are deep-fried, processed potatoes, and there is a difference. To those shaking their heads while reading this: I’ve learned my lesson. To those who are saying that I deserve some chips, I do! But too bad.)
My parents have asked me if I’m really feeling well enough to go to Newfoundland, a question that I take seriously, but laugh at. It’s not just the fact that we’ve been planning this trip for months and I’m ridiculously excited for it, but I’m also just not symptomatic enough to feel like I should hold back; my health is not ideal, but it is manageable and appears to be improving, and there’s nothing I have access to here that I won’t have access to there. Well, truth be told, I won’t be taking my herbalist with me, but I will be taking my herbs and have been on the latest mix long enough to know that it’s working out, yet not so long that we might consider modifying them soon.
Besides…new surroundings, friendly Canadian people, the happiness that comes with seeing family I haven’t seen in ages, the spare time I’ll have on the ferry and at night without my laptop…this trip could be quite healing.