Please Read

The following blog posts are based solely on my personal experiences. I am not a Doctor, Nutrition specialist, Comedian, or Professional Baseball Player. If you have a health, nutrition, humor, or baseball issue please seek a PROFESSIONAL.

Favorite Bathrooms

  • Home Sweet Home
  • When I'm @ someones house: the one farthest away from the crowd
  • @ the Mall: Macy's (as public bathrooms go this one is very nice)
  • If I can't make it to Macy's...JC Penney's will have to do (they recently remodeled so it is better than it was. I don't know why they didn't ask for my input???)
  • Monterey Bay Fish Grotto in Monroeville has a great bathroom
  • Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, My fav place to vacation, their rooms have the most wonderful bathrooms

Helpful links

  • FREE Crohns Disease Support Network
  • Find a Toilet
  • Medical Alert Restroom Access Pass

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lots of Good Stuff

Well the end of my week was somewhat uneventful compared to the three days of birthday celebrating. The good news is that my tummy has settled down and the benefits of my Gluten Free diet have kicked back in. It’s clear that when I’m having a flare even the GF can’t help me but that’s ok because it’s helping me the rest of the time.

Btw have I told you how wonderful my family is? They are so loving and supportive. They are always looking out for me. My beautiful niece K just gave me some very good GF news so I looked up the details so that I could share it with you:

Gluten-Free Bun Available at Every Eat’n Park!

We have an exciting announcement for our guests who have celiac disease: we now have a gluten-free bun available in all of our restaurants! This new rice/tapioca-based bun is similar to an Italian-style roll, and we think you’re going to love it. Unlike some other gluten-free breads, it doesn’t have a dry, crumbly texture. In fact, it’s delicious!

We’ve always done our best of cater to our guests’ various dietary needs, and the back of our menu is a great resource for anyone on a low-calorie, reduced-sodium, vegetarian, or celiac-friendly diet. However, for those with gluten allergies, this new bun opens up a whole new world of celiac-friendly possibilities at Eat’n Park.

Below is a list of our menu items that can now be enjoyed gluten-free with the substitution of the new bun:

Black Angus American Grill Burger
Black Angus BBQ Bacon and Cheddar Burger
Classic Black Angus Burger
Classic Black Angus Cheeseburger
Black Angus Superburger
Black Angus Mushroom and Onion Burger

Philly Steak and Cheese
Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich
Santa Fe Turkey and Bacon
Chicken and Portobella Hoagie

Breakfast Sandwiches:
All-American Scrambler
Texas-Sized Scrambler
Skinny Scrambler

Just ask your server to substitute the new bun with your next meal, and as always, be sure let him or her know if you have a gluten allergy, so that we can avoid cross-contact with gluten ingredients when preparing your meal.

On the vitamin front I am wondering if the D3 tablets are absorbing properly. Since I’ve switched from the 50,000 IU D to the D3 I have started having the morning nausea, fatigue, and headaches again. The morning nausea is the worst of these three things. I wake up feeling so sick I have no choice but to go back to bed. Blah! I am going to switch to the liquid D3 and see if that works better.

Baseball News: B is recovering from a hamstring pull and was not able to play yesterday or today. Depending on how he is feeling he may get to play Monday or Wednesday. J and his team continue to do well. His games were away today (NY to be exact) so I didn’t get to go.

While you are here please check out the new link on the right for the Take Steps For Crohns & Colitis. I am so excited to be raising money for such an important cause and to be walking this year with my family. If you are able to please walk with us, make a small donation, and/or pray for the members of our team.

Love, Laugh, and always know where the nearest bathroom is

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Crohns crohns go away, I will not let you spoil this day!!!

So Monday was my birthday and so far I have celebrated for 3 days…YAY Birthday!!!

Sunday: I woke up feeling rather ill but went back to bed and when I woke up again I was feeling better. Hubs and B left very early to go fishing so I went to watch J’s games and finally, FINALLY I got to see him pitch. I was starting to think there was a conspiracy to have him only pitch when I wasn’t there. But not this day…and he didn’t just pitch, he started and pitched 6 innings, and he did very, very well. What’s that??? Why yes of course I took a ton of pictures and sure I’ll post some for you thanks so much for asking!!! This was a GREAT Birthday Gift!!! After the games I went home and Hubs and B took me out to dinner [Hubs had to go out of town on my birthday :( ] JJ wasn’t able to make it…tooooo much work to catch up on. Oh the life of a college baseball player. It was a wonderful dinner at one of my fav. Restaurants, then home to open my gifts, and even though I ended up feeling very ill that night it could not spoil all the best parts of the day…so there Crohns!!!

Monday: My actual birthday…woop!!! J came home and came to B’s game. They won, another great Birthday Gift. Then we went to watch B attend a workout for some college baseball coaches. He did very well and generated some interest. He has participated in several of these workouts with different coaches so hopefully they will lead to some scholarship offers.

Tuesday: Spent the day with my sister…a gift in itself and then went out to dinner with my beautiful niece and her husband.

So who is going to help me celebrate again today??? Come on…you know you want to!!!

Love, Laugh, and always know where the nearest bathroom is

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pulling a CT, Plus a Gluten Free Update.

A while back, after going on yet another rant about baseball someone described me as being like a jug of Creatine – short and full of roid rage. When people would rant they would call it pulling a nutty now it is pulling a CT lol.

Speaking of rants, I am happy to report that I did indeed speak to the head coach (HC) about Mr. FF. I told him about the phone call I received and that I would no longer tolerate a member of his coaching staff bad mouthing my son to other parents. I told him that it is not appropriate and if it happens again I will go to the athletic director and even the school board if necessary. He agreed with me of course and said that he would speak to him. Two days later I asked him if he spoke to Mr. FF and he said he did and that Mr. FF apologized to him (how big of him) and said it would not happen again. We shall see. One thing is very obvious…Mr. FF is staying far away from me hahaha this is definitely a plus. But don’t you worry I will be watching him like a hawk. One thing is clear…the HC is the only one who likes Mr. FF. The other coaches can’t stand him; while they have always been nice to me they now go out of their way to say hello to me with big cheesy grins on their faces lol. The players and parents can’t stand Mr. FF either. They all complain about him constantly. I just wish they would take a lesson from me and go to the HC with their issues, and then maybe he would get rid of him. A girl can dream!!!

On the Gluten Free front I have tried a few new products.

Pamela’s Chunky Chocolate Chip Gourmet All Natural Cookies: Yum! Very good cookies, on the moist side, not crispy (which I like) plenty of chips in each cookie, and the chocolate is creamy and delicious.

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cake Mix w/ Betty Crocker GF icing: Yum! The cake was a little bit heavier than the average cake mix cake but moist and tasty. The icing gets a yum also.

Quaker True Delights Cheddar Cheese Rice Snacks: I almost didn’t buy these because I was sure they would be bland like a plain rice cake. Well I’m very glad I tried them…Yum! They were light and crispy with just enough cheddar flavor and melted in my mouth. They will be a great snack to take to the field for a long day of baseball.

I have also been cutting back on dairy products so I bought some Almond Milk for my morning cereal. Another Yum vote!!!

Now for the vitamins.

I have finished my 4 weeks of 50,000 IU’s of Vit. D and have started the daily D3 and continue the B12 drops. I am still feeling very tired but that horrible hit by a train feeling is gone. I am having less joint pain, and a lot less headaches. I am hopeful that the longer I take these vitamins I will be less tired and have more energy. I can’t even remember what it is like to have energy. So that’s that…until next time…

Love, Laugh, and always know where the nearest bathroom is

Monday, April 12, 2010

Stress Stress Go Away, you flare my Crohns when you stay

I hate stress!!! I wish it just did not exist. No matter how well you take care of yourself a little bit of stress can undo it all. A lot of stress can really do major damage. For me Crohns + Stress = Pain and this weekend that equation was proven correct once again. I don’t know why I can’t just ignore haters. Actually I usually can ignore the haters who go at me but when you go at my kids, look out. I lose all control. It turns out that, even tho I was told Mr. FF would not be helping with B’s team, he is. (I mentioned him in my March 3rd post) He has been there constantly and he is up to his old tricks. Bad mouthing my son to other parents. Telling them that B sucks and shouldn’t be playing where he is playing bc player C (who happens to be related to him) is the best infield player the world has ever seen. To make matters worse he “claims” that the head coach agrees with him. Saturday was the third time I got a phone call from parents telling me about the hate he is spewing. Well enough is enough. I will be having a convo with the head coach tomorrow and I will make it perfectly clear (again) that I will no longer tolerate a member of his coaching staff bad mouthing my son to other parents. Especially when he is tearing my player down to build his player up. If the head coach does not put a stop to it immediately I will go to the athletic director. I don’t care who you are on the coaching staff or how you feel about any player, it is not appropriate for you to discuss any player with other parents. Every coach should be impartial and if he cannot distinguish between being a coach and being a relative then he should not be on the staff. He is also going after the infield coach (who decides who plays where) criticizing him to other parents, calling him a horrible coach and bringing up rumors from his past. All of this is playing out in front of the players and it is having a very negative impact. The players are very unhappy and it shows on the field. As I said in the beginning of this post Crohns + Stress = Pain. After boiling over this most of the day Saturday I ended up in typical Crohns pain on Sunday (which makes me even angrier at this man).

Well enough about that….thanks for letting me vent and you will be happy to know that so far today I do not have any pain. I have been back on my gluten free diet and the vitamin D and B12 continues to help. I am still very tired but not as bad as before and hopefully I will continue to improve and get my energy back. My doctor wants me to have a chest and abdominal CT Scan next. My insurance has approved it so I will try to schedule that in late May early June (in between high school and summer baseball). So that means another prep day and then drinking three bottles of horrible contrast right before the test. Blah! Oh Crohns I wish you would go away!

Love, Laugh, and always know where the nearest bathroom is

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bagels and Danish and Cake oh my!!!

I was so bad last week. You already know that my father in law passed away last Monday. The same day that B left for his high school spring training baseball trip to SC. The viewing did not start till Thursday (to give out of town family and friends time to arrive) so we climbed in the car Tuesday morning and drove to SC to bring B home. It was actually a nice distraction. B got to be there for a few games and we got to see his first home run of the season. That was for you Grandpap! The only problem was eating. When you have Crohns eating on the go can be a real problem and I discovered the hard way that when you are on a gluten free diet it’s even harder. Next time I travel I will make sure I take lots of safe snacks with me. We left Wednesday after B’s game and got home about 1:30 Thursday morning. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were of course very busy and so many loving family and friends brought lots of wonderful food to us. Lots of wonderful gluten foods and I ate some of them. Somehow a lot of the Bagels and Danish and Cake (oh my) ended up at my house and I couldn’t resist. I ate some more. At first it didn’t seem to bother me too much and then wham it all hit me like a ton of bricks. I started feeling absolutely horrible. I hate throwing good food away and hubby and B won’t eat it so I told hubby “You have to get all this gluten out of the house…Take it to work with you PLEASE” and he did and they gobbled it up! So I am back on track and slowly starting to feel better. Another lesson learned. I’m going to stock up on gluten free foods and snacks for the unexpected trip. This will be also be helpful during baseball season when we are spending entire weekends at baseball fields with concession stands full of gluten. Whole Foods here I come!!!

Love, Laugh, and always know where the nearest bathroom is

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Tribute to My Father-In-Law

Martin J. Tougher
September 9th, 1922 – March 29th, 2010

My Father-In-Law lost his battle with lung cancer last week. He was 87 years old, a wonderful father, and grandfather. A member of the greatest generation, he received military honors at his burial. A beautiful tribute that always makes me cry but this time of course was so much harder. A decorated World War II medic, he received the following for his bravery:

• Purple Heart
• 2 Bronze Stars For Heroism
• 1 Bronze Star For Merit
• ETO Medal With Arrow Head and 4 Battle Stars
• American Defense Medal
• German Occupation Medal With Bar
• Presidential Unit Citation
• French Normandy and Liberation Medal and Croix De Guerre
• Parachute Wings With 2 Stars
• Combat Medical Badge
• World War II Victory Medal
• French Legion of Honor
• Croix De Guerre With Palm

The following is an excerpt from an article that was in our local paper recently:

6 decades later, French say 'merci'
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Four proud old men gathered yesterday at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum to receive France's highest award, the Legion of Honor, for helping to liberate that country from the Nazis 65 years ago.

Each rose to the occasion, advancing field by field and house by house across the French countryside, forcing the Germans back to the Fatherland and destroying Hitler's Thousand-Year Reich.

The Legion of Honor, designed by Napoleon in 1802, is one of Europe's most prestigious civic decorations. It had previously been given only to some American World War I veterans who helped France in that conflict.

But in 2004, the 60th anniversary of D-Day, the French government began honoring World War II soldiers with proven records of bravery, reviewing service records and details of their actions to make the determinations. Since then, about 800 medals have been issued at ceremonies like the one at Soldiers & Sailors.

The recipients, decorated many times over and honored again yesterday just days before Veterans Day, are uniformly modest.

Martin Tougher speaks with a rasp, the result of a tracheotomy seven years ago, the result of 40 years of smoking before that. But when he was 22, he jumped from an airplane into Normandy on June 6, 1944.

He had only been in the Army for two weeks when he volunteered for jump school in Georgia in December 1942. He wanted the bump in pay, from $50 a month to $100. Later he underwent training to become a medic and joined the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

He landed in swamp water and lost his backpack on the first day. He also lost his best friend, Mickey O'Donnell. It was the first time Mr. Tougher cried since he learned that his brother, John, had been killed fighting the Japanese in the Aleutians.

Mr. Tougher almost died, too. On June 14, 1944, a shell exploded in front of him on a country road and shrapnel struck him in the jaw.

"If it was down a little lower," he said, "I'd still be over there, I guess."
When his regiment returned to England on July 15, fewer than 800 men were with him. Some 1,200 were dead, wounded, captured or missing.

After replenishing its ranks with replacements, the 507th boarded C-47s to return to France. The unit made its way into Belgium, where Mr. Tougher recalls eating K-rations for Christmas dinner.

During the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes Forest in January 1945, it was so cold that his morphine froze before he could inject it into a soldier's hip. He learned to warm his supply with body heat.

The men didn't have cold-weather gear. So he made an overcoat out of his shrapnel-damaged sleeping bag and strapped a pick and shovel to his back for chipping out foxholes in the frozen ground.

"I would love to have a picture," he said. "I must have looked like a junk dealer."
Besides his Purple Heart, Mr. Tougher earned two bronze stars for aiding the wounded under fire in France and Belgium. After the Battle of the Bulge, he made a second battle jump for the Rhine River crossing in March 1945.

When he came home, Mr. Tougher went back to work at Westinghouse and married Mary Joyce in 1953. They had two sons, Marty and John, and he stayed with Westinghouse until his retirement in 1985. Mary died in 2002.

Mr. Tougher thinks often of his time as a soldier and the friendships forged in combat. He has been going to reunions for 30 years.

At one in Buffalo, N.Y., he met a fellow he had patched up. "Marty," the man said, "I thought I was going to die in that field." The man's wife kissed him and said, "Thanks for saving my husband."

Seven years ago, Mr. Tougher returned to Normandy with son Marty. There they met old women, still grateful to American GIs, who said they had used American parachutes like his for their wedding dresses…

Now I would like to ask a favor of you in honor of my father-in-law….Please say thank you to a service member or veteran for their service to our country.