A little update on my life….

my little Audrey Hepburn…

No Halloween is complete without Superheros….

And baby robbers on the run….

And unhappy jailbirds…. We had a fantastic time this year, what did you dress your kids as?  I’m always looking for new, creative ideas for the kids.

Happy Halloween!

So here we are again, months since my last post.  A lot has happened, some good, some not so good.  After receiving several emails of concern from readers, I have decided to finally get on here and share …. brace yourself for my longest post to date.

Beginning of May, Fiona was about six months old, I began having symptoms of a Crohn’s flare and did my usual routine:  Strict SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) intro diet for a few days.  It mainly consists of consuming homemade chicken broth, eggs, super ripe bananas, and other protein like salmon.  Not too fun, but it usually does the trick.  But this flare was really kicking my butt… I was basically on bed rest, still breastfeeding (because I’m stubborn and always put my kids first)… My mom was coming to stay with me during the week to help take care of my other kids, while I attempted to ride out the flare naturally.  But eventually, after emailing with my GI, we decided to do a round of prednisone.

……Uhhhh, I hate steroids, they make you crazy, irritable, angry, hungry…. not to mention the terrible long term side effects it can do to your body.  But nonetheless, it is sometimes necessary to take, as much as I hate admitting, this drug can help curb a flare.  Unfortunately, after a quick round of steroids, we saw little improvement.  My GI prescribed a second round and this time I had started going back to Acupuncture.  My Chinese medicine doctor was very concerned that I waited so long to see him, so we began treatment right away.  Within 2 weeks of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, along with my steroids I was already on my way to remission.  I felt a million times better, was beginning to gain weight and get my energy back.  I was also going to the chiropractor weekly.  I know that this protocol may not work for everyone, but I just want this to serve as an encouragement to you all or those you know who suffer from auto immune or digestive disorders.  I have no intention of ending my acupuncture or chiropractic treatments.

I also believe its important to have an open line of communication with your GI.  At my last check up with her, she seemed so pleased with my current condition that she said there was no reason for her to put me on any type of maintenance medication and to keep up with what I am doing.  She has always been supportive of my diet (SCD) and is now recommending acupuncture and chiropractic treatment to her other patients.  She is the first GI that I have ever had to acknowledge the correlation between diet and Crohn’s disease! Make sure you find one who believes that too, it’s so important to have a supportive doctor behind you.

I looked back thru the years and made an eye opening discovery:  All of my major Crohn’s flares were all between 6-8 months postpartum.  My very first flare, when I was diagnosed, my son Andrew was 6 months old.  Then another large flare after Juliette and of course the most recent flare after Fiona.  These have been the only flares that have ended in a hospital stay or needed medication to curb.  Needless to say, I don’t think it is in my best interest to have any more children.  I am very thankful for the 5 little blessings I have :)  I guess only time will tell if my theory is true….  I’m curious if any of you experienced the same thing postpartum, perhaps a change in hormones?? Please share, I’d love to hear  your story and experiences!

So I was sick in May-June, then super busy with the kids home ALL day EVERY day of summer… I thought to myself, oh I’ll get back to blogging again once the kids start school…. well school started, and so did soccer, and chess club and student government and homework and bible study. Then, I finally broke out my camera to photograph a new recipe and my zoom lens wasn’t working!  Seriously, best. luck. ever.

But I’m determined to get back on track…Many more exciting things to come! I have been creating and compiling tons of new recipes to share with you all! Some things coming up: crepes, caramel walnut tart, slow cooker pork roast, and of course Thanksgiving recipes and tips will be included.  I just need to get cooking, grab my camera and get to work.

By the way, I know I didn’t respond to all of your emails, but I truly appreciate your concerns and encouragement during these past few months.  Just sorry it has taken so long to get on here and share that I am really doing okay!  Very healthy and happy, but as always my motto is “Family first”  and that will never change.

Say a little prayer for my daughter Juliette, who is 3.  We are in the process of testing for Celiac.  We believe she may have DH (Dermatitis Herpetiformis), which is a rash-like manifestation of Celiac on the skin, often mistaken for Eczema.  I’m hoping for a clear diagnosis, so we can fully change her diet.  She has been mostly gluten free for the past year, because she developed what I thought was eczema and it became worse when she ate gluten. I had never even heard of a rash associated with Celiac until a family friend mentioned it.  If you have DH, it confirms you have Celiac, but not all of those with Celiac suffer with DH.  If her test is positive, the switch to gluten free will not be a stretch, but we will obviously be more careful about cross contamination. Do any of you have DH?  For those with children who have Celiac, was it hard to get a proper diagnosis? Please share your stories and experience in my comments.  I’d like to think that we are a community and can be here for eachother. Whether it’s Crohn’s, Celiac or IBS.  This journey is never easy, but we are not alone.

For getting 3 viles of blood drawn yesterday, she still seemed pretty happy:

Don’t forget you can keep up with me on my Facebook page and also for my day to day life on Instagram- under the name shelley608!  Warning, I post pictures of kids and food all the time… And you can pin my recipes to Pinterest with that little button below my name that says pin it… Okay, I promise it won’t be another 4 months til my next post!!

Many blessings, Michelle

15 thoughts on “A little update on my life….”

  • Hi, Michelle!
    Great to hear you’re feeling better! With my husband’s diagnosis in December, we had all 3 kids’ blood tested in January. Caroline (4) was the only one who came back with an irregular immunoglobulin level, which may/may not confirm celiac, but weren’t sure we needed to do an endoscopy. We decided to go along as normal, eating mostly GF at home, but not restricting her away from home. She recently has been complaining of lots of stomach aches, so we decided to eliminate gluten beginning this week. No belly complaints at all and we’re only 5 days in – looks like we may have had our own diagnosis… Best wishes and can’t wait for more recipes!

  • Bless your heart, Ms Michelle! I can’t even begin to imagine what you went through and am so glad to hear that you got through it. Most fortunate that your mom was able to lend a hand. I was diagnosed with celiac disease 6yrs ago, and diagnosed in February 2013 with severe crohn’s in the entire large colon. Took a year, the wrong treatment (cipro/steroids for every flare) and the loss of over 30lbs to get anyone’s attention that I was not well. Two MTHFR gene mutations in August 2013. It’s been a whirlwind….and I’ve only critters (horses) to tend, which has fallen upon the hubs.

    I’m interested in what you find out about that darlin’ little girl of yours. I’ve been battling what was diagnosed as having eczematous psoriasis since May 2013. Stopped the Remicade IV infusions in June as it was believed to be the culprit. I still have it, although it comes ‘n goes with severity, over a good 80% of my body. No home remedies, changes in diet, those horrible steroids ‘n creams have gotten it to stop.

    Your family is the most important thing in the world and I’m proud of you for taking a bit of time off of here to get healthy yourself and also spend that quality time with those babes. They don’t stay little very long.

  • I was thinking as I read that update that I was pretty sure your last big flare was when Juliette was that age. Interesting that you had one prior with Andrew at that age. Definitely sounds like some sort of hormones playing into that! Hope you maintain now and don’t have any nasty flares. I do know about DH, but I don’t have celiac. (just an intolerance) Hope you get the clear diagnosis with Juliette, so that you can get her on the proper diet. Your kids are so darn cute!!

  • Hi, Michelle.

    Glad things are working out even though they haven’t been easy, to say the least! I’m with you – you will beat this yet again, and maybe, just maybe, be in permanent remission one day.

    I hope your 3 year old turns out not have Celiac disease, but she couldn’t have a better mother to deal with it if she has.

    I believe that hypothyroidism more often than not hits women after their first pregnancy. I have hypothyroidism (and I also now have Sarcoidosis). It seems to me that there is a definite connection between carrying a baby to term and contracting an autoimmune disease that might have been lying dormant until then.

    Would you kindly tell me how the chiropractor helps you with your Chron’s? I am about to start seeing an acupuncturist but, although I have considered a chiropractor, it wasn’t to help me with the autoimmune problems. If both kinds of treatments help, I would certainly want to pursue both.

    Many thanks and the best to you and your family!

  • I am ABSOLUTELY with you. I had my 3rd (homegrown, we have 6 adopted) baby last September after a 11 years of infertility. We thought we couldn’t have any more for one reason…turns out it was years of undiagnosed hypothyroidism/Hashimoto’s Disease that caused it. I had been on desiccated thyroid for 3 months when surprise! Pregnant. Biggest blessing ever! Then 6 weeks after her birth I started to become miserable, same as when I had both of our boys 15 and 11 years before. By 3 months postpartum I had severe food reactions to everything, signs of colitis returning (gone since 11 year old was 1), and a complete inability to cope with any stress.

    I found my angel doc in an allergy specialist who turned out has a keen interest in hormones. He has written books on his theories, although is often laughed at in the medical community. His name is Benoit Tano. He tested my adrenal function and hormones and found huge deficiencies. I was producing ZERO progesterone, way too much estrogen, and had very poor adrenal function. That doesn’t even count my long terrifying list of newly acquired food allergies and inability to digest food. Within 2 weeks of starting sublingual immunotherapy for my food allergies, sublingual progesterone, natural progesterone cream, allergen free supplements, and adding significant amounts of fat and good carbs back into my diet….I was already a better person. Now with baby at 14 months I am so thankful that I have been able to continue nursing (like you, I was NOT quitting) and since we have 9 kiddos, we are feeling like our family is complete too. She was a glorious surprise, and honestly I will be forever grateful for the wisdom I now have concerning postpartum hormone problems. I will spread the word whenever I can!

    • Angie,
      I actually called the Dr. you mentioned and talked to him. It sounds so interesting, I wish it wasn’t so far away. I’d have to fly to go see him. Let me know if you hear of someone similar in TN :)

  • Michelle,

    Welcome back! So good to see you again on your site…..I’m so sorry to hear about the last flare up–that must have been a difficult time for you and your family– but thankfully you now have it under control. Rest assured of prayers for your adorable Juliette!


  • So glad you have discovered a treatment method to help! I hope your daughter does not have celiac but would be better to find out now. I was misdiagnosed for many years as having ezcema. A few years ago my esophagus starting closing. I had to have emergency surgery 8 months ago to have it dilated. At that point it was discovered that I have Eosinophilic Esophagitis. This condition is caused by allergies. I was told to go gluten, dairy and soy free. I have been working with a nutritionist to figure all of this out. I still have the DH off and on and use prednisone to control flare ups. They say it can take up to a year to calm down your immune system. I am nowhere near out of the woods but at least I know what is causing my issues.

  • Michelle!
    I am so glad you are doing better! I been praying for you! DH and Celiac are so tricky. I am dealing with the same things and it seems like alot of yes no maybe kind ofs. Mine started shortly after a 21 day fast where i only drank water. Instead of slowly reintroducing I came right back on to eating. Digestion was terrible…id keep telling ppl I can feel it in my guts …just slowly moving through …then maybe 6mnths in closer to this time i was eating more bread cookies ect and noticed bumps on my ankles …it kept getting worse and worse itching ect…so i started researching and testing my reaction to what i ate trying to set it off …i pinpointed it to gluten as well as most grains but the rash soon spread to arms shoulders and had to go on pred. to put it in remission. Testing is so unclear though and very few doctors seem to know little if any about the disease so for the most part I am goin it alone and learning as much as I can. How fortunate though for the blessing of God for such a life change…a new path….and such amazing support friendship and greater health that ive come into along the way:) thank you so much michelle! You are an inspiration and an encouragement more than u will ever know! Do you watch lillianstestkitchen on youtube or her blog maybe even the urban poser? I wish there were more videos of normal people working there recipes for these flours due to technique dip and sweep method packing ect…there can be so many questions and unknowns…in anycase Love you all will keep u in my prayers

  • Hi Michelle,
    I have enjoyed your blog and recipes so much. Everything has been good and I have even serve your recipes without testing them first, because I know they’ll be good :)

    Your post is so interesting to me, because although I do not have Crohn’s, I have asthma and have recently had some serious flare-ups and have needed three rounds of prednisone. The trouble started after weaning our fourth child a couple of months ago. It seems that my asthma is worse as my estrogen starts to kick back into gear. Then I have to take steroids and it messes it up all over again. I wish there was someone who knew more about the connection of hormones and flare-ups.

    Glad to hear your feeling better and looking forward to more recipes! God Bless!

  • Michelle- I found your website on another blogroll, and was hooked immediately. I’ve tried a few of your recipes and they are great and seem to be no-fail. And in this SCD/GAPS/PaleoAutoimmune world I find myself in, no-fail recipes are worth gold!! I was concerned about what was happening that was keeping you from blogging, and preventing your great posts and recipes. So sorry to hear of your flare up, but very glad to hear you are doing better. Your children are absolutely precious!! Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

    • Oh, and wanted to mention that acupuncture absolutely saved my life! A little over a year ago, I went out of desperation with terrible adrenal fatigue, GI symptoms, lots of food intolerances and sensitivities, super low energy, vitamin d deficiency. They put me on the right path for healing, and I honestly don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t done that. The practice I went to incorporated chiropractic, acupuncture and energy work.

  • Hi. Hope your little one is ok. My mom is celiac, I am intolerant. She was recently diagnosed with an a histamine allergy. I bring this up because, although she was following her GF diet, she continued to have a horrid rash, ichy, scabs, bleeding, etc. Histamines are found in many foods. If the GF does not help, perhaps this would be something to look into, since many allergies can come with celiac/intolerance due to the compromised stomach hence imune system. Just a FYI

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