Today is shockingly the last day of January! I have been meaning to get back on here to say thanks for listening the past 6 months. I am thrilled I’ve been able to cover so much with you and always astonished by the support. Finally, things have started to pan out in the way that I imagined…
A few highlights include:
I’ve had almost 6,000 new users view the site in the last 4 months (when I started using Google Analytics apparently) and nearly 20,000 page views! The exact number was 19,511 after I took out all my personal views. I am sure about half of that can be attributed to my parents showing their friends 🙂 This doesn’t even mildly compare to the real bloggers and the traffic they get, but hey, it’s way more than I thought!
The Instagram community has been kind to me and I have connected with so many awesome people. Instagram is such a competitive spot for a new blog, so when I saw this morning that my network had grown to over 1350+ followers, I was very excited! Many of you have led me to new accounts and that networking has been instrumental for me in this learning process.
It’s not like everything has been some cake walk though. But an actual cake walk sounds pretty awesome right now. I have put a ton of time into learning about the basics of blogging, building a web page, and have at times stressed myself out because I am so inconsistent. I am constantly reminded that this isn’t my primary job, this is my place to relax, but learning about blogging and the introductory coding measures has been really fun and I can sit at my computer for hours trying to get something just right.
The main reason I started this blog was to chat about my Crohn’s. I am happy to say that my biggest highlight I want to note on here, is that my flare has subsided and I am in ‘remission’! My energy is coming back and I am feeling like myself again! Still, I’ve had a few minor set backs… I am still having difficulty putting weight on, but I am starting to notice that working out is giving me some muscle. I also forgot to renew my LDN Rx when I was home, so I was without it for about 9 days. Although this wasn’t the way I wanted to learn that LDN was in fact seriously helping my joint pain, I learned just that. I am shocked how much better it makes my knees feel. During the time that I was without it, I felt about 3x my age. It quickly came back how bad it hurt to just walk and perform everyday activities. Luckily, that problem was solved and I’m now covered!
As I close down January, I want to take a minute and re-introduce myself to those of you who are just visiting the site for the first time or those of you whom I have recently become acquainted with!
Me on Instagram v. me in real life
(aka either holding my dog, or walking him, but always in athleisure)
My name is Kate and I’m a upper-20-something millennial, living in Chicago. I am a licensed attorney, but rarely actually use my license. I tend to the corporate hustle for my 9-5 at a large bank.
I moved to Chicago 3 years ago and have loved it ever since. I am slowly becoming one of those people who think Chicago is the best city in the world.
I went to school at Purdue University to study Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience and then went right to law school at Michigan State University when I decided I couldn’t work with lab rats the rest of my life. Just kidding, there was more to that decision, but that was a factor.
Autoimmune diseases run my life at times. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in late 2007, as a senior in high school. It wasn’t until May of last year, with the encouragement of my boyfriend, who I mention all too often, I told the world about it (aka my small Instagram following). My good friends have known for most of our friendship, but sharing my experiences with strangers was truly liberating. I say autoimmune disease(s) because I also now deal with a hypothyroidism diagnosis as of 2013.
This blog has changed so many things for me. I can no longer count how many friends or acquantenacies have reached out and said something kind about a post or about their similar experiences, almost all of whom I had no idea were also dealing with health issues. I smile thinking about how many people are now comfortable talking to me about health in general, whether it is an embarrassing moment or a general inquiry, so many of my posts have just been inspired by daily conversations with friends. I have gained a lot of confidence from all of the positive words. I no longer feel like I have to hide or justify who I am.
I am a picky eater. When you have Crohn’s you have to be or I’m sorry, but you are ignoring your condition. I have found my love for cooking over the past few years. Cooking has changed a lot for me, as I was a vegetarian for 5 years who ate pasta as a main food group. Turns out, I love steak and also have a gluten intolerance that results in various issues throughout my body including white bumpy patches all over my arms when I expose myself to too much of it. I indulge by having pizza from time to time, but I try to watch what I eat, when I eat it and how it is made.
I have a dog that I am unusually obsessed with. Henry, Henry, Henry. He is either a Treeing Walker Coonhound or an American Foxhound and I would like to think he is the perfect reflection of me as a dog. He is going to training school next week while I am in Iceland and I am a nervous wreck. He is the best cuddler, howler and fastest ball fetcher I have ever seen. I will dote over him until the day I die, I promise.
I have rediscovered my love for traveling. A lot anxiety was created in me when thinking about leaving the comforts of home, however, I have some awesome friends and a great partner who helps me push those boundaries. I always secretly thought it was a crock of crap when people said how much they have gained from traveling, but that was my first and only thought as I traveled through Nicaragua last year. That place will forever hold a special place in my heart for the sense of adventure it ignited in me.
I have dreamt of becoming a fitness instructor/yoga teacher for years. I am finally getting back to a regular work out routine after nearly a year off. Really should’ve sprang for certification in 2012 when I had the time … Until then, I am just looking forward to building back up to getting in the studio a few times a week. I also really love watersports. While I will never hold a flame to my brother and dad, we have the best time in the summer on the lake.
I will try any holistic treatment at least once at this point. I love a good experiment. This is probably because I never thought I would go back on biologics after all of my terrible experiences I have had, but I am currently on Entyvio and it has helped tremendously. Side effects still suck. I am also on Tirosint for my thyroid, Low Dose Naltrexone and Sulfasalazine for my joint pain. Outside of that, I take a myriad of vitamins to try and stay balanced! …because that is what life is all about, right? My most favorite recent find is the liquid EPA/DHA combo called Omega Superb – Lemon Berry flavor! Such a game changer.
I never thought I would love sharing so much with friends, family and most importantly, strangers, but I have loved every minute of this journey! Thanks for reading through the Peaks and the Valleys. That’s it, for now!