Where Did I Go? (Sept 2018 Update)

Share
Share
Pin
Tweet
Email
Print

So many of you have emailed me or sending me private messages asking where I’ve gone lately. Thank you for the concern! I’m hoping this post will answer some questions.

First off, let me say that VeganOstomy is one of the most important things in my life, and new content is on the way (I promise!).

Members of my Community Forums likely haven’t noticed my absence since I am still active there. But a few things have come up that have taken time away from working on the website and being able to advocate the way I would like. I do wish to remain private with some things, but I’m comfortable enough to open up about these, so here it goes…

Earlier in the year, I had a health setback that’s created an extra physical and mental burden on me. I haven’t shared much about it because we’re still not sure exactly what’s going on yet.

So, back in February of this year, I received two vaccines: one was a Hepatitis B shot and the other was Prevnar 13 (pneumococcal vaccine).

Several days after the shots I started to get body pains, which worsened and spread over the course of several weeks and months. Well, after over a dozen x-rays, an MRI, blood tests and specialists, we still don’t know what is actually happening in my body.

And this isn’t the first time this has happened. Back in Feb 2014, I had the “TDAP” (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) vaccine and experienced the same symptoms beginning several days after that one.

In that case, the pains lasted nearly a year and then went away. The health department was notified of this possible adverse reaction back then and they suggested that I continue to have regular vaccines.

And I did, without trouble, until this year.

But this time, the symptoms haven’t been going away. Seven months later and they seem to be getting worse. My doctor’s appointments are still ongoing and I have a special appointment in November to explore what triggered this (so I can avoid it in the future).

That said, these chronic symptoms have been draining and make it difficult to move with the energy I’m used to having. It also creates more challenges as I still have to maintain all my work and family responsibilities on top of that.

But I’m no stranger to physical pain and I’m generally able to persevere through it.

What’s really grounded me to a halt, however, is witnessing a family member, who I love dearly, struggle with substance abuse over the course of the last year and having no power to alter their course.

It feels like I’m watching someone drown ten feet away from me and I have no way of rescuing them.

This has taken a significant toll on my drive to help others. I carry a huge sense of guilt every time I plan to make a new video or write another article to help others while knowing the one person I desperately want to help is out of reach.

Please, accept my apology for this absence.

There has been so much that I’ve wanted to share with you, but social media has been a source of anxiety, so I’ve avoided it. And my newsletter – well, quite frankly, I’ve been embarrassed that I have so little new content this year when my goal was to have at least 30 new articles/videos done for 2018, so I haven’t sent out any newsletters for most of the summer.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned through the last 10 years of having Crohn’s Disease, and 5 years of living with an ostomy, it’s resilience.

I will find a way through this.

Share
Share
Pin
Tweet
Email
Print

50
Leave a Reply

avatar
newest oldest
Roberta
Guest
Roberta

Stay strong and remember we’re here for you as much as you are here for us.

L. Doherty
Guest
L. Doherty

So sorry for all your problems, I pray all will take a turn for the better. I & im sure many of us have missed your timely reports. They are always very useful to many of us, I’m sure. I pray all will be better in time for you & your family. Prayers heading your way. Hope to see you soon.

gpdash
Member
gpdash

Eric, I will be praying for you and for your family, that’s a promise. Your website and your work have helped me enormously to find the right products and to answer the questions that I have had so that I can provide good care for my husband. God bless you. You are the best!

Reggie Jones
Member
Reggie Jones

Of course all the best wishes and prayers for you Eric. I am a recovering alcoholic, 28 years of continuous sobriety coming up October 8th. You are what we would call a family member of an alcoholic, and many go to Al-Anon for help. Don’t know if it has been suggested, but thousands of individuals have benefitted from this type of support. Of course, other resources are available. It is said that alcoholism is a “family disease”, as it adversely affects all those close to the suffering alcoholic, and therefore they are suffering family members/friends of a suffering alcoholic. Best wishes for your family member and you, of course

mer
Guest
mer

My husband and I will praying for you to have the strength to get through it all! You helped my husband to see the possibilites and gave him hope on how to deal with having an ostomy from bladder cancer. We are so gracious for you! Easier said than done, but you cannot let allow someone else choices make you feel guilty. If you know all that you did to help out, then God knows you wanted to help and know all of our thoughts and prayers, He just wants to make you stronger and learn how to deal with the unexpected and the foreseen. I know because we watched a couple of family members struggle with their addictions and demons and it sounds harsh but that is where faith and strength comes and to help someone else out although we wanted so bad to help the person we love. Seek God for everything big and inbetween and little things. If I may suggest these 2 of many songs that helped us get through it all with cancer and for dear ones 1. Mandisa – Overcomer, 2.Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) – Hillsong United. I hope they will give you encouragement and peace! Much love!

Kathleen
Member
Kathleen

You have done more than you can imagine to help during my husband’s health problems. Words cannot express my gratitude. Please don’t feel guilty if you have to change priorities. You are no good to anyone else if you don’t look after yourself and those closest to you.
The videos and advice you have online will be helping a lot of people like me for a long time to come.
All the best.

UCtoOstomy
Member

Stay strong Eric.  Hopefully you can find something to help you manage the pain.  We’re a month away from ‘legalization’  so maybe this is something you may look at.  

WendyB
Member
WendyB

Eric, I’m so sorry to hear that you are experiencing these – to put it mildly – difficulties. To need care yourself… To be a caregiver for your family… To want to take positive action for a family member, yet have your proverbial hands bound… I can only imagine the stresses you are enduring physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. My heart is with you. And your family.

Writing to you from Reno, NV. Anticipating your visit to our UOAA Chapter, if you are up to the travel at that time. If so, a gentle hug awaits you from another ostomate. (Diag’d UC 2008. Ileostomy 2017.)

Blessed Be~

Wendy

Vickie
Member
Vickie

So sorry for your struggles. Yes you are very resilient. Send you and yours many prayers . God Bless.

Linda Knelsen
Member

Eric…thank you for responding to my thoughts. I hope it is discovered soon what is going on with your body. That kind of pain is ridiculous to deal with…and then some. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 96, 18/18. Then Ankylosing Spondylitis, it is a harsh disease also. My Rhuematologist figured it all out for me a few years back. I did not know whether to laugh or cry. So,I cried! I was sent to a Urologist for other issues later,and he too added to the list. I can not help but wonder how many of us out here have several different diseases that affect us from a moment to moment basis. As I read what others share, I often wish to have a long chat with them as it seems I am alone in so much that I go through. I even have trouble getting to doctors and hospital when I can not safely drive myself I stay home. When it gets bad enough I call the ambulance. Trouble is I am always right when I need to be admitted and I despise NG tubes. Eric, do not lose heart or faith. Keep strong and sure of yourself. You are in tune with your body and that is important. Bad side effects to vaccines, but at the same time, which is worse, the illness from not having them when needed and the effects that has on your health? Do not second guess yourself. You have a strong mind and heart. I hope this is all sorted out for you very soon. I am sure you are doing your best in regards to your family member, you are a caring soul. Just do not forget to look after yourself in all of this.  Linda 

dogtalkerer
Member

TDAP, i had one of those last summer, they gave me a paper on and it said I might get some mild side effects, well it knocked me on my butt for several days, lots of weird pains.I’ve thought about your comments on feeding dogs vegan diets and how they did poorly.  the division from carnivores to herbivores does not seem that clear until you get to the herbivores digestive system.  being an omnivore doesn’t seem really suggest switching to herbivore is on equal ground to being omnivorous.   while the dogs survived on vegan,  they did not flourish.I didn’t buy the LA times article…….and who know how healthy those caged laboratory dogs actually were? I could not have supported that guys research. maybe your system already compromised, can’t handle vegan to “flourish” either?   offhand I know only 6 vegetarians , they all are very sedentary, non athletic and overweight as well.I do hope you well, vegan or meat eater   :).

June Schanbacher
Guest
June Schanbacher

Hang in there Eric. You are my hero and support for hundreds of your followers. I hope we can help you as you have helped many of us. Stay strong.

Bob
Guest
Bob

Hang in there Eric, it will all work out, saying a prayer to you and your family

Betty
Member
Betty

Bonjour,
Je vous envoie plein de courage et je vous en prie, prenez soin de vous !

Derek
Member
Derek

I wish you all the best eric.you seem the kind of person to come through this,but I am rooting for you.

Susan North
Guest
Susan North

So very sorry to hear about your health situation. ( Just wondering if you could take the vaccines separately instead of all together?)
You started VeganOstomy and I found your videos comforting and so informative. I looked forward to them and the information.
I do understand as just having an Ileostomy can make me feel drained and I keep forgetting and of course most people do not understand.

Anyway, this is about you and I feel so sorry you have a family member with substance abuse. That is so hard. They have to see it is hurting them and that is hard. Of course you do not have to share very personal info. That is totally fine.
I hope you pull through this as we are all pulling for you to feel better.
I do find Social Media stressful, too, at times.
Please take care of yourself so you can come back.

Maybe if someone in the Blog reads this they can figure out the item that is a blue beaker thst comes with liners and a covered wire holder that fits on the toilet so a person can sit down. I cannot remember the name of it or the company. I need it since I fell!
I am putting my email here and Eric, if you need to edit this out, I understand but I am not on the Blog much.
I can be reached @
snorth2@me.com

Again, Eric, please take care of yourself and I hope the Doctors can help you heal. Hopefully you will heal soon. We are all supporting you. No one does videos and explains this like you, just my opinion.
All my best.
Heal quickly. (Find a person that can do Reiki)
Susan North

Gimparoo
Member
Gimparoo

Hang in there Eric, we are all behind you in every way!
You started this site as a refuge for all Ostomate to come for help.. allow us to help you where it’s possible. We feel and understand your pain. Just know we just want to help!
Keep the faith, keep your spirits as high as you can… my thoughts, our thoughts are with you Eric.
Gimparoo

Liaelena
Member
Liaelena

Wonderful Eric, so sorry to hear about your health issues. Please, and believe am talking on behaft of all of us, take care of yourself and your family. That is your first priority. You will give us the same advice. You have been do caring and giving that we want you to use all your energies in getting better. You havel been such an inspiration personally to me the last three years. Going from a pretty healthy 78 year old, to a permanent iliestomy and total cholectomy after contracting the C diff virus, and finding such a wonderful support. I learned to accept my condition, mostly because of you, and your wonderful Web Site. My prayers and best for you and your family.. Best of everthing, Liaelena from California,

kiya
Member

Eric,Thank you very much for allowing us to share your personal stories.  You are amazing and I admire you with all of my everything!You are the founder, but also a member, of veganostomy and here, we all offer help and receive help.  You shouldn’t be an exception.  Of course, you don’t have to tell us anything that you don’t want to or don’t think is appropriate but I hope you will allow us to help you wherever and whenever possible.  Some of us may have had a very similar experience as you and we may be able to offer you some helpful information.  At least, we can give you lots of love, understanding and support.I will be praying for you …kiya 

Deborah Camp
Guest
Deborah Camp

I am very sorry you and your family member are having to go through this. You, as a witness and a person who cares deeply, and your family member, who is obviously struggling. My youngest sister unfortunately passed away from an opioid overdose three years ago. I know the pain you are going through and hope that your family member will seek help–as my sister did not–and will be able to emerge from this illness. I also hope you will be able to regain your own health as well. Along with having a temporary ileostomy, I also live with chronic back pain from an accident 18 years ago. So much to go through….but I’m hoping only the best for you.

King Rushnell
Guest
King Rushnell

Hi Eric, I’m sorry for all of your recent upsets in your life. You are an amazing ostomate advocate and I have learned a lot from your videos. I am about 1 1/2 years from surgery for my ulcerative colitis and I now have a permanent ileostomy. Thanks to you, I have found a system that seems to be working for me. I am sending prayers that your life will get back to normal soon. Take care of yourself. Kindest regards, King from Clarkesville, GA USA

Ted
Guest
Ted

Eric, I’m here for you buddy. Your an amazing source of inspiration for so many. So please take the time to take care of YOU and yours first! There is only so much one can do and handle in a day/week/month/year so be good to yourself!

Ted in Seattle

Kelly
Guest
Kelly

Dear Eric
I am new to your forum, I have rectal cancer and I will be starting my radiation next week followed by surgery. I will have a temporary ileostomy for 3-6 months depending on if I have Chemo. I am telling you this because I have found your discussions and videos informative and very helpful, sorta reassuring. Your tips and product reviews are helping me normalize what is happening, and give me some measure of control. I really appreciate your efforts.
I wish you well, hope your future is brighter and that your troubles are eased a little knowing you have been able to help a stranger in need.

Shazzon
Member
Shazzon

I am sorry to hear about your health problems. I love all the information you have available. If it wasn’t for you I would not know too much about my ostomy. I just want to say that I have lupus and sjogrens ,heart disease and had cancer hence the colostomy . I believe through my own experience I do better with out vaccines. Every time I have a flu shot I get terribly ill and I was told not to have any live vaccines so I have not tried any other types .I hope you get well soon Eric and are soon back to your self .

figsisters2
Member
figsisters2

I am so sorry to hear of your struggles! Take the time you need for yourself and your family. We all here understand and support you. Persevere and resilience. Stay strong, my friend, and know people care about you.

Frank
Guest
Frank

So sorry to hear of your health struggles and those of your loved ones. Be good to yourself and know that your site helps many people, regardless of any additional updates. Peace to you, Eric, and thanks for all your help during the early days of my ostomy, when I was quite discouraged.

Andrea Manson
Guest
Andrea Manson

Get well, my friend. You are an amazing man with an amazing helping caring heart. Sending your healing thoughts.

Linda Knelsen
Member

Hey there Eric… Addiction is a nasty issue. It is a whole other kind of pain. So sorry you are going through so much right now. As for yourself, have you or will you be seeing a Rhuematologist?  They deal with chronic pain issues all the time and often know things our GP may fail to recommend or see.  They also do blood work that our GP’s never think to do. It would not hurt to see one. Auto Immune disease is a tricky thing. I recently discovered how linked together my IBD and Ankylosing Spondylitis are.  Eric, we get that you can not be on the job  24/7.  We love you for what you are doing and have done for us all.  You are taking your priorities the way they need to be handled and I admire you so much for you that.  We would all do the same. Family first is a must.  Take all the time you need. New content is always welcome, the old never gets old, it is ongoing and continues to teach even after the fifth time of viewing or reading.  Anything else is bonus. You will get to these other things eventually, and as usual, you will do an awesome job. One day at a time Eric. It happens when it happens. I too will keep you and your loved one in my prayers.Linda

Robert
Member

Hey Eric . First off you have no reason to be sorry for anything you and your site have helped me and so many others so much and will continue to do so . Take a break . I am sorry to here that a loved one of yours is having a problem of such magnitude and I am sure it is very frustrating for you . I am wishing you and your Loved one the best with getting through this problem . You know even if we all can’t be there physically to help we are ALL there for you with moral support and prayers . I am also sorry to hear that you are having such problems with your health and I am wishing you the best with everything they will get it figured out . You are a FIGHTER and I know you will get through all of this .

Lisaj
Member

You’re so awesome Eric- you got me through one of the most difficult times. Please don’t feel guilty. I watch your videos several times so personally I don’t need new content! I have been so overwhelmed with questions that no one else can seem to answer. Your website is alive and well. I am sure you will get through this and be yourself again soon. I wish you all the best health and strength as you deal with your family member. Been there- it’s awful- totally powerless. I know it really sucks. Hang in !

Zvitusk
Member

Please accept my sympathy for the troubles that you are bearing.
I am sure that you have heard that God only challenges those who are capable of overcoming the difficulty.
You know how much we respect your strengths. We constantly praise your accomplishments. We pray that you will find the source of the pain and cure it.
Then, you can tell us about it so that we can overcome it , too.
Respectfully,
Z
P.s. your frustration with a drug addled relative is a common problem. It seems that no family is immune to this disease. Especially now, when the opioid epidemic is not due to moral weaknesses.
Prayer does work.
You cannot teach “stupid”.
You can pray for “stupid ” to survive and recover.
Z

Mrsmac
Member

Dear Eric,No apologies, please!  You need to take care of the awful things happening to your body right now.  You have been such a remarkable support to ostomates in the past, and will continue to be (I’m sure) once your own health is under control.  Do not worry about about us now.  It is so very sad to hear of a family member who cannot be helped…or does not wish to accept help.  I am sorry for the pain this causes you.  Please know that my thoughts and best wishes are with you.

Valerie
Member
Valerie

When I was sick, but before my UC diagnosis, I had a typhoid shot. The shot site turned into a horrible abscess and I got a 105 fever and was very sick. Be careful! Good to hear from you!

Mrsmac
Member
Mrsmac

Hi Eric,
Please no apologies. You need to take care of your body, first and foremost! Your help to others has been invaluable…and I know will continue once you get your health sorted. I am so very sorry to hear of the family member who you so wish to help, but can’t. It is emotionally exhausting and painful. Please know that thoughts are with you!

sjlovestosing
Member

Hi Eric,I just came on board and read what’s going on. Please take time to take care of  yourself – that is paramount. You cannot help others until you take care of your own physical issues. I do suspect that because of the Crohn’s, the vaccines could be wreaking havoc on your immune system. It must be so difficult to watch someone you love go deeper and deeper into addiction and not be able to help in any way. I understand the situation you are in, but in a different way. Watching your loved ones die or suffer is not easy – you feel so helpless. All you can do is be there for them and pray that God will intervene.  I will keep you and your loved one in my prayers. Stella

Heidi
Guest
Heidi

Eric, no reason to apologize! You and your family are most important right now and I pray you all will find comfort and healing soon. Your content that you already posted was beyond amazing to help me Dec of 2017- may 2018 when I ruptured my bowel and emergently had a Colectomy and colostomy with no prior issues. Your content gave me the language to use with my doctors and nurses and understanding of products and their uses and helped me to advocate for myself in a world I was unfamiliar with. For that I am forever grateful and I have since had a reversal. As I work in a hospital, I have linked many others to your content and videos. I am sure there are countless others who are still being helped with your materials and we’ll look forward to when you are healthy again to resume. In the meantime, know that you are appreciated and thank you for the gifts you have already shared with us. Praying for you to feel better!

Dona
Member

P.S. I just got the Shingex vaccine too, no problems. And I do keep up with all my other vaccines too. So thats not much help I guess. UC is also an autoimmune disease, so maybe it is something else.All the best.. 

Dona
Member

Eric, You have my ( and I know) all of our support. You have done so much for this community that it is impossible to ever thank you enough. Take all the time you need for yourself and your family.Like John said above, VO has so much great content already that if you go awhile without posting  new stuff, it will still be better than anything else out there ( by a mile).

Bubbles
Member

Wow Eric so sorry you are going through all  this .  I was told that peeps with autoimmune disease ( I have Crohns and AS ) that we should never get any type of vaccines etc..  An infectious disease doc told me this over 20 years ago . We should spread the word to help others . Big hugs , Bubbles 

Marcie
Member

Eric, I have re-read ——–  you have to many spokes in the fire.. and u did not put them in there!! take a f ew days off and get out and away a good week!!  a softer place– your heart is broken in ways that you can not heal.. your illness and the mental being of life around you will continue-until one of them resolves itself.  Hopefully this is the shots that u received and has taken over…….. YOUR RESPONISABILTY is to YOUSELF !  you know this– so your excused to exit for awhile– you have to much pressure…….  let the tears flow-release some stress…..your exhusted my friend!! Time for a time out for you———  We will behave ourselves!!!!!!!!!! :-)  ANd I am sure that others can answer my question………….  and I have a Dr.  Sweet dream to you.  Marcie…………. 

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

Your first priority is your health and family. Prayers the doctors find answers and you have total healing physically and emotionally. I too am dealing with loved ones with crippling substance abuse. It’s Hell. Thank God you have great healthcare and try to stay positive. Thanks for sharing your struggles.

flynnman
Member
flynnman

Praying for you and yours! You are very good, brave and strong. May the good Lord bring you through these trials with His Grace, Love and Strength.

Bago
Member

Eric, no need to apologize for anything.  You have already served many ostomates with good information and a place to share ideas.   Hopefully there is a fix for your problem in sight soon.I got a shinglerx vaccination  yesterday and they asked if I had any allergies to vacations.  I wondered if many people do and today I find that a friend has it.  I hope that you can beat this one too. 

Marcie
Member

after reading this—— I am NOT getting the hep-b or c. vaccine.  I have heard of issues of them– this may be it Eric–?????? the flu yes. the pneumonia yes. but this is as far as I will go– shingles?? been thinking to this one for awhile. this is horrible reactions Eric….. you got wiped out!!!!!!!!  hugs! M.  

john68
Member

Hi Eric, Never thought I would have to tell Eric off! :-) Firstly their is no need for an apology! and secondly am so sorry to hear you have not been feeling well, and pray that an answer will be found soon. Events we have no control of are really hard to deal with and if taking some time back from making new content helps you to rest and give more thought to those personal circumstances you do it. VO carries so much information that the help still goes on! We are all united by a common bond and when one hurts we all hurt. Rest easy, take one day at a time and the very best wishes to all concerned.

cheathamguy
Guest
cheathamguy

Thank you so much for the update. I am very sad to hear about all the struggles you are having to live with. You are such an inspiration for the ostomy community and for those of us who might be joining that community. Put your health first and we will be thinking of you.

Sincerely

cheathamguy

Linda
Guest
Linda

I am so sorry that you have been struggling with so many devistating things. I really understand and appreciate you sharing such personal information with the people you have been helping for so long! You have been an inspiration to so many and we appreciate you more than you probably realize. Please put your health first. I will be thinking about you. Thank you for being such a caring person and helping so many of us with our Ostomy journey. Sincerely Linda Fleig.