Where Did I Go? (Sept 2018 Update)

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.

57 thoughts on “Where Did I Go? (Sept 2018 Update)”

  1. 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

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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~



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