This is why I Run!

Received this note from my friends son that has Crohn’s Disease, he is only 16.

From Adam:  I wanted to say thank you to everyone who is on Team Adam. From those who sent me jeans when I lost so much weight, to those who sent me cards, to those who came to the hospital and stayed by my side thru many treatments and tests and even surgery, to those who ran in the races for the cure, those who wear Team Adam patches, to those who shared my video, and to all those who couldn’t be here in person for me, but supported my parents and I with hundreds of loving comments from September 2013 when I was first diagnosed to this day. Its been a long fight and I still fight but Im getting better everyday and I thank you for being here for not only me, but also my family. Its not easy having your whole life ahead of you and your dreams of becoming a marine taken away from you. I was 15 years old when doctors walked into my hospital room and told me I had a disease there was no known cure for. Im not sure many kids my age could handle that, let alone grown adults. I was really upset and couldn’t understand why I had done so much good to get told something so bad. Like, what did I ever do to deserve this sentence and why couldn’t it happen to somebody bad instead. But I dealt with it. Sometimes not so good either. But most times I just kept hoping somebody was going to balance the tables back out for me cuz maybe somebody somewhere didnt think it was fair either. But that thinking didnt last long. I remember one night laying in the hospital. I was in so much pain. I couldn’t take it anymore and I looked at my momma and said “please just let me die…cuz I cant take this anymore.” I knew I had hurt her and I knew she couldn’t feel what I was feeling inside. I thought maybe if her and my dad Cyber wasnt paying so much for me, then maybe my brothers and sisters wouldn’t have to give up things they wanted to try and get me better. That maybe I could also be free of the pain too cuz nothing the doctors were saying was making sense and nothing they were doing was helping even though they promised “this time this is gonna help.” I was over it. This drug. That one. Shooting myself in the gut. Taking oral chemo. Chemo. Thats a real scary word for most, especially a teen. I wanted it all to stop. The promises. The hope. The all night throwing up. The needles. The constant hospital stays. And the faces I could see were trying to be brave for me so I told my momma all this and she said “fight son…you keep fighting you hear me because we’re gonna beat this one day and these doctors don’t know everything…and when you feel like giving up on them…give up on them, not you…use your voice and tell them what you want…and whatever you decide Im gonna stand with you…I promise you that son.” My momma never once decided for me. I was a major part of every decision. There were times I went against her advice on the drugs and refused to do anything natural because even if it was only temporary relief from the pain, at least the doctors could shoot morphine in my veins and make it stop. I could breathe again. Think again. Even sleep again for a minute. You may not know what its like to have crohns disease. There’s different forms of it. I had it in my terminal ileum, my colon, my intestines, and my stomach walls. I had it so bad it bent my appendix. I threw up blood often. I went from 160 pounds to 98 pounds in less than two months. I wasnt able to go to school my entire freshman year for risk of infection having a compromised immune system. In fact, I barely had one at all so most couldn’t even visit me. But I promised my momma and myself I would fight. I allowed the doctors to make me sicker on a newer drug after the others failed in hopes I would get a stem cell transplant. My mom was scared. Heck I was scared. We read everything. We knew it could cause lymphoma, heart failure, and even death. My mom was furious and even though she didnt want me on it, I had to try it. Anything to make it easier. It made me sick. Really sick. I couldn’t walk some days. Sometimes I woke up and couldn’t even see. And my joints hurt right along with headaches so bad nothing took them away. Vomiting everyday. I remember it got so bad that I was scared to even drink water. But it was my choice to keep going. And then that failed too. I wasnt gonna get the transplant. Do you know what its like to go thru all of that for almost two months daily on that drug and have a room full of doctors look at you, now I was 16 then, a kid who believed doctors were there to help you, and be told “unless you’re on your death bed, that’s the only way we’re giving it to you because we’ll have nothing to lose anyways if you die.” I am 16 years old. I got angry. More angry than I’d ever felt and I said “let me outta here cuz now Im done with all of you. You aint sticking no feeding tube in me and that is that!” I remember them telling my momma I shouldn’t be allowed to choose this. And I remember my momma standing up in that room with tears in her eyes after hearing that this drug failed too and the shock they looked at me and said this to me and she pointed to the door to all of them standing there and said “Get out of this room and if you come back in here for any reason other than to hand me his discharge papers, you’re gonna need security!” And we left after she had them write on the paperwork the humira failed. We talked for hours the next day. We looked at many experimental treatments, research studies coming up, and even out of country places to get help. She never gave up on me. Y’all never gave up on me. And to that person who said “try this”….thank you. Its working. How long? I don’t know. No one knows. But I know this. Im going back to school this fall. I run everyday. Im now back up to my pre-diagnosis weight again. And I haven’t been in that type of pain for months now. My mom? Yeah, she freaks if I cough. Lol. But that’s my momma and she’s my queen in all of this for never leaving my side. Not once. Not one day. Not one minute. And all of you too I wanted to say thank you to in my own words. I canceled my own benefit. Not because it wasnt very thoughtful of everyone, but I was taught to never take anything you don’t need. And right now I don’t need it. If this method fails and I don’t stay in remission and need it in the future, then I know I can count on all of you to be here again. And P.S…Im getting back on my motorcycle again next weekend. That was a promise I made to me.

Crohn’s Disease: ‘My stomach pains were like a scene from Alien’

The Nottingham Post posted an article today about Crohn’s Disease. In this article they interviewed a  man named Matthew Littlewood, who is 39 years old. Here is the article:

Crohn’s disease: ‘My stomach pains were like a scene from Alien’

By Nottingham Post  |  Posted: July 08, 2014

Matthew Littlewood pictured alongside his family, at their home in Southwell. From left: Matthew Littlewood, 39, Finn Littlewood, 2, Rachel Malone, 40, and Erin Hayball, 12. Matthew Littlewood pictured alongside his family, at their home in Southwell. From left: Matthew Littlewood, 39, Finn Littlewood, 2, Rachel Malone, 40, and Erin Hayball, 12.

FOR nearly 20 years Matthew Littlewood has been trapped in a “living nightmare”.  Every day, the 39-year-old dad from Southwell deals with crippling abdominal pain, chronic fatigue and malnutrition brought on by Crohn’s disease.  Such is the severity of his illness that Mr Littlewood had to undergo an eight-hour operation to remove his colon and have a colostomy bag fitted.

“My dreams for the future have been destroyed,” the former QMC nurse says. “All I ever wanted was to be a nurse, and I was a nurse, but now I am not and never will be again – it is pretty hard to come to terms with that.

“My partner’s dreams have been destroyed, too. She works when she can but we can’t have holidays and our social life is almost non-existent.

“Going out for dinner is like planning a military operation.”

Mr Littlewood, who lives in Norwood Gardens with fiancée Rachel Malone, 40, son Finn Littlewood, 2, and stepdaughter Erin Hayball, 13, was officially diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2011.

However, he has been suffering with the symptoms of the illness, which include passing blood and stomach pains “which feel like that scene out of Alien” since he was 20 years old.

He said: “I had a three-month period of strong abdominal pains and bleeding when I was around 20.

“I didn’t go to the doctor because I just brushed it off as irritable bowel syndrome. And, to be honest, it is difficult to talk about things that are so embarrassing.

“Then when I was 24, I got a rectal abscess, which was so painful. I had it for a month before going to the doctor, who thought it could be a hernia and referred me to a specialist.”

Mr Littlewood went on to suffer chronic constipation, which left his colon completely blocked, and fistulas.

The fistulas would break the surface of the skin on Mr Littlewood’s buttocks where they would leak puss, blood and waste.

Surgeons put a stitch into the fistulas to create a perpetual drain, which eased the symptoms for a time.

However, on January 1, 2010, Mr Littlewood fell more ill than he had ever been. He recalled: “I had never felt so ill. I had crippling abdominal pain. I was going to the toilet 20 or 30 times a day, passing blood and nothing else, and the fistulas were growing.”

In a bid to ease Mr Littlewood’s pain, surgeons cut out a large section of his buttocks leaving him “terribly scarred”. However, the decision was finally taken to remove his colon and fit a colostomy bag instead.

He said: “I feel the best that I ever have but I know that it won’t last; it hangs over you.

“I want more people to be aware of the condition because it is an invisible illness.

“On the outside I look fine but I am constantly exhausted.

“It’s like having flu but without the sniffles and sneezes, along with a constant feeling of heartburn – all day, everyday.

“It is almost impossible to sleep; it is like being a living zombie.”

More than 260,000 people in the UK are thought to be living with inflammatory bowel disease – the umbrella which Crohn’s comes under – and a further 10,000 cases are diagnosed each year.

Medical research and patient support charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK – with support from the Big Lottery – embarked on a four-year research project into the causes and symptoms of chronic fatigue for the estimated 260,000 people living with inflammatory bowel disease.

People with Crohn’s and colitis will now be able to measure the severity and impact of their fatigue objectively using the newly-researched and validated inflammatory bowel disease Fatigue Scale, which is available on

Helen Terry, director of patient support and information at Crohn’s and Colitis UK, said: “Some doctors and nurses are unaware of how much fatigue can affect people with inflammatory bowel disease and many do not ask about it during an appointment.

“We are asking everyone with inflammatory bowel disease to make sure that they have told their healthcare professionals about this under- recognised symptom.

“We hope that the Fatigue Scale will greatly improve the quality of discussions between patients and their doctors.”

Dr Nina Lewis, a consultant gastroenterologist at Nottingham City Hospital said: “Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are a common cause of ill health, affecting approximately 0.5% people in the UK and cost the NHS an estimated £720 million each year.

Despite lots of research, the cause Crohn’s disease remains largely unknown, although major advances have been made in the last few years.

“If you develop diarrhoea, abdominal pain and or weight loss lasting for several weeks or longer, it is important to see your doctor to make sure there is nothing wrong.”

THE Only Way Is Essex star Sam Faiers was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease following her Celebrity Big Brother stint in January.

She is now helping patient support charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK to improve awareness of the condition.

“The exhaustion I experienced was horrible, life- limiting and a typically untreated symptom for people with Crohn’s or colitis,” she said.

“This new Fatigue Scale is a breakthrough and will make talking to my doctors much, much easier.

“This really is great news for everyone with inflammatory bowel disease or similar conditions.”

Read more:

15 Things Non-Runners Say That Annoy The Crap Out Of Runners (Literally)

Here is an article I found funny titled “15 Things Non-Runners Say to Annoy The Crap Out Of Runners”

You can either read the article via link or find it below:

Ugh! Non-runners just don’t understand us! The Angry Jogger shares the things he’s fed up with hearing from non-runners. How many of the following comments and questions infuriate you? Are there any others?
1. “I don’t know how you can run that far” – Whilst I appreciate that running for 10 miles may seem foreign to non-runners, it’s really not that difficult when you break it down into the key act of moving one leg in front of the other. We don’t start off running 10 miles. We start at 0.1 miles and build it up bit by bit until our legs and our minds can carry us further.
2. “You’re not really running though are you? You’re jogging!” – Well I guess it depends. If you’re gonna define running as moving past 6mph then yes, sometimes I run. Sometimes I jog. It doesn’t ultimately matter. It’s only something assholes argue about. The important thing is that I consider myself a runner and that’s all that matters. Sometimes you’ve gotta fake it until you make it.
3. “I could finish a marathon easily, but I don’t have the time.” – Congratulations on your busy schedule. I’m pretty sure you could run one too. It’s not that difficult if you have the dedication and the will but those are both harder to summon than you think.

4. “Runners have no lives.” – You’ll hear some snarky bitch or bastard say this from time to time and what it really means is “runners don’t have a life like mine, which is the best life that anyone could have! Now I’m going for another glass of Pinot Grigio before milking my Bichon Frise off in the attic!”

5. “Why run when you risk shitting yourself nearly every time?” – Paula Radcliffe and that poor man who looks like Timmy from Southpark have popularized the belief that all runners are incontinent bastards who take some amount of pride in shitting themselves. This is not true. I’ve only come close to shitting myself twice in 4,000 miles and both times were my fault for eating Jelly Tots before the run

6. “How come you’re still fat when you run so much” – I’m overweight as I enjoy junk food a little too much. Running doesn’t give me license to eat all of the things but sometimes I cave in and do it anyway. I’m trying to better myself which is the most important thing.

7. “Why didn’t you win the race?” – Despite being 205 lbs and 6′ 3″ I decided I’d give the Kenyans a chance this time and start at the back…

8. “Runners eat nothing but salad! How can they live like that?” – On the contrary the main reason I run is for cake, cider and chips. If I had to observe a bullshit regime like the Paleo diet, I’d have cut off my testicles with pliers long ago, deposited them in the River Lagan and not dived in after them

9. “Why do you waste your weekends running?” – This is usually asked by the sorta idiot who spends their weekend entirely drunk and/or hungover. Or wanking their Bichon Frise off in the loft. The answer is simple. If you enjoy doing something at the weekend then it isn’t a wasted weekend

10. “Why do you punish yourself so much with running?” – Running isn’t punishment if you enjoy it. It’s actually rather therapeutic for me as I run at my own pace and for my own reasons. Punishment to me is sitting around, stuffing my face and not doing anything for myself. I’ve been down that road before and I have the pictures to prove that it isn’t a pretty outcome.

11. “There is absolutely no point to running” – If you were to look at everything closely, there is absolutely no point to anything in life. With a pissy attitude like that, why bother even getting up in the morning? Running sometimes can be a means to an end. For me it’s great for managing my weight and an excellent social tool. Running leads to better things and a better life.

12. “You’re still running? I thought you’ve have got over that little phase by now” – Running is not a phase, it’s a lifestyle change that allows me to go away on weekends, get as drunk as sailor in a new town, run hungover and then reward myself with more sweet nectar (and Nachos) after the race.

13. “I only run when someone is chasing me!” – If that’s true and you’re out of practice, how do you know that you would escape with your life from a murderer? You might think that you can move fast but it takes for you to watch a video of you finishing a race to realise you’re slow as hell! Don’t give the rapists a head start! Start running!!

14. “If you enjoy running so much, how come you look so miserable when you’re doing it?” – Let’s put it another way, if I were to grin like a Cheshire Cat on each and every run and the police were telephoned into the area I was in regarding an assault, who would they suspect was responsible? I’ve tried smiling on the run before but I just look suspicious like I’m the bastard offspring of the BFG and a leprechaun or something.

15. “I’d run but I’m not fit enough for it!” – How do you suppose you get fit to run then, by sitting around on your sofa eating cake? Starting to run is only a Catch-22 situation if you try to start too fast to begin with. You can build up to running easily enough through walking faster and for longer over time.