“The common denominator about both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease usually is they are both characterized by diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss.IBD affects an estimated 3 million Americans. Unfortunately, the causes of Crohn’s disease are not yet well understood..”


PART II Know the difference of Ulcerative Colitis vs. Chron’s Disease!

Part II What is Chron’s Disease actually?

Ulcerative colitis

  • Limited to the large intestine (colon and rectum)
  • Occurs in the rectum and colon, involving a part or the entire colon
  • Appears in a continuous pattern
  • Inflammation occurs in innermost lining of the intestine
  • About 30% of people in remission will experience a relapse in the next year

Crohn’s disease

  • Inflammation may develop anywhere in the GI tract from the mouth to the anus
  • Most commonly occurs at the end of the small intestine
  • May appear in patches
  • May extend through entire thickness of bowel wall
  • About 67% of people in remission will have at least 1 relapse over the next 5 years

Chron’s Disease can cause other parts of the body to become inflamed (due to chronic inflammatory activity) including the joints, eyes, mouth, and skin. In addition, gallstones and kidney stones may also develop as a result of Crohn’s disease.

Moreover, children with the disease may experience decreased growth or delayed sexual development.

Crohn’s Disease is far more common than a lot of people think, and it can be a serious disease with life-threatening complications if it is not properly treated. The best way to treat Crohn’s disease is to speak with your doctor regarding Crohn’s disease symptoms and diagnosis. The more you know about the issue, the more likely you will be to recognize it in your own body.

Crohn’s disease symptoms can include:  Frequent and recurring diarrhea with,rectal bleeding,Unexplained weight loss, Fever, Abdominal pain and cramping, Fatigue and a feeling of low energy, & Reduced appetite.

Crohn’s can affect the entire GI tract — from the mouth to the anus — and can be progressive, so over time, your symptoms could get worse. That’s why it’s important that you have an open and honest conversation about your symptoms, since your doctor will use that information to help determine what treatment plan is best for you.

It might be helpful to refer to the chart below to help you understand the differences between mild, moderate and severe symptoms, since your doctor may use similar measures.

Crohn’s Disease Symptom Severity

Mild to Moderate

You may have symptoms such as:

  • Frequent diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain (but can walk and eat normally)
  • No signs of:
    • Dehydration
    • High fever
    • Abdominal tenderness
    • Painful mass
    • Intestinal obstruction
    • Weight loss of more than 10%

Moderate to Severe

You may have symptoms such as:

  • Frequent diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain or tenderness
  • Fever
  • Significant weight loss
  • Significant anemia (a few of these symptoms may include fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness and headache)

Very Severe

Persistent symptoms despite appropriate treatment for moderate to severe Crohn’s, and you may also experience:

  • High fever
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Evidence of intestinal obstruction (blockage) or abscess (localized infection or collection of pus). A few of these symptoms may include abdominal pain that doesn’t go away or gets worse, swelling of the abdomen, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.
  • More severe weight loss

Once you and your doctor have discussed your symptoms and created a treatment plan, it’s important to follow directions and take your treatment as prescribed. If you ever have any questions or concerns about your treatment, you should contact your doctor before making any changes or adjustments.

Crohn’s disease is unpredictable. Over time, your symptoms may change in severity, or change altogether. You may go through periods of remission—when you have few or no symptoms. Or your symptoms may come on suddenly, without warning.

Up to 20% of people with Crohns have a blood relative who has IBD!

Approximately 700,000 people are affected by Crohn’s disease in America.

Can occur at any time, but most often starts between ages

15-35 years old!

Symptoms range from mild to severe (listed above).


“Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the two main forms of inflammatory bowel diseases. They are both conditions characterized by chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Although they share many similarities, there are key differences between the two diseases.    One being the location of where the Dx. effects; Ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon while Crohn’s disease can occur anywhere between the mouth and the anus. In Crohn’s disease, there are healthy parts of the intestine mixed in between inflamed areas. Ulcerative colitis, on the other hand, is continuous inflammation of the colon.”

UCLA Health (uclahealth.org)


Part I Know the difference of Ulcerative Colitis vs Chron’s Disease!


Part I Ulcerative Colitis versus Crohn’s Disease

Colitis refers to inflammation of the inner lining of the colon. There are numerous causes of colitis including infection, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis), ischemic colitis, allergic reactions, and microscopic colitis.

All colitis means in medical terminology is Col=colon with itis=swelling so put together colitis=inflammed colon.  Now there are different causes for inflammed colon, one being Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)and don’t mix IBD with IBS.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term used to describe disorders that involve chronic inflammation of your digestive tract. Types of IBD include:

  • Ulcerative colitis. This condition causes long-lasting inflammation and sores (ulcers) in the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum.
  • Crohn’s disease. This type of IBD is characterized by inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract, which often spreads deep into affected tissues.

Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease both usually involve severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss.

Part I

What is ulcerative colitis actually?

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) distinguished by inflammation of the large intestine (rectum and colon). The innermost lining of the large intestine becomes inflamed, and ulcers may form on the surface. UC can also affect:

  • Limited to the large intestine (colon and rectum)
  • Occurs in the rectum and colon, involving a part or the entire colon
  • Appears in a continuous pattern
  • Inflammation occurs in innermost lining of the intestine
  • About 30% of people in remission will experience a relapse in the next year

Ulcerative colitis usually affects only the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. It occurs only through continuous stretches of your colon, unlike Crohn’s disease which occurs in patches anywhere in the digestive tract and often spreads deep into the layers of affected tissues.

UC is like any other disease people may get…they may just get it. You don’t get it from eating something bad, like your friend but eating something bad may exacerbate the symptoms if you eat bad food.  Eating bad food will not cause you to get the disease UC.

Ulcerative colitis symptoms can include: Abdominal pain/discomfort, Blood or pus in stool, Fever, Weight loss, Frequent recurring diarrhea. Fatigue, Reduced appetite, and Tenesmus: A sudden and constant feeling that you have to move your bowels.

Mild ulcerative colitis:

  • Up to 4 loose stools per day
  • Stools may be bloody
  • Mild abdominal pain

Moderate ulcerative colitis:

  • 4-6 loose stools per day
  • Stools may be bloody
  • Moderate abdominal pain
  • Anemia

Severe ulcerative colitis:

  • More than 6 bloody loose stools per day
  • Fever, anemia, and rapid heart rate

Very Severe ulcerative colitis (Fulminant):

  • More than 10 loose stools per day
  • Constant blood in stools
  • Abdominal tenderness/distention
  • Blood transfusion may be a requirement
  • Potentially fatal complications

When discussing your UC with your doctor, it is important that you have an open and honest conversation about your symptoms, since your doctor will use that information to help decide what treatment plan is appropriate for you.

Who gets ulcerative colitis? 

Up to 20% of people with UC have a blood relative who has IBD

Get it!  It also affects men and women equally!

Learn about Chron’s Disease tomorrow with what it actually is, the symptoms, the symptoms based on the various intensities, with who is more prone to it with in what percentage!




“Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is an infection that attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the white blood cells called CD4 cells. HIV destroys these CD4 cells, weakening a person’s immunity against opportunistic infections, such as tuberculosis and fungal infections, severe bacterial infections and some cancers.”

World Health Organizations WHO

Part II National Health Observation: AIDS/HIV Awareness!


Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight infection and disease.

HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can also be spread by contact with infected blood or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding. Without medication, it may take years before HIV weakens your immune system to the point that you have AIDS.

There’s no cure for HIV/AIDS, but medications can dramatically slow the progression of the disease. These drugs have reduced AIDS deaths in many developed nations.


The symptoms of HIV and AIDS vary, depending on the phase of infection.

Primary infection (Acute HIV)

Some people infected by HIV develop a flu-like illness within two to four weeks after the virus enters the body. This illness, known as primary (acute) HIV infection, may last for a few weeks. Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Rash
  • Sore throat and painful mouth sores
  • Swollen lymph glands, mainly on the neck
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Cough
  • Night sweats

These symptoms can be so mild that you might not even notice them. However, the amount of virus in your bloodstream (viral load) is quite high at this time. As a result, the infection spreads more easily during primary infection than during the next stage.

Clinical latent infection (Chronic HIV)

In this stage of infection, HIV is still present in the body and in white blood cells. However, many people may not have any symptoms or infections during this time.

This stage can last for many years if you’re not receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). Some people develop more severe disease much sooner.

Symptomatic HIV infection

As the virus continues to multiply and destroy your immune cells — the cells in your body that help fight off germs — you may develop mild infections or chronic signs and symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes — often one of the first signs of HIV infection
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Oral yeast infection (thrush)
  • Shingles (herpes zoster)
  • Pneumonia

Progression to AIDS

Thanks to better antiviral treatments, most people with HIV in the U.S. today don’t develop AIDS. Untreated, HIV typically turns into AIDS in about 8 to 10 years.

When AIDS occurs, your immune system has been severely damaged. You’ll be more likely to develop opportunistic infections or opportunistic cancers — diseases that wouldn’t usually cause illness in a person with a healthy immune system.

The signs and symptoms of some of these infections may include:

  • Sweats
  • Chills
  • Recurring fever
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Persistent white spots or unusual lesions on your tongue or in your mouth
  • Persistent, unexplained fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Skin rashes or bumps

When to see a doctor

If you think you may have been infected with HIV or are at risk of contracting the virus, see a doctor as soon as possible.


“In 2019, 36,801 peoplea received an HIV diagnosis in the United States (US) and dependent areas.b From 2015 to 2019, HIV diagnoses decreased 9% overall in the US and dependent areas.  Gay, bisexual, and other men who reported male-to-male sexual contactg are the population most affected by HIV. In 2019, gay and bisexual men accounted for 69% (25,552) of the 36,801 new HIV diagnoses and 86% of diagnoses among males.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC

Part I Part I National Health Observation: AIDS/HIV Awareness!

                  HIV!     HIV

Where does HIV/AIDS come from for staters?

Well the Aids Institute states “Scientists identified a type of chimpanzee in West Africa as the source of HIV infection in humans. They believe that the chimpanzee version of the immunodeficiency virus (called simian immunodeficiency virus or SIV) most likely was transmitted to humans and mutated into HIV when humans hunted these chimpanzees for meat and came into contact with their infected blood. Over decades, the virus slowly spread across Africa and later into other parts of the world.

The earliest known case of infection with HIV-1 in a human was detected in a blood sample collected in 1959 from a man in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (How he became infected is not known.) Genetic analysis of this blood sample suggested that HIV-1 may have stemmed from a single virus in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

We know that the virus has existed in the United States since at least the mid- to late 1970s. From 1979–1981 rare types of pneumonia, cancer, and other illnesses were being reported by doctors in Los Angeles and New York among a number of male patients who had sex with other men. These were conditions not usually found in people with healthy immune systems.

In 1982 public health officials began to use the term “acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,” or AIDS, to describe the occurrences of opportunistic infections, Kaposi’s sarcoma (a kind of cancer), and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia in previously healthy people. Formal tracking (surveillance) of AIDS cases began that year in the United States.

In 1983, scientists discovered the virus that causes AIDS. The virus was at first named HTLV-III/LAV (human T-cell lymphotropic virus-type III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus) by an international scientific committee. This name was later changed to HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).

For many years scientists theorized as to the origins of HIV and how it appeared in the human population, most believing that HIV originated in other primates. Then in 1999, an international team of researchers reported that they had discovered the origins of HIV-1, the predominant strain of HIV in the developed world. A subspecies of chimpanzees native to west equatorial Africa had been identified as the original source of the virus. The researchers believe that HIV-1 was introduced into the human population when hunters became exposed to infected blood.”

HIV is a lenti virus which is a subgroup of the retrovirus. For starters they affect the white blood cells (WBCs) in this sense:

We have types of WBC’s and one type is called CD4. That is the cell the HIV binds to when it gets in your blood stream. Another name for them is T-helper cells. CD4 cells are made in the spleen, lymph nodes, and thymus gland, which are part of the lymph or infection-fighting system. CD4 cells move throughout your body, helping to identify and destroy germs such as bacteria and viruses.  Without going into specific medical terminology there is replication of this virus in the DNA and RNA killing out the normal white blood cell type of CD4 and other things like macrophages which are reproduced into CD4 cells with the virus with the body not knowing or able to detect this error in DNA and RNA of the CD4 white blood cells which ending line allows the immunity to go down. Remember the HIV virus binds to the surface of the CD4 cells. The virus entering CD4 cells now allows them to become a part of CD4 replicated cells regarding their make up due to changes made in the DNA and RNA cause the virus has invaded the bloodstream. As CD4 cells multiply to fight infection, they also make more copies of HIV now. Continuing to replicate, leading to a gradual decline of CD4 cells in decreasing that individuals immunity to infection.

There are two types of HIV have been characterized: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is the virus that was initially discovered and termed both LAV and HTLV-III. It is more virulent, more infective and is the cause of the majority of HIV infections globally. The lower infectivity of HIV-2 compared to HIV-1 implies that fewer of those exposed to HIV-2 will be infected per exposure. Because of its relatively poor capacity for transmission, HIV-2 is largely confined to West Africa.

The CD4 count measures the number of CD4 cells in a sample of your blood drawn by a needle from a vein in your arm. Along with other tests, the CD4 count helps tell how strong your immune system is. By knowing this when the blood test is done the CD4 helps the following for the doctor

-it indicates the stage of your HIV disease

-it guides the treatment

– it predicts how your disease may progress.

**Keeping your CD4 count high can reduce complications of HIV disease and extend your life.**

HIV is transmitted via the exchange of body fluids—such as pre-ejaculate fluid, semen, vaginal fluid secretions, blood, or breast milk. Within these bodily fluids, HIV is present as both free virus particles and virus within infected immune cells.

Within a month or 2 of contracting HIV, about 40 to 90-percent of those afflicted suffer from flu-like symptoms including fever, fatigue, achy muscles, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, headache, skin rash, dry cough, nausea, rapid weight loss, night sweats, frequent yeast infections (for women), cold sores, and eventually, pneumonia. Luckily, many individuals who are diagnosed early can live a long, productive life with HIV thanks to a combination of highly active anti-retroviral drug therapy, which prevents to progression to AIDS.

So what is the answer to prevent this from happening by doing a few things:

-In safe sex from the front (through the vagina) or back (through the rectum-buttock); no matter what sex preference you are.

-When you use various sex partners get checked every 6 months to a year and have sex safely.

-The + HIV pt or now AIDS pt be compliant with the medications and RX the M.D. gives you if you choose to do so, unfortunately like many who chose to do unsafe sex in getting this or worse those getting it through blood with transfusions or needle sticks, or even sex partners who weren’t told their sex partner had it. There are the those who got this disease innocently with not doing unsafe sex but for that percentage it is much lower than those who caused this disease to go up higher in the USA and all over for being foolish. To all the people in the world let’s deal with this disease safely for yourselves and others around you. Let us all make a safer world for this is one small way which is greater than you may think.


“When we use terms like loss or grief, most people think of death and bereavement, and understandably so. This is because the loss through death of someone who is very important to us can have a devastating effect on our lives. However, what we also need to recognize is that loss and grief are much broader issues than death and dying. In fact, it can be argued that loss and grief are everyday matters to us in the sense that we are regularly experiencing some sort of loss in our lives. Grief is our psychological response to any significant loss. If someone or something is important to us, then it can be said that we make an ’emotional investment’ in that person or thing. Therefore, when we experience a loss, we also lose our investment – we have a psychological equivalent of a Wall Street crash, often with very profound results. Therefore, the loss of anyone or anything that is important to us can lead to a grief reaction/a crash in our lives.”


Part II Significant losses in our lives and how to cope with it.

Richie Caroccio Lost this week

Betty Mazzio  Lost this past year


Over the years lost babies to me and good friends:




Jesse (Lower right)

Jesse (top of the recliner)

Losing someone to even an animal, the pet you loved a good part of your life can be very painful. You may experience all kinds of difficult emotions and it may feel like the pain and sadness you’re experiencing will never let up. These are normal reactions to a significant loss. But while there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can renew you and permit you to move on.

For me personally I had in my past have had losses through out  my life and recently again from just yesterday, after loosing my 2 puppy babies, a close dear friend (BFF) instead of me lost her first doggie baby not to long ago and even her dear Mom this past year.  Now we both lost a dear friend due to cancer.

Anyone out there who has had a recent loss I would like to say to you I can relate with providing my deepest condolences to you and know you can move on. It is all how you go about this grief.

Like I told so many the 2 seperate nights on FB my baby Pumpkin who died almost 13 y/o on that was put to sleep and T.J. at 6 and 1/2 y/o both had neurological problems that made them leave this earth. A dear friend now fighting cancer this past year.  They both are all in the next world so much happier being out of misery.  It is us on earth who are in misery when we go through the terrible loss that causes depression, sadness and emotional upsetment but it will heal in time like a wound.  The other thing I stated on FB in the past loosing a dear person in our lives or even your pets are just like the loss of humans to many, whom we shared our life with and loved have never left us, especially if you believe in a God. 

If you don’t believe in God think of the loss this way, especially if the loss is the death of a living creature being human or dog or any creature- know they were probably in pain, failure to thrive, in their ending life process with no possible way to be healed.   With knowing that a death is most likely expected and when the death occurs remember the loss is out of misery and at rest.  It is harder when the loss is completely unexpected and young at age.  Those who believe there is another life remember the lost loved one is not alone, with new including old faces and are living a better life. They are watching over you and has never left you.

God is amazing in sending me messages especially if I ask for a message in someway.  Monday 6/5/17 in the morning I check the area I buried Pumpkin with her brother T.J.(who was cremated and in a locked small coffin) to make sure the ground was not messed with by other animals (etc. digging up the dirt) I checked the area out.  I saw the site was fine and walked to the side of my back yard 70 feet from the burial site, give or take.  Within seconds I heard this noise as I was standing in the backyard saying to myself please Dad take care of my little babies enjoy there company since you never got to meet them and I know you’ll love them.   I walk towards the front of my property all of a sudden ducks started flying over the front of my property in a V formation like Airforce jets just after talking to my Dad.  It was as if it was like a 21 gun salute just letting me know all is ok and this is in the memory of them.  This reinforced to me that lost ones will never leave us with helping us get through life while on Earth.  My Dad was helping me, with possibly others in heaven, telling me we know this is a rough time and will help you get through emotional moments of the loss. 

My father in 1999  died of cancer but never left me.  I know my friend Karen who died a few years back is so much happier, no longer ill and with her sister who she told me months before she pasted that she missed her sister terribly with others she hasn’t seen for a long time and now is with her and those others she didn’t so for awhile.  I know the doggies , my father, Karen my old friend, with now my recent friend loss Richie with many other significant losses in my lifetime (both people and animals) that I loved are happier and no longer ill keeping a close eye on me with others on Earth.

I say to myself as long as any losses I have had are better off deceased without being here with terminal disease in misery. I accept that sadness.  I know that it overrides my sorrow, any hardship emotions I may feel will heal in time just like in my previous losses. During this time of closure to accept the loss pain its like a wound in that in time it lessens to heals.

Being a RN over 35 years in the career I have seen so many types of patients in varieties of units.  The patients I have dealt with have either cured, died, gone home a long time or a short time with the diagnosis they were given and treated.  My career has allowed me to so far to be an oncology nurse, hospice nurse, cardiac nurse, visiting nurse, step down nurse, ICU, a floating nurse for 20 yrs. roughly on simple med surg, to orthopedic, telemetry, burn, recovery room units which has helped me except death with being a practicing Roman Catholic easier than others.  This has allowed me to use more of a positive approach in accepting a loved one passing on (especially older vs younger).   Trust me, I still have feelings like everyone else in this world; and it does hurt. 

What kills me mostly right now is not having the dogs in my arms at night in bed or on the sofa keeping each other comfortably, just talking to them and playing with them.  Yes I have saved further animals in rescuing them and love them just as much but like all babies in your families you love them.  They each have special qualities and moments they had in your life.  God has his reasons for losses whether I understand why or not, in my eyes.   Regarding people who have to leave this world I sometimes wish we could of done more time together. I am very thankful I got to meet the deceased loved ones that are gone in my life animals to humans and now including another dear friend.  I have mentioned in this article from human to numerous pets that I have had from cats to dogs which were always part of my family and have never left my heart.  Being a nurse also allows me to take on the role being there for family or strangers by taking care of them. My heart wants to help people get going through their time of dealing with disease and at times a loss/grief.  In my experiences it has had more positive than negative ending results.  In many cases living a longer therapeutic life with others and in the end keeping comfortable till passing is the optimal level to take for the individual dying and the best result I feel in being a RN should follow.

When death comes in my lifetime of significant others including significant pets who where part of my family (nuclear or distant) I remember only God knows when you walk on or walk off this Earth so cherish everyday the loved ones in your life.   The ones I have lost I am thanking God for giving me the great memories I was allowed to be given but that significant life has moved on into the next lifetime whether I understand it or not.  I also know the significant losses I have had and will further have in my lifetime will never leave me in spirit and your significant others who pass have not left you either in spirit.

This article was done in memory of my friend Richie Caroccio, Betty Mazzio who past this year and a dear friend, Renata Mazzio, who lost one of her doggies Jesse in the past couple of years including me in loosing my babies both Pumpkin and  T.J. who past several years ago which were such a part of my immediate family and so significant.  I will miss all these people and animals terribly loosing from both family and friends.  All who I have lost recently and in distant years I feel we will meet again at sometime.   If you think that is not the case that’s ok and let’s say if that is even true it allows me to deal with the loss so more therapeutically while alive on earth but in my heart I feel we will meet again.

Know it is up to you to replace the emptiness in your heart and life that was caused by the a loss; which does not need to be a death but can be.  You will not forget the great impact the significant person or animal or whatever loss gave you in your life when on earth but the great memories you still have to fall back on with even pictures and videos.  This way of thinking is  productively getting through the grief process, moving on but never forgetting the loss but in a positive way.  It of course will be hurtful at first which is walking through this experience of loss in your life but that is why we say you go through a loss and grieving process.