I’ve had diagnosed Crohn’s Disease for 14 years. I’m very lucky to have a mild form. Chronic diseases aren’t fun. You get good days and bad days, good patches and bad patches. Stress exacerbates. No surprises then that in the lead up to my wedding, I got a flare up. I actually had close to one of the worst flare ups I’ve had, and probably the worst since the first few years. I was my sickest on the day of my hens. And I had some not that great days in Paris.
After 14 years, and having been through periods of really really debilitating sickness, I’m blessed with the learned knowledge that this too shall pass. I know there will be better days. I can bear the fact that I haven’t been able to tolerate even a sip of alcohol in about 5 months. I’ve not had an espresso coffee in a month, and only a couple of instants in that time. And last week, I finally admitted that I have to go back to being gluten free. I can cope with all this because I know it’s not forever. And because I feel 1000 times better when I don’t eat/drink these things. I almost feel disease free – so much so that a few times I’ve been caught out thinking it was all better and having a coffee only to discover that no, no it’s not better it was just being managed.
For the last two months I’ve felt sick almost 24 hours a day – there’s the indigestion, nausea, stomach cramps – both the sudden sharp and the dull constant – muscle cramps, random rashes, there’s the TMI stuff, the sudden lack of appetite, the mouth ulcers and what sometimes trumps all of these for worst – the ravenous hunger. The kind that is this hollow desperate feeling in the pit of your stomach that if it doesn’t get filled, turns to intense, flooring nausea.
But today I realised that the black abyss has set in, has been creeping in for a while. I mentioned it to C and he told me he’d noticed. It’s a pretty standard thing – if your body isn’t absorbing vitamins and minerals, and in particular B12 – then you become susceptible to depression. That’s not even taking into account the drain of feeling sick all the time, or having to compromise lifestyle or diet. But I realised today that this is the reason I can’t seem to make myself *do anything* and that I lack focus and drive and direction. It’s very frustrating.
But screw all that, you know? I mean, what choice do I have?
So I took the best measures I could – I ate salads and drank juices and I guess I’m going to have to be vigilant on that front for a while. At least I know why I’m in struggletown. It feels like knowing why is the first step to conquering it. Cause I have too much to do this year to put up with this shit.