I know that this post is a little early but I wanted to put my thoughts onto paper (or even into a series of 1’s and 0’s on a computer screen).
It is world IBD day on May 19th and I really wanted to document how I have been thinking about my crohns recently. As you all know I was diagnosed in February last year and after that a series of awful events sparked.
I live on a cocktail of tablets. Some have been prescribed to me, others I take to counteract some of the more brutal side effects of the medications that are supposed to help me. Everyone with IBD has taken their own path. No two treatments are the same. No two cases are the same.
My personal journey was not great at the beginning. I was given two years to save my colon. I am lucky in that within a year they decided that I was in remission. I decided to take the doctors advice, take the medication given to me and some. This is how I deal with my every day. I know that some things spark me to feel bloated and sick, but I probably think that this is more my IBS than my IBD.
In the short time that I have had my diagnosis I have met and spoken to people with IBD and read their stories online. Everyone has had a completely different story and has dealt with their diagnosis in a completely different way. I find it really interesting. Some people take everything that their doctors say as gospel. Take the medication prescribed and do nothing more.
Some people refuse the medications and only go for alternative therapies and diet changes. Some just refuse to accept what they have and make no changes at all. I would fall into a different category. One that accepts that doctors have more knowledge than I do about IBD but I also understand that I know MY body better than they will ever understand it.
So I cut out the foods that just don’t agree with me, I take tablets to counteract the awfulness that is Imuran, I fight to try and have my consultant take me off the medications since I am in remission and I don’t want to do it irresponsibly without my doctors knowledge.
I have gone through phases of absolutely hating my body, hating myself. I might not have any scars from operations on the outside but my insides have been scared and bloodied by this awful disease. There is no competition with people with crohns. Some have it worse than others but that doesn’t mean that the tides could easily change.
When I was diagnosed, I suddenly became the most important person in my life. That doesn’t mean that I don’t care greatly for others, it just means that I will not sacrifice my happiness and well being for someone else.
I have also been working on my self esteem. My last relationship did me no favors and basically being a woman in my mid twenties, I have all those horrible thoughts that we all have. Those doubts. Those feelings of not being adequate. Those little dramas in life that make you feel like the world as you know it is done.
Having crohns is changing that bit by bit. I have all the strength in the world. I lived through the last year when my insides and my ex didn’t want me to. I love my body. Yes, I have love handles, yes, I have stretch marks, yes, I gain and lose weight at a mad speed as a result of my medications. But I love myself. I have to. If I don’t, then how can I expect someone else to?
I say “there is enough people in the world judging you, your appearance, tearing you down, without you doing it to yourself”. Crohns has helped me realise that my body is incredible and nothing will stop that. I am going to ignore the stresses in life because honestly? Life is only as stressful as you make it most of the time. Remove yourself from the situation, change it, ignore it.
Life has made me the person that I am today. IBD has made me the person I am today. And I am proud of that.