Saturday, 17 May 2014

Disease Release Me

Hello again. If you’re reading this you are perhaps a friend, my Mum, or just an all-round lovely person. Or possibly you have a fetish for bowel issues. In any case those are all utterly acceptable reasons and I’m very pleased to meet you. If you have read this blog before you will know that I have Crohn’s Disease and I try to regularly document my life with it here. It’s a very rocky road I tread with this disease and not the good kind with marshmallows and chocolate and bits of chewy stuff that I’m still not sure what they actually are. (What are you little guys and why do you taste so good?!)
Anyway, as it’s World IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) Day this Monday, I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on how equally cursed and blessed I’ve been in the past few years since I was finally diagnosed. The kindness of others has made me see humanity is essentially good. It’s spurned me on when situations have been hairy and as rough as my legs during a Scottish Winter. I’ve had to face challenges in the last few years I’d never thought I would ever have to. Challenges I certainly never would’ve thought that I could ever feasibly overcome. I’ve shown myself I can be brave and stronger than I ever would’ve thought possible.
Crohn’s Disease is an incredibly debilitating condition which has no cure. It causes agonising symptoms at its worst and is an endless inconvenience at best. It can be ‘controlled’ but nothing more. It affects it’s sufferers in minor and major ways, and can floor patients at the drop of a diseased hat. It’s taught me the resilience of my fellow ‘crohnie’s’ is both surprising and wonderfully unrelenting. It’s given me faith in myself and my future – it’s not bleak and it’s not going to be all about Crohn’s. It’s going to be as bright as I want it to be, as bright as I allow it to be. NOT as bright as my disease allows.

I’m finally starting to feel proud of myself. I previously thought that every nasty procedure, every stay in hospital, every day when I’m in work when I want to be hibernating in bed, was just life. My life. I don’t deserve praise for what I should be doing. I don’t want it, don’t get me wrong, but I want to start praising myself for these little victories. As should everyone with a chronic illness. Things such as getting out of bed, getting dressed and carrying out a day’s work aren’t akin to running a marathon for most people; but they are for us. Therefore it’s really ok to give yourself a pat on the back when you cross your own finish line.

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