Tuesday, December 2, 2014

{Crohn's Awareness} :: How Are You Feeling?

This is the question I get the most...which I appreciate! It means people are thinking about me and care. So thanks for asking :)

I feel good! I have been blessed to achieve clinical remission, which means that my disease is not currently active. This is maintained through diet, rest, and medication. It's a disciplined regimen that I have to stay on top of in order to feel well. So I can live a relatively normal life, and I have not been hospitalized since my diagnosis {praise Jesus!} For a Crohn's patient, I am doing really well, and my doctor is very pleased with my current health. I feel incredibly blessed, especially when I read stories of other IBD patients who have more severe cases than I do.

I am incredibly grateful for being in remission, and I don't ever want to take that for granted. But it can be somewhat misleading, because people then think that I don't experience any symptoms and that everything is back to normal. Unfortunately, with Crohn's {and really any autoimmune disease}, there really is not a "normal." Or at least it's just a new normal. While I have not had a flare anywhere near as bad as when I was hospitalized, there are still days that I just don't feel well. Crohn's doesn't "just go away." I still have bad days, and I still experience symptoms, just on a different scale.

I would like to say that there are days that I "forget" I even have Crohn's, but I'm not quite there yet. I feel good, but I have had to redefine what "feeling good" actually means for me. There's always some reminder of my disease, whether it's related to my intestinal issues, the fatigue or body aches I feel, or the fact that I give myself a shot every other week. Crohn's affects other areas of my health too, so I am often frustrated when doctors say "oh yeah, that's probably related to Crohn's." Oh how much I hate my disease in those moments!

So I guess the best answer to the question is "it depends"  :) 

Some days I feel good, both physically and/or mentally. I feel in control {ha!} of my health, like I am making progress and doing well in managing my disease. My body feels strong, and I feel like I can take on the world! But some days I feel completely defeated. My body hurts, I feel like I am falling apart, and I feel frustrated that I can't do what I used to do. I still have days when I freak out when I have to take my shot, wondering if I will ever get to a point where it won't bother me to shoot myself in the leg with a synthetic medicine that burns like the dickens.

But I guess that's just all part of it. It stinks, and I don't like it, but it is what it is. And I am thankful I don't have to walk it alone. I have an incredible support system in friends and family, and my Savior walks with me. Crohn's keeps me on my knees, ever dependent on the Lord...and that's not a bad thing :)

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