I have another secret. Well, not a secret, but something that I haven’t talked about here before. I have Crohn’s disease. Have you heard of it? If not, the super simplified, dumbed down explanation would be, it’s a disease of the digestive system where your immune system thinks something is wrong & attacks it, but there’s actually nothing wrong. This leads to feeling like poo. Quite literally. It’s not a pleasant disease, but for the most part, it is a silent disease. There is no cause and no cure. It has embarrassing symptoms (diarrhea, bleeding, cramps, joint pain, etc.) that are sometimes hard to talk about & even harder to make people understand because I may look fine, but a lot is going on inside.
I was officially diagnosed when I was 21 after a very long time of being sick, not knowing what was wrong, tons of tests and two different gastroenterologists. Once I got the diagnosis, a supportive doctor and the right combination of meds, things have been better. It is a disease that goes through periods of flares & remission. Luckily, the last few years have been smooth (knock on wood). I have bad days, but on the whole, I am healthy. Like, 25 pounds heavier than I was a few years ago. In this case, heavier = healthy.
–I have to take pills daily at certain times.
–I have to give myself monthly B12 injections.
–I have to have lab work done every 6 weeks to make sure my liver can handle the meds that are keeping me healthy.
–I have to have an annual colonoscopy.
–I have to think about which meds are safe for me in the event I want to have a baby.
–I have to sometimes think twice about my food choices.
–I have to do and think about a lot of things that most healthy people don’t even consider.
—But, those things keep me healthy & I’m happy to do them.
Tomorrow my team and I, the Super Poopers, will be walking in the annual Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis walk. I’ve been walking with them for the past five years. It’s amazing to see the support and it’s something I look forward to every year. The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is an awesome non-profit organization that is dedicated to finding cures for Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis and raising awareness. If you’re looking for an organization to support, I would highly suggest them. For selfish reasons.
|My 2010 Team|
|Taking Steps & Being Heard.|