Monthly Archives: September 2014

An inconvenient truth…

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Yes, I, a 29 year old woman, wants her mummy. My mum who is away on holiday with my dad, I wish she were here. She is the ultimate “Everything will be ok” kind of person, that just being near her or hearing her voice makes you feel safe.

Today I am going back into hospital – 4 days ago I noticed a small abscess forming near my anus, a place where I have had an abscess before, and by Tuesday morning it had become a blister about the size of my pinky nail and everything around the area ached. The pressure behind it feels like you have a marble under your skin – you notice it when you walk or sit. Luckily I was able to squeeze in to see my surgeon that Tuesday morning at 11.30am, who declared at 11.45am that this was just a “niggle” (he didn’t want me to get upset and wanted to remind me that this was NOT a major setback, that this was just a minor situation) that needed to be cleaned out, and that he will replace the seton nearby as well. Let’s do it tomorrow! YAY!

I walked out of there feeling good. I would get this all under control in 24 hours! Sweet! I love it when it can be sorted quickly! Less time to think about it all. Not going to let this situation inconvenience the rest of my life and everything I have planned! Because by getting it done tomorrow, well, that means I can still go to that wedding I need to go to on Saturday, and thank god it’s still school holidays so I can recover for a couple more days after and do nothing, oh but I won’t be able to make my Wednesday night basketball game so I better let my team know, and thank goodness I have that acupuncture appointment on Thursday afternoon which will be great to help clear any general anaeasthetic that might still be lingering…

Oh shit! Who is going to take me into hospital at this short notice? Ehhhh, it’ll be fine, I will get my own way there! I call my husband, explain what’s going on and I can hear the awkwardness in his voice because I know he is super stressed and busy at the moment with work and he’s wondering how he is going to take the time off and I’m all like, “It’s cool! I’ll get a cab there, but you’ll have to pick me up” and I hear him literally exhale in relief that the option for him to go to work is still available.

How awesome am I? I’m not going to make this little “inconvenience” for me inconvenient for others! Plus, I have done this almost a hundred times before. No biggie. I talk to my sister and very nonchalantly tell her my plans for the hospital tomorrow, that I’ll make my own way there. It’s cool, it’s just a “niggle”. I’ll be in and out in no time. She offers to take me there but can’t pick me up because of work, which I think, great! Thanks, and it’ll save me money on that cab ride! At this stage I have not told my parents that I am going into hospital. I don’t want to worry them for something so small that I’ve dealt with so many times before. Plus, I’m feeling so good about it all, no need to upset them.

But now it’s the morning of the procedure and my husband has left for work and my sister just texted me to tell me she can’t take me anymore because she isn’t feeling well, and I’m feeling very sorry for myself. And because I played it so cool yesterday, no one else has made a big deal about it. Exactly the way I thought I wanted it. But no. No, no. I feel like shit today. I am super sooky and I wish my mum was here to take me to the hospital.

I was trying so hard to convince myself that this was no big deal, and on a physical and medical scale, the procedure I am getting done is NOTHING compared to what I’ve endured. And I seriously have done this procedure SO MANY TIMES! So what is wrong with me? I realise that for me, going into hospital by yourself feels horrible – it feels lonely and scary and you feel uncared for. I know this is not true about me and the people who love me, and to be fair, it’s my own fault because I made it seem like it wasn’t a big deal to everyone yesterday. And I know that people go into hospital by themselves ALL the time, I mean, people have their own lives and can’t drop everything for you! I mean, I even managed to convince myself that I too could be one of those people yesterday, but now I am a big fucking wuss. As I get older, I get sadder every time I go into hospital. It’s like a little part of the Hope and Optimism that I hold onto for dear life breaks off inside of me. And on top of it all, I realise that I am embarrassed that this is all happening again. I can almost hear my friends and family rolling their eyes that I am going into hospital YET AGAIN! Yep. That’s me. The Crohn’s girl, going into hospital again. Although, I am sure they are not doing this… I’m just being sook about it all. *sigh

So now that I’ve blogged about it and put it out there, I am feeling much better about it all. Getting to the hospital by myself might turn out to be a super empowering experience for me – I won’t need to keep a brave face for the person with me and won’t need to over analyse the situation… it might help put things into perspective for me that this really ISN’T a big deal. As long as there is someone there to take me home, I’ll be right. I’ll keep you posted with how it all goes. Wish me luck!

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Crohnology

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No, I haven’t mispelled chronology – as a History teacher I know how things work in a timeline. What I’ve found in my research and through my searching of treatments that there is a fantastic site called Crohnology which is for Crohn’s sufferers to connect to other Crohnies in their area and trade treatment secrets. When you join, you identify when you were diagnosed, what treatments you tried, and your own wisdom about what worked and didn’t work and the reasons behind it all.

It’s all about Crohn’s patients empowering themselves and others with hopeful advice on treatment options out there, without the feeling that certain doctors are advocating specific treatments, or offering you advice on conflicting treatments. It also gives you the opportunity to chat with other Crohn’s patients, ask questions in forums, and indicate how you are feeling currently on a scale. A great place to start searching for answers, and also a great place to visit when you are having one of those shitty “Why me? day, and you can go online to this support group and see that you are not alone.

 

Letting go of the ‘Shoulds’

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First of all, I’d like to say thank GOD my acupuncturist is back from her holiday after 6 weeks… it’s like I feel like all is right with the world again. At least everything is right in MY world. She’s fabulous.

So while I was enjoying my Friday evening session today, I was reminiscing about the great advice she has given me over the years. Most recently, when I was off loading about all the crazy stuff that happens at my work, and how it should be like this, and how things shouldn’t be a certain way, and how I was going crazy there… and she simply responded to me

“You need to let go of the ‘shoulds’ in your life”

It was a re-awakening. And since then, I have been so much happier at work and at life. Letting go of the anger and frustration that was attached to the way things ‘should’ be left me with so much more time and energy to focus on what WAS in my control, and what was real.

So during my session, while I was talking about how things were going, I thanked her for this absolute gem of advice that she had given me earlier this year that had transformed my life. And of course she added that the emotion of “shoulds” are held in the large intestine. Bloody hell. Isn’t that totally awesome?

It made me think that if I can just get my emotions in a completely blissful state, could I eradicate so many health issues? I’ve read about emotions and their connection to diseases… hence the breakdown of “dis-ease” – being in a state on unease emotionally. Could be amazing!

Breaking the rules

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jellybelly

So this happened last week… I broke the rules. My “healthy eating” diet rules that is.

I had a crappy week – personally and professionally – and as Hump Day approached, I was feeling sorry for myself, staring at the giant 50 flavours of Jelly Belly jelly beans that had been gifted to me about 3 months ago in my office and thought, “Why the hell not?”. I should be proud that I held out from opening them for 3 months! But hey, I cracked and ate all of the “Berry Blue” flavour in one hit (you can see the missing jelly beans in the 2nd row).

Post-consumption, I felt guilty and proceeded to rope in my colleagues into my shame spiral by getting them to play the Jelly Belly game, where I would give them a jelly bean and they would have to guess the flavour. Guilt is better when you share it!

The next day after my jelly belly scandal, I felt fine. Totally fine! I was surprised, but acknowledged that I felt this good because 99.9% of the time I eat totally healthily to support my Crohn’s and my digestive system. What was a handful of processed sugar?

But just as I had opened the box of jelly beans, I too had opened the can of worms… and could not stop myself from making excuses to break all the rules from that day onwards:
Thursday = goodbye to all of the “crushed pineapple” jelly bean flavour.
Friday = goodbye to all of the “lemon drop” jelly bean flavour; cider after work (not meant to have alcohol), and crumbed prawns for dinner.
Sunday (this is where it got majorly out of control) = 2 soy lattes with sugar at brunch (I’m not supposed to have sugar, coffee or soy!), soy pork salad (not supposed to have raw food either!) at lunch, a piece of pear and custard tart (absolutely bloody delicious! But full of sugar, eggs and butter) and a nibble of a cheesecake slice (was making up for lost time on Saturday when I ate well, clearly!)

And by 3.30pm on Sunday, I actually thought my stomach was going to explode. For starters, it swelled like I was 4 months pregnant, was sore, and was gurgling something fierce. I may not have had immediate repercussions for breaking the diet rules, but definitely after a 5 day bender, it all caught up with me! I had hit threshold!

And I have been paying for it ever since, if you know what I mean…

Reflecting on the whole thing now, I realise that it didn’t take much to throw me over the edge – a bad week of managing my emotions and I lost the plot of what was important to me – my health. It also didn’t help that I was surrounding myself with the temptation of deliciously forbidden food, but also that once I had broken a rule, I convinced myself that since I had already done the damage, what was another rule broken? And another, and another….

And yes, it was all terribly delicious and mesmerising at the time, but even with only a week of crappy eating, my body feels “mweh” – I feel hungover in my guts and I have very low energy, which makes me only want to consume more sugar to bring up my mood and overall energy. So now I have to make up for it all and jump back on the wagon. It’s like I am a recovering junk food junkie. One little taste of sugar and I lose it!

“My name is Amber, and I’m a junk-aholic”…

So now I have upped my probiotics, am drinking lots of water, eating good protein in meals, and I need to get rid of that box of jelly beans – outta sight, outta mind!

The moral of the story – it’s ok to lose yourself every once in a while – it is nice to not ALWAYS be following so many rules to be in the perfect, healthy state all the time… but be kind and forgive yourself quickly when you do lose control and try to bring it back together as soon as you can… 5 days was long enough for me, and at least I am lucky enough that I am really aware of how much better I can feel, and that’s incentive enough for me to do the right thing for my health again.

Wish me luck! Xx