Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hi Ted, meet Crohn's disease - Remission and Living with Crohn's

Continued from yesterday's post...

I've been doing pretty well since starting my regimen of immunosuppressants. Although, I did recently have a relapse this past January and am pretty much back to baseline. This past relapse was particularly intense because it took me a full week or so before I really started feeling normal again. And now even though I've been feeling pretty good and am halfway through tapering off the prednisone, the symptoms have been creeping back recently. Luckily, they've been subtle, but it's still annoying to go from feeling normal to feeling ill in just a short moment. I've been doing alright though, and have been trying to keep my stress levels down. I've found that when I get intensely stressed out that it either forces me to relapse or makes my current symptoms worsen. It's a challenge because being sick makes me stressed out, and the stress just makes me feel worse. It's quite the vicious cycle.

But all in all, life have moved on pretty much like normal, I guess. I still eat pretty normally like before I was diagnosed, although now I tend to try to keep track of how much fiber and raw foods I consume. But basically I just try not to over-indulge in any one particular item, whether it be spicy foods, dairy, raw veggies, Mom's banana bread (which I just got in the mail yesterday!), anything. I also try to steer clear from caffeine because it just makes me feel sick.

Even though back in college when drinking was a part of campus life, and now in my young 20's when going to bars is a regular weekend activity, I've learned that I really need to tone back how much I drink. I'm not supposed to drink while on 6-MP anyway, so it's not really too great when I do. Although I'm at least a little smart because I take it in the morning and so when the evening rolls around, the large majority of the drug has passed through my system. But I'm not going to go to a bar and order a Sprite. Instead I'll order a Tanqueray & tonic and just take my time with it. If anyone's ever shared a drink with me, they'll know that I love my gin & tonics with a passion. What? It's a classic. But I have to say, not pounding drinks left and right like some of the other bar goers has its upsides. I'm not hungover the next day, I'm up early, go for a run, have breakfast, shower, get some work done, and all before anyone else even wakes up. It's a nice lifestyle, and I feel much better not drinking then when I do.

But all in all, I'm still able to do the things I want to do. I mean, I'm training for a half-marathon, and I'm training competitively with a goal time in mind, although I'm still thinking about how fast I think I can finish. But even though I have a chronic disease I'm a normal person. It's just weird when I tell people that I have Crohn's how so many of them apologize, saying something like, “Oh, that's too bad I'm so sorry.” It's kind of weird. I mean, I don't think of myself as some diseased patient, although those who suffer from Crohn's disease are technically “physically disabled.” Screw that, I'm not going to live like I have a disability. Instead I made a (cheesy) New Year's resolution to do more things that I want to do. It's pretty simple. If I think to myself, “I want to do that,” then I'll make the effort to actually do it. It's actually been a pretty awesome year so far. I wanted to run the 13.1 Boston for the CCFA, so I'm doing it. Even this upcoming spring and summer I'm planning on skydiving with some of my friends this summer (yes Mom, skydiving), going to more small concerts throughout Boston, whatever I want. It's been a great way to appreciate life rather than sitting back on the couch watching some trashing MTV or VH1 reality show marathon.

At the same time I enjoy all that life has to offer, I have to be careful and always think in the back of my mind that I have a chronic disease that can relapse any day. Crohn's disease is a part of my life now, and I've grown to accept that. But I'm definitely going to let it change who I am or make excuses because of it. That's just lame. Instead I'm going to just keep on living, enjoying life, and when that relapse occurs I'll deal with it then.

To be continued tomorrow with Hi Ted, meet Crohn's disease: Relapse and the Future.

No comments:

Post a Comment