After These Messages…

December 7, 2009

Today I feel: pretty good, actually. I’ve been treating myself well these past few days and it definitely shows!

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So I’m taking a short break from the blog since this is the dreaded finals season at NYU. Happliy, after the 15th I will be basically done, and free to work on Christmas gifts (hand-made is the way to go people, I’m telling you) and write my blog! Well, that and frolic around Christmastime New York. Until then, I have every hour of my next week-plus mapped out for me, and that does not include blogging. Hopefully it will also not include my Crohn’s flaring up because of the stress.

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Just a quick anecdote (followed by an inspirational quote) before I leave you again. I was walking home from a party on Friday night with a friend when he said to me “okay, we’ve gotta get back quick so I can take a poop”. It was then that I remembered that though my guy friends have blessed me with the ability to talk openly about our poops, they have this strange aversion to pooping anywhere but in their own home. I have never had such qualms, because I developed Crohn’s before I developed the awareness of social taboos that would make me hold it in until I was at home. Today the issue is this: I either poop in your toilet or on your floor, which would you prefer? And besides, you must own air freshener. It’s a no brainer as far as I’m concerned. And yet, most “normal” people absolutely refuse to poop in other people’s bathrooms, or even in public restrooms. Get over it, people. And that is why Crohn’s has actually made me a more sane human being than the rest of them.

Which leads into my inspirational quote (which I wrote about in my NYLC application):

“Take pride in your pain; you are stronger than those who have none.”
-Lois Lowry, Gathering Blue

I read this in middle school, and will always remember it because I knew it was written for me. Don’t get me wrong, Lois Lowry isn’t my aunt or anything, but it’s people like me that she must have been thinking of when she wrote it. Yes, Crohn’s is a mostly negative experience, but one side effect is that you become proportionally strong, and I think it’s important to remind yourself of that once in a while.

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November 12, 2009

So, I realize that thus far I haven’t said much about the particulars of my disease, which seems pretty relevant. So far, you know that I was diagnosed 10 years ago, and that I’m doing okay. Good starting point, but let’s be a little more specific.

I am currently in a really good spot in terms of symptoms relative to how it’s been in the past, but I still have plenty of symptoms on a daily basis, and I end up having to poop about 6 or 7 times in a day. There are a couple things I’ve gotten used to with Crohn’s that are still not normal, but are par for the course for me, even in good periods like the one I’m in now. I always wake up 2 or 3 times a night to poop, and I have to use the bathroom as soon as I wake up in the morning, usually twice (I don’t know why this happens more often in the morning, but there you are). Having just flushed the toilet does not give me any sense of being “done” for a while; I could easily be right back there 2 minutes from now for no apparent reason. That being said, I no longer (and this was a huge part of my Crohn’s years ago) have many instances of being fine one moment and then the next being in an absolute crisis and needing to get to a bathroom now.

I’m on a bunch of medications, but not enough I believe to constitute an actual “cocktail”. Right now I have 6-MP, an immune suppressant which keeps inflammation down, Lamotil, an anti-diarrheal which slows intestinal movement, Culturelle, an over the counter probiotic that promotes good bacteria growth, Anucort, a steroid to combat inflammation, in suppository form, along with a Multivitamin and Iron and Calcium supplements.

Fun fact: I used to have ½ cup of yogurt every morning “prescribed” to get the same effect as Culturelle.

That’s all I’ve got for now, but if you have any questions, please let me know; As always, I’d love to hear from you.

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Exciting news! I’m applying to be a Youth Leader for the CCFA’s National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC). If I get it, I’ll get to be part of a lot of Crohn’s awareness and fundraising events locally and nationally, which would be the coolest experience! I’ll know in late December if I’m accepted, and y’all will be the first to know (after me, of course).