Tonight I realized how much knowledge I actually have for Crohn’s disease and gastro issues. I was very surprised with myself. Lately, I’m assuming it’s from writing this blog, I have had a lot of people approach me for advice and just to talk if they are going through these types of issues. It makes me feel so good when I can help someone and lead them in the right direction. I guess though that is why I started this blog. If that’s all I accomplish with only a few people it’s all worth it. If I had someone to relate to and talk to when I was going through my diagnosis, high school, embarrassing situations, and so on I think I would have handled stuff differently. I’m so open about having Crohn’s Disease, which some people are shocked at. When talking to people about their issues I can tell some people are hesitant when I ask their symptoms to tell me they go to the bathroom a lot and its mostly diarrhea… Not exactly the first thing you tell people. But hey, its life and we all poop! And us Crohnies, we poop a lot! lol Usually I’ll share an embarrassing story and crack a joke to make them realize it’s okay to tell me. And once you say it the weight of the potential embarrassment is off of your shoulders and the person opens up a lot more.
I think the most important thing with this disease is to talk about it. I mean of course not the first thing I say to someone is “Hi, I’m Michelle, I have Crohn’s disease and I poop a lot.. Nice to meet you!” Butttt I do think it is important to talk about the psychological part of this whole life journey rather than just the physical part. A lot of this disease is in your head, not literally but we go through a lot and it takes a toll on us mentally and emotionally. As you might see a pattern, I think laughter is the best medicine. And another pattern you might see if you follow my blog is the jokes I make and how I reiterate the fact they help me get through hard days. And it’s not just a positive attitude. A positive attitude will only get you so far with something like this.
A sense of humor can turn those tears of frustration and home sickness while lying in that hospital bed into a small smile, even if just for a second (and yes, I’ve been there). I thank to god that I have someone who sometimes might have a little too much of a sense of humor about it (if that’s even possible! hah). You can turn a horrible experience with blood work or IVs being stuck a thousand times into a funny experience after the fact. Laugh about it. Don’t dwell on the pain. Yeah, sure, it’s not going to make all of that go away and it’ll still hurt at first but it will help you through even more than just a positive attitude. And as you start adding up these experiences through your journey you will have more to laugh about in the future!
Embarrassment is just a feeling our society has created. Everyone has experienced it in our lives. But, it is all in how you handle it. I’ve learnt over the years each embarrassing moment you experience makes you grow as a person. Each time you get stronger and stronger. As your average 21 year old girl I read Cosmo Magazine a lot. I love reading the embarrassing stories but even more I love reading the little blurbs on how the girl or guy could have brushed off the embarrassing moment. Real people telling them how they would have reacted if they were on the other end watching someone embarrass themselves. Every time I get embarrassed I think of this. We don’t tend to be embarrassed or humiliated but all you can do is brush it off, make a joke about it, LAUGH it off! Again, embarrassment is only brought on by you letting what people think and their opinion affect you. Society can be a toxic thing. You will become a happier person not letting these things embarrass you. Not only being a Crohnie, but with life in general.
Next time you get embarrassed, think of reading this post. Reevaluate the situation and laugh it off. Don’t let society dig you a hole to crawl into. Stand on the ground and be confident even when you’re at your most vulnerable. Sure it’s easier said than done but practice makes perfect. And if you do this, before you know it you will have even more confidence come your next encounter of embarrassment. No doubt it will always be there but handling it this way will give you a new light on the subject.
After tackling embarrassment and learning to laugh at different experiences whether painful or absurd you are on your way to being an enlightened Crohnie! When talking to people who seek me for advice or just a similar ear to vent too I always make this an important point. Your health and treatment is important but without a stable, solid, sane mind you’re health with be vulnerable to spiral out of control.
xo’s&laughs -michelle 😀
p.s. I decided to no longer go through with the fecal transplant trial in Boston. Only 20 people are in the trial and I’m not comfortable with it being the first one of it’s kind. I am a pure guinea pig to get the FDA to approve another trial they will be able to do after this one is over and I’m not ready to be sick for three months just because of that. I started back on Stelara and am weaning down on the steroids. I got my second cortisone shot in my back today and you might have as well shot me in the lower back/butt because I am in so much pain AH! My first one wasn’t nearly as bad! But anyways, I will keep you all updated! Thanks for continuing to read! 🙂 OH! and my mom got a new golden retriever puppy! Check out how cute she is! Her name is Bella 🙂