Oh happy day :)

Today has been a day for the books. I honestly never thought I’d ever see this day happening. I’m so excited to announce to my blogger friends, fellow Crohnies, and anyone who follows my blog that I am officially in clinical remission!!! WHUUUUT! (Side effects from my last blog are starting to get sorted out and somewhat under control btw!) This is amazing. 16 years have gone by with little to no relief. I’ve worked so hard to keep a healthy mind dealing with all of the frustrations that comes along with being chronically ill and honestly sometimes I wasn’t too good at it. But, days like this make it worth those struggles.

I had my routine doctor appointment and was seriously astounded by my colonoscopy notes. I’ve never seen my doctor so happy. I can owe my life to these doctors out in Boston. Especially the one who pushed for me to go there in the first place, Dr. Essers. And the one who continued and still continues to follow my case and do literally everything he can to get me healthy, Dr. Snapper. These guys are the definition of what a doctor should be. Not only have they shared my frustrations with treatment failures but they’ve been by my hospital beds in the midst of my mental breakdowns. Dr. Snapper was by my side through my very difficult transition into adult medicine, which was one of my hardest times mentally dealing with the disease. They spend time with me, discuss my case with other doctors around the country, and give me the absolute best treatment they can offer. Dr. Snapper’s PA, Beth-Anne, is also just as amazing. She answers my emails off hours, she’s always there for me.

These people are truly incredible. They don’t just treat me, they fight for me. After countless of semesters having to withdraw because of hospitalizations I came to one of my biggest defeats yet: getting kicked out of nursing school because of my illness and knocked out immune system. But I wasn’t alone, Beth-Anne was there to fight for me. She called the school, she wrote a letter. What medical professionals take the time to do these kinds of things? I’m SO lucky to have them on my side. Any time I see them I’m not greeted with a handshake and hello but a hug, huge smile, and “it’s so nice to see you Michelle!”. I can’t ever get out of the office without getting a hug from the infusion nurse, Jane, and update her on any new boyfriends I have haha! (it’s always one of her first questions). These people are not only just my medical team but they’re family to me.

Nothing puts life quite into perspective like being chronically ill. Yes, I know there is no cure to Crohn’s Disease, and it could flare on me at any time. But these are the times that I don’t take for granted, how could you? I feel good! Writing this is almost bringing me to tears. I truly have such a good support system and I couldn’t do it without any of you. Friends from home, friends I’ve made from this blog, my family. I couldn’t do it without my PCP doctor Lao (who takes care of most of my side effects and is totally sick of me by now hah!), my local Walmart pharmacy who knows me by name haha. And last but not least my mom whose spent more hours than I can even count on the phone fighting with insurance companies to approve my $16,000 monthly cost of medications and has never let me go to a doctor appointment alone two hours away in Boston. She has slept next to me in hospital beds and hasn’t left my side. Also, never fails to laugh with me and make light of being chronically sick… AKA she is the person who keeps me sane through it all.

A lot is wrong with the world we live in… But don’t lose hope in humanity. There’s still good people out there. When it comes down to it life isn’t about politics, money, things, or even beliefs. To me, life is about the experiences I go through, the love I’m surrounded with, the bad days that make me appreciate the good ones, and that’s it. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. For these reasons never forget to show gratitude and thank those people in your life. Because I know, without them I’m not quite sure if I’d even be alive to see this day. The day I’ve been waiting for for over 16 years, and I couldn’t be happier to share it with all of you!

-xoMichelle

 

The Inevitable topic of… Poop.

This post is geared towards the people who have to deal with us and our crappy situations. We have to talk about the inevitable. It cannot be avoided, we all poop! Even girls, girls poop too! I know, it’s crazy! And meet someone with Crohn’s disease or UC and poop is just a normal conversation. It is actual the center of our disease. Basically, an easy way to define this disease everyone can better understand is that our bodies are allergic to our poo. Just like there are nut allergies and animal allergies, we have a sort of poo allergy. Yes, it is a gross thing, I never said it wasn’t but it’s life. Our body’s immune system attacks our intestines leaving us with severe pain, exhaustion, bloody stool, diarrhea, and inflammation. These are just a few of the symptoms we have to treat because as of right now there is no cure.

As you can tell this can be an embarrassing disease. Especially dealing with it in public, in a relationship, at college, and around friends. We know our way around every bathroom within a ten mile radius and when we need to go, get out of our way!

Thankfully my support system with this is huge. I have a group of girlfriends who have gone the extra length in helping me get through accidents I’ve had and know the extent of when I have to go. My mom is also the queen of getting me through this. A huge way she has gotten me through this is humor. It’s okay to laugh about it. You actually need to laugh about it.

A funny story I’ll share is the first time I ever had an enema. If you don’t know, an enema is when a water solution is flushed through your intestines via your bum hole. It is used for a few different reasons, one being to clean you out and relieve constipation. Well, I had to have one done and as it was my first time I did need some help. I am laying on my left side as my mom holds up the bag with a long tube connected to it. “Mom! Come on! Don’t look!” as I stick this thing up my butt. This is a kind of absurd concept to most people. But, she is standing in the bathtub hiding behind the shower curtain holding the bag up so gravity pulls the solution down. As she stands there she starts histerically laughing which causes me to hysterically laugh. You are supposed to hold this in you for as long as you can, which is near to impossible as you’re uncontrollably laughing. Needless to say I didn’t hold it for as long as I should’ve but in the end the experience made me realize it is important to laugh. To this day we laugh about this time and my next enema wasn’t nearly as bad!

My rock.

It’s okay to be embarrassed as well; however, you should never feel you can’t share with your loved ones. It is our body and we need to talk about it; take control of your life. A lot of people cannot deal with being in a relationship with someone who has this disease, I have experienced this first hand. There is nothing wrong with that but we have enough of a hard time dealing with it ourselves we don’t need those people to bring us down. Break the ice with a new friend, old friend, girlfriend, or boyfriend about your disease however you are most comfortable with whether that be a joke or serious conversation. They need to know it isn’t who we are but it is a huge part of us. Be confident!