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

 

WHHYYYYY

Okay, so my title was a little dramatic. But why not. And this isn’t a negative response, it’s actually a liberating one. Why do people think so much, why do people care so much what others think, why not just live your life how YOU want it. I think that is the only way to ultimate happiness. Recognizing this for me has been a big step. People are so afraid of disappointing others, they’re so afraid of what “might happen”. The only person in life you should be truly worry about disappointing in your life is yourself. It is inevitable you will disappoint important people to you, there is no way around it. But they will get over it. Freaking live your life and stop being so afraid. Go back to school at age 50, go for that interview you didn’t think you’d ever have a chance at, talk to that handsome/gorgeous intimidating guy/girl you see everyday at work or in the gym, stand up to that prick boss of yours. If you don’t do it, you will never know. And you know what’s worse than a potential rejection, the constant wonder of “what if”.

Don’t be afraid to fall in love, take a chance, risk everything, go for it. If it doesn’t work out at least you tried and you can move on without wondering. Work towards a goal, set your mind to something. Don’t let life make you it’s bitch, make life YOUR bitch. Do with it what you want and if someone doesn’t like that then they can go back into their little hole of content. We all want to be content with life, when we all should be striving for ultimate happiness. Of course, life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies but it’s what you make of it that matters.

I have recently noticed my whole life I have been looking for something or someone to make me happy. When my key to happiness was right in front of me, sounds corny (well it kind of is, but I like being corny sometimes), and I mean it wasn’t literally in front of me but it was me, myself. You can’t find happiness unless you find it in yourself first. I’ve read a lot of blogs and a lot of articles and a lot of all that stupid stuff on Facebook everyone reposts about how awesome it is finding love a boyfriend and yadda yadda and it all brought me to this conclusion. If I can’t be happy with myself, I won’t be happy with anyone I don’t care who it is no matter how much of that shit I read.

I’ve never had set priorities and goals in my life that I acted on and I often blamed it on my disease. Not that it hasn’t caused me a substantial amount of frustration and made me put my life on hold at some points. Obstacles are inevitable with such an unpredictable disease, in fact life in general you will always have them. I have always laughed about having Crohn’s and stayed positive about it but I have let it control some of my long term goals. I was afraid to go back to school and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get through nursing school without getting sick. I was ultimately afraid of success because there was a chance of failure. I wanted it, but I was too focused on the risk and not the potential reward. I have reached a point where I have real goals and I will reach them, even if it takes me longer than most. Yeah it’s nice to hear someone tell you they are proud of you, but an even better feeling is confidently being able to say “Yanno what, I’m really proud of myself”.

I have never been so happy with myself as an individual, ever. Yeah things go wrong but when they do me being happy with myself allows me to get over it and continue on. I’m not saying my life isn’t pretty frustrating right now because it is but I’ve accepted the fact even when it is there’s still no reason not to be happy about something. Right now the most important “goals” in my life are school and sounds mediocre but staying fit. This is one thing I know I can have control over and it is really an awesome feeling, especially doing this while battling a chronic illness. My quality of life right now, in this moment, is all that matters and I know I can optimize that by staying physically fit.

But anyways back to WHYYYY (lol). I just don’t understand it anymore. Life is one big leap of faith. There’s no need to complicate life. If you want to say something, say it! If you want to do something, damnit, do it! Stop hesitating. Don’t do something if you don’t want to. Be a little selfish sometimes. Put your trust in someone, they might surprise you. Hell, you might surprise yourself! But also on a side note, never forget the little things in life. Do something nice for someone else, compliment someone, make someone smile. We feed off of each other’s energy, and don’t you feel good when you’re the reason someone might be a tad bit happier today? Just let go and stop being so concerned with what bad might happen, because you never know it might just end up being the best thing that has ever happened to you.

life

Annnnd that’s a wrap on my corny, inspirational, venting sesh. Take it for what you want 😉

-xoMichelle

What is Your Relationship Status?

Even though I am only 21 years old I’ve still had my fair share of dates, flings, and relationships in my life so far. Having Crohn’s Disease has been a huge part of me dealing with this aspect of my life. This post isn’t just for those of you who have Crohn’s it is also for those who have a significant other with this invisible disease. I want to help each side of the relationship better understand dealing with this, specifically through my experiences. First of all, Crohnies, you need to know what you deserve and the type of person who can deal with this. Not everyone can deal with someone who is sick, and you have to realize this is okay because there are people out there who can. We just have to sift through all the fish in the sea. I can almost compare this to dating someone who already has a kid, it is a package deal.
holding hands
I’ve had boyfriends who didn’t know exactly how to deal with this. Which isn’t there fault, they don’t have the disease. At the time I probably should have been a little more understanding but then I think about it and I did exactly what I should have. I need physical, mental, and emotional support from someone (which any relationship should have) and I wasn’t getting it. For instance, I was admitted to the hospital for a kidney infection, kidney stones, and a Crohn’s flare up and was on watch for emergency surgery. At the time I had a boyfriend of only a couple months. He simply didn’t realize how serious it was so wasn’t there for me, and I took it hard. Clearly the relationship didn’t work but I think that it was the best for the both of us. I had to deal with the truth and be honest with myself as hard as it was.
The embarrassment of having to go to the bathroom countless times a day or the pain that comes along with it can be overwhelming to you when trying to meet someone new. It is probably the most embarrassing situation we can find ourselves in. I suggest breaking the ice ASAP. This is so important for a relationship you think is going to go somewhere. It is going to be an uncomfortable situation but figure out a way that is the most comfortable for you whether it be a joke, serious conversation, or being straight out blunt about it. You will know with the response you get how this person is going to deal with it. We have days and weeks of exhaustion, joint/body pains, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bleeding, along with a lot of other things. A lot of people think we are “lazy” because we are exhausted a lot of the time when sick. They need to understand our bodies are drained and it’s even frustrating for us. We have countless doctor’s appointments, are always getting stuck for our blood, getting tests done, hospital stays, and even surgeries. Someone with patience is key. Sometimes we don’t even have enough patience to deal with it ourselves never mind worrying about someone else.
I think overtime I have kind of been through a lot of guys on dates for the simple reason of I have this disease. It is hard to tell someone and at times I thought it was easier to just stop talking to them so I would push them away. But now, I’m coming to the age and point in my life I’m looking for a serious long-term relationship. And actually, it is the perfect timing for this because the past year or so I’ve learned how important it is to be open about having Crohn’s. I’ve had some great experiences with people dealing with me, it isn’t always bad. When I was in the hospital at one of my many stays, me and my ex were on good terms and friendly with each other, and even though we had gone our separate ways he was still there for me. I was in the emergency room for about twelve hours and he was right by my side. This is what we need, Crohnies. We need someone who is a caring person and more importantly who shows concern.
Everyone deserves someone who will walk through the rain for them. Meaning, they will do anything for you. In our situation though it is more of someone walking through a monsoon for us. Being sick I think I have learned to be extra sensitive about things in life and also very observant. I put my all into relationships and the last thing I want is someone who doesn’t accept me for who I am or doesn’t seem to care. I’ve adapted the attitude that if you can’t handle it or aren’t giving me the support I need you can walk right out that door, because I don’t need someone in my life like that. I look at thinking like this as a positive thing. I don’t want to settle. That is really what it comes down to.
Relationships have a lot of different aspects to them. One being the physical part of it. Some people put more emphasis and believe sex is more important than others. But, having Crohn’s Disease, this can be an obstacle. It is hard thing for some a lot people to understand. Pain, discomfort, exhaustion all play a part. Understanding from your partner is vital. They need to know the reasons and an explanation which is our responsibility to give.
To me, being comfortable with someone is huge as it should be in any relationship between two people. As for having Crohn’s Disease, in a nutshell, I want to be comfortable enough with someone that I can fart in front of them. If I have to go to the bathroom when were out, or have a potty emergency while driving I want them to be able to put the gas pedal to the floor and get me to the bathroom! I don’t want to have to hide that, and you shouldn’t either. I want to be able to laugh with someone about the embarrassments I’ve had in the past. Of course this might be tough or uncomfortable at first but as the relationship grows if you allow yourself to be open about it, it will be 1,000,000 times easier. Allow that person to be your best friend. Because if they truly want to be with you for you, they will deal with it. They will voice their concern and help you get through the hard times. One experience I will never forget was probably the most embarrassing thing yet. I had a boyfriend who I was really comfortable with but we had never had the conversation of my stomach and the humiliating things that come along with it. I was over his house and he was in the shower, I got the sudden urge… I had to #2. I didn’t know what to do because he was in the bathroom and I freaked out. I grabbed my keys to leave, but it was too late. I yelled at his mom asking where the other bathroom was downstairs, but it was again too late. I had in fact, yes, pooed my pants. I instantly started crying. Thankfully I had my emergency kit in my car (extra pair of pants, underwear, wipes, toilet paper, wash cloth, soap, and then some). I cleaned myself up and bolted for the door. I left in tears and a pit in my stomach without even saying bye. I thought it was over, I was so embarrassed I wouldn’t answer his calls or texts. I couldn’t even imagine what he was thinking. I was gross, disgusting, all of the above. I got home and ran up to my bathroom to take a bath and continued to cry my eyes out. I was 18 years old, who does that at 18 years old? Someone with Crohn’s disease, that’s who. I was unbelievably surprised by him showing up at my door. He had contacted my mom asking what he should do he felt awful and came over. I knew he didn’t know exactly what happened but he obviously had an idea. But in the end, he was there for me, and that was all that mattered. He just held me and told me it was okay. That day I knew there were people out there that could deal with someone having this awful disease.
All in all, don’t settle. If your significant other is complaining about starting a life with you along with the obstacles having Crohn’s Disease gives then either make them more aware of what you need or get out of that relationship. Stress is a huge trigger for flare ups. Dealing with the disease is enough stress as it is, we don’t need someone to add to that. You will find someone that can in fact make dealing with this easier. I promise you, there is a person for everyone. And as I have inked on my body “If it’s meant to be, it will find its way”. Don’t give up on finding that special someone. Let someone come into your life and help you fight this battle.
happy couple