The Fasting and the Furious

I’m going into day surgery again today to replace the 2 setons I have that help drain any potential abscesses or infections that might be brewing because of my Crohn’s, so I’ve had the day off and am an hour away from going into the hospital.

Anyone heading in for a procedure knows that one of the hardest parts of preparing for it (other than the fear, anxiety, stress, exhaustion…) is fasting – No food or drink 6 hours before you go under general anaesthetic. I’ve looked into the reason behind this and a lot of sources say it’s because when you’re under, the contents of your stomach can flow back into your lungs and cause all sorts of complications. Gross. Either way, fasting when you already are feeling sorry for yourself is not a good combination, and I assure you that by the time I get to the hospital, I will seriously have my cranky pants on and be in some foul mood. Sorry in advance to the doctors and nurses looking after me today!

But there are some(times) wonderful things that I do to distract myself from feeling thirsty and/or hungry…or in my case…hangry.

1. I cleaned the house this morning! I furiously scrubbed and washed the bathrooms, tidied up the bedrooms, put on the laundry and did general sorting. And when all that activity started to make me feel hungry, I would have a nap. Which brings me to the next thing on my list…

[Read more…]

The History of Crohn’s

Speaking of history, it’s been AGES since I last blogged – mainly because life has gotten in the way, which is a good thing (better than Crohn’s getting in the way!)

Last I left off I was having a meltdown about taking myself to hospital. I was subsequently inundated with messages of love and support as soon as I posted, which was a wonderful reminder to myself that I do not need to suffer on my own. It is so important to have a support network – whether people truly understand what I am going through or not, or whether they understand what Crohn’s is all about, what they do know is that during hard times, I need help, and they can be there for me. I must remember not to always try and put on a brave face – I did that for years hiding what I was going through, and this blog is here to free me of suffering alone and in silence.
So a major shout out to my buddy with the same name as mine… thank you for being there when I didn’t realise how much I really needed someone.

Anyway, back to the history of Crohn’s… a very interesting read (thanks to my sister from another mister and my brother-in-law for getting this article happening!) looking at where it all may have begun to where the awareness of Crohn’s is today. Be aware! And beware! Especially the part that says Crohn’s sufferers have a higher chance of getting bowel cancer. Pfffttt… as if it isn’t hard enough to deal with Crohn’s in the PRESENT to then also cope that somewhere in the FUTURE may be a whole other issue attached to it! *Sigh

Dealing and healing baby… will get there!

Stress Head

Under a Lot of Stress

I went to a workshop with my Year 11 students last week to learn about stress management, and there I was in the back of the lecture room, shushing the students to be quiet so that I could hear what the lecturer was saying….

“Your body doesn’t know the difference between good stress and bad stress”…. OHMIGOD!

Ok, I kinda knew this already (as I was squeezing my squiggy stress ball!), but sometimes you need someone to say it out loud for you to go, oh shiiitttttt… It particularly worries me now because work has been particularly hectic lately, but in a good way – I got a mini promotion at work, and my work load has TREBLED, but it it the challenge I have been looking for. I’ve been working my butt, but I have actually been enjoying it.

But then in the workshop, they went through all the physiological responses your body goes through when it feels stressed, which included digestive issues and a lowered immune system. Great. Fantastic news for someone with an AUTOIMMUNE BOWEL DISEASE!

And I definitely have noticed the difference in my body lately – I feel more tired (at 7.30pm I am ready to go to bed!), feel a bit more mweh and agro in my moods, and swing from constipation one day, to having the runs the next. Am definitely also noticing that I look more bloated as well. I guess things aren’t digesting so well – mentally and physically!

 

So this workshop was perfectly timed as a reminder to shift everything back into perspective again – I really need to look after myself. Especially after I went super (stupidly) hardcore back at work after my big surgery (refer to my last post).

I think because stress just seems to be so inevitable in life, we all tend to neglect how it really will affect us. But it’s so true – your body reacts to all types of stress in the same way, and that’s not a good thing if you already have a weakened system. So I have to be more mindful of how to reduce the stress levels in my life. Here is a good link to look at stress causes and symptoms: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.htm

Here are some of the things I have actively started to do to manage the stress in my life:

1. I’ve written down and printed some inspirational quotes around my office to remind myself of what is important and what is real… #thanksDalaiLama
http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/a3/5e/22/a35e22f9e30fef9502345ef3e7b26152.jpg

2. Taking deep breaths when it feels like things are getting too much, sometimes even counting to 10…
3. Asking myself “Am I profoundly OK with this moment?” and then evaluating if whatever it is really is a big deal to me or not
4. Yoga. Om Shanti Shanti.
5. Watching mindless TV to switch off

I’m sure there are other wonderful things out there to reduce stress… I know that meditation should be high up on that list, but it’s not something that I am currently and consistently doing… even though I know I should. Actually, that should be number 6: Letting go of the “shoulds” in your life. That does help you detach as well. Keeps you from being emotionally invested in situations, which helps reduce stress and anxiety.

So what do you do to reduce stress in your life? Would love to hear other ways of looking after yourself to manage the big S-bomb in our lives! If stress can be managed, then we can all feel a lot happier and healthier.

[Read more…]

Water Works

I went through with my surgery yesterday, and I am feeling a lot better than expected. I can actually walk! Well, it’s more like a really slow shuffle waddle. But at least I’m not lying horizontally in agony! Still quite sore, but nothing that the weekend lying in bed and painkillers won’t fix!

After my last post (pre-surgery), I went to a yoga class which really helped calm me down. All that deep breathing and physical exercise helped remind me that my body is strong and my mind can be even stronger. It’s amazing how as you get older you freak out more about health and surgeries… I would’ve never have even thought twice about going in for surgery 5 years ago! The heaps of crying I did in the morning and the yoga class helped put things into perspective for me, and also put me in a bit of a zombie state (really should be a “zen” state) that I felt kind of this numbness and at ease about going into surgery. All that anxiety washed away!

What also helped was that within half an hour of me checking into the hospital, I was already being wheeled into surgery! Usually it’s another 2 hour wait from the time you sign in! Which just leaves you with too much time on your hands thinking about how hungry/thirsty you are, how much pain you are in etc. [Read more…]

The Calm before the Surgery Storm

Screw my last post about feeling calm about my operation day…we have lift off and I am freaking out! Actually, it’s more like sadness, an intense sadness… I woke up this morning and cried and mourned for the loss of my left labia today. The surgeon is going to remove the cavity from it which will involve an incision (and eventually a scar) of about 3-4 inches from the top of the labia to right underneath the vaginal opening.

And all of this dawned on me at 6.30am. I’ve known about this surgery for a couple of weeks now, but it’s like the realisation of what he was going to do, and the thought about how painful this surgery is going to be after the fact suddenly fell on me like a tonne of bricks. I feel utterly hopeless.

I’ve already imagined my confrontation with the surgeon today in the hospital, asking him to clarify EXACTLY what he is going to do, and whether he can do it another way! I’ve pictured me screaming at him “I DO NOT GIVE YOU MY CONSENT”, I’ve pictured myself ripping up that hospital document with the details of the surgery and storming off, and I’ve also imagined a version where I freak out at him and they sedate me and before I go into a ga-ga type of state, I beg my husband and my mum to “not let me go into the surgery”.

[Read more…]

The Humira Trap

I’ve completed my first sets of Humira injections – the first set consisted of 4 injection pens that were SUPER painful that caused me to cry and bruise on my stomach at the puncture point. The second set was only with 2 injections, and I must say, having the injections out of the fridge really helped diminish the pain…for some reason, when it’s colder, it hurts more. I ain’t no doctor so I’m not sure of the explanation for this one. Anyway, now I am ready for my 1 injection, every 2 weeks. I’m due tomorrow to do it.

So the dilemma is, because my initial reaction to the injections was a mini breakdown in front of the nurse in the hospital, they enlisted me in a program that would provide me with support over the first 3 self-administered injections at my own home. What a fantastic program – they send out a nurse who is happy to assist me as I inject myself for 10 seconds, and they are just there to help me with any concerns I may have, in the privacy of my own home…for free. Initially, I was really excited about this program, considering that I am not as brave as I’d like to think I am, and having the support of a trained medical person in my home while I administer this large injection at any time that suits me, is a great feeling. FINALLY I don’t have to wait for the next available appointment at some obscure time…I don’t have to take time off work, worry about getting to an appointment on time, waiting way past my appointment time for my doctor who is running late… in the comfort of my home at my own time of convenience, a nurse will come to me.

[Read more…]

Me and Women’s Health Magazine

The embarrassment… Women’s Health Magazine

A friend of a friend who used to work for Women’s Health magazine approached me at the beginning of 2013 and asked whether she could write about my Crohn’s story. She wanted to use me because I was stable in remission, even CURED I had thought. I had bragged to a few people that my Crohn’s no longer existed within me – I believed this because I had no symptoms, I felt good (so good, I even stopped taking my medication), colonoscopies couldn’t find any Crohn’s in my body, blood tests looked positive, I had met some cool people in Bali who taught me how to heal myself with healthy food and water and how to use positive language to say “I HAD Crohn’s” (past tense), and was finally so convinced that I was so in tune with my body that if something did start to flare, I would know about it immediately and would be able to manage it.

So I agreed to do this article, and it was the first time I had ever openly talked about having Crohn’s. Writing the history of how it all began, my symptoms, my treatments and how far I had come was a huge breaking of the barrier I had put up to protect myself from the embarrassment of having a disease and feeling abnormal to begin with! While I typed up my story before hitting ‘send’ I began to sob uncontrollably – it was the release I had needed after years of keeping it all a secret. Don’t get me wrong, friends and family knew I had Crohn’s, but they didn’t know how much I actually suffered with it. They didn’t know the gory details of my symptoms, didn’t know how many operations I had, how I used to be in so much pain after a bowel movement… I hid it from everyone. [Read more…]

Reactive vs. Proactive

My blog yesterday outlined my thought process when signs of my Crohn’s pop up. My first thought starts with panic, the second is reassurance, and then finally, putting strategies into action. I should’ve probably clarified that being ‘reactive’, in the sense of reacting quickly to do what’s necessary to get on top of these flare ups (being proactive to call your doctor(s), resting etc.) is a really good thing, but being EMOTIONALLY reactive is NOT a good thing.

Even though my thought process involves me reassuring myself that I’m going to be ok, I realised today that it ACTUALLY doesn’t help me REALLY feel ok. I may be saying all the right things to calm down so that I can think rationally through what my next steps need to be (which is great), but then after I put things into action, I don’t go back and address the initial emotional outburst. My reassuring words have not yet figured out how to convince my psyche that I’m ok.

So I went into hospital yesterday afternoon to start my Humira injections. I had an allergic reaction to the Infliximab (a medicinal infusion administered every 8 weeks in the hospital) a couple of weeks ago, so this treatment plan is the next option. It requires me to self-administer an injection every 2 weeks, for how ever long I need it, or until my body creates antibodies and rejects it.

Image

So basically, after having my freak out in the morning, making all the necessary appointments, I had convinced myself that I had done everything necessary that I could possible do for the day and that I was in control now. WRONG! Turned up at the hospital for my first lesson in Humira and how to inject myself, and clearly was still in panic mode. Luckily my gastro doctor (Dr. Alissa Walsh – super lovely!) was there at the IBD clinic in St. Vincent’s Hospital, and I told her my concerns with the symptoms I had. She had a look and said that the medicine in the injection should clear it up, so it was a good thing I was in today to start it all. Phew! I could now cancel my Thursday appointment with her since she just saw me, and she has given me the all clear. Sigh of relief… NOT GOOD ENOUGH! I didn’t realise that the anxiety that I had built up ALL morning would need MORE than the doctor’s prognosis as she looked up my butt. Even the nurse said I looked really anxious… she actually said to me “You look like you need a bowel prep!” – which means, I looked like I was constipated (gee, thanks!) because I was clearly straining my face with anxiousness. And then, the 4 injectons that were INCREDIBLY PAINFUL just tipped me over the anxiety edge. And I had a meltdown.

I tried to keep it hidden… I was holding back the tears as I was putting the little band-aid from the nurse over the injection site that was throbbing and already bruising my stomach… I picked up my bag and looked to the ground and kept my voice cheerful as the nurse explained that she wanted me to stay in the waiting room for another 30 minutes to make sure I didn’t have an allergic reaction. As I scuttled towards the waiting room, I made a detour to the toilet. Unfortunately, this unisex toilet was the only one available to the WHOLE waiting room, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay in there for long. And because of it’s close proximity to where people were sitting, I knew I couldn’t cry loudly. So I sat on the toilet, grabbed tissues and quietly sobbed, reminding myself to keep it together. After a fraction of time, I took a few deep breaths and emerged, back towards a chair in the waiting room. The nurse that had been with me helping with my injections spotted me all red eyed and sniffing and sweetly offered for me to move to another area so that I could have some privacy. She brought me tissues and sat with me and just talked me through it.

Crying made it feel soooo much better. I just needed a release! It was all just a bit too much for me today. Even though I had made all the right steps to ensuring that I would be checked over, I hadn’t nurtured the emotional side of my symptoms. I was trying so hard to be brave, to keep it together, but obviously that freak out and panic at the start of the day stayed with me until the afternoon when I finally cried about it all. It’s AMAZING how much emotions play a part in our well-being. Even if you say out loud (or even in your head) positive words of reassurance, if you don’t believe them, your body will manifest dis-ease (pun intended).

I haven’t tapped into the secret of how to reduce an initial emotional reaction, let alone how to release it quickly (except crying really does help), and I am hoping to learn! I’ve heard meditation aids in this process, but I am not yet at that stage of utilising it. If you know another method of how to NOT absorb emotion into your body so that you don’t get yourself into a state, please let me know.

What does help me emotionally process everything is by talking to my sister, who is the wisest person I know, and it helps too that she’s a psychologist…she knows what questions to ask and how to guide me out of a negative thought pattern or emotional state. If you have that someone who can help you process it all, whether it be a family member, a friend or a therapist (Crohn’s is known for causing the “Why Me?” mental anguish, so visiting a professional counsellor is encouraged) who you know won’t feel burdened from hearing it all, get the help you need from them. I also use acupuncture and energetic healing to help release the emotional contraction in my body. Yoga or your favourite exercise can help too, but for me, this is only a temporary release. Meditation and prayer would do wonders too, but I’m yet to master those as well.

Being PROACTIVE to your physical and emotional needs is important in dealing and healing with Crohn’s, but being REACTIVE is much more challenging to subdue. Being emotionally reactive is exhausting and traumatic on your body and mind, and I need to create a different thought process that STARTS with reassurance, rather than with panic. Or at least go back and make peace with the initial emotional thought. If you can help me figure this out, let me know… in the meantime, I’ll give my sister a buzz…

My recent relapse, and how I got through it…

I had a relapse with my Crohn’s about 3 months ago now, and my best friend, noticing that it had hit me really hard, encouraged me to start writing this blog. It was amazing how this recent relapse threw me! I had been in remission for 3 years (that is, 3 years ago I had a small external abscess near my anus that needed clearing – I say this is ‘minor’ surgery because they didn’t need to enter within!) and before then, the end of 2009 to the middle of 2010, was probably my worst year dealing with pain, where after a bowel movement I couldn’t move for about 3 hours from the pain, and if I had to go to work, I swallowed as many painkillers as I could safely consume and just walked really slowly, or sat on a pillow. So all up, I was kinda in “remission” for 4 years…

So when things got bad in February this year, I was shocked! I thought I had overcome the Crohn’s! I thought I had tricked it into staying in remission forever…wishful bloody thinking! I didn’t have the typical symptoms that tell me that things are going badly – stomach cramping, puss, diarrhea, bloody stools, fever… But the symptoms I did have included the following:

Frequent bloating. This type of bloating is the kind that makes you look 5 months pregnant, where it’s painful to sit or stand because you feel like your insides are going to explode from within, or it feels like you are wearing a corset around your midsection that is cutting off circulation to your organs…it’s a tight, horrible band of discomfort around your stomach that even makes your back hurt…and you just can’t get rid of it for the whole day!
But I had explanations for those… that time of the month, or I ate something funny, or I’m constipated… I kept finding justifications, instead of realising this was a NEW way that my body was telling me that I wasn’t well.

Regular constipation. Not doing a poo for a day is not really considered constipation. Not pooing for a day and then feeling the urge and NOTHING comes out even though you are pushing or taking heaps of laxatives, and you find yourself praying to the Gods while on the porcelain throne, THAT is constipation. Squatting helps, so that you don’t burst anything by pushing too much… just saying… But I too had an explanation for this – I didn’t drink enough water today, I ate too much pasta, I haven’t done enough exercise, I’ve been sitting too much at work, my stricture is flaring… once again, didn’t realise that this was a whole new way of showing me my Crohn’s was active.

Tired. I felt so goddamn tired! I could barely make it through a day at work! I had naps during my lunch break or free period (I’m a teacher) and developed a love of coffee (with soy milk of course). But my explanation for that was that I was stressed (I was planning a wedding after all), or had a cold, or had a big weekend and I’m older now so it takes me longer to recover… I even went and did a blood test because I realised something was wrong, maybe I was anaemic? Maybe I needed more iron or vitamin D (everyone with Crohn’s has a Vitamin D deficiency as that’s part of the autoimmune problem), and the results showed that there was inflammation in my body (high white blood cell count) but I had the flu or a sore throat, so that made sense…right? hmmmm…. wake up girl!

I didn’t realise that over a 6 month period, my body was SCREAMING at me that things weren’t right. I was in denial land again… I hate that place, but keep going back to it. I was looking for all the OTHER symptoms that I usually experience to tell me my Crohn’s was flaring, and not realising that these were NEW symptoms that I now need to watch out for. I now know that if ANYTHING doesn’t feel right in my body, then it’s probably the Crohn’s and I have to get back to diligent managing!

So when I woke up one Friday morning in a lot of pain down there, I’d noticed that I had (I’m not shitting you now…) grown what appeared to be a testicle overnight. My left labia was REALLY swollen. I was like, that’s weird… did I sleep in a funny position? Did I get too freaky with my husband? Was I bitten by something? Hmmm… why don’t I just see what happens with it tomorrow (denial to deal with it now situation). I spent the day at work, and any opportunity I had to sit down, I would have my legs elevated (because that helps reduce swelling in weird areas, right?). On Saturday morning (I was acting quickly this time! The very next day!) I made an appointment with my GP at lunch time because the swelling became super painful, that even wearing underwear was too much! I casually sat on the couch with an ice pack between my legs until it was time to go to the doctor. As soon as she examined me, she told me I need to go into hospital because I had a Bartholin’s cyst that needed to be incised immediately. Bartholin’s cysts are apparently a very common affliction in women – 1 in 50 get one. It’s a gland near the vaginal opening that can get blocked, and when it does, pain and swelling ensue. I comically texted my girlfriends on the way to emergency with my husband, to tell them that they were now safe, because I had gotten the Bartholin’s cyst for the group.

Anyway, spent the night in hospital, they opened the cyst and left in some dissolvable stitches to help with drainage, and Sunday I was home. No biggie. Got a medical certificate for the week because I would need that time to recover and avoid being on my feet (my whole job!) in case gravity took it’s toll and made things more swollen. Sweet! Week off work!

Pffttt…that excitement lasted a whole 3 days… on Wednesday the swelling became worse. It doubled in size and turned beetroot red. I could barely sit down. I’d have to lie down with pillows underneath my legs to get comfortable. I couldn’t walk. On Thursday I went back to my GP who actually looked scared when she had a look down there… never a settling experience when your own doctor looks freaked out by the situation! She called my gynaecologist for me and made me an appointment with him the next day. It totally annoys me that when you call your specialist, it takes at least 3 months for you to get in, but if another doctor calls on your behalf, suddenly there is an opening??! Go figure… so on a side note, if something is flaring, go to your GP and get them to call a specialist for you!

When I saw my gynaecologist the next day, he confirmed that there was some whack infection happening post-surgery. He prescribed me Flagyl and Kefflex (super strong antibiotics) and gave me his personal mobile number. He said if I got a fever, then to go to emergency, otherwise, I would see him on Monday for surgery to incise it…again.
Over the weekend, I had a massive fever. Unfortunately, it was Mardi Gras weekend (party time) and I knew that if I went to emergency at St. Vincent’s (right next to Kings Cross!) I wouldn’t be seen until Monday anyway! So I got a script of Endone, texted my gyne about the situation, and lay on the couch the whole weekend.

On Monday I check into surgery. My gynaecologist wanted to get a gastro surgeon to have a look at me too, considering my history of Crohn’s disease. I was like, “oh, it’s not the Crohn’s. My vagina is the problem now…it’s not the Crohn’s”. I did an MRI (loud, bloody machine to lie inside for 30 minutes) and turns out WAHOO! It is the Crohn’s (total sarcasm)!  Turns out I had a a couple of abscesses – one in the labia and one in the perineum, and I had fistulae forming, which are little tracks or tunnels through your tissue that lead to infection and abscesses. Turns out, a long fistula was running from my colon into my labia. Fucking great. So now my Crohn’s had spread into my woman’s zone. Absolute DISASTER!

And that’s how my recent relapse totally screwed me over. I felt like my body had betrayed me. It didn’t give me my typical symptoms that raise the red flag for me to look after myself more carefully. I physically recovered from the incident (after 3 surgeries and insertion of setons), but emotionally I didn’t. I felt shame and embarrassment. I felt scared that I didn’t see it coming and that it had spread. I didn’t feel sexy anymore. I cried everyday. I screamed into pillows and wallowed deep in self-pity. And it was during this time that I depended on EVERYONE around me to help me feel strong again. The most important thing to have in your life if you’re dealing with illness is to have a support network of family and friends. Because no matter how positive you are, I can attest that you can lose that in an instant, and it can take you a while to get back on your feet (figuratively and literally). If it wasn’t for people reminding me that I’ll get through it, and that I can get better again, and lots of acupuncture (upped my sessions to 3 times a week), I would’ve stayed in my misery hole for much much longer. And this is also how this blog was born. It has been really therapeutic.

So this is what I suggest, that worked for me, on how to deal with a relapse:

1.Get angry. Super, hyperventilating type of anger. Scream, curse, pound your fists into your pillow. Pace the room aggressively.
But don’t let the anger last too long, because it’s exhausting and makes things worse for your healing in the long run.

2. Cry your eyes out. Lose yourself to the sadness and shame. Get it all out. All the emotion. Let your soul release it to the universe. And don’t give yourself an unrealistic time frame to get over it! Don’t say, ok, I am only going to feel bad for 2 more days. No. You need more time. It might be a week, or even a month – be realistic for yourself.

3. Have family and friends around you to support you. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was let people know I was unwell and that I needed help. I hid being sick for years so well from people, that even yesterday a good mate of mine of 10 years said he had no idea I even had Crohn’s! Call your friends and family and TELL them that you need them, because you’re having a hard time. Find the strength to do this, because it really helps when you are totally down and need to see that light at the end of the tunnel again.
And look at me now! I’m writing a blog sharing EVERYTHING! Now I’m just shouting to the world that I have Crohn’s! It sucks to have it, but hey, that’s just how it is.

4. Find your determination again. Hard to do at times, but it’s in there. After the emotional release, I was determined to do what ever was possible to get me back on track- I took time off work, slept as much as I needed, met with my naturopath, my holistic medicine doctor, got more acupuncture and energetic healing sessions, met with multiple gastroenterologists to find out different treatment options and tried those options, researched about drinking camel’s milk (yes, this is a thing: http://www.camelmilkmagic.com/), I tried aromatherapy, did food allergy tests, had salt baths twice a day, started a blog, started taking vitamins and supplements, and got massages to help me relax (essential therapy I swear!). Do whatever version of these things that you can do to get you in a positive direction towards healing.

5. Change your diet. Just do it. Cut out gluten, dairy and sugar. These elements are inflammatory. It’s hard to do because everything that tastes amazing has either gluten, dairy or sugar, or all three in them! But it is totally possible and I will write a blog about other beautiful options to eat. Avoid raw foods too (too harsh to digest) and don’t drink coffee.

6. Create a new mental checklist of ADDITIONAL symptoms that you now have to look out for. It sucks, but will keep you prepared for next time!

7. Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself for not paying attention to the symptoms. Forgive yourself for not dealing with it sooner. It’s ok to be vulnerable. Say lovely things to yourself (and believe them of course) such as “I’m ok”, “I’m going to get through this”. Allow yourself the time to feel better, and pamper yourself to feel special. Don’t feel like a failure. And be alright with staying at home if you need to take it easy – be ok with saying “no” to people. Don’t push yourself too hard.

And guess what… before you know it, you’re recovering and moving towards remission again. It’s taken me 3 months to properly feel like I am physically, emotionally and psychologically better. I am dealing, and I am healing. And you can too. Remember that you’ve been healthier before, and you can get back to that place, it just requires some love and support for yourself and from others, and some determination to do everything humanly possible to get super well. Good luck xx

P.S My husband just likened this post to me writing the next Game of Thrones book. Sorry they’re so long! hahaha