An Inconvenient Truth

Yes, I, a 29 year old woman, wants her mummy. My mum who is away on holiday with my dad, I wish she were here. She is the ultimate “Everything will be ok” kind of person, that just being near her or hearing her voice makes you feel safe.

Today I am going back into hospital – 4 days ago I noticed a small abscess forming near my anus, a place where I have had an abscess before, and by Tuesday morning it had become a blister about the size of my pinky nail and everything around the area ached. The pressure behind it feels like you have a marble under your skin – you notice it when you walk or sit. Luckily I was able to squeeze in to see my surgeon that Tuesday morning at 11.30am, who declared at 11.45am that this was just a “niggle” (he didn’t want me to get upset and wanted to remind me that this was NOT a major setback, that this was just a minor situation) that needed to be cleaned out, and that he will replace the seton nearby as well. Let’s do it tomorrow! YAY!

I walked out of there feeling good. I would get this all under control in 24 hours! Sweet! I love it when it can be sorted quickly! Less time to think about it all. Not going to let this situation inconvenience the rest of my life and everything I have planned! Because by getting it done tomorrow, well, that means I can still go to that wedding I need to go to on Saturday, and thank god it’s still school holidays so I can recover for a couple more days after and do nothing, oh but I won’t be able to make my Wednesday night basketball game so I better let my team know, and thank goodness I have that acupuncture appointment on Thursday afternoon which will be great to help clear any general anaeasthetic that might still be lingering…

Oh shit! Who is going to take me into hospital at this short notice? Ehhhh, it’ll be fine, I will get my own way there! I call my husband, explain what’s going on and I can hear the awkwardness in his voice because I know he is super stressed and busy at the moment with work and he’s wondering how he is going to take the time off and I’m all like, “It’s cool! I’ll get a cab there, but you’ll have to pick me up” and I hear him literally exhale in relief that the option for him to go to work is still available.

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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.

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Fitness Freak

After sharing my recent bath time story to my surgeon on Tuesday, I am happy to say that he was impressed that my body is clearing itself. YAY!

Bad news is, he still wants to operate next week. BOO!

Basically what’s happened is where my first abscess was earlier this year, well, the cavity that held the abscess is still there. It has left a large, hardened, empty mass under my skin that is the size of a 20 cent piece. Anyway, that cavity needs to be removed now. The risk is that if it stays there, it could potentially fill up again to form a new abscess. Alternatively, I leave it, but deal with the fact that I have this bizarre growth that makes everything look asymmetrical down there. So I agreed with him about having it removed.

To be honest, the surgery didn’t need to be rushed anytime soon, but I was thinking about all my wonderful friends’ weddings coming up in the next couple of months, and I figure, the sooner I do the surgery, the sooner I’ll be up and running. Get it over and done with!

But then this week I noticed something – in my yoga class, I was holding poses longer, even trying some of the harder ones… I felt STRONGER… and then tonight at my basketball game, I played a whole 40 minute game without taking a break and felt good and wasn’t out of breath…I felt FITTER… and then as I was driving home from the game, it dawned on me that by going into surgery next week, I will be out of action for 3-4 weeks which means that I won’t feel this amazing strength in my body for another long while.

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I’m calling bullshit on this one…

Apparently 1 in 10 showers may contain bacteria that trigger Crohn’s Disease…

Could Bathroom Showers Trigger Crohns Disease?

WTF? I must say, I am really happy that there is a lot of research going on regarding Crohn’s disease and the potential threats and causes that influence flares or even diagnosis – but on the other hand, is there TOO much research going on? I mean, is it all necessary?
I know from my own experience that having too much information is overwhelming and in fact, left me feeling more confused than I have ever been about my health. For the first time in a long time, I felt disconnected from my own intuition of how my body was feeling because I had read so much, heard so much and spoken to so many doctors that eventually I couldn’t hear what my own body was telling me while my mind was whirling with trying to find the answers. And in some circumstances I started to fear things I was doing (or not doing) because I was worried that I could cause a flare up instantaneously!
So this article brings me back to that feeling – by publishing articles like this one that don’t necessarily have any conclusive evidence of a factual and causal link to Crohn’s, is media perpetuating a fear factor for Crohn’s sufferers?
So if you are feeling exceptionally vulnerable from a recent flare up, try and avoid reading articles like these, or at least take them with a grain of salt.
Because I sure as hell am not going to avoid showering!

Doctors and Drama!

I woke up this morning at 6.30am and my mind was racing. All of a sudden I was a heap in the bed, curled up and crying. I tried opening my mouth to scream and nothing came out, all I could feel was a tightening in my throat – as if I was slightly embarrassed to let it out, but also that my body wouldn’t comply. I’m not in any physical pain, but I am in a heap of emotional pain.

I went to one of my doctors yesterday (the one who has been monitoring my diet and has put me on a large collection of supplements for a treatment) and I have been feeling amazing on her treatment, and my blood work also is showing positive results. YAY! But it’s what she said to me yesterday that has got me tipping over the edge: she said “I’ve seen people become relaxed with their diet because they have been feeling so good, but you won’t be able to do it. It would be DISASTROUS, and the body just never seems to be able to recover”. I asked “Why is that?” and she said “I don’t know, it’s just too shocking for the body, and you can’t return to this kind of treatment afterwards”. TALK ABOUT DRAMATISING EVERYTHING!

What pissed me off more is the things I SHOULD’VE said back to her when she said this, especially after I had my mantra of “clarity” yesterday. I have to give myself props though, because I did have the clarity to ask her about the sustainability of this treatment and told her it was very expensive for me – it’s like I hit a quota of clarity just by saying that, which explains why I wasn’t able to call her on her bullshit. I should’ve said “You can’t have me fearing the food I eat!!!” which had actually started happening recently – I was shit scared that something I ate would get me sick again! Thank god for acupuncture that helped relieve that anxiety!

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Clarity, Strength and Healing

While I was doing a head stand in yoga class today, these 3 words “Clarity, Strength and Healing” came to mind – now I know my mind should be clear during my yoga practice, but I welcomed these words as being the new mantra that I need to focus on. After all, it did come to me while I was hanging upside down…clearly it was a message from my inner depths after an hour of blissful and intense yoga that my body and mind needed me to know. So here I go, listening to my body (as we all should, so that we may know what is really best for us), and understanding what it all means, and what my intentions have to be:

Clarity: Be clear about what I need to do to stay healthy – balance of medication, surgery, supplements and diet. Be clear with my communication with my doctors about what I want for my healing process too, on my terms, not only on theirs.

Strength: Gain strength emotionally and physically. Be strong in moving forward and confidently dealing with it all.

Healing: Heal from within. Look after myself through my clarity and strength, and the healing will continue happening. I am currently healing. I am currently healthy.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti xx

Things to Remember when Everything is Going Wrong

When everything goes wrong, remember this…

Lifebuzz putting things into perspective…

As much as I would like to NOT have Crohn’s, I have to admit that I agree with #1 that pain is a part of growing, and that my scars are symbols of my strength from #4. They have created who I am today…which is why I ultimately just keep on going (#8)!

Enjoy the read.