A lot of things change when you’re diagnosed with a chronic disease. The emotions alone, the emotions that you have to endure when you find out that you have a disease that you will have to live with for the rest of your life, the emotions are devastating. My life seemed to halt when I left the hospital for the first time with a brand new, shiny diagnosis. I had already gotten over the shock I fell into when I finally had a cause for the weight just falling off of me, for the pain for the past year. I walked out of that hospital, and life stopped.
Since that day, 5 years ago now, life started back up again. I purchased a house, divorced and then finally started to settle down again. I’ve been working the same job for almost 3 years now, life is stable, calm, and most definitely moving forward. However, it’s not the same. Since I was diagnosed I have moved on with life, but it seems like my Crohns Disease partially dictates what decisions I make. I plan around and for my Crohns Disease, both in what I want to do tomorrow, and what I plan to do in 10 years. Crohns Disease is part of my life, there for it has a place in my plans.
Life is a bit different now. I plan around infusions that I need every 8 weeks, I make sure to fit in all of my appointments for each doctor, which trust me, I have quite the handful now. It’s not really bad though, it’s just different. Some parts that have changed? My outlook, how I take care of myself. I try my best to follow a healthier diet, I get some moderate exercise, and stay away from things that I know will set off my disease. I’m working on cutting down smoking, eventually to quit, and I’m trying my best to keep to a stress free life. Without Crohns disease, I’m not sure if I’d work on my own happiness, work on keeping stress out of my home. It takes a lot of work, and there’s a lot to be done. I can’t say that I’d be as devoted to the whole idea if I was perfectly healthy.
As I’m getting older, moving forward in life, I’m starting to realize some things. While having Crohns Disease isn’t the ideal way to live my life, it’s not the end. I’m not stuck in my tracks, and by taking charge of my life, my body, I have a chance to make improvements. So instead of dwelling about how “life stopped” because I got sick, I’m living life, enjoying myself, and striving to take care of myself and my life. Chronic illness isn’t the end, just a new way of living.
Now if only the infusion nurse would get her butt over here and unhook me. I am starving, and am looking forward to grabbing lunch.