Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Potholes

I’ve been doing really well with Crohn’s disease for the past few years. I credit the change to a disease-modifying drug, or biologic, which reduces the signs and symptoms of Crohn's and helps prevent further damage. The idea here is to achieve remission by controlling inflammation, and maintaining it in order to prevent flare-ups. Being in remission has allowed me to eat a more diverse assortment of hard-to-digest foods such as nuts, and various vegetables and fruit. Being a foodie, of sorts, I appreciate this food heaven diversity.

I don’t often talk about Crohn’s. While it is a definite part of my life, it is not my life. Recently, Crohn’s knocked me on my butt once again. Like a pothole in a road, you don’t always see it coming. All you can do is maintain as much control of your vehicle as possible, hope there are not more potholes ahead, and deal with the aftermath. I know this drill all too well.

A flare-up, or episode, is a gut-wrenching experience. Basically, it consists of contractions of my intestine, causing severe cramping which generally lasts about four to six hours. Fortunately for me, I am able to recover from a Crohn’s episode by resting for a day and maintaining vigilance over what I am eating. I get back to my life as soon as I possibly can.

Many things may set off an episode, and like anyone, I dissect the possibilities. But I have learned not to get overly caught up in the whole dissection thing. It is disappointing anytime an episode occurs. This one was particularly discouraging because it had been a few years since I experienced this severity. But, I am not worried or concerned. It’s a pothole. Move on. Chances are, as I cruise down the road in front of me, there will not be another for sometime, or at all.

We all experience various potholes in the road. The secret is to not feel vulnerable or weak. The secret is to pull yourself together, hold on to the steering wheel in front of you, and don’t let go. The secret is to be more powerful than the pothole! In a year focused on balance, I am not allowing this pothole to throw me off my feet.

Potholes photo courtesy of xemmybearx
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