I'm slowly getting to grips with the realisation that I must start 'listening' to my body. Of course with Crohn's in some cases it's almost impossible not too, mainly when my washing machine stomach is in the midst of it's full spin cycle.
Joking aside, when I say 'listen' I don't just mean the audible wonderment my insides produce, but more those certain feelings or intuitions you start to get with a longterm illness. I'm a great one for pushing things I don't have time for (like my health) to the back of the drawer, hoping above all hope it will 'sort itself out' leaving me to get on with whatever else it is I've designated more important.
Take an example from earlier this month. I took the first week of Nov off work as I had some leave to use up and thought I catch up with all the lovely people I haven't seen for ages and take in some overdue rest and relaxation. Day 1 of my 'holiday' I went shopping with mum, felt shattered and dizzy and spent most of the day running back and forth to the toilet. Ended up shouting at her in M&S about god knows what and getting completely over-emotional for no legitimate reason.
Day 2 spent at home feeling rotten, no appetite and grumpy as Hell.
Day 3 was my little brothers graduation and I was determined to attend and feel better. I remember saying to my beloved the night before 'Best perk myself up for tomorrow' - Brilliant. If anyone knows how exactly you do that then please let me know as that phrase makes no sense whatsoever. So the day arrived, I was up with the lark and caught bus into town, slight headache on the horizon but I reasoned I hadn't eaten and the sun blazing in the window caused that (yes, I said Sun. In Scotland. In November.)
Met my brother and his lady and he was a little on the nervous/stressed side. Had half a bacon roll and lots of liquids and insisted on sitting at end of the row next to the door to bemused glances from older people around me. Dizziness got steadily worse and the headache was brutal. Queasiness was on the way at this point too and the ceremony had only just begun. Got ridiculously emotional watching lil' bro' graduate and cried the tears of a sick and soppy big sister.
Then was another bus trip to the reception. Leaned up against the wall in the grand hall and avoided the fishy canapés on offer for fear of them making a reappearance. Old lady next to me was brought a chair to sit on and I was soo close to shoving her off so I could rest my wobbly body. She may have been 80+ but at that point in time she was 100% healthier than me. Anyway, skipping to the end, I said my farewells and met my beloved on bus home. Felt AWFUL at this point and about 10mins from home I threw up over him several times. Lovely. Mixture of absolute horror, mortification, confusion and embarrassment all in matter of moments. He was totally understanding and reassuring and when I was safely ensconced at home I spent next few days getting more intimate with the sick bowl.
Horrible bug that lasted all week, shivers, sweats, sickness, dizziness were just a few of the happy symptoms.
The thing is, I KNEW it was coming. Obviously not to the projectile-vomitting-on-a-bus extent that it did, but I knew from day 1 I was going downhill.
It's shown me I can't ignore when my body is trying to tell me to slow down or give me a warning of what may be ahead. It knows best. I need to learn the language of my body, and right now I still require a translator. Anyone fluent in Colon?
This post was written as part of NHBPM - 30 health posts in 30 days.