I love Christmas. I love the snow and the lights, the gift giving and devouring enough food to feed a small country. I love the build up to it all and spending time with the people I love.
Last year wasn't my best Christmas to date. I was in the full force of a flare-up and was only weeks away from my operation. The thought of having major surgery in a matter of days was always in my thoughts. Constant pain meant I was on lots of pain relief and medication and couldn't drink. Not the end of the world I know, but to lots of Scots it's a part of that clink-your-glasses-together-with-a-wee-dram tradition that I love.
I was also on a liquid only diet (not of the wee dram kind unfortunately) and took Christmas day 'off' from my delicious (vile) prescribed shakes to gorge myself. Felt incredibly guilty about this but the thought of sitting around the table while everyone tucked into turkey with all the trimmings would have reduced me to hunger induced tears, not to mention making the rest of the family feel awful. So I tucked in - but much to my dismay I could hardly eat anything anyway. I gave it a good old college try but the end score was always going to be Crohns - 1 - Kath - Nil.
Feeling this rotten all day made it hard to relax and enjoy myself. Even the act of hugging my loved ones was incredibly painful, I could barely touch myself around the tum area let alone have under 10's run at me with the force of a steam train.
I hope that this year ahead is going to be a better one. My beloved and I are spending Christmas Day with my parents then his on Boxing Day. I've felt all the preparation to be quite stressful this year so have decided Christmas 2012 will not be the same - I'll budget better and try not to go as overboard as I always do on the gifts. I say this every year but now, other than not leaving myself penniless, I have a solid reason to avoid stress. Christmas is supposed to be a joyous occasion and the less stress I bring on myself the better. For my health and my mental health!
Crohn's is an awful disease and can really bring you down. I liken it to a spoilt brat of a child, constantly not finishing meals and relentless attention seeking, if it doesn't get what it wants then comes the nipping and punching and whining. If only I could have mines adopted, although I doubt anyone would volunteer :(
It's horrible and depressing at times but my advice to anyone in the grip of Crohn's (or anything really making you feel below par) is simply please, PLEASE, don't let it win. Keep on trucking and eventually there will be a light at the end of the road. It won't disappear or get easier as such, but you will get stronger and learn to adapt. This in itself will be a revelation. A little Christmas miracle if you will.
Finally, humour me while I become the Queen of Cheese for a few moments.. I want to say Thank-you so much to anyone who has taken the time to read my posts this year, you really have no idea what it means. All the support I've received since I started writing has been phenomenal and I hope to continue blabbing on this way into 2012 and beyond!
Merry Christmas Everyone.
All my love, Your friendly neighbourhood Crohnie x