My body is an amazing piece of kit.
Before you all cease reading immediately due to my extreme vanity, let me rephrase that;
All of your bodies are amazing.
Since I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease I've found that my fascination with the human body and how it works, has grown tenfold. Well, it's blossomed. I suppose before I became ill myself I took much of how my body performed for granted. I didn't pay any attention to it as I really had no reason to. Other than the normal activities you are required to attend to in order to keep it ticking over. Resting it, feeding it, washing it and keeping it active.
Appearance wise, I did all the usual things women (and some men) do in order to 'maintain' my particular piece of machinery. I painted my face and pouffed up my hair, made sure it smelt nice and was kept sparkling clean. I draped it in nice clothes (and some not so nice), and prised it into high heels and made it pay for it later. I covered it in lotions and potions and trussed it up like a turkey in various degrees of torture-inducing underwear.
But, like any piece of machinery, the outer casing can look beyond glorious, but if the internal parts are failing then you really are fighting a losing battle.
Shortly after my initial diagnosis I was angry with the body I'd ended up with; why was mine so useless? Why do I have to be stuck with this failing machinery?
I raged with myself that I hadn't taken enough care of myself and that this disease was my punishment. I understand now of course that this isn't the case at all. In fact I could have eaten gold plated chicken kievs, bathed in asses milk and drunk from the fountain of youth and I'd still have ended up with Crohn's Disease. Albeit looking about 12 and with teeth like Jaws from the Bond films. Besides, asses are not particularly common in Scotland so it's completely impractical.
It's very important to me now that the inner casing is as 'attractive' and taken care of as the outer. More so the other way round I reckon.
If you are sickly on the inside that often radiates on the outside too. Crohn's may be an 'invisible illness' but many of the symptoms are so visible that they are hard to conceal at times. For me it's the colour draining from my face, the swollen stomach, hunched up stance when in pain or the weird hot flushes when I'm having a flare. No amount of make up can conceal all that. And to be honest, I wouldn't really want it to. Sometimes it gets hard fighting an illness alone. Trying to explain to others how utterly awful you feel on the inside. It also gets tiresome trying to hide the more visible signs.
Like a car running out of petrol these are my personal warning lights that remind me I need to take action. Be that the simple act of allowing my machinery to rest for a while or take it to see an expert for a good checking over.
Don't ignore your warning signs. They are your body's way of letting you know something inside isn't performing as well as it should.
You wouldn't let a car run until it packed in, so treat your own piece of kit with the same respect.