Friday, 14 June 2013

My Body Don't Tolerate

I often have to remember that due to vast and varied selection of different symptoms involved in living with Crohn's Disease, it can be very important to establish some form of pecking order. What I mean by this is, that in order to carry out your daily activities, hold down a job, raise children (and/or a cat), see friends and family, and maintain a relationship, you often have to gauge which of your many symptoms are tolerable, and under which circumstances more definite action is required.

I find it hard to get a balance on a daily basis of what the disease will allow me to do.

I feel pretty rotten in varying degrees every day. Some days I feel worse than others. Some blissful days I barely have a symptom. It's hard to explain this to people who don't suffer from a chronic illness. Many think its an exaggeration but I only wish it were. I don't in any way mean to sound dramatic, I'm just stating the facts.
 Although Crohn's is most widely known as a condition affecting the bowels and intestines, it's much less commonly known that the disease can affect the whole body too. 
For me the main offenders amongst these side-symptoms are arthritis, scalp and skin issues, bloating, headaches, hot and cold flushes, dizziness, anaemia and fatigue. 
It's trying to establish what qualifies as 'unwell' when it comes to what you can and can't do that can be an issue.

I have a personal tolerance level where pain is concerned. Before my surgery I was in constant and often utterly unbearable pain. I couldn't stand upright, could barely walk and the pain was relentless, sharp and piercing. Often like being stabbed in the gut with a hot poker. (I would imagine..).

So I know now what I can handle - not enjoy - handle. Tolerate. Therefore on the flip-side I know what I can't. I know how long to allow my body to put up with the pain before getting it the help it needs and I know who to call if I can't cope and need to go to hospital.
Having this mental back-up plan and fore-knowledge is strangely reassuring. This is why when people see me running to and fro from the toilet, and worry I'm having a tough time, I can say without having to fib, that although I'm maybe not at my best, I'm coping.


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