I’ve had a stressful few weeks. Because I have Crohn’s Disease that’s meant this stress has caused my symptoms to exacerbate and I’ve been feeling pretty rank rotten on top of everything else. That’s ok though, because in theory that means that once the stress is over, and things outside of my colon are calmer, more than likely the inside will also follow suit. Albeit, probably about a fortnight later. That’s the plan anyway. It’s how it’s worked for me so far.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s far from ideal. As anyone with or without the disease will no doubt know, stress is incredibly common and can rear its hideously ugly head from time to time, playing havoc with your day to day life. There’s no easy solution, in most cases, depending on the cause(s) of said stress, you just have to ride it out and hope things will get better when you come out the other end. It’s compounded when you are at your weakest when trying to deal with it though.
I try wherever I can to minimise stress in my life. However in worrying about my job, my home, my friends, family and relationship, this is easier said than done. I know I will be ill when I get stressed, but I am still surprised how quickly it happens. It’s often as though my body predicts the stress before it actually begins. An early warning system, if you will, that sticks the knife in purely for its own sordid amusement.
Possibly surprisingly, health isn’t my main worry. It was of course, pre-Crohn’s diagnosis. When I knew that I was very ill but didn’t know why, I was in a state of constant anxiety wondering what bowel related terrors lay ahead. A good few years down the line and one bowel resection later, now I know that whatever Crohn’s throws at me, and from whichever orifice it comes from, I’ll be equipped to deal with it. I have the fore-knowledge of what my disease entails at my fingertips and the backbone to speak up when something isn’t quite right.
It’s important to pinpoint the causes of your stress as early as you can and establish what can be done to banish, or at least minimise it. Work on solutions instead of wallowing. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel being proactive rather than allowing negativity to creep in. I don’t profess to have all the answers, clearly, as I’ve already stated I’m a walking-talking stress-fest. All I can advise is to keep powering through it, hard as it may seem. Don’t be afraid to let others in and ask for help. Don’t take everything on yourself. For most patients Crohn’s is a daily struggle as it is. Don’t make yourself ill worrying about things that might really amount to nothing. Prioritise your worries and put those that deserve your attention at the top of the pile. If health is your worry then please seek the help you need. That’s one problem you can’t solve yourself.