Sunday, 1 December 2013

Don't Worry, Feel Crappy

I’ve spoken before about how massive a part stress can play in causing or antagonising Crohn’s symptoms. When I first heard this I thought it was mad. I thought it was a daft new-age theory to suggest that minimising stress could ease my disease. However, having now lived with the condition for several years now, I’ve come to realise what a terrible catalyst stress and periods of upset can really be on the body.  
For me, and apparently many other Crohn’s patients, these stressful episodes can cause flare ups of the disease which often linger around long after the stress itself has subsided. Very annoying. When I feel stressed, or am having a difficult or upsetting time in work or in my personal life, I tend to feel the symptoms build and build to a crescendo whereby my bowels digestive symphony is totally out of tune. I feel run down and all the issues I normally have to deal with on a day to day basis become amplified. I am zapped of energy and this in turn doesn’t serve to help in dealing with trying to get on top of the aforementioned stress in the first place. It can all get too much and cause periods of major blue moods if you don’t catch it in the act. 
Stress can have a devastating effect on the body and is often unavoidable. I try as best I can do keep my life as stress-free as possible, but this is easier said than done. Long after the stress has passed I find I’m left with a resulting flare up and the consequences thereof. This often lasts anything from days to weeks after and can be difficult to deal with. For me this particular resulting flare has now lasted over 2months, and has been so vicious and nasty that the hospital have been trying to pierce and probe me for Scotland. They’ve also been running tests on me too.  Hopefully this is just a flare up and can be managed with something as simple as a change of medication, as the idea of being back in the same situation as I was during my initial diagnosis is too much to bear thinking about. It will only stress me out, and that’s the last thing me or my bowels need.
In speaking to many of you about how stress affects you and your Crohn’s, many of you share my experiences. In fact many of you have called Crohn’s ‘the gift that keeps on giving’. I couldn’t put it better myself – Crohn’s makes many of our lives a misery on an everyday basis then increases it’s annoyance tenfold when we are already under incredible stress elsewhere.  Helpful. It’s just another horrible irony in living with Crohn’s that the worse you feel mentally the worse you will feel physically, and vice versa. You can feel you are constantly fighting a losing battle against your own body. But then again what is the alternative? Lie down to it? Well maybe just for 10minutes…

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