This week, from the 1st to the 7th December it's Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week. It sometimes seems strange to me that there needs to be a week/day/month to raise awareness of IBD. It's such a huge part of my life now that I can barely remember what life was like B.C (before Crohn’s).
Then I recall my diagnosis all those years ago, and the first time I heard the words 'Crohn's Disease'. I didn't have the first clue what it was; so I know I have to appreciate i'm far from alone in that. There are still people who, when I disclose my illness to them, look at me blankly and with utter confusion as I once did towards doctors. What is this Crohn's that you speak of? And can you explain it in language I might stand a chance of understanding?
There are also those who have heard of it and rather than questioning those in the know, instead have come to their own (generally incorrect) conclusions about what it entails. That's why raising awareness is so important.
To educate and encourage a dialogue around a debilitating and 'invisible' illness.
So this week I'll be blogging in a diary style, focusing on how Crohn's affects my day to day life. (Often more than I realise when I take a step back and focus on it).
Life feels pretty good right now, I'm happier and more content than I've been in a long time. This is delicious to admit because it's been a particularly testing year and a decidedly difficult few months. I'm glad to feel as though I'm finally coming through a black cloud. I have lots to look forward to and lots to keep me occupied.
Therefore Crohn's likes to remind me it’s still around by stabbing me with abdominal pain whenever I'm even mildly stressed. Like an annoying ex it rears its diseased head every time things are good, if nothing more than to remind me that although i'm fine now, things can still be baaaaaad. [Side Note: for clarification none of my exes are 'diseased', that's all me].
Winter is also a tough time for IBD patients as the cold badly affects our joints and muscles. I have Crohn's-related arthritis and my knees and hands in particular seize up and hurt at the end of/during each day. I fully expect my hands to look like claws by the end of this post for example.
For a supposed invisible illness Crohn's can make itself so visible that it's almost impossible to forget about. But that's OK. It's just a pleasant reminder that it can't and won't stop me being happy. You may take my bowels but you'll never take my freeeeeeeedooooooom!