Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Small Bowel Follow Through Results

Well, a week ago I finally got the results of my Small Bowel Follow Through. Yeah, the one I got months ago! Turns out that Dr. GI had sent it to my surgeon for some feedback and then both offices promptly forgot about me. Since I had been feeling pretty good I wasn't in a big rush to call about it... but I started to run out of 5ASA and so I had to call Dr. GI and make an apt.

So, it turns out I have Crohn's Disease!! No kidding! *laughs* Well, it did again confirm Crohn's in my ileum, and it also showed the abdominal fistula that gave birth to my abscess that started this whole adventure last summer. So, the doctor wanted to confirm with my surgeon that it was the same one. It was. And it's slowly healing up which is good.

I told Dr. GI that I was feeling quite excellent except for some faint pains once in a while. So he said we would hold off on the more powerful drugs like Remicaide and continue with the 5ASA and see if we can learn the pattern that my Crohn's will take. I mentioned my ongoing food sensitivities (half of a bland single-serving cup of canned-pears sent me to the washroom for 3 days when I experimented with them 3 weeks ago). He said it's probably my Crohn's causing the sensitivity or it could be that I have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) too! Oh no, I thought I had trumped IBS when I was diagnosed with Crohn's! Anyway, I also can't eat anything with a hint of spice or acid or any dairy at all, so he is sending me for a lactose tolerance test in about 2 months.

So, I came out of there feeling pretty happy, but wouldn't you know it... I'm getting stronger-than-faint pains again which is NOT cool. This is exacerbated by the fact that I've been a bit stressed and very sick with the neverending-cold for TWO FREAKIN MONTHS! That's right, even a dose of antibiotics didn't get rid of this horrid infection that seems to fade till I'm almost perfect then comes back at me with a sore throat, or coughing or runny nose. Or all of the above. Yeah, coughing repeatedly doesn't feel so good on the abdomen. I've also been eating risky foods lately as my friends and I celebrated our Christmas last weekend. So... I'm not really helping the situation. Time to smarten up and observe these pains and see what's going on.

So, that's what's new. I've been keeping busy too so that's great. Sick of this snow.

Also I'm still trying to organize an online Chat with fellow IBD sufferers, but you have to contact me if you're interested so I can let you know the info. So far, I only have one person interested (fellow Crohn's blogger Jenni), so let me know if you're interested too otherwise I won't go to the trouble.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Ticking Time Bomb

One of the strange things about having IBD that has been on my mind a lot lately, is that even when you are feeling well, you are always accompanied by a ghost. A ticking time-bomb in your abdomen that could go off any day without warning. A bomb that could hit you with pain, and complications that can side-line your life or put it completely on hold. Complications that can even be life-threatening.

By all estimations, this is not a friendly ghost that provides comic relief and makes for good movies. Instead it's a shadow hovering out of the corner of your eye. A faint twinge in your abdomen today. A few extra trips to the washroom or some unexpected fatigue tomorrow. A gurgle or a whisper of almost-pain. A constant, constant, constant reminder that you are not perfectly well. You're not cured. And more problems are probably coming sooner or later.

No, my time-bomb is not a friendly ghost, but it can be an invisible teacher. It is talking to me every day, whispering and sometimes yelling an all-important lesson: Life is precious. Health is precious. Time is short. Time is our most valuable possession. Make the most of it, right now, while you can. This teacher's message is sometimes a scary one. The worry that I'm wasting my time or running out of time can sometimes be frightening, but I remind myself that I don't have to live a perfect life, just a mindful one. Mindful of my blessings. Mindful of what I'm doing at any given moment. Mindful of what and who is around me. A life lived well is a life appreciated. A life not taken for granted. It means knowing what's important to you- and going for it.

This ghost is never gone it seems, even when I'm feeling great, the faint time-bomb can still be felt deep inside. Perhaps it's a good thing- so I don't forget completely about my Crohn's and I can always be reminded to live in each moment. It sure would be nice though, to have that ghost take a vacation once in a while.