This is a fairly normal question for me to answer when I'm visiting my gastroenterologist. (Were you thinking I was talking about something else??? Naughty readers...) Today I went for a check in with my gastro and it went fairly normally.
Gastro: So how are you feeling?
Gastro: Are you experiencing any pain?
Me: No. I told you I was seeing a naturopath? With her guidance, I've cut out gluten and dairy and I've been feeling so much better. No pain at all.
Gastro: I see. Did you cut them out at the same time?
Gastro: Have you thought about bringing either back?
Me: No, I'm feeling good so I don't really want to change anything.
Gastro: I see. Well the dairy makes sense. Lots of people who have IBD have problems with dairy. And with the gluten, we know you don't have Celiac, but there are people who don't have Celiac who have an intolerance to gluten. It just seems really restrictive.
Me: No, not really. I enjoy cooking and have an interest in nutrition so it's all good.
Then came the questions about bowel movements and blood which I won't get into (except that everything is okay back there!!) And then came the question about my behind. I've come to realize, that when you have IBD, you have to lose your shame when it comes to your bum and other related topics. You have to talk about these things, (in detail) and you have to feel comfortable with people asking you questions as well as prodding you. (I was really glad that we didn't have to go into the examination room)
He then went through my file and decided I hadn't had bloodwork done in a few months so he gave me a form to go down the hall, gave me a refill for my Pentasa and told me that I can come back in 6 months unless there are any problems.
I don't talk about my Crohn's very often (minus how I'm feeling as a result of being gluten and dairy free) but that's because I'm feeling really good. Since my diagnosis last November, I've really been working to figure out what I need to do to promote healing in my body. There have been some bumps along the road, but I am so happy that the pain and other symptoms I was suffering from during 2007 and 2008 are gone. I am so grateful that I didn't just sit back and listen to my gastro telling me to "eat a healthy well-balanced diet, you'll figure out what works for you". Seeing my naturopath changed my perspective on my Disease and my life. While some of the changes she suggested seemed challenging at the time, the results have changed my life. The courage of bloggers I have been in contact with like Meghan and Lauren, who have been proactive and actively seeking healing, continues to inspire me to do the same. I am blessed to have such beautiful friends and family around me, whose support and love helps me to keep going.
Could things change tomorrow?
Sure. But I know that I'm doing everything I can TODAY to prevent that and take an active role in my life.
Guys, I can't say this enough - I don't care who you are or how old you are - if you're not feeling well DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! Do not sit back and have a pity party. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and take charge of your life. This is your life to live and there is no reason for you to be in pain and suffering. This is applies whether you are in physical pain like I was or emotional pain or want to lose weight or start a new career or just do that one thing that makes you happy.
We must look for ways to be an active force in our own lives. We must take charge of our own destines, design a life of substance and truly begin to live our dreams
- Les Brown
Make it happen. I believe in you.