Happy Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month

It’s May already – I can’t believe how fast this year has been going.  Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month is here again. It’s a time for reflection and sharing for friends, family and sufferers of the diseases.  Sometimes I think that sharing a story is more important than a donation for us – we’re still stuck with a lot of stigmas, helping just one person understand our story should be treated as a big win.

It’s been a tumultuous few weeks for me – firstly I’m really happy to say that my symptoms have settled down a bit and I’m able to function pretty normally again – no stopping on the way to work or excusing myself from meetings.  I have renewed hope that I may make it till  October without more Prednisone.  I am looking forward to surgery more and more lately.  I see it as a path back to the “old me” even if it’s just for a short time.

We have had the Solar system we signed for last year installed – we are seeing a difference but its not the immediate result I wanted (however unrealistic that want was).  We’ve had to change a lot of habits which we’re making gradual progress with.  We’re hoping to save about $350 a quarter (reducing our bill to just over $100).  We were able to (finally) replace our second toilet – it had a cracked bowl (and no I don’t know how, and no it wasn’t one of my flare-ups :p).  Nothing went smoothly but it’s in now and working – we can now have people over again without having to usher them into our ensuite.

I was also able to confront someone saying some pretty rank stuff about me to other people which was really good for my head.  The huge amount of backstabbing in my life lately has been really getting me down – it was nice to tackle a small part of it, hopefully my not so subtle hint has put a stop to it.  Or at very least made the person think twice.  Fact is – if you bitch about someone, they will most likely hear about it.  So… Don’t do it – talk about interesting things – not people.

Some not so good stuff.  Where do I start?  My anti-anxiety medication has been a crutch for me over the last few weeks.  I’ve needed to lean on it often and on a few notable occasions in large quantities.  Last week at FTJ we had a pretty important meeting – prior to going in I got dressed down for 4 things that I had nothing to do with and that weren’t my fault – I even got blamed for the business not doing well at one point.  Is that really what people there think?  That it can fall on a single person, a whole business running into rough times?  There were a few other notable embarrassments that occurred – which I wont get into because I feel myself getting angry over it again already.  I don’t even know how many I took that day rather than having my lunch, all I know is that I managed to see the day out… I don’t remember anything that happened from midday onwards… I woke up with the hangover from hell the next day which was thankfully a public holiday. There have been a few other occasions, just random stuff that I made the decision to pop a pill rather than get myself worked up – they were all “unwinable” situations, that’s not an excuse it’s just a fact.  Do I have a problem?  Not yet but I can see myself developing one… But like a good friend of mine says “where is the fault in being addicted to peace?” its a very poignant question and its one that I have kept at the front of my mind.  So I ask you, where is the problem with being addicted to peace?  It is a question that I am probably going to have to tackle in the future… That along with, “why am I putting myself into situations where that’s an acceptable course of action?”, I suppose that’s the more pressing matter but one I don’t have energy to involve myself in at the moment. My system  of coping, however flawed, is working – there is no point in fixing right now.

We’re still fighting the rising tide of bills – the great money hemorrhage of 2013 continues.  I haven’t been able to get it under control yet and with the clock ticking down toward New Zealand my palms are starting to sweat uncontrollably. I’m pretty sure this will be the first time (ever) I’ve dipped into our savings to pay for a holiday… And I feel dirty.  But what price to you put on sanity?  After the last few years – we need, well I need a proper holiday, a break away from Australia.  I would happily do it if we weren’t staring down a $2,500 pest barrier and $12,000 worth of dental surgery… A much longer story for a different time.

There have been the usual quips from both families about my condition, our decision on procreation (which was to some extent, made for us) and my work/work balance (seeing as I have no life right now I see no point to put it in).  I suppose I should stop expecting I will magically get the support I need from my parents and the understanding I need from everyone else.  Most of the things on that list are beyond my control – the work thing isn’t, but where would we be without the extra money?  Things are different for us than they were for our families – I think I’m still waiting for the penny to drop.  I will love mine and respect his just the same – but sometimes I feel a bit hollow doing it. I don’t know if that makes sense?

I’m looking forward to 2 fairly solitary weeks at FTJ getting through some back logged work and being left alone with my thoughts – something I highly value but never get enough of.  I know a lot decisions are going to need to be made upon our return from New Zealand, and I doubt very much that any of them will be simple.  I’m pretty sure life wasn’t meant to be easy though – if it was, I’ve been doing something really wrong.  Perspective has helped me order my thoughts a lot on the decisions and I have realised while each of them are life changing… I’ve made harder choices and been in worse situations.

If you would like buy one of the Awareness Month goodies (pins, arm bands, drink bottles and bags), read personal stories (including mine), learn a bit more about the diseases or make a donation, head to the CCA website below.
>> Crohn’s and Colitis Australia

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