Today, April 16th, is my 25th birthday.
Now, more than ever in my life, I get told I do not look my age.
Currently, many people think I am hovering around the 20 mark. This has provided my parents with much glee, as they get told they are not old enough to have a 25-year-old daughter. I guess that makes up for all the times when they were always told they were not “old enough” nor “prepared enough” to have a very sick daughter.
I can’t help but feel wistful today.
Mostly because there isn’t a day that goes by that I am not affected, in some way, shape or form, by my Crohn’s. My birthday has always fallen on Easter break or the return of it, and once I got to university, celebrations were many and always heavy nights out. My wistful feelings stem from here; I am unable to celebrate the same way anymore. If not on antibiotics that keep me from drinking alcohol, I am on Crohn’s medications that cause my mind and body to fall apart from each other without warning. Before, back in the Humira days, I was either hyper or sloth like. It took a while for me to find my rhythm, so much so that it is just easier to not bother with the things I used to do. And, for the most part, I am glad. I am 25, old enough to not need to go out drinking like I used to. I have more important things to do. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.
Today feels like any other day. I feel rough. I’ve been weakened by everything that has happened recently and I feel as if I need to try double hard to be ‘normal’ and despite not really wanting to, and knowing that really I don’t need to feel that way, I still feel compelled to act like everyone else, as if everything is okay. But today, I am not okay.
My tongue is causing me anxiety. It is swollen and covered in a white film. It hurts and is uncomfortable and I’m pretty sure it smells too, no matter how much I brush my teeth, floss and use mouthwash; something is occurring in my Crohnie body and I am unsure how to treat it. Any other day I would be calling my nurse and telling her how awful I feel but it is my birthday. I don’t want this to cause me grief today of all day. I want to ignore it. But I really can’t. It is on my mind because I feel it every second. My mouth ulcers, bad breath and this film were what got me admitted the final time in 2011. I am scared that this is that again. We were never told what my tongue troubles meant, but it is most definitely Crohn’s related. If it is an early warning sign, how early is it? If so, what does it mean? How do I treat it? Is it just my wisdom tooth causing problems again? Where is my removal appointment?!
So, I am extremely anxious. I feel forgetful. I feel tired. I am worried. I can’t enjoy my birthday. I feel sad. Upset.