“SHUT UP WILL YOU?!”

This is what I ended up screaming at my tum last night in front of the tv, with the whole of my family watching me. It was the culmination of a whole day of shitty Crohn’s symptoms. In fact, after this sentence came out of my mouth, I began wondering how bad things were going to get.

I had awoke yesterday morning later than usual – normally, despite not working yet, I am like clockwork at waking up, regardless of the day – with really bad abdominal pain. Visit the bathroom. Slight improvement. Fix breakfast, take last of my Prednisolone tablets and get on with my day. Don’t even get to finish my breakfast before the pain starts up again and I need to get to a bathroom rather urgently. This happened on and off all day, easily doubling my usual trips to the toilet but the time my mom got home. I was beat. I tried to not let it show. Fixed dinner for everyone and ate quietly. Well, I was a little moody and took it out on the conversation we were having. Just being cranky. It keeps happening. And the cause to it is too inconsistent to put it down to just one thing lately..

After ‘consulting’ with my dad, we agreed I take another day’s dose (10mg) of Pred just in case. If it was just something I ate or my overexertion at the weekend, it would resolve itself in 24 hrs. If not, I would contact my Gastro Nurse and go from there. Luckily, this morning I felt like normal. Went for a lengthy walk and soon enough everything that has been irritating me yesterday was fading.

Despite this, my tum has still be very loud today. I feel hungry quite abit of the time – no more than usual (of which I consider to be the last two months, coinciding with my introduction to Humira) but much much more than I ever ate before I knew about my Crohn’s. The gurgling is at its height about 5 minutes after a ‘meal / snack’ and continues for about 2/3 minutes. It rolls from side to side; usually right to left, or just on my left side (when the majority of my Crohn’s is present). Its not particularly painful, but on a bad day (after eating something new and having a reaction to it) it can send shivers both hot and cold down my chest and arms. Weirdest feeling, but at least I recognise it now and can appreciate what is happening; although I am still unsure of its reasoning.

These last couple months I have spent researching my condition. Mostly through trial and error I can work out my dietary constraints, but everything else I have to take on a whim. I know from my prolonged stays in hospital there are certain things that happen to tell me something is wrong. Admittedly, what I felt last night was not a ‘flare up’; but a few months ago, I would have ignored all the signs my body was giving me (both big and small) and it would have developed into something more serious. Like I did upon my last admission into Good Hope. Despite the Azathioprine not working well in my body, I should have noticed something before it got to the point when I couldn’t get out of bed from my fatigue and my back pain was causing me to scream out in pain. But I will know for next time right?

Everything with this disease is a continuous learning curve. On a positive day I will call it this, but on a bad one, a battle. Its a constant fight. Trying to find out how to fit everything together so that it works best for me: medication, diet, work, lifestyle, social life.. everything needs to be balanced right.

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