January did start with a positive note: I met with my Dermatologist and I started a treatment plan for what he was diagnosing as late onset acne as a reaction to my Vedolizumab. I opted for a antibiotic topic cream which I’ve got to apply twice a day and it’s been almost a month and my skin has dramatically improved. I find that if I forget an application –  its happened once or twice, I am human and fatigued – the skin react, gets greasy and is one step away from spots. So, it’s deinfaly been a game changer.

In other health news, I’ve been living with a bug for a couple weeks and hardly noticed until it was almost too late. I had been having awful pain, nausea along side a dramatic increase in my stoma output for almost two weeks before I call the IBD team and they intervened. We had some urgent blood work take, some poop tests done too; and so far, it’s only highlighted my huge deficiency in Vitamin D. Everything else was as expected and within the usual normal borders. But whilst my pain has been not completely resolved, I have two pending urgent scopes to check out what’s going on, just to be safe.

But that set of events created a little vacuum for other things to spiral. I most recently went through an anxiety attack at work, of all places. The overwhelming feeling of nothing I do being good enough and my lack of self belief, let alone all the set backs I’ve been having since coming back to work since my big IBD flare up last Autumn, I just spiralled out of control big time. My GP put me on some medication, signed me off work for a couple of weeks and told me to take my time getting better. So I am dealing with the side effects of the antidepressants at the moment, but the anxiety is still there but beginning to lessen. Taking medication for mental health is not selfish or a cry for help; it is what is needed, sometimes.

And whilst I work on my own self belief, I am also working on not being ashamed of what I am going through.

In light of all that, it is hard to see anything else.

I am eating well and trying my best to function. I still am only at the beginning of my CBT and finding ways to feel more in control of things is just starting.

What I’ve been most proud of is how much better I am at asking for help. I identified there was a problem and spoke to someone right away, not letting it fester. I know when I am unwell, and that is when it needs treating, not when someone else can see it.

Hoping for February to be bit brighter.