Monday, April 16, 2012

Life's Challenges

 Does it ever seem like bad things happen all at once?

About 3 months ago, I started having severe stomach pains. I finally got an appointment with my gastroenterologist, and found out that I have Crohn's Disease. Crohn's is an auto-immune disease that attacks your digestive system. There is no cure, and it is most commonly diagnosed in both men and women between the ages of 15 and 35.  When you're in a flare-up (which I have been for 3 months now,) you are restricted to a very limited diet. Anything with fiber is out, so all of the yummy, nutritious foods like fruits, veggies, and whole grains, can't be eaten because they irritate your intestines and don't allow them to heal.

I've been doing my best to stay positive once I found out the news, but it has been hard. I'm wondering if I'll need surgery (up to 75% of people with Crohn's will need surgery at some point), and what this is going to mean for me in the future. All I can do is take it day by day, and take care of myself the best that I can.

So, this Saturday, about an hour after my husband Ben took my pics for my last blog post, he went for a motorcycle ride with his friend. Next thing I know, I'm getting a phone call saying he's been in an accident.

I rush to the hospital, to find him bloody and shaken. Thankfully, he was wearing full gear, and was in one piece. It could have been a lot worse. His knees were raw, and his thumb broken, but nothing more serious than that. 

Now, I'm trying to take care of myself, and my broken husband. Three days ago, I thought I didn't have enough strength to function. I'm realizing now how much more I have in me.

Things can always be worse. A few months ago, my small problems seemed so important. It is amazing how things can be put in perspective. 

We will get through this!

Here are some quotes that I've found inspirational during this time.

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled.  For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." - Unknown

"I complained that I had no shoes till I saw a man that had no feet." - Unknown

"Few men during their lifetime come anywhere near exhausting the resources dwelling within them. There are deep wells of strength that are never used." Richard E. Byrd

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
Eleanor Roosevelt 




  1. Crohn's sucks, but you are so lucky that you had intelligent doctors who were able to diagnose you quickly and get you the treatment you need. It took me 4 years to get my diagnosis.

    Yes, surgery does occur for many but there are so many ways to go about treatment. Because I live in Washington I'm able to access medicinal marijuana and it helps me greatly with my symptoms (pain, nausea and vomiting). Sure it's not for everyone, but it keeps me off heavy steroids, anti-emetics, and narcotic pain relievers and the ASAs. Mj is a lot of the reason drs couldn't figure out what was wrong with me in the first place. I found something to control my symptoms so I didn't have the usual red flags of weight loss, diarrhea, and malnutrition.

    When I flare up I eat lots of baked potatoes/mashed potatoes. Not only are they comforting, but they seem to be easy on the stomach, and depending on if you can handle dairy or not, they can be a real treat. As terrible as it is, white breads can be helpful too (providing you don't have a gluten allergy) as they break down easily. A food journal helps to find certain triggers.

    'When it rains, it pours' has always been true in my household, but after it gets done pouring 9 times out of 10 you're left with a rainbow and the ability to appreciate all that is good in your life.

    If you ever want to talk about dealing with crohn's or need someone to vent to you can always find me on facebook.

    Take it easy and relax. Enjoy some down time with your hubby so you both can rest and recuperate together.

    1. Wow, it is so comforting to find other people who've been through this struggle. Thank you so much for your comment. I'm going to get tested for allergies to be sure there aren't more foods irritating me that I don't know about.

      I've debated the use of medical marijuana. It would definitely help during my flare up.

      Thank you so much for your support. I just might have some questions for you as things arise!

    2. There are SO MANY people who have crohn's. It's all just playing around until you find something (ANYTHING) that works for you.

      I struggled a lot when I was first diagnosed. I couldn't handle feeling like I was broken, or that I had a rough future ahead, that I could be a burden on my husband, that I could pass it to my kids. I cried a lot.

      But here I am pregnant and life is awesome. I was in remission when I got pregnant and have stayed in remission. I had to find a midwife that supported my mj use for crohn's disease. I couldn't see how being on pharmaceutical drugs that aren't tested on pregnant woman could be safer than what I was doing. Now that I'm not suffering from morning sickness I find eating to be easier. Haven't had any flares or serious tummy troubles. I've even been eating olives which is a BIG DEAL!

      Crohn's isn't pretty but you can still live a great and fulfilling life!

  2. Oh Emily, I'm so sorry about everything happening in your life right now! I'm sending you lots of love and positive energy! My very favorite blog is She has Crohn's and gives a super down to earth, positive, and real (at least it seems that way to me) portrayal of the disease and not letting it own your life. You might want to check it out. I hope you and Ben are feeling much better soon!

    1. Ari, thank you for your positive thoughts! I just subscribed to aliontherun. Having something like this is so much more bearable when I know I'm not alone. Ben and I have been debating getting a nanny to cook and clean for us. Haha!


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