For those who may not have heard, I went into the hospital Friday night and stayed there until Tuesday night. I have Crohn’s Disease, and although most of the time I have it very well controlled, even I can get flares. And this was a major one.
I haven’t had a flare this bad since before I was married (nearly 15 years ago, in fact). Most of my friends tend to forget I have this disease, because I try not to make a big deal about it (it’s my problem, after all, not anyone else’s) and because for the most part, it’s not a problem. I know what I can and can’t eat (most of the time). I know I need to take care of myself.
However, I got complacent. I forgot I was sick, and worse, I forgot that stress just makes Crohn’s worse. It’s been a rough spring – work is busy, life is busy, and I’m busy. I like being busy, for the most part. But it got to the point where I overwhelmed myself, and the only way my body could stop me was by putting me in enough pain that I had to drag myself to the emergency room.
I was diagnosed with a raging UTI, a fibroid, a budding fistula, and a swollen bowel. In addition, I hadn’t eaten more than 500 calories total per day in the last week (I’m JUST now getting to actually eating real food again), and I was dehydrated. This is just from not taking care of myself. The GI doctor I spoke to in the hospital said if I hadn’t come in (and I had to be pushed by my manager to do so), I was probably about 2 days away from blowing a hole in my small bowel. That’s a recovery time of 4-6 MONTHS (if I’m lucky).
So I’m recovering. Work has been fabulous, and I’m applying for Short Term Disability. I’m going to take this time to relax, to write a bit, to catch my breath and let my body heal. And hope that this time, the lessons don’t begin to fade after time.
Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.