Don't let your Crohn's win. Beat the Crohn's.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Fall

Sometimes life really sucks.

It's so difficult to go from the high of completing an awesome goal of running the half-marathon to not even being able to run two miles. This morning I made myself go for a run although I wasn't feeling well because I told myself that I was never going to let myself give up just because of my Crohn's. By 1.5 miles, I was having bloody diarrhea outside, throwing up, and bent in pain.
I've switched to a soft/liquid diet because it hurts so much to go to the bathroom that I'm scared to eat solid foods because I know what's going to happen once it goes through my intestines. Over the last week, the fewest times I've gone poop in a day is 10 times.
School bathrooms suck. It's so awkward having Crohn's issues when there's a person in the stall next to you and two girls gossiping just outside your door. I always laugh a little, wondering what they would think if they knew what was going on just a few feet from them.
Next week is my next study appointment. Honestly, I have no idea what's going to come from it. Obviously I've been getting worse, but I'm supposed to be studying abroad in Jamaica next January - all I really need to do is survive until then. Switching medications could be a huge blessing - or I could get a lot worse. There's also the possibility of just doing a liquid diet until the end of January so I can just push through, but I don't know if the doctor will go for that.

How do you decide when you know that either choice could be really awesome, or lead down an even worse path?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Defying my Limitations


I came
I ran
I conquered

Today, I reached my first major goal in running. I ran 13.1 miles. They were slow; they were tough; but they have been completed for the first time.
My initial goal for the day was 11 miles. Normally when I go for a run, I look at how far I'd like to go, the pace I'm hoping to go, and then head out for my usual trail. Today, I took to heart what one of my friends said, "When you have good running shoes, every run is an adventure." There was no way I was going to stick to the same trails that I always use. My run today was absolutely gorgeous - I discovered new trails in the words and spent a couple hours running through beautiful fall trees.
There are no words to truly describe how I felt after meeting this goals - sore, tired, and worn out come to mind, but there was more to it than that. There was satisfaction in knowing that I didn't give up after poop #1 or #2. There was relief knowing that my Crohn's can't keep me down forever. There was pride in knowing that I have pushed my body farther than many people thought possible.

My new favorite quote reads: "Know your limitations. Then defy them."

I've always told myself that nothing was worth doing that would make my Crohn's give me a tough time. Then, I started running. There was no way I was going to stop running whenever I had abdominal pain; I never would have made it past two miles. This journey has taught me that I don't have to stop doing what I love just because Crohn's is yelling at me.
Sure, my time sucked, but I look at this first half-marathon distance as the starting point for me to become a much better runner. I have so much to work on - and that's very exciting for me.

I look forward to getting my half-marathon time under two hours.
I look forward to being able to run a marathon.
Most of all, I look forward to defying my Crohn's every time I wake up and put my running shoes on.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

An Unhealthy Relationship

Most of the time, I have a pretty good relationship with my Crohn's. We have fun together - we go out on dates to CCFA events, go to camp together, and we have lots of great inside jokes about my digestion. On the surface, it seems like we belong together.
However, things are not what they seem in the private aspects of our relationship. Crohn's can be very abusive - from the gut-wrenching pain to the early morning vomiting - Crohn's doesn't like to leave me be for very long.
But after a day of beating me up, Crohn's always apologizes. I get to talk with my awesome boyfriend who I met through Crohn's or I get to hang out with some Crohnies. I can never really be mad at Crohn's because I see all of the things that it has brought me.
Some weeks, however, it takes all of my strength of will to not want to break up with my disease. Days like today, where it holds me back from completing my running goal. The days where I can't walk because I'm in so much pain.
Some days, Crohn's is just a huge pain in my ass. It won't let me sit for long periods of time. 
And don't get me started on the abuse it wreaks on me when I have to go to the bathroom! When I have poop running through my intestines, Crohn's gets really mad and starts to become abusive again. It's getting to the point where I'm scared to eat because I know Crohn's isn't going to like me going out and putting that stuff inside of me.
Lately, my runs have been testing our relationship. At first, Crohn's didn't like them, but after months of begging and pleading for Crohn's to understand the importance of running, it decided to let me reach for my goals. Nowadays, Crohn's isn't being so supportive. It's a bit jealous about the time I'm putting into my runs and has decided to start complaining whenever I head out. 
It's not a healthy relationship - but it looks like we're in this for the long haul.