...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Slowly getting back to normal with Crohns

Today I tackled one of my used-to-be-regular exercise routines for the first time in over two years. 

I know, I know, that doesn't really sound like something that is blog worthy.  It sounds a little more like, "Well, lazy bones, how come you've put that off so long and how come you feel a need to shout that embarrassing feature of your life out to the world?"

Let me explain.

Two years ago this month I started experiencing the early nastiness of Crohn's disease.  Several months before the abdominal pain started I had stopped exercising regularly because I was just too tired all the time and because I was losing weight anyway (not huge amounts, but a few pounds a month) so I just didn't have the incentive to keep it up. 

For the past two years I have been up and down on flares and medications and the fatigue factor has followed me around every step of the way.  For two years it has been difficult to yank myself out of bed in the morning and by early evening I am exhausted.  I've tried hard to keep up with my kids, but that's about all I have had energy for.

Most women worry about getting rid of the pounds, I had the opposite problem.  I had a hard time keeping weight on.  I knew I was below a healthy weight for me, but I just couldn't do anything about it.  I ardently refused to buy pants smaller than size 6 because that is the lowest size that is ok for me.  My pants became a measure for me to keep an eye on my control of my Crohn's disease.  For a while those pants were huge.

But lately they are getting a bit snug...and there is something beautiful about that (although there is another part of me that doesn't want to graduate up to a larger size either).  The fact that I am getting a bit more pudgy in all the soft little spots on my body is something I can't be all the way sad about. 

I have been on Humira injections for nearly a year and I LOOOOVE them!  I honestly look forward to stabbing myself and feeling the bee sting as the meds ooze their way into my stomach.  The shots keep my gut in check and I have very few twinges of Crohn's symptoms anymore.  I am still cautious about what I eat (I am not sure I will ever eat pizza again), but overall I feel really good.  I only occasionally treat abdominal pain with a hot bath and very rarely throw up my meals (both of thee events made regular appearances in my life for a good, long while).

At my last visit with my GI she asked me if I felt I was in remission.  She explained remission is having absolutely no Crohn's symptoms so my life is free of Crohn's related issues.  I almost laughed, I had no idea that was what we were going for.  I don't wake up dreading standing up straight because I know it will pull at my gut, I don't dread eating, I don't head to be at 7:00 pm, I don't have to keep a toothbrush with me everywhere I go in case I throw up...I am feeling pretty good about where things are even if Crohn's likes to remind me it is around from time to time.  I'll take it!

So, it's time to get back on the regular exercise bandwagon and get my rear in gear. 

This morning was my first attempt and I'll admit, I am pretty sore now.  These sad muscles have sat around not doing much of anything for a couple years and now they are throwing a tantrum about my choices.  But I'm not listening, I am enjoying the satisfying echo of some good, hard work.  It's a lovely bit of ache that I am reveling in.  It's nice to get back to life the way I want it to be. 

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