I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease 11 years ago. It’s an inflammatory bowel disease that causes ulceration within the GI tract and a whole heap of other symptoms that are embarrassing and not anywhere near sexy. It certainly isn’t something that defines me and I don’t suffer terribly from it all the time. It’s a chronic disease, meaning that I can be very well and showing no signs of the disease for long periods of time, then I can enter into a flare up and be terribly sick for extended periods of time. There is no cure. I take medication everyday.
Once upon a time BC (before child), I would rest when I was ill. I would lie on the couch and watch movies all day, eat toast and drink lemonade. I popped Imodium and ginger tablets and I was usually on high doses of steroids that left me emotionally unbalanced and sporting one hell of a raging appetite. I would drag myself to work and I would end up in hospital needing fluids a few times a year. Life went on though.
Now, if I flare….chaos ensues. My mother has to stay here to look after me or The Daddy has to take days off work and Miss Mimi just doesn’t understand that what Mummy needs is rest and permanent access to the toilet. She doesn’t get that I am unable to stand for very long, let alone take her to the park and play with her. Though I am far from sick at the moment, I am reminded daily that all is not quite right with me.
Life has changed since having Miss Mimi. I can’t rest when I’m sick, I still need to do all the things that need doing. If I go to hospital, then her world falls apart and then The Daddy’s world falls apart. But it’s ok because mostly, thankfully, it’s temporary, and tomorrow is always a better day. Having a chronic disease when you’re a mother just means you’re in risk management mode constantly and that you always have to have a back up plan. I have amazing friends and family and people who support me and although sometimes it might be hard, I am grateful everyday for being given so many chances to enjoy my child. A walk around the neighbourhood or a long play in the park, (when there are no toilets around), is daunting and not something I undertake when I am not in remission. So I am very lucky that I can work from home for more reasons than one!
So now, when I am well, I enjoy every second. I work hard and play harder…all in the moments that count. Because you just never know what tomorrow might bring.
To all the Mums out there who are feeling so sick right now, may tomorrow be a better day.