Things I’ve Learned.

18 03 2012

There are a few things I’ve figured out recently.

1. I need a lot of sleep. I’ve been telling people that for years, but I think deep down I always wished I could be one of those people that sleep for two hours and wake up ready to go. I’m not. Turns out, when I get eight or more hours a night, I’m a much happier person.

2. People don’t understand that as a 24 year old I go to sleep earlier than my second graders. But that’s ok.

3. Sometimes it feels just as good to say no and step back from commitments as it does to get involved. Taking that extra hour a week to do something for me, like walk the dogs or read a book over lunch or bake cookies makes me feel much more centered and whole.

4. Sometimes my mother is right. Scratch that, she’s right most of the time. The entirety of this post up to this point consists of things she’s told me for years. Right now I’m sure she’s somewhere shaking her head and rubbing in the fact that she is wise and she told me so.

5. Tysabri has got to start working soon, right? In that vein, I’ve taken down my Prednisone a notch. I’m hoping that’ll make me more mellow and easier to be around. It’s sort of a Dr Jekyll/Mr. Hyde scenario.

6. I am reminded again and again that the experiences I have had can be used to help people around me and advocate for others. Today at church a girl told me a family member of hers is going through a similar surgery to mine tomorrow and her family is having a hard time processing it. She didn’t even know that I had that experience, and I was able to just sing the praises of an ostomy and how it has changed my life. The funny thing is, before my surgery, I didn’t hear people having these conversations anywhere. Now I feel like God puts those people in my life so I can offer a little bit of light. Not all challenges are bad. Not all scary experiences need to feel torturous. There is nearly always a light at the end of the tunnel and all of these obstacles make us who we are. They build character and add layers and nuances to you as a person. They make you more interesting and more empathetic and more beautiful and I am thankful every day for the ability to appreciate that.

What’s up with this weather guys? March and 82 degrees? Not ok! I miss cool, rainy days. Sweatshirt weather. But I’m doing everything I can to embrace the sun and count the joyful moments in my life.

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Support Group.

30 10 2010

The other night, I went to my very first support group.

First off, I can’t share anything anyone else said. It’s sorta like therapy.

This is a weird experience for me for several reasons.

1. I don’t like to admit that I need support, even when I’m sick. I hesitate to tell people how bad I feel because I don’t want anyone to worry about me. In essence, I may have a bit of an attitude problem… but in a backwards sense?

2. I’ve never been to therapy, but this feels like, well, group therapy. You do a lot of sharing and listening and humming in sympathy and it sorta freaks me out. When it got to be my turn to share I went through my happy shpiel and people just looked at me for a minute.

3. It’s hard for me to admit that I’ve been through more with my disease than most. Everyone else’s stories were less extreme than what I have experienced. I get preoccupied about all the people who have it worse than I do, which leads me to really downsize how I feel. Which apparently, at least according to my mom, is a bad thing.

Basically I’m giving this a shot. I’m the youngest person there by far and I felt like the group was almost a downer, but I owe it to myself to try. And thank goodness my mom went with- I would have squished myself into invisibility without her.

The other thing I noticed: this meeting gave confirmation to my thesis that people with Crohn’s are more sensitive to ostomies. Meaning more freaked out. People with little chance are more willing to accept, but I’ve found that people with Crohn’s are terrified that I am their future.

The really good thing I was able to do here was talk about how wonderful this surgery really was. I talked about how much I can do now and how even though I am still sick I am worlds ahead of who I used to be, just under two years ago.