To my faithful and loyal supporters, my sincerest apologies for the long delay in continuing on with my journey with Crohn’s. Many of you have been asking, when or if, I’ll be resuming my story, and I want to assure everyone that I fully intend to see this through to fruition. I know that my last post was almost five months ago, however, my perceived delinquency was due to a number of reasons, one of which was a very, very long bout of the flu from hell just after the holiday (Christmas) season. I’ll also admit, another reason was just plain old laziness, but all the others are legit, which I'll get into later. Aside from feelings of guilt and a sense of something hanging over my head, the two main reasons why I've decided to resume now are:-
The one year anniversary of my site/blog was April 6th. Since I was out of the country at the time, I was unable to post anything in commemoration of this milestone and,
Today, May 19th, 2018, is World IBD Awareness Day. And bringing awareness to this dreadful disease has always been my ultimate goal after all.
So what better time could there be to kick things off again! But before I dive right back in to my journey, allow me to use this post to elaborate on some of the things that happened, that caused me to pause and take stock, while on my impromptu hiatus.
I’m sure you’ve all heard people speak of, or have even experienced yourself, something happening unexpectedly that steered you in a different direction completely from where you were heading, but which turned out to be beneficial in unforeseen ways, though not always. But, that’s life! So, while I was laid up with that diabolical flu, feeling sorry for myself and trying to find seemingly unattainable comfort, as well as ways to make the most of what little time I had left in this world (because I was certain that that flu was going to kill me!), I turned to the one place we all turn to for answers today….the internet!! That’s right, you can deny it all you want but that’s what 95% of us in the world do today! We grab our device or devices of choice, and get lost for a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days, depending on the severity of our addiction. So anyway, there I was with mine (my tablet, on this occasion), and while searching for funeral homes so I could finalize my arrangements, (KIDDING!!), I saw a Facebook post from a Food, Drinks and Recipe site from Trinidad and Tobago, my homeland. Thinking it looked interesting, and being such an avid eater and drinker myself (that’s sarcasm in case you’re wondering), I decided to join the group, and see what it was all about because, other than Crohn’s-related groups and sites where I mostly just snoop or try to get information, I’d never joined a group where I’m actually expected to participate. For those of you who know me, I know you’re all probably thinking how ironic is it that this person ( ME! ) who has a love-hate relationship with food (I love it but it hates me!), where food is often my sworn enemy, would choose to join a food group of all things. Well I did! And I’m very happy I did too! This reminds me of something funny from years ago that I'd like to share with you. It was a big joke among the nurses and doctors at Mount Sinai hospital, where I was frequently a guest, that on the IBD floor, where everyone was either on a severely restricted, liquid, or no-food diet, that every room they visited, day or night, would have the Food Network showing on the TV! They thought it was hilarious, and would tease the patients about it because they could never understand why we would choose to torment ourselves that way. But hey!...as the saying goes, you eat with your eyes too. Anyway, I discovered that I really enjoyed being in this group, where I “met” and communicated almost daily with some truly wonderful people. In fact, I still do. It’s more than just sharing dishes and food and drink ideas, it’s about having fun, sharing a few laughs, even sharing some serious life experiences, past and present. Why is this relevant, you might be wondering? It’s relevant because it provides a welcome distraction from your troubles when you’re having a bad day. It’s relevant because you get a feeling of satisfaction that you have something to contribute, that there are people who are actually interested in something you have to share, plus so much you can learn. And it’s relevant because people compliment your efforts(mostly), and ask your advice on certain things, and even if it’s mostly about food related activities, it’s still satisfying and validating in some way. It feels really rewarding, and if that sounds pathetic in any way, I’m okay with that. When you live with a chronic, unpredictable illness like Crohn’s where you can have just as many bad days as good, sometimes more, where you feel trapped at home missing out on a “normal” life, where you are forced to cancel plans at the very last minute because things start acting up suddenly, and where your physical interaction with the outside world is so limited for long, stretches of time, even a minuscule amount of self-worth and recognition goes a very long way. So my advice to my fellow crohnies who are housebound like me, join an interactive group in your particular area of interest, and commit to it. I have, and I believe it has helped me tremendously, so much so, that it has caused me to unintentionally ignore my blog! But no fear, I'm back on track now with my story.
A Most Welcomed Vacation
As I mentioned earlier, I missed commemorating the one year anniversary of my blog on April 6th because I was away at the time. I was in fact on vacation in Trinidad and Tobago, where I had the most enjoyable time I could have ever imagined. From my beloved cousins who welcomed me with open arms, and accommodated me for the duration, I could not have wanted anything more; they were beyond gracious, generous, and helpful in every way possible. There are no words or gestures I can think of that will adequately express my gratitude. In addition, I felt very fortunate that I was able to spend some quality time with other treasured family members and dear, dear friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen since high school, all of whom took time out of their busy lives, and did their very best to make sure I had a truly memorable vacation. I just want to acknowledge and thank each and every one of them publicly. Another amazing part of this trip was that I was very adventurous with my food and drink choices; I made some pretty bold decisions, which could have potentially turned out disastrously, but for some mysterious reason, didn’t. (Though I'm certainly not recommending or encouraging my fellow crohnies try this). Maybe it was the wonderful company, the climate, a sense of relaxation, divine assistance, or just timing, whatever it was, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! So again, why is this relevant? For those of you who are able to manage it, especially those with any type of health problems, (and who doesn’t have some type of mental, physical or emotional issues occasionally), it’s great to escape for a little while, spend time with loved ones. It doesn’t have to be at some exotic, fancy or expensive far-away location. You can keep it local, just a change of pace and scenery, even a change in routine for a little while. It will work wonders! It certainly did for me.
Back On Track
While a prolonged bout of that crippling flu, my involvement in the food group, and my long overdue vacation, oh yeah! and my short bout of laziness, kind of derailed my momentum and resulted in me neglecting my blog, I’ll try and not let that happen again. So stay tuned for the next stage of my journey!