Sunday, July 10, 2011

Elephant in the Room


Where have I been and what have I been doing?

I try to come here and blog about everyday things or fun things or silly things we do, but that's the question that haunts me so I don't post. I stay silent. So I thought perhaps that the truth would set me free.
After my grandmother died, I got really sick. I was running to the bathroom day and night, seeing blood. (At the risk of being graphic, sorry). I told myself it was stress, I told myself it was an infection. I must have caught something yucky from work. So, I went to my physician and told him what was going on. He ordered tests. I did not have a parasite or bad bacteria. I did have an elevated sed rate (means nonspecific inflammation). I do have a family history of inflammatory bowel disease. That combined with the lab test and my symptoms bought me a colonoscopy.
I told myself that the colonoscopy would be normal, and whatever it was would go away. I woke up from the colonoscopy to my physician telling me I had redness in various places throughout my lower GI tract. It was not, in fact, normal. The biopsies were nonspecific (read, no help.) So my physician sat me down and said that the evidence was pointing strongly to Crohn's disease.
At that point I freaked out. Went into complete and total denial. Lost my mind a little. I turned down medication because I didn't have that illness. I just couldn't. I'd spent my adult life studying IBD to help others, how on earth could this have happened to me?
I spent the next 6 months in a self imposed hell. I developed arthritis, worst in my lower back and wrists (I'm 35). I had bad abdominal pain, and I never stopped running to the bathroom. I told myself I was just stressed. I needed to deal with my mental state, eat well, rest or something. I told myself if I could just pull myself together, things would get better. They didn't. Perhaps this explains why so very little scrapping has been happening on this blog. It's nothing short of a miracle that I completed my Cocoa Daisy assignments on time every month, and that I managed to go to work and take care of my 4 yr old while my husband was deployed.
After being up all night going to the bathroom one night, half delirious, I decided I'd had enough. I didn't care what we called it, I just wanted it to stop. So I spoke to my physician who told me to just give the Pentasa a try. Having no expectations, or even hope that it would work, I debated for 2 days about taking it. When I did try it, within 24 hours I had no back/abd pain. Within 48 hrs, no diarrhea. And within 72 hrs, the arthritis was gone.
I feel some days like Alice and wonderland. Take the big blue pill Alice and we can pretend that the past year never happened. I'm normal again, except that I take blue pills at every meal. The only thing these pills treat is Crohn's, but most days I still try not to think about that. What can I say, denial is strong emotion. It overrides rational thought. I think it's a self defense mechanism from things that threaten the very core of who we are/what we know. I have some way to go before acceptance, but feeling better is helping.
So, that's where I've been. I want to get back into scrapping because I feel more strongly than ever that I have stories to tell, things to say to the people I love. But it's hard, I'm out of practice and really need to develop some consistent habits again. With each day I get a little stronger and I know I'll be loving paper again soon (I already am in love with the CD Aug kit, omgosh). Thank you to anyone who commented on a page in a gallery somewhere, or on this blog. Your comments have lifted me up and helped me keep crafting when I wanted to give up, so thank you.
Now can we just move on? :) Happy weekend to you (and thanks for reading.) Until tomorrow.

18 comments:

Beth Ann said...

Danielle - sending you huge loving hugs and prayers.

Nitasha said...

Sending prayers your way! Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story with us! Hugs!

janel said...

Oh my gosh....I had no idea. I am so sorry, but so glad that things are on the mend and that you are taking the meds. We need to talk sometime soon....not sure when the best time to call would be. Sending hugs and feeling better cheers!

mandyb said...

wow you HAVE been through a lot!!! am glaD THIS BLUE PILL is helping!!! i have a joint condition too....not enough liquid around my joints!!! i would love the daily pain to leave!!!

btw i love your work...you are so clever and i love your style....

mandyb from SC message boards

NoraAnne said...

Hugs Danielle. I hope you are soon back to feeling well physically and emotionally. This is a tough ride you've been on, stay strong!

BabyBokChoy said...

Sorry to read that you have been going through a tough time. In fact, it was noticeable that you were posting less but I figured life gets busy. Best of luck to you as you continue to recover...

Penny B. said...

So happy to read you are feeling better. I love your work. :o)

Elisa said...

How hard it must have been for you, and I am glad you found something that is helping you. I am guilty of admiring your work and not leaving comments, my apologies.
Big hugs and take care.

ninasays said...

Oh boy! That's definitely something you don't ever want your physician to say. I just recently had a colonoscopy as well and I was afraid they'd find something like that, too. I once had a boyfriend who was diagnosed with Crohn's and I found it really difficult to see him being in pain and not being able to help him one little bit. I'm glad you found a medication that works for you and I hope your family helps you stay strong.
Thank you for sharing your story with us. I really hope you'll feel better soon! Best wishes from Germany!

Keshet said...

Danielle, I'm so sorry you're been going through such a difficult time! Very glad you found a medication that works, and hope life gets back to normal soon. Thinking of you.

lisa said...

Hey Danielle,
Just sending you a big hug.
Hopefully things can now start to improve xxx

kristina proffitt said...

Sending you big hugs and prayers, girlie! Thinking of you!!

Sarah Webb said...

TFS! My sister has the same. Not an easy thing! More scrapping? Oh yes please! Can't wait to see you get back into it!

Jody said...

I am just glad to read you are feeling well again! Hugs :)

happydays525 said...

Wow Danielle, you've been battling quite a bit it seems. So sorry that you've had to go through all of this but I'm hoping that things continue to improve for you. Sending you hugs!

- Jen

Melanie Stanczyk said...

Hi Danielle!

I was just catching up on your blog and came upon this post. I'm sorry to hear about your medical condition. You are a very strong person for sharing your story. I hope you that you are taking the big blue pill you're feeling better.

Your layouts in the next couple posts are really great, keep up the talented work!

Houston said...

Dear Danielle, I think of you so often but being wrapped up in my own daily struggles I don't often make it to your blog, but I am so glad I did today. You are an amazing woman and so damn strong it's just downright admirable! Keep taking those pills Alice. God Bless sweet friend.

Lulu said...

Oh... Danielle :( I will be thinking about you, and thank goodness for that blue pill! My Dh (UC) has still not found a medication that works for him. Thankfully he is in a long semi remission right now.

Many, many, hugs!