Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Rollercoaster Ride

Well, as you can clearly see, I've been out of the picture for a while.

This Crohn's flare-up has had so many ups and downs that I can't quite keep up with it! It's eaten up half of my year without me realising it, and the story is not over yet. I had 3 Infliximab infusions between March and May, came off Methotrexate and started back on Azathioprine, but these last couple of weeks have been downhill again. I know that this relapse was caused by stress which makes it all the more infuriating to think that it could have been avoided by certain people having more consideration, especially about my Coeliacs. Anyway... My wonderful consultant is arranging another infusion for next week to nip this in the bud and I'm confident that the end (of the flare-up) is nigh.

Emotions-wise, this flare-up has really taken it's toll. I'm having trouble staying positive about things and my already shakey self-esteem has taken a hit. While some catwalk models make a career out of looking emaiciated, pale and miserable, I have found that it makes me feel awkward in social situtions - like everyone is feeling sorry for me and that does damage to my confidence. Fortunately, I'm filling out gradually (I found a pair of trousers in my wardrobe that were too tight!! Yay!) and as my iron level build up I am looking less like Casper the Friendly Ghost.

I've been so tired that most days I just come home from work and go to bed. I'm trying to eat well to build up my energy levels, but when I'm in a flare-up it's the last thing I want to do. It's a vicious cycle really, because if I don't eat then I have no energy to heal, so I stay sick. At the moment I'm just eating what I know my stomach will be able to process, I'll work on variety later. I did find find a great book called "What to Eat With IBD" by Tracie Dalessandro, she's a dietitian who has Crohn's Disease so she gives sound advice that is managable for someone with active IBD. I especially found the advice on vitamins and minerals very helpful, it helped me to work out where I might be lacking and what I can do about it. Even though I've had Crohn's for 13 years and have consulted quite a few dietitians, I still found the book a really useful guide.

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