Sunday, 15 January 2012

On the Waiting List

A new year has well and truly dawned.  January is a month when we reflect on the achievements of the previous year, our successes, our accomplishments.  We look forward, make plans, set goals.  

I have one resolution.  

To be well.

Last year, 2011, began for me with active Crohn's Disease and crippling anaemia.  2010 dawned with active Crohn's and a painful bowel obstruction. 2009 started with active Crohn's and recuperation from colostomy surgery. 2008...  Well, you get the idea.

This year, I'm on the waiting list for ileostomy surgery.  It feels like I am, once again, in a Crohn's induced limbo; my life is on hold until I am well enough to start living it again.  While my peers are building their careers and starting their families - I am on the waiting list.  My only achievement has been to survive.

I am often told how brave I am, how well I cope with my illness; one consultant labeled me "stoic", friends think I am strong.  I don't feel any or those things, I am barely hanging on.  Some days, it is easy to feel positive, to look forward - past the next operation - to a time when I will be well.  Other days, I can't see past my pain.

I have to make a conscious effort to pull myself out of such contemplation and remind myself of what keeps me going, who gives me the strength I need to hang on another day.

My Husband is my rock, my reason for getting up every morning.  He holds me together when I'm falling apart.  He has been by my side for this painful journey, holding my hand along the way.  He encourages me and builds me up when I need it, he is my shoulder to cry on when it overwhelms me.  He has endured my frustration at my illness, at the world in general, and has often been my verbal punching-bag when things are too much to bear.  Yet, he is still here, loving me.

My family have seen me at my worst and they still love me.  I know that you love your child unconditionally, that your sister will always have a place in your heart no matter how many miles separate you, but I feel like such a burden on my parents and my brother.  We live 400 miles apart, but it feels more like light years at time like this.  I know that they worry and it breaks my heart that I put them through all of this.
When I have the strength, I can be found in the kitchen.  The greatest gift my mother ever gave me (after life, of course!) was a passion for food.  Cooking, mixing flavours, playing with textures and creating meals, is my therapy.  It soothes me, calms the frustrations at life, and reminds me that I have a purpose - I am fulfilled when I cook.  When I'm too weak, too tired to cook: that's when I start finding life with Crohn's an uphill struggle again.

My prayer for 2012 - my hope - is for health. 


  1. I really admire that you can write so honestly and eloquently about your health, Caleigh - and wish you the very best for the year ahead.


  2. I've been trying to write a post about my crohns for months and months, I cried reading yours, you sum up exactly how I feel too..especially the bit about the world moving on and you just staying static.
    I'm always here for you, no matter what Cal. Super duper love and hugs xxx