Life with Crohn's Disease: The Volcano that Lives Within

Life with Crohn's Disease: The Volcano that Lives Within
Flare ups from Crohn's disease can feel as powerful as volcanic eruptions

There are extinct volcanos that will never again erupt, and there are active volcanos in which you know the dangers resulting from their molten hot lava. But the worst volcano, in my opinion, is the dormant, potentially active volcano that could burst forth unexpectedly at any given moment. That is what life with Crohn’s disease is like. You never know when your intestines will flare--and when they do, like the volcano, everything in its path better look out. Crohn's has no mercy.

It’s been almost 30 years ago since I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s in my late teens.  No one knew what my problem was, and I didn’t either. All I knew was there would be days, weeks, and sometimes even months when I would be riddled with excruciating pain to the point I had to walk on my tip toes because gravity hurt my stomach too badly to walk on flat footed. When you’re that you, people think you’re being difficult by not wanting to eat as if eating is the answer to everything. They’d tell my mom, “She just needs to eat something,” which of course would exacerbate my problem even further and send me spiraling through another wave of cramping, nausea, and pain.  Aside from having a colostomy, when it comes to Crohn’s disease, I know all about this disease because I have survived the nightmare of this disease.

It would be impossible for me to forget about my illness at all since I am left with my vertical scar along my abdomen as a reminder I will have for life. It would be so nice to be able to wear bathing suits and midriff tops and not be self-conscious about my stomach because of my scar, but it didn’t take much for me to change my perspective on that. Without that scar, I would have been dead, so instead of looking at it as a mark of shame, I look at it as a literal sign of life. By having the diseased portion of my intestines removed, I was able to heal and recover and go on with my life. But I had to learn and accept my limitations.

By the grace of God, Crohn’s hasn’t given me physical setbacks that impede my ability to live a life of optimal health.  I have since completely changed my life and become a fitness instructor, and in some regards, a model for health and wellness, and for that, I am eternally grateful. But, this disease has given me an attuned internal guidance system that I must never ignore. If I’m fatigued, I must rest. Agitated? Journal and  pray. Feeling vexed and need to vent? Speak my mind. Holding things inside is not the way to go with Crohn’s and this lesson I learned the hard way. But I promise you this: drink ten cans of Ensure a day and have major surgery and you will come out with a new lease on life, and an ability to advocate for yourself in ways you never thought imaginable. Don’t get me wrong. This is an asset and liability. Now I’m learning how to season my words with salt, but get the words out regardless!

I thank God the potentially active volcano of Crohn’s has shut its garrulous mouth. Although the flare ups, steroids, colonoscopies, awful taste of barium, and what felt like never-ending days of starvation were not fun, I learned to listen to my body. And more than that, I also learned to love me, just the way I am—scar and all.

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I'm a wife, mom of six daughters with the youngest being twin 4-yr olds, and fitness instructor, which should have me exhausted by default. But, I press on to win the prize God has for me by inspiring and motivating others to live "In FITNESS and In Health." If you'd like to receive these messages daily, fill out the Email Subscription box. It's free and there's no Spam.

And don't forget to LIKE the Facebook "In FITNESS and In Health" Fan Page to stay inspired as you prosper and be in good health!

God Bless!

This year, I also won $1,000 for losing 10 pounds as part of the Body by Vi 90-Day Challenge Project 10 initiative which gives 30 meals for a child in need, and rewards 10 Vi Challengers $1,000 each every Monday, and you can win too!

The Body by Vi 90-Day Challenge is North America's #1 Weight Loss and Fitness Challenge Platform.
The Body by Vi 90-Day Challenge is North America's #1 Weight Loss and Fitness Challenge Platform.

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