Challenge #1 – Crohn’s – this time last year a regular calprotectin test showed that my Crohn’s disease looks like it has reactivated after 5 years of drug-free remission. This summer I had a colonoscopy and an MRI scan which have given slightly contradictory results. I have a gastroenterologist’s appointment on 12th December at which we will discuss the evidence and the way forward.
I am reluctant to restart drugs for the Crohn’s, unless absolutely necessary, but it may become inevitable. The biggest challenge I face, healthwise, is to make the right, informed decision on what is best for my future.
Challenge #2 – BAM (Bile Acid Malabsorption) – an ongoing problem which resulted from losing my terminal ileum (ileostomy surgery) 6 years ago. So far it has been kept under control bytaking 2 Loperamide (Imodium) capsules each day but if that stops working I have the option of going to see my GP and asking him to prescribe a binder (Questran). Yet more drugs. I came close to it earlier this year.
Challenge #3 – PVT (Portal Vein Thrombosis) – the ticking timebomb. Yearly upper GI endoscopies look for the regrowth of (varicose) veins in my esophagus. It has worked out that every second year the veins require ligation (having rubber bands around them). The issue is that should they regrow quicker and then burst I have a finite time to get to hospital and a blood transfusion hence the ticking timebomb.
Challenge #4 – Reducing my use of SoMe – it’s very easy to become addicted to the likes of Twitter and Instagram. I intend to limit my time online which should help my mental rather than physical wellbeing.
Challenge #5 – Gain weight – over the last 12 months or so I’ve lost around 10kg (maybe as a result of #1). I would like to put on 5kg back on if possible.
Reading the above you may think I take a very gloomy attitude to life. I don’t but I do like to be realistic and to have a clear understanding of the possible issues that will arise and what is going on inside my body.
Five Small Victories
Victory #1 – Achieving a good, long walk of 10km or more, especially exploring London. It help clear the mind.
Victory #2 – Finishing a blog post. The process of writing a post is another “good for the mind” exercise. I like to think about what I write rather than just put down the first thing that comes into my head. By being analytical it helps to come to terms with health issues and get them into perspective.
Victory #3 – Medication. Remembering to take the right tablets at the right time and to re-order in time not to run out.
Victory #4 – Encouragement. Being able to give encouragement to other IBD patients when they are going through an uncertain or bad patch.
Victory #5 – Waking up and knowing it is going to be a good day as far as Crohn’s/BAM is concerned. Can usually tell within the first 10 seconds the state of my digestive system!