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Today’s post is: The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Experienced.
Without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced was adjusting to life with a chronic illness. In 2013 I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and it really was a life changer. I had to change how I ate, how I slept (this entailed buying an electric bed with a memory foam mattress) and just how I functioned.
I think the most difficult thing was making peace with the fact that I could no longer just pick up my bag and go out when I wanted. I had to start planning my days out – what bag should I take so I can fit a bottle of water/energy drink and several snacks in? Where are the bathrooms where I’m going? Can I sit down if I get tired? Are there places to get food if I need it? It’s not just a day out on a whim any more. I have to plan, and a lot of my friends still don’t get that. I have a good many who do, but a lot of them still don’t understand that I can’t do things spontaneously any more.
The diet change was also a real bind. I am mostly vegetarian now (apart from bacon, which I have once in a while and we’ve reclassified as a medicinal herb in our house) and it does help my gut. I am unable to go vegan because of my nut allergy, but I do think that would help as well. If I do eat meat, it’s poached chicken or fish. Red meat is a treat that happens twice a year (Christmas and Easter) or a burger out if I’m desperate. I used to eat anything and everything, so yeah. I can’t eat wholegrain foods. I can’t eat brown bread. I live mostly off rice and pasta and vegetables. It’s crappy, but it helps my gut, so I don’t really have an option.
Being diagnosed with a long term chronic condition is difficult, especially if you were previously a very healthy person. But we make do, and the important thing is not to let it get to you.