Crohn's Pain: Going From Warrior to Weary

When I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, my threshold for pain was pretty impressive.

Growing up, I was never sick a day in my life and I grew up as the only girl in my family. I was always scraping my knees outside, running around and jumping off trees, wrestling with my brother, and just being a typical tomboy. Getting banged up and bruised was no big deal and I guess growing up that way gave me tough skin.

I used to have a high pain threshold

As I got older, I became very involved in classical dance and trained seriously to reach the professional level. In other words, I was an athlete and a serious one.

I never broke a bone. If I twisted an ankle, I would walk it off and then continue practicing as quickly as I could. If I was dropped on the floor during a partnering section of rehearsal, I always was the type to get up quickly, brush it off, and keep going. In some ways, I prided myself in the fact that I was, well, tough.

In the beginning of my diagnosis, getting poked and prodded by doctors and nurses was no big deal. Injections didn’t scare me. The smell of alcohol swabs was new so it didn’t bother me. Seeing IV bags, tubes, fluorescent lighting, and white tile wasn’t an issue.

I was fearless about injections

In addition, when I transitioned from biologics that required infusions at the hospital to biologics that required self-injection, I took the transition very well. Although it was scary, I kept telling myself: I’m a tough cookie, I can do this. And to my satisfaction, I would self-inject with ease.

I remember when I first began Humira and the nurse came to my house with the loading dose, which was using the pen four different times in one day, and I was sort of excited. It felt like a challenge.  However, deep down, I was also extremely nervous and frightened of the idea of injecting myself. 

Well, I mentally cheered myself on, and did those injections back-to-back, quickly and confidently. The nurse told me that was one of the easiest visits she’s had and that she was impressed with my fearlessness. I won’t lie, that felt good to hear.

But I've lost the fight I once had in me

But, something changed in me. That’s right, and the change has happened within the last year and a half or so.

I have become sensitive to pain. I no longer have that mental fight in me that I used to. See, I believe dealing with pain is mostly mental. And getting in a mental position of strength to take on pain, takes a lot of effort. 

You have to have the push from within to get yourself there. And I’ve grown tired. I’ve found that when I see needles, smell alcohol swabs, see purple latex gloves, I begin to sweat. I don’t want to do it anymore. I dislike being pricked. I dislike having a nurse poke me for an IV, miss the vein, and have to start over again. I dislike pain and discomfort. 

I don’t have the mental strength to deal with it anymore as I used to. I’ve become weary.

I'm tired of being poked and prodded

True story. Recently I have been dealing with iron deficiency anemia. My doctor has me doing iron infusions. This particular infusion she prescribed involves me getting a total of five infusions within days of each other. 

Well, I’m confessing here today that I haven’t gone to the fifth one, because I hate it! I’m tired of being poked and I just need a break. And I get a bit anxious having to go through the process. I’m sort of tired of seeing needles and dealing with the prick.

When I see how sensitive I’ve become, it’s sort of alarming. I would have never thought this tough, tomboy would be so suddenly afraid. But, it’s the truth. 

My pain threshold has decreased

It seems as though these days my pain threshold has decreased dramatically and I think it’s a simple testament in showing how much pain Crohn’s patients have to endure constantly. And sometimes, the pain becomes too much, to where we can sort of fall apart.

How about you? Can you relate? Have you experienced something similar? If so, share below!

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