The Hardest Time of Year

This year was probably the toughest year living with my Crohn’s Disease. The weird part? It didn’t even involve surgery - most of it was rehab and rest… and living in the hospital part of spring.

Spring usually brings on a hospitalization

After 14 years of living with this illness, I know that I am usually most affected in the spring time, usually leading to a hospitalization with a long set of tests and procedures that are done while I am inpatient.

This year was far from normal, if there is such a thing. I was hospitalized for maybe all but a few days in spring and when I finally left, I found myself in the ER multiple times dealing with complications from obstructions and episodes of being impacted.. all at the same time.

The medications made me manic

I was miserable. On top of everything else, I was on the highest dose of IV steroids my GI could put me on and I soon became manic. Over the course of a week being inpatient, there came a point that I did not sleep for 6 days or nights. I was constantly walking around my hospital wing burning nearly 5000 calories a day. I would get up, take a lap, become exhausted and sit in my hospital chair in my room. But my mind just didn’t want to rest. And I soon found out that if I didn’t rest soon, there could be serious consequences.

I also live with PTSD, unrelated to my medical situation. There have been things that have majorly impacted my mental health that I am still trying to deal with, but my PTSD diagnosis came officially this spring, after many, many years of going untreated even though I knew it was there.

I am lucky to have a great team of support

So a month of living in the hospital, not being able to ambulate, having a PICC line for months, not being able to drive more than 5 miles because of frequent bathroom and vomiting stops and not being able to work - how in the heck did i get through it?

Luckily, I had some amazing people look out for me. My care team came together to discuss medication options to deal with my PTSD and developed a short and long-term care plan for my new diagnoses (Gastroparesis was also added to my list of extraordinary things). I’ll be honest: it was tough to stay even close to positive, but I knew that if I needed to, I could enter a mental health facility if I needed to if things got that bad. And they did, but I’ve been lucky enough to receive outpatient trauma counseling in addition to a whole slew of new practices.

I always expect this, but this was the hardest year

Flares come every year for me; I expect them and usually know what to expect of them. This year was an exception. It was the hardest year heath-wise that I’ve gone through. And if I could get through the last year, I can get through anything.

Who is your support? How do you get through your most difficult times?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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