sailboat in a wavy ocean

Stress & Worries About Symptoms and Flares

In so many ways, I am hyper-vigilant.

I have Crohn's disease and was diagnosed as a young girl. I'm now a grown woman who bears more than physical scars.

I also have a 4-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son. My son has a stomach of steel; which I am beyond grateful for, but my daughter is different.

She has had bowel issues since she was just 1. It became so progressively worse that she needed a colonoscopy just before turning 2, but luckily all was clear.

The traumas from being ill for so long

Being ill was such a significant trauma for me, so much worse than I had any idea. Pre-babies, I'd deluded myself that I wouldn't let myself be filled with panic over a slight tummy tingle from my children. I'd rationalized that by the time they were old enough to get Crohn's, there would, of course, be a cure, right?!

What I hadn't considered either, was me coming out of surgical remission and back into a full-blown-flare. However, any tummy tingle I get, I'm thrown into a mental breakdown.

So despite all my sanity and rational self reassurances, I always cave to the breakdown and need for a resemblance of bodily control.

I've become so hyper-vigilant; hypersensitive.

My daughter complains about her tummy every single day and I'm not even so used to it that I'm desensitized. I wish I was. No matter how often I take her to the doctors and repeat the same thing over and over to them, with them only trying to reassure me, my gut does backflips.

Who is a fan of being "that mother" that you always see sitting in a doctor's office? I'm not.

I end up feeling insecure and judged. And then question if you are, a) delusional b) psychotic, or c) are seen as having Munchhausen by proxy.

Everything becomes analyzed, written down, researched. Fear takes over and when your child farts/passes wind or poos, you become apart of that every moment.

Okay, chill mama/daddy.

Breathe mama/daddy.

Worries and stress about symptoms

Hyper focusing isn't going to achieve anything either. We cannot change what will happen or won't happen.

My grandmother used to tell me as a child that worrying and stressing will give me an ulcer. Well played; well played.

As an adult who has been lucky enough to taste remission, all of those things will bring on another flare - which also won't help anyone.

Crohn's still kicking your butt? All of those things will send you deeper into the flare and your mental strength even further behind.

My motto about the things I cannot change

You cannot change the things that are out of your control, but you can change the way you handle it. The way I've handled it is to find a motto to live by. Mine is:

The pessimist complains about the wind,
The optimist expects it to change; and
The realist adjusts the sails.

That speaks to me. As a realist I can prepare for the worst, be optimistic about potential positives at the same time, knowing that no matter what happens, I'll just ride the wave that I'm taken on. I hope that also speaks to you.

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