butterfly

My Metamorphoses With IBD

I recently attended an event for patients with ulcerative colitis where we were asked to come up with a word to describe the disease. This is no easy feat. There are so many ways to describe what life with a chronic illness is like. So how do you sum it all up in one word? I’m not sure that you can.

Metamorphoses

During my disease course, I could have described the journey with a dozen words. I feel like the disease is ever-changing. And so is my perspective. I’ve experienced fear, joy, worry, anger, frustration, peace, turmoil, comfort, sadness, sorrow, strength… so many other things. Several things that come to mind when I think of summing my disease up in one word are as follows…

Invincible

Right before my diagnosis, I didn’t think in terms of healthy or unhealthy. I felt great! All I knew was healthy! I was physically fit and at the top of my game in Shotokan karate. At 26 years old, you feel unstoppable… invincible!

Perplexed

I started showing symptoms of ulcerative colitis in 2011. I was completely shocked. Here I was suddenly dealing with bad bouts of diarrhea and suddenly lots and lots of blood in my stools. This wasn’t supposed to happen. This wasn’t in the plan.

Sidetracked

Down, but not out, I thought that the road to remission would be an easy and quick fix. I thought that all I needed to do was take my medications and rest up and I’d be good as new. This was just a bump in the road of life! It wasn’t going to be that big of a deal!

Crushed

I soon began realizing that getting to a place of remission was not going to be easy. I felt defeated. I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just when I thought things were getting better, I was knocked back down.

Rollercoaster

For me, and many others with IBD, the struggle between remission and flare became a rollercoaster ride. I never knew when the disease was going to knock me down. I didn’t know when my medicines would successfully keep the disease at bay. It was a constant unknown. And I could totally forget about long trips or making plans on the fly!

Growth

Despite all the bad things that I could say about IBD, I can say with all confidence that it has helped me grow personally, spiritually, mentally and so many other ways. I feel like I’m a better person. I am more compassionate. I am more caring. I am more loving. I’m a better friend and a better wife.

After a lot of reflection, I think if I had to sum up everything in one word, it would most definitely be metamorphoses. I could compare the change in me to many different things. I could say that I feel like a phoenix rising from the ashes. I could say that I am a caterpillar undergoing the transformation into a beautiful butterfly. I know that the journey will always be painful. Life with a chronic illness is not and never will be ideal. But life never has been anyway! However, there is always something to hope for. You have to sometimes make a conscious effort, but blessings and joys in life are ALWAYS there. Don’t ever stop seeking out the good in life!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net 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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