My morning routine with IBD
If you're a fan of youtube or reading blogs then you might see 'morning routines' shared time and time again. Whether it's a spot of morning yoga or croissants on the terrace, these experiences seem worlds away from what the morning is like for those of us who live with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. So today I thought I'd write about what my typical morning looks like with Crohn's Disease.
7:30: Wake Up!
For some reason, my symptoms can change drastically within a thirty minute period of waking up. I'll often feel like 'oh, I feel great today' only to be hit by cramping a mere few minutes later. How can things change so quickly? This is often made worse by the false sense of security by having a *normal* (yep, normal!) bowel movement first thing and believing you've turned a corner. Only for the pain to strike ten minutes later!
8:00 Breakfast Time
I'll either have two moods: extremely hungry or not in the mood to stomach anything (or, if I'm lucky, a rotation of the two). Gone are the croissants, eggs and bacon, fruit platters or pancakes. My breakfasts are pretty repetitive and dull. My digestion seems to be the most sensitive first thing so I'll often opt for a banana, plain oats, and almond milk. It's strange how quickly you can get used to bland food with IBD.
8:15 Get Dressed
I've already written before about just how much my Crohn's Disease has changed my wardrobe. Most of the time I'm looking for something comfortable. Something that won't dig into my stomach, can adapt to my weird temperature fluctuations, and easy to take off if I need the loo (sorry jumpsuits!). It's usually leggings and more leggings.
8:30 Get Packing
I'm lucky enough to work from home but sometimes I do head out to a local office space. It does my mental health the world of good to get out of the house, but packing for it can be more problematic! First up, I'll pack plenty of peppermint tea, my leftover breakfast (if I couldn't stomach it all first thing or my bowels interrupted), LOTS of safe snacks so I'm not left hungry. And depending on the day, the glamorous addition of things such as Imodium, wet wipes, vaseline, and spare underwear. Most of the time these are a precaution rather than an actuality-but you never know!
I've brushed my hair! I've kept food down! I'm organised! This is usually when my scheduled derailed comes in just as I'm about to leave the house. Anyone else get that weird gurgling or pain just as you are about to leave? This then leaves me debating as to whether I run back for the toilet, hold it in, or try to forget about it. Whichever decision I make, it's usually the wrong one! It is at this point that I remind myself that I am supposed to do meditation/yoga each morning to reduce stress. And I've forgotten AGAIN!
It's no wonder those of us with IBD are exhausted. It can feel as if we've done a full day before we even leave the house! Whether it's trying to calm our stomach, find something to wear, or keep everything we need in our handbags, mornings with IBD can be a nightmare. How do you start your day and is it stressful as mine?
What is your comfort level disclosing your IBD to your employer?