Moving boxes in laid out in a shape that slightly resembles a colon.

Planning for and Managing a Move With Crohn's

Recently, I wrote about my experience searching for a new house with IBD during a pandemic. I wanted to share more about the next steps after we found and closed on our home.

Now it was time to plan and manage a move, while also managing my Crohn's disease.

Moving with Crohn's

As any Crohn's patient can tell you, things that require an immense amount of careful planning, logistics, finances, time, and energy are often incredibly depleting for us.

Whether we’re struggling with abdominal symptoms, extra-intestinal manifestations, or Crohn's fatigue, it’s a major feat to think about packing up an entire home, moving, and unpacking everything all over again. There's so much physical movement, so much standing and leaning and bending over, and none of it is comfortable.

Add in parenting a toddler, working full time, and undergoing fertility treatments, and I had a pretty full and intense plate this season. Additionally, my increased Crohn's symptoms threw a continual wrench in my plan, meaning that every step I took forward felt like it was followed by three or four backward.

Physical fatigue of packing

In a burst of energy, I’d pack a set of drawers, or a closet, or a half a room, and then I’d feel sick to my stomach. My husband would walk in, and find me laying on the floor, exhausted and hurting, and not in the best shape.

I'd crawl into bed at night, only to repeat the same steps the following day, and the day after that, and the day after that too. It was a marathon, not a sprint, and I hadn't trained very well (or at all) for this.

In the two weeks before our move, we spent a lot of time going back and forth from the old house to the new one.

We'd bring fragile things, awkwardly shaped or sized things, things we didn't want or need the movers to move. We'd check on the contractors, set up utilities, and figure out what things we needed that we didn't already have. The drive was about 45 minutes each way, and we never stopped moving when we were at either place.

Crohn's pain and zapped energy

I found myself hurting and struggling to communicate.

I wanted to be helpful and in charge, just as I had been with our previous move, and even more so now that my daughter was watching my every move.

I'd curl up with a heating pad as soon as I could each evening, I was taking my rescue meds and sleeping longer than normal, but none of it was replenishing the things I was expending – my energy, my strength, or my physical health.

I kept telling myself that once we were in the new house, and settled, I'd recover. I'd rest. I'd reset.

That's a dangerous game, as a Crohn's patient – chasing an arbitrary future moment without rationing the costs to get to that place.

My post-move crash was coming

Our actual move went smoothly. I spent a few days before getting organized as best as I could, and a few days after trying to do the same. We'd packed as strategically as possible, which meant unpacking wasn't so bad.

What was hard, for me, was the crash that I knew was coming.

Next up, in the last part of this article, I'll talk about what that looked like for me, and how I worked through it.

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