The Pain of Re-Diagnosis
This is a topic I haven’t hit on a lot because I’m honestly still trying to navigate it and understand it myself. But I also realize the importance of it because I know so many people are facing this same situation and battling with the exact same feelings and emotions as I am.
I’m not even sure if this is the “technical” name for it, but it’s what I call it. Originally, at the end of 2009, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. This was long after I began experiencing symptoms, but then they finally caught it. That was a huge struggle in itself. I always knew I was different. My naps were 10, sometimes 12 hours long. I was constantly tired. Always in pain. Always using the bathroom. Always seeing blood. I know I was different, but having a name for it was the shocker. You would think it’d be a stress reliever, but it actually wasn’t. It served as confirmation that I would never be “normal.” It was like a constant reminder that I’m sick and no matter how hard I tried, this would be another thing lingering over my head.
Accepting my UC diagnosis
But with time and much effort, I adjusted.
I became accustomed to my new normal. Although I didn’t like it, I understood how my body operated and adjusted my life accordingly. If that meant isolating myself to avoid embarrassment, then that is just what I had to do. Over the years, things changed, at times for the better, other times for the worst. I adjusted every time. After my surgeries, I felt like I had an entirely new body. As if I was living inside a body that was not my own. What did I do? Adjust. Every single time, I changed my life to fit my new normal. Every single time.
This was different.
A new diagnosis of Crohn's disease
Before my original diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, I knew something was wrong. I could feel it. Although doctors would tell me otherwise, I knew my body was suffering. This was different. I knew my body was suffering, I knew something was wrong, but I always assumed it was ulcerative colitis * or as IBD specialists call it post-colectomy * “IBD in general.” I knew that my j-pouch was inflamed. I knew my body was unhealthy, but discovering I had Crohn’s disease was a complete shock. It’s hard to explain how I felt. It’s almost like a letdown, but in ways, like a smack in the face. It felt like I’d been living a lie almost, but discovering the truth hurt so much more.
Months post my new diagnosis and almost 10 years post my original, I can truly say, IBD is so unpredictable. You must adjust to the fact that you will never know it all. You will never know everything about your condition, nor will you ever know everything about your body. When I got my Crohn’s diagnosis, to say it came as a shock is an understatement. I thought I knew my body. Just when I thought I’d adjusted, IBD threw me another curveball.
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